Behind the Scenes

File:Fondue p1150668.jpg

As readers who have read about the way we write know, our process is nothing if not spontaneous. Sometimes they find it hard to believe we do not have any idea how our characters will come out of the comedy we weave them into. But I have found a piece of evidence of our process and I publish it here just as it was written from one to the other in 2008.

This is about as much planning as we ever do.

If you’ve read Writing is Easy (and if not why not?) you will remember Marcus and the fondue dinner where he rather disgraces himself.

Here is the note:

My researches into fondue tell me the following:

Considered romantic. Often Valentine’s Day etc. All cooked by eaters at the table top.

Three stages

1 Cheese fondue; thick cheesey gunge with herbs etc for starter + bread, vegies, oysters etc

2 The meat or poultry. Two types. Traditional cooked in oil, or the more modern way cooked in stock and therefore much lighter for chicken etc. The oil method called Fondue Bourgigogne used for beef etc

Then a green salad

3 Chocolate for strawberries and other fruits like cantaloupe that cut into bits, even marshmallows

White wine required. They say need to keep drinking until fondue is digested. Quite a long time I should think. Can have Chinese tea if don’t want wine.

It is the kind of thing that becomes an orgy of gorging and spilling on the table. I think they will have table mats. The pots stand on little gas rings. They will have long metal fondue skewers.

Lots of room for excess esp Marcus, perhaps he will die of indigestion in the midst of his attempted murder.

22 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes

      1. Have not eaten (or been served) fondue in several years. For my first marriage, none of the guests could have afforded to give fondue pots, and by the time of the second one, they weren’t in style. It turns up now and then at someone’s home, or occasionally at a restaurant. It’s not all that different , is it, from the Asian restaurants where you cook your food in a little pot of broth at the table? I haven’t had the chance to do that, but sounds similar — not as weighty, though.

        1. Much lighter in the pot of broth, but morsels do tend to fall in and it this brings about ugly behaviour with chop sticks. Years ago there was a fashion for the Mongolian barbecue here, where you stuck you bits of meat on to a cone shaped metal stove. More hygienic I should say.

            1. I have been meaning to tell you. I drove a few hours from Melbourne to a funeral recently and was surprised to find Nar Nar Goon is barely an hour out of Melbourne and is just a regular suburb. We must have been thinking of somewhere else when we led you so wildly astray. I will find another more appropriate location for our meeting.

  1. Sat through such a meal many years ago. Curiously although no cooking needed it took a considerable time for food to appear, by which time much wine (of both colours) had been drunk. My then husband was both starving and drunk and behaved like a drunken toddler.
    The priest was a strange addition to the party and was later outed as a serial paedophile!

    1. Would you have preferred that ending? Some readers thought he got off too lightly, but I doubt he would welcome the prospect of being under Marjorie’s thumb for ever.

      1. No I wouldn’t have preferred it, just couldn’t resist. Being under Marjorie’s thumb forever it the equivalent of Life imprisonment w/o parole.

    1. Not a mystery, Leslie, but our first publication. A wild wonderful comedy of errors taking place in a gourmet writer’s workshop.Give yourself a treat and read it.

  2. Fondues are so horrid I can’t imagine why we thought that they were so avant gardel
    Chocolate ones are tolerable with strawberries, but meat…. and everyone else’s germs! Ugh! Yet another gladioli example!

  3. Your Australian culture has slipped away from you Gert.
    Don’t you remember the leading ambassador from Moonee Ponds!
    Dame Edna would have been proud to have a fondue party showing how avaunt garde she was, hence Gladioli

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