In my family, Christmas dinner is a collaborative effort.... A long awaited meal. A pleasantly drawn-out dinner. Ahhh... my family's tradition of fondue. It's a chance for us to sit around a table together, enjoy each other's company, and appreciate the process of cooking our own food... bit by bite-size bit.

The tradition begins, however, in the preparation. My dad, sous chef extraordinaire, prepares the meat and then uncorks the vino, I make the sauces (dill and peanut tie as my all time favs--spoons are always licked clean) and taste test the vino, and my mom prepares the garden salad, dressing, and all other preparations. Others help set the table or gather around the kitchen island and keep us company. It's a family affair.

In my family, our annual tradition is a meat fondue with peanut oil. We use chicken, steak, and sausage but the options are endless and I can't really pick a favorite here. They're all amazing when paired with delicious dipping sauces.

The process is simple. The equipment is basic: fondue pot, burner/gel, fondue forks, fondue plates with dipping sauce holders (or any plate will do), a separate fork and plate for your raw meat, and patience.

Here are my family "secrets" and those dependable standards we rely on from ye old reliable fondue cookbook, circa 1970. 

So partake. Enjoy!