À Table: Fondue

A portrait from Rhône-Alpes

Why settle for simply eating fondue when you can deepen the experience by also enjoying some French music, and also parlez de français (speak some French)?

story

À Table: Weekly Dinner Series

Each week my kids and I host a French-speaking family for a fun evening of home-cooked French food, French wine, French music and conversational French.

Both of our kids are in a dual language French program (1st and 3rd grade as of this post) at our local public school, and I am also working towards being fluent as well.  To practice our spoken French, two years ago we began a weekly dinner series that we refer to as “À Table,” which is the call to the table for a meal (literally “to table,” as in “everyone come to the table now!”).

At these dinners (and occasionally brunches, as schedules dictate), we cook a pretty wide variety of French foods but so far our family/guest favorites are:

During appetizers and the dinner, we do our best to speak as much French as possible, with the patient, gracious help of our guests.  It’s also a great way to make new friends! Just as often as we invite old friends to join us, we invite classmates we don’t yet know well, and it is always a blast.

Out of this weekly tradition came a game we developed to encourage speaking with one another during the meal.  We found that with varied ages, levels of friendships – not to mention varied French abilities – having a game to fall back on increased the speaking immensely, and was also simply lots of FUN!

This is the first post, but there are so, so many more waiting in the wings, just awaiting another recipe test/tweak or better photos, or the special playlist to accompany it…

But in the meantime, you could also play the game alongside a French dinner that is already posted on the site, like the galettes de Breton complète, the delicious savory, buckwheat crepes from Brittany in northern France.

music

Playlist: French Favorites

We have one Spotify playlist that we put on for almost every French dinner – simply on shuffle repeat – unless there is something in particular we are celebrating that week (like Oktoberfest, where we might make Tarte Flambée (aka Flammekueche) and enjoy with music that celebrates the French/German border).

We keep adding to this large and varied one below, so make sure you click “follow” to keep connected to the updates.

And feel free to send us your suggestions of what we should add!  We love suggestions from friends and readers about new artists to check out.

Your fondue will taste better with French-language music on in the background. But I guess you have to try it to see!

recipe

Our Favorite Basic Fondue

It’s great to offer a variety of accompaniments, across the starch, veggie, fruit, and meats spectrum.  For cheese fondue, we offer some combination of the below, depending on the dietary restrictions of our guests.

Bonus

Game: Parlez Francais: Le Jeux

Parlez Francais: Le Jeux – playing during a meal of raclette!

The first printable French conversation game: Parlez Français: Le Jeux!

Out of this weekly tradition came a game we developed to encourage speaking with one another during the meal.  We found that with varied ages, levels of friendships – not to mention varied French abilities – having a game to fall back on increased the speaking immensely, and was also simply lots of FUN!   We’ve prettied it up, and made it a printable so that you can play with your own friends and family today.

Check out the Etsy listing for more information, and to download it, print it, and play it today!

Et merci à La Mini Frenchie & Rima for her help editing this first official version of the game.