Valentine’s Day is a polarizing holiday, don’t you think? You’re either with someone or you’re not. You’re either happy in that relationship or you’re not. You either like the idea of going to a restaurant on this designated day (and paying a pretty penny) or you don’t.
I like Valentine’s Day just fine, but I like the idea of going out with my husband for sushi or to Mohegan Sun Casino and playing the nickel slots on a random day without pressure so much more! And we do have two kids who aren’t into Valentine’s Day (but like chocolate very much), and we have a bunch of friends who are single (or not) and also feel a little lost when the February 14 rolls around.
The solution this year is a Chocolate Fondue Party. Making fondue is so easy, it’s almost embarrassing. I picked chocolate peanut butter fondue as our fondue flavor this year. You do not have to be in a deep and meaningful relationship to like a big vat of melted chocolate (in this case, blended with peanut butter so that it’s like a bowl of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Soup). Pick a good chocolate; it’s the main ingredient, so splurge on a good brand. You can also use bars of chocolate; just chop them up before melting.
Devote yourself to coming up with fun things to dip into the fondue: fruit, like bananas, apples, pears, various kinds of oranges, strawberries, and marshmallows, are always a classic. Cubes of cakes, simple cookies, and biscotti are great alternatives. I once made little squares of rice crispy treats to dip. Wowsers! That was a memorable fondue! A silly idea I had this year was to ask each guest to bring something to dip into the chocolate fondue; the more inventive the better. I definitely am hoping someone brings bacon.
Tiered pedestals servings platters are a fabulous way to showcase your array of offerings, but of course any serving platter will work. Don’t forget the skewers. Red and white are the classic to go-to-colors for your table, but add some more fun elements like patterned napkins and think outside of the usual box (or heart).
Lay in a selection of red, pink and white drinks to choose from. Thank goodness wine comes in all of those colors. Rose wine and sparkling wine are a lovely touch. Nonalcoholic options could include this very cool sparkling grape and rosehip soda, or this cherry and lemon soda. There is actually a red wine designed to go with chocolate, called appropriately enough Chocolate Shop. You can put everything in a big tub, like this one made of galvanized steel.
And make one fabulous special cocktail like this Raspberry Truffletini. Nothing makes a party feel more pulled together like a singular cocktail designed for the occasion in a harmonizing glass. Now, I realize that a chocolate-laced drink accompanying chocolate fondue may be gilding the lily a little, but as I’ve said before, sometimes we all like our lilies gilded.
If you don’t have a fondue pot, no worries—just serve it in the pot you made it in, or treat yourself to an inexpensive fondue pot, and use that as an excuse to have fondue more often.