The alternative title to this post would be "Its a bloody miracle I didn't burn the house down"
We were shopping a few weeks before U's birthday and he pointed out a display of fondue sets. I wasn't sure about the quality of a ¥1500 generic Aeon fondue set (and U didn't like any of the colours) so we picked him out a reasonably priced small Le Crueset fondue set (red, his favourite colour) (like this one).
I picked up various bits (a bagna cauda packet from Kaldi and a cheap cheese fondue from the local grocery store) and then turned to Rakuten and ordered fondue forks, a fondue recipe book, a real Swiss cheese fondue mix, and a good chocolate mix too. On his birthday I wrapped the bits that had arrived in time and prepped French bread, potatoes, broccoli, and sausages. I broke down and bought a cake, and a bottle of cheap bubbly as well as two different types of pickles.
Despite the fact that he had picked out his gift he was so excited when he opened it, and even more excited when I whisked it out of his hands and washed it before filling it with the cheese mix I had bought at the grocery store.
The box had two different sets of directions. You could put the contents of the packet into the plastic dish provided and zap in the microwave, or put it directly into the fondue dish and heat on the stove. The latter seemed the better option, so that is what we did. I stirred the cheese over low heat, as it melted and began to bubble. As I turned off the gas there was a loud CRACK and the Le Creuset dish cracked into four pieces and poured warm melted cheese all over the burner.
I screamed and U made sure the gas was off. We started cleaning immediately, figuring melted cheese would be easier to clean than hardened cheese and surprisingly it was easier than we feared. The cheese had managed to do a minimal punt of damage, and the burner was soon none the worse for its cheese shower.
Luckily we still had the good Swiss cheese mix so we heated it up in a pot on the stove and enjoyed a very yummy fondue dinner.
Stuffed full of cheese I brought out the birthday cake and started decorating it with candles - I had found "h-a-p-p-y-b-i-r-t-h-d-a-y" candles at the local 100 yen store and there were also the complementary candles wih the cake. Trouble is there was only one of me lighting the candles. I started on one side and worked my way over. By the time I got to the second "h", however the first "h" was more like a "n" and the tall plain candles in the middle were bent in half and dripping bright colours all over the white cream of the cake.
For the second time that might I screamed. U came running and blew out his candles. I sang him "Happy Birthday" as we picked coloured wax off the cream.
That night as we were falling asleep, U hugged me and, in all seriousness, thanked me for a memorable birthday. Yes, definately memorable!