Fondue made a comeback in popularity when I was a child and I still remember the fun family nights we had when my mom made fondue. There are all sorts of rules about what happens if your food falls off the fork in the fondue pot -- for instance kissing the person to your left. But you can make up your own rules to suit your family.
I make cheese fondue and beef fondue, and serve them with a simple salad. Beef fondue is easiest by far, because all you really have to do is heat canola oil and pour it into a fondue pot. Any cook can cut a steak into cubes! And people love to cook their own meat. I like to add some mushrooms and sliced red or orange peppers, which are also great cooked in the fondue oil. If you have guest who like broccoli or cauliflower, those are good choices as well.
Cheese fondue is a little more work but it's really easy, too. There are loads of recipes, but it's quite forgiving, so don't worry about it too much.
Simple Cheese Fondue
16 ounces Gruyere cut into tiny (easy to melt) cubes
8 ounces Emmental cheese (cut into small cubes)
1/3 to 1/2 bottle of white wine (I use Our Dog Blue, a mild white table wine)
a couple of pinches of nutmeg
2 teaspoons corn starch
1. Place the cheese and wine in a saucepan and let cheese melt. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
2. Steal a little bit of the warm wine from the pot, add to the cornstarch and stir until blended.
3. Add the cornstarch the the melted cheese and stir another minute or so.
4. Pour into fondue or chafing dish and serve with bread.