Happy New Year!
Last Sunday was Chinese New year, or as they call it in mainland China, Spring Festival. We celebrated this year by joining some very good friends for lunch at a hot pot restaurant. We were really excited because it's been a long time since we've had hot pot. The area where I lived in China was famous for it's hot and sour hot pot, and we ate it often, even in the summer time. I tried to make it once not long after we got married, but I added too much of the hot and sour sauce making it way too spicy even for David to eat. It was quite a disappointing experience. That was not the case last week when we decided to go for the the spicy hot pot. It was excellent!
What is hot pot you may ask? Well, you start with a boiling pot of soup base placed on a burner in the middle of the table. We like it spicy, but you can start with any flavor base. Then you bring plates of thinly sliced meat and vegetables to the table to cook in the soup while you wait. There are many other things that you can cook also: tofu, quail eggs, lettuce, spinach, squash or pumpkin blossoms, bean sprouts, noodles, fish balls, squid, duck throat.... That should give you an idea of what it is like. Our Chinese friends sometimes like to eat more interesting things in their hot pot, but we try to stick to more traditional soup ingredients. I have to admit, however, that I like tofu, quail eggs and squash blossoms in mine. You add a few things at a time, let them cook, fish them out and eat them over rice. The restaurant at which we ate last week let each person have their own individual little pot; so, each person got to pick and choose what he or she wanted to eat. Mmmmm!
We are excited that this new year will bring Hannah Grace to our home. Will she like to eat hot pot? We don't know but we look forward to finding out during Spring Festival next year and for years to come.