Winter vacation for me is just about over since work starts as soon as winter sessions starts. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday. Over at my home we decided to do something called a hot pot. It's basically a steaming always cooking bowl of soup where you dip in various food and leave it in there to cook till they're ready. This year it was my boyfriend, my mom, dad, cousin, aunt, grandparents, little sister and brother for Christmas. Though generally we don't celebrate Christmas but it is a great time to get the family together.
A hot pot is the perfect type of meal where people cook, share and can converse over good hot food on a cold cold day. It's a very rare moment since all the kids are off to college in different states.
In the center is a large bowling bowl of soup usually chicken broth or beef broth is fine. There are special hot pots that run either by electricity or gas like the one above I got from my boyfriend. Whats so great is that the little burner is portable and comes with a split pot. One side is for spicy soup base and the other side is for the non spicy. I've also done this with a vegetarian side and a meat lover side.
All the food there are food that doesn't require a lot of time to cook like thinly sliced beef, chicken, sheep or any meat. We also have thinly sliced squid, beef tripe along with dumplings and tons and tons of various fish balls. My sister loves loves fish balls. I personally love these special ones that contain a tiny piece of meat in the inside my friends call Fuzhou fish balls. They are just so juicy when cooked. We also have thinly sliced tofu skin, straw mushrooms, watercress and other quick veggies. You can basically use any type of soup base and any food that's easy to cook... I've tried shrimp, lobster, cuttlefish etc.
We usually eat rest/chat then eat some more... rinse and repeat and this time we spent about 4 hours in this cycle. By the end we were all stuffed and suffering from food coma. If you've never tried it you might want to... there are few places in NYC that really gives you the full scope of what can be done with hotpot. The only place I can think of is in Flushing Queens in this tiny out of the way underground restaurant. I forgot the name... unfortunately they speak mainly Mandarin so ordering can be a hassle.
If you have the time and want to try something new that's easy to do at home try hotpotting =D