Winter hot pot

Today was actually one of the mildest days we have had weather-wise since we’ve been back from the Southern Hemisphere, so we decided to take a long stroll from our apartment in the Upper East Side all the way down to Hakata Tonton for Japanese hot pot in the West Village. Apparently, this place has been around for seven years now, and I just never had any idea it existed. Now that Chris has found it and we have eaten there, we are both in love with it. Everything there was tasty, from the sashimi to the hot pot (made from collagen) to even the strawberry ice cream and individually wrapped mochi we had for dessert at the end.

The hot pot tonight reminded me of my own hot pot set, which I gave away when I moved into this apartment due to a lack of space. I used the set about three times at my Elmhurst apartment, and each time, I only used homemade chicken stock and had a vast assortment of meats and vegetables to serve it with. I remember one of my favorite condiments with hot pot – homemade XO sauce, and how well it flavors everything it seems to touch. Looks like it is time to make my own soon.

Hot pot also reminded me of how drab hot pot was at our house growing up because my aunt always insisted on having the plainest meats and broths possible, so Ed and I always preferred having hot pot outside, even though we knew the broths weren’t homemade. Ed never got to have my homemade hot pot, and he’ll never have the XO sauce I plan on making. But Bart will sit at the table with us the next time we have hot pot so we can remember him.

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