Hot Pot Night

Hot Pot Night

After picking up the girls from the center, I asked them if they would like to go to a free concert at U Village and have a later dinner. They were game, so we headed over to the shopping center. We got there just in time to get in a short line waiting to enter the area set up for the summer concert. Our timing was great – we no sooner got in line when everyone else started showing up and the line got quite long. Since we were near the front of the line, we were able to get a table and chairs. Tonight’s concert was The Paperboys, which just happens to be my favorite local band (they are from Vancouver, BC). We didn’t stay for the whole thing, but we did hear a fair number of songs. The girls seemed to like them, but when I suggested we leave so we could cook dinner, they were happy to go.

Having already shopped for ingredients for Szechuan style hot pot, the Peggy helped me prepare the broth and get everything on the table. Lily mixed up garlic, olive oil, and sesame oil, then heated it in the microwave and put it in little bowls – one for each of us. To this, we had the option of adding cilantro, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar (closest thing I had to what they use in China).

I already had a pot with an electric burner – the kind sold at Uwajimaya. Once the broth was boiling, we started adding things to it. Choices were thin-sliced pork & beef, shrimp, scallops, wood ear mushrooms (note – don’t soak a whole bag at once; they really expand!), shiitake mushrooms, bamboo hearts (that looked like rat tails, LOL), potato, Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, fried tofu, and rice noodles. We saved the noodles to cook last. The broth was spicy, but not too hot and it really put a nice flavor on all the other ingredients. Each ingredient, when cooked, was dipped in the sauce mixture that Lily prepared. An hour later, we were all stuffed!

Tomorrow, I’m making chicken legs (roasted) and ratatouille. Friday night, we’ll be having Spanish paella.

Oh, and I found out I won’t be getting the two boys. Their current host family rearranged their schedule and are keeping them. I’m kind of glad…boys can be so roudy and loud.

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