A hotpot kind of night

Forecasters called for snow this weekend and I instantly thought, hotpot. I started brainstorming with a friend, must-haves to include.

Her favorite items to toss in:

  • Yuba – Dried sheets or sticks of tofu skin. It’s only available from China, so she tries to go for the ones manufactured in Hong Kong.
  • Bamboo – She goes for the frozen ones, though recently they’re available fresh.
  • Frozen firm tofu – After freezing, tofu develops a sponge-like texture. It soaks up the soup well.
  • Daikon – Fresh daikon makes a tasty broth. I also like to ferment the skins with some carrots, ginger, and salt water for a few days.
  • Taro
  • Chrysanthemum greens
  • Enoki

I have never added bamboo or yuba in my hotpot but they both sounded tasty so I got some to try. Another item I suggested to her is seaweed. It adds umami and deepens the flavor of the broth, along with some onions. Other items I like to include are napa and cabbage and sometimes lotus roots.

I’m so hungry right now just thinking about it. Hotpot is my winter comfort food.

Muuust not shoooop

No Shopping Lent doesn’t just happen on its own y’know! It requires active resistance and great fortitude and willpower. And as we’ve learned from social psychologists handing marshmallows to kiddies, the best way to exercise restraint is through distraction. So aside from unsubscribing to emails from LLBean, ModCloth, and the like, I’ve been distracting myself with a lot of cartoons. A lot of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Adventure Time. My brain is goo.

Roughin’ it

Some people like camping, some folks, hiking. My idea of a good time has never included anything involving deprivation of running water or toilet facilities. Until recently, my life was just hunky dory in the running water department. Until two weeks ago when our one lone toilet broke! I can talk about this now that everything is back in order but our toilet was out of commission for 2 weeks! TWO WEEKS! I had to go to the lobby to use the loo and sometimes you just have to go now, now, now! In particular when you wake up in the morning. Everything is in working order now though and it’s even improved! Pull up for yellow and push down for brown. Smart Toilet
Genius! My life feels complete again.

Yeah, what he said.

Teddy Roosevelt

In case you can’t make out the words:

There is delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm. The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection. – T. Roosevelt