1st day moving to New York and all I can talk about is Hot Pot

Yes, you are no longer in Texas anymore

Waking up was fuzzy.  My brain was trying to gather the new noises of car horns and loud yelling, as well as what bed I was waking up in.  I placed my feet on the old wooden floors that creaked with each roll, heal to toe.  I was feeling groggy from travel and tearful goodbyes.  My eyes spoke for how I was feeling, the puffiness and redness alone needed some R&R.

The First Steps

After taking my time getting ready and mentally preparing myself for the reality beyond the lobby entrance,  I settled on my first New Yorker outfit; Grey sequin top, forest green motor style J Brand jeans, black leather jacket, and my high-top Adidas sneakers with neon colors.

I unknowingly did not make plans beyond getting on the plane and giving my new temporary address to the taxi driver.  As people will say and I will back up, “This is New York, you don’t need plans.”

For day one I explored the local area on foot.  Found a local coffee shop to jolt my mind awake and notify my contacts that I had arrived.  The evening picked up speed as my current roommates (there are 4 of them, 5 with me) arrived home from work.  All the sudden we are all gathered in the kitchen talking about a hundred different things and making Hot Pot.  Hot Pot has now become an active word in my daily vocabulary.

Talk Hot Pot

Hot Pot has been described to me as an economical alternative allowing you to, “Hotpot for days” meaning you can throw in almost anything into the broth and just feast while eliminating any food that might expire soon.

Typically there are two broth options, we had spicy and miso, that is prepared in a split portable pot.  Then you add a plethora of veggies, meats, tofu, and dumplings.  So you can get a better idea I will recall ALL the stuff we put in ours:  Fish cakes, tomatoes, 3 kinds of mushrooms, potatoes, 2 types of tofu, spam (yes spam, and it was good), okra, cucumber, dumplings.

20141125-hot-pot-guide-shao-zhong-13
Photo Credit: Serious Eats

The Hot Pot journey is still not over.  To accompany the Hot Pot you also have your rice and sauce.  Rice is pretty simple, but the sauce is based off a mixture of fish sauce, Chinese vinegar, minced garlic, minced cilantro, sesame oil and fresh lime juice.  Preparing the sauce is all personal preference, an additional flavor of sodium goodness to each bite.

Why am I going so far with this Hot Pot thing?  I was very impressed watching my new roommates work so well together to prepare this new (to me) cultured meal.  Watching everything come together with everyone working together is part of those beautiful moments when all is okay in the world.  And being fresh off the plane, a home-cooked-family-style-conversation-engaging-meal was just what I needed.

If there’s one universal hot pot rule, it would be this — you don’t “hot pot” with people you don’t like – SHAO Z. (click the link for more information and how to make your own Hot Pot, friends not included) 

Hot pot

End of side note.  End of day one ❤

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