For my family's Christmas dinner last year, we decided to go to a hot pot restaurant to celebrate. All 13 of us crowded around a table with heaps of food on the side tables. Some stood, some sat, food was passed from one end of the table to the other end. It was an indescribable feeling that left us all warm and fuzzy inside. For our second dinner party, we wanted to recreate that atmosphere with friends that had never experienced hot pot before.
For a couple of nights, I sat in front of the computer watching shows and making pom poms. (Note: never buy cheap yarn from the dollar store for this, the pom poms did not look as fluffy). I strung the pom poms until I had 5 garlands that I could extend from the window to the pendant light. After they were up, I decided the room didn't look decorated enough and I put up honeycombs near the window and used my trusty triangular bunting to add more pops of colour. My friend was so impressed with the pom poms, she asked to have them to hang in her daughter's room. I'm so happy the garland will have a second life.
One of the most important thing about hot pot is the sauce. We gave everyone their own bowl and set up a sauce station with garlic, barbecue sauce, sesame paste, soya sauce, eggs and shado beni.
For the broth, one side was a seafood broth and the other was a chilli broth. Nick added in some secret ingredients before hand and had it simmering for 2 hours.
For food, we bought shrimp, lamb, cuttlefish, squid, udon, enoki mushroom, fish balls with pork inside, fried tofu and spinach. Our guests had fun and we loved being able to share the experience with them.
We were having children over and some of our guests had to drive so I whipped up a non alcoholic cocktail on the fly. I mixed Sprite with lemonade and garnished it with chopped up apples, kiwi and blueberries. The drink was super pretty and versatile since guests could spike it with white wine.
We barely got through half the food we bought, so the next day we put the pot back on the stove and had hot pot the entire day.