Snow Day Japanese Hot Pot

hot-potAs six inches of snow piled up on the ground outside my house, I begged B to go for a walk to frolic in the fluffy white stuff with me. We wandered among city blocks, children and adults alike sledding in the streets while cars sat long abandoned. After getting involved in a snowball fight with some neighborhood children and making snow angels in the park with a few friendly puppies, we started to head home, stopping to buy hot chocolate at our local QFC. 

And then there he was, a beautiful Lodge enamel coated Dutch oven, on sale for $30. I had been planning on getting one, though the cheapest I’d seen was about $20 more expensive than this. I had been planning on making a Japanese hot pot, for which this would be ideal. And B already had one down, checking it out. It was fate. We walked the rest of the way home, struggling under the weight of the pot, but our steps light with excitement–about the snow and the Dutch oven.

The snow kept on all day, from the “thundersnow” (real term!) that shook me awake like a bomb going off to the few flurries that tapered out as the sun went down. But that winter chill couldn’t pass through the doors of my house. No, not when inside my new pot warm broth curled around tender udon noodles. Chunks of squash swam around, chasing down shiitake mushrooms. The food stayed warm as we lingered over spoonfuls of hoto nabe in front of the fire, the heat of the Dutch oven working its magic.

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