The creative process.

I love Hot Pot.

Whether it’s the fat udon noodles or the subtle broth or the variety of the ingredients, I love Hot Pot. 
Today  I stopped pussyfooting around and decided to make one.
I’m alone.
I can afford for it to fall flat.
But it won’t.
It can’t.
Because I begin with the broth (the chicken stock) recipe found on this website (Stock, Chicken) and the broth is the key to a Hot Pot.

Why did I wait so long to do this?
I don’t know.
But the idea is born and there is no stopping it.

The creative process.

Tagging Today
Monday, October 29, 2018
My 202nd consecutive posting.
Time is
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of
and it will be cloudy.

Dinner is Hot Pot.

Quiz Question of the Day:
What is the creative process to develop a new recipe?

Short Takes:

Note that we’ve tweaked the ‘Always on hand’ page in ‘Recipes’ on website, to include cans of petite peas and corn.
We’d prefer the frozen variety of peas and corn but we have a very small freezer.
Why canned products at all?
Sometimes I just get tired and don’t want to bother with a vegetable.
Like just want to broil a steak and don’t even have lettuce for a salad; or the energy to make a salad or anything more than the bare necessity.
Get the can opener.

Let’s make a hot pot.
For two.
We’ll picture four cups of broth as a start.
But since we’re going to add a lot of tasty food items, we can extend the broth by adding two cups of water and then another cup of water for evaporation during the cook.

I’m not guessing.
This is where my experience kicks in.

But what goes into the hot pot?
Most of us have eaten hot pot in many of its variations and can come pretty close to what we would put in if we were making it.
Let’s take a look.

Since my broth is already chicken, I think I’ll skip chicken even though it’s the one meat that I’ve had in every hot pot I’ve ever eaten.
Pork won’t be assertive enough and lamb will be too assertive.
Leaves beef. Like stewing beef or steak tips.

Little neck clams. Yes, for the salt and broth they add.
Oysters, they deserving of special treatment.
Shrimp. Shell on for flavor.
Squid or octopus. Yes. I like the flavor and the texture. Not often found in hot pot but always in my bouillabaisse.
A single piece of fresh fish. Yes.
Lobster meat. Yes. I like this idea. Great flavor and texture.

Thinking Asian, the small variety of bok choy. I like the crunch.
But I like the deep greens, too. Watercress. Good crunch; delicious bitter flavor.

Fresh pasta or the long types.


Soy Sauce

That’s a lot of stuff.
Didn’t realize it until I listed the ingredients.

The big deviation from the traditional method of service is the separation of the hot pot concept from the soup.
The hot pot concept is a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table and a tray containing a variety of foodstuffs and ingredients. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table.
This is a lot of time spent in the food prep and in the cleaning up.
For our purposes, we’ll serve it simply as a soup.

To: Dom the Just
Fm: Howard, the Existential Flaneur 

I noted with some interest a few days ago your sudden left turn into a contemplation of eugenics. 


I could have done without the relatively gigantic image of Hitler (like, why is he bigger than anything else on the page?), but it’s important to point out the ways in which the pseudo-science of eugenics was insinuated into the “scientific” justification for Nazi-style racial cleansing. 

The Nazis were also interested, aside from degenerate “mongrel” races, as they styled them, cleansing the Aryan genome of any threatened contamination from aberrant genes that might have determined “mental disease” (a non-specific term, obviously, that covered a lot of ground) that could not be tolerated for further proliferation. 

What I’m not sure you make entirely clear (and that’s one reason I was a little put off by the banner size portrait of Herr Hitler) is that the scourge of eugenics was well-established going back to the 19th century in the United States. At least part of the appeal of the vagaries of this crackpot theory is that it helped justify not just the sequestration of blacks as somehow a lesser race, but their eradication, at least on our shores, through sterilization. 

It’s also not made clear how many otherwise well-meaning and presumably better-educated scientists, in the name of humane treatment of people troubled by the effects of the specific characteristics of their personal genomes, endorsed the supposedly benevolent expedient of sterilization of otherwise perfectly healthy individuals in order to prevent passing on the hardships of their “afflictions” to succeeding generations. 

I’ve attached an article by one Frances Oswald of New York City [I am guessing from the spelling of the given name that this was a woman, but it’s difficult to say] from a very long-lived perfectly respectable scientific journal (with a long history of publication, daying back almost a 100 years, “The American Journal of Sociology”), one of several published by the august University of Chicago Press, that shows there was a perfectly well-aware, seemingly objective and impartial bona fide community of scientists who were, indeed, well aware as far back as 1930 (three years before Hitler engineered his rise to the Chancellorship of Germany—in fact, in 1930, Hitler was just another of a whole bunch of radical half-wits littering the political landscape of a country still significantly handicapped by its losses as a result of World War I) of the widespread adoption of the principles of eugenical sterilization by a great number of states in the union, and the serious consideration of making it a federal law. Eugenics practice goes back well into the 19th century as common throughout the entire country. 

In short, the United States didn’t need, and still doesn’t, it is very tragic to say, a Hitler, to embrace the lunacy of these barabaric practices and the thin, tissue-thin, artifice of bunk science to rationalize their imposition on a credulous populace. 

It was another one of those Baader-Meinhof moments (I’m just kidding Dom) when I saw your piece today on your blog. It was a few days ago that I also saw a reference to Mr. Laughlin and his criminal ravings in a very long article in one of the journals I regularly peruse. It would take some work to reconstruct the path back to what I actually read, and if I do it, or I happily accidentally stumble on it again, I’ll send you the reference. 

I read so much all the time that unless something is really striking for one reason or another, it just all blends into one amorphous haze of badly-remembered recollections that pass in and out of my consciousness.

And so, Good Morning.

We’ve talked about the impulse to create a new recipe, a short take on changing a page, (Always on Hand) the working out of the idea, pompously called ‘the creative process,’ and a reintroduction of contributions from Howard in a section called Howard, the Existential Flaneur.

Have a good day, my friends.
See you soon.