Shenanigans and a Chicken Hotpot

HELLO!  First of all, HUGE apologies for the silence and not getting online to post anything for a few days.

We let life and laziness kick in so let’s catch you up.  Last night we went out for celebratory birthday drinks for one of our favourite men in London – he helped us redecorate our place – well, he’s helped MANY people do their interior decoration since and we all love and recommend his work.  Let’s call him TID (The Interior Decorator)   🙂

The plan was that he would return from his day trip to Paris and for us to “be there when his train arrived” at the bar to welcome him back.  In pure Tones and Joy style, we got there EXACTLY “on time”… ie late

….but only late enough to be walking around St Pancras where the Eurostar arrives, looking for the escalators to go up to the bar JUST as TID and his best friend (let’s call him BFTID – Best Friend of The Interior Decorator) was walking out of the Eurostar gates!!

**Tones just read my acronyms and said “That is SO GAY” my response? “Honey, they ARE gay!” Anyway.. back to the story…**

We see them…

Tony’s face:  “OH F*CK!”

Joy’s face:  “OH NO! OH SH!T! OH CRAP!”

T&J: “OH HI!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE??!??”

TID: “Hi! Well, I just got back from Paris…”  His face was a bit confused…

BFTID:  “Wow! So nice to see you here…  what are you guys doing here??!?”

BFTID and Joy give each other a look trying to suss out any information we can from each other… it’s not working….

J&T: “Oh well we’re going to…” Joy stops speaking thinking OMG what if we say different things.. shut up….  Tones continues “yeah… we’re going to meet up with some friends for drinks… over….. there… uhh.. at Kings Cross….”

TID:  “Oh really?  Oh OK… well, see you then…” his face REALLY Confused.

BFTID:  “Oh ok… great… well.. .see you!” also now looking REALLY confused.

They go up the escalators that we were supposed to go up… DAMNIT!

Joy’s face:  RED

Tony’s face: “OH F*CK!”  while we continue to walk on the bottom concourse trying to work out how the hell we get to the bar without them seeing us… we circle the bottom concourse and then find the elevator thinking we’ve left enough time for them to go into the bar…

*ding* elevator door opens… DAMNIT! They’re still outside!  It’s TID, BFTID and Partner of TID.

Joy: “Quick!! RUN! RUN! They’re still there, don’t let them see us!!”

Tones:”Are they? Where? OH!! Sh!t”  We run to the outside of the building as quickly as possible not knowing that we were spotted and being watched the WHOLE time by the party of 3.

We then walked all around the station looking for an alternative way into the bar… made it in there only to find out… HE KNEW ALL ALONG that we were coming!!  It wasn’t a surprise party!!  LOL!!   What a shenanigan!  Good one Joy for thinking it was a SURPRISE party!

But it turned out to be a fun night out.. So many people were there.  I got to meet “The Back Cracker” (that’s what I’m going to call him because he cracked my back… OMG it was unbelievable, I slept so well… He managed to crack my back with one hug and from the point of cracking down to the base of my spine… I feel great.  From the point of cracking up my spine, is still tense… damnit!) and.. we got to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while.

Tones and I were the token straight couple there that night but I have to say TID & Co. are genuinely awesome people who make hanging out easy: a really fun crowd who give very warm and welcoming hugs, have awesome stories and are really accepting – just lovely.

SO…. onto the Chicken Hotpot, just as easy, fun and lovely… check this out…  one of our latest purchases…

So this is our hotpot….

The Hotpot

AND THIS is what we cooked in it… Chicken Hotpot!

Chicken Hotpot

We’ve NEVER cooked in a Hotpot before so it was a new thing and one recipe well worth doing.  Also, food that’s cooled down and been reheated in the hotpot still tastes just as awesome!

The recipe serves 6 but not when Tony and Joy are around… we loved it so much, we ate it all in one sitting… Here’s a picture (with bones) to prove it…

No left overs!

OK I lie… we had another Hot Pot full of chicken left (which we cooked and ate the next day whoot!)

Here’s the recipe:

30g dried mushrooms covered with hot water for 30 minutes, drained and squeezed dry.  That’s right.. you get dried mushrooms, wet them and then squeeze them dry….

1.5kg chicken cut into small serving size pieces, each piece coated with cornflour and then fried in 1/4 cup oil in a wok, several pieces at a time until golden brown.

Return all chicken to the pan, add the mushrooms, 5 slices of green ginger, 4 shallots cut into 5cm lengths and 1 clove crushed garlic.  Stir-fry for about 1 minute then add 1/4 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup dry white wine, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tsp of cornflour.  Stir until sauce boils and thickens.

Transfer it all into hotpot, add extra chicken stock (approx 1/2 cup) and bake in oven at about 180’C for about 25 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Who knew it would be so easy???

Well.. until next time, enjoy!!

Joy & Tones


PS – the bar we went to was The Booking Office Bar at The Renaissance Hotel, St Pancras Station – it’s got an actually pretty cool setting and atmosphere – something out of a Bond movie – you know a posh, English Secret Agent rendezvous… check it 😉  Just imagine it dimly lit (photo’s a bit bright)…

Booking Office Bar & Restaurant, St Pancras, Renaissance Hotel


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