1) The party this weekend went tremendously well. There was a lot of meat. Thanks very much to mallen
for inspiration and recipes for the pork and the tri-tip. Though the BBQ sauce was entirely my own.
2) Yesterday I made soup for dinner. I expected it to be so-so but somehow this lazy experiment turned out fab.
It started with a refrigerated chicken stock paste -- Minor's to be exact. I buy it at Costco but i've seen it other places.
The fact that it's a paste makes it a step above boullion and honestly, I think it's a step above most canned stocks,
though it doesn't compare to real, homemade stock. Of course, real homemade stock takes hours and hours to
make and this takes about 5 seconds to grab some amount of and throw it in water.
Next went some powdered Hon-Dashi that I think was originally picked up at Nijiya market, but may have come from Ranch 99. By themselves, neither stock was really the flavor I wanted. Together they worked very well. I added a little powdered garlic cause, well, garlic. You know?
Into the boiling water went: Bay scallops, shrimp, chopped baby bok-choy and some frozen dumplings (all from ranch 99) as well as some regular mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces (mostly quarters, some were big mushrooms tho). The shrimp and the scallops cook in no time in boiling water. I had the boil too high--the stove at this house is horrible
for fine adjustments, and it took me 6 or 7 tries to find a setting that was between hard boil and no boil.
I thought it was going to be so-so, but the broth turned out fantastic, and the combintion of shrimps, scallops, bok-choy and wonton-like (but not really wontons) dumplings was mighty fine.
I find myself looking forward to more soup.