As the weather gets colder, it will soon be time to use the donabe ("earthenware pot"). It is a Japanese clay pot that can be used to cook over open flame (or put inside the oven). Normally, the Japanese donabe is placed over a portable cooking stove at the centre of the dining table. Broth is boiled and ingredients like tofu, vegetables, mushrooms, fish or meat, noodles etc are added and cooked into a light soupy stew. While waiting for the food to cook, conversation (and the wine maybe?) flows. Then, the family shares the meal. Each member scoops their portions onto their bowls, dip the food in soy sauce or ponzu (soy plus citrus sauce) and eat with rice. It makes a hearty meal and, perhaps more importantly, gets the family together too!
Donabe and "Japanese Hot Pots" cookbook available at the shop.