Friday, July 25, 2008

Asian Vegetable Rolls

Well, it has been a long time since I posted last :(

It was a long 3 weeks moving everything from the store back to the house. And in the process, it appears that I tore the cartilage in my right knee. I've slowed down business (and even temporarily closed the supply side of the business) as I have no idea when I'll be seen by the orthopaedic surgeon to see what my options are.

But I'm still selling products! Even though I'm moving a lot slower than I used to, I'm still in slow production, and selling at the Elmsdale Farmers Market on Saturday mornings 8-1. This year, the market is located at the Enfield Legion. I'm also taking bookings for Natural Perfume Workshops.

A couple of weeks ago I made a recipe out of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year of Food Life, written by Barbara Kingsolver. We've made this recipe before and the whole family enjoys it, so this time I took pictures as I went along :)

I highly recommend this book. Here's the recipe:
2 oz thin rice noodles
1 cup bean sprouts
10 soft lettuce leaves
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
2 to 3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
8 rice paper wrappers (about 8 inches square) (I used egg roll wrappers, as I couldn't find any rice paper wrappers locally)

Drop noodles into boiling water, remove from heat, and let stand for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
Lay out noodles and vegetables in an assembly line. Heat a pan of water until it's almost too hot to handle. Soak one rice paper wrapper in the hot water for 15-20 seconds, then take it out and lay it flat. Flatten out one lettuce leaf on top (this helps prevent other fillings from poking through the wrapper). Next, place a finger-sized bunch of noodles close to one side of the paper and roll that side over the noodles. Continue this same pattern for the vegetable fillings, laying each ingredient parallel to the noodles and rolling the paper over. After the mint and cilantro leaves have gone in, fold the ends of the wrapper in, then fold the remaining side over them to secure. Set roll on a platter, seam side down. Keep rolls moist until served, and separated so they don't stick together (the wrappers will rip). If you use rice paper wrappers, they're ready to eat. If you use egg roll wrappers like I did, you need to bake them in the oven for a bit. I put them in 375C for about 10 minutes or so.
Serve whole or cut in half, with your choice of spicy dipping sauce. One simple option is to add a few tablespoons of rice vinegar and sesame oil to a half cup of soy sauce. We've done that, but the kids prefer a spicy peanut sauce, or even plum sauce.

Now I must log off and watch my daughter sing in an opera production (performed by 8-16 year olds). Until next time (which I promise won't be another 4 months!)

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"There is happiness to be gained from being able to accept that there are some things that cannot be changed"