Think Spring….Rolls

The day after an epic fail by weather forecasters is a great day to talk spring….spring rolls that is!

On Monday night our friends Ben and Christa invited us to their house for dinner. Since I had spent all day Sunday and Monday, and would be spending all day Tuesday, at the 2013 Home Builders Show helping Ben in his booth, I didn’t have much time to cook.  AND especially because we always have a great time when we get together with Ben and Christa, we replied with a resounding, ‘yes!’

After the show Ben dropped me off at my car, I drove home to pick up Jeff, and we arrived at Ben and Christa’s just as they were putting the finishing touches on dinner.  Their house smelled wonderful and since I was quite hungry I was glad for Christa’s efficiency!!!

It turned out that not only were we being served dinner, but it was also an interactive lesson about spring rolls.  Woo hoo!!!

Spring Roll Set UpChrista filled a lovely three tiered server with glazed salmon, sauteed shrimp, rice noodles, mixed lettuce and sliced red & orange peppers.  At each place on the table was a delicious dipping sauce made from peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and chicken broth.

Peanut Sauce

Soaking WrappersJust before we sat down to eat, I poured wine while Christa soaked the spring roll wrappers in hot water.  After each one was soaked she put it on a special spring roll wrapper tray – which looks a bit like a frisbee made from screen.  These special trays keep the moist wrappers from sticking together and from sticking to a plate.

So here’s what we did after we sat down and said a blessing.  Each of us got a wrapper on a “frisbee”, we topped the wrapper with our desired fillings and then rolled the spring rolls tightly.  After it is rolled, you pretty much have to keep holding it – otherwise it will stick to your plate or it will fall apart once you’ve bitten into it.

We had a lot of fun laughing and talking as we learned some valuable lessons about not overfilling and about wrapping snugly, but not so tightly as to tear the wrapper. And while we were eating Christa shared that the trays were difficult to find, even online.  Of course, me being me, I thought, “how difficult can they be to find online – you can find anything online.”  But this morning as I began writing this post and looking online for the trays, I realized Christa is absolutely right!  I found one pack of twelve at Amazon.com; however they just had one pack in stock and shipping for them was more than the cost of the trays.  I also found a few websites that were not in English; but my foreign language skills being what they are (nonexistent), I struggled to ascertain the price!

Next time I’m at the Asian market I will try to find the trays; until then if we make spring rolls I think I’ll call Ben and Christa and see if we can borrow theirs!

Eating in this interactive manner is great because it slowed you down and makes you realize you are full long before you would if you weren’t building your food as you go.

After dinner we played cards until we were all punchy and then we called it a night.  I look forward to many more dinners together and hopefully another invitation for spring rolls – soon.  They were delicious!

It’s not too late to visit Ben at the 2013 Home Builders Show located at the PA Farm Show building on Cameron Street in Harrisburg.  The show runs until Sunday, March 10th.  For more information visit Ben’s Facebook page.

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