Before I get into my Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls recipe I want to share some really frightening statistics this morning, courtesy of Bunny. Eats. Design.
Here they are –
One third of high school graduates will never read another book for the rest of their lives. (THAT’S 1 in 3!!!!)
42 percent of college graduates never read a book after college. (THAT’S ALMOST 1 in 2!!!!)
This is the one though…..
80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year. (WTF!!!!! 80%??????? 8 out of 10………4 out of 5!!!!!!)
This is not referring to a lack of literacy in the slightest, but a lack of love for reading.
My parents read to me all the time, and in turn I read to my kids daily. It’s something nice to do, and it passes the time.
Obviously, they have their books and I have mine, but I get to climb into bed at the end of the day, after hiding the ‘Big Book of Dinosaurs’ in hope of being able to read a different book for D Man tomorrow (I cant be the only one that does that?), and open my book of choice and disappear from my suburban
monotony bliss into whichever heady world I choose.
I adore reading. I adore words. I guess that’s why I love the sound of my own ‘type’ so much, but to imagine a life without being able to slide into an imaginary world at the turn of a page, doesn’t bear thinking about.
I just finished Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell. You know, the one they made the Meryl Streep movie out of?
Hardly War & Peace but a very fun and funny read.
Let me tell you, as one would suspect, the book shat on the movie.
The reason for this is because Julie Powell, the author/crazy woman who tackled every recipe in Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘ in 12 months is quite naughty.
She’s candid, she swears like a trucker and she had a gustatory baptism of fire that she is very honest about. Harvesting bone marrow and killing a lobster are not for the faint of heart.
I think it struck a chord due to the very nature of the book (cooking/blogging/eating/drinking). The book was also realistic about the fact that all that butter-laden French food made her arse balloon. I found it unbelievable in the film when Amy Adams maintained her svelte appearance regardless of the lashing of cream and duck fat she scoffed daily.
Anyhoo, read my peeps. Read. It’s better than TV.
It invites your imagination to spark and not be spoon fed imagery.
Don’t get me wrong, TV has a place, but don’t let it be the only form of entertainment in your home.
Reading to your children is proven to increase their intelligence, and comprehension. The experts say that children need 1,000 stories read to them before they begin to learn to read for themselves. Sounds like a lot? It’s just three stories a day over a year (according to Huggies).
Ok, off my soapbox…all that ranting has made me peckish so I thought I’d share another of my Spring To Do List recipes.
I love these fresh spring rolls. We sometimes go to a roll-your-own Vietnamese restaurant in Newtown, Sydney, but making them at home is so simple, delicious and healthy.
Traditionally, the Vietnamese use pork and prawns in theirs, however, I’ve also had lemon grass beef, and sugar cane prawns.
I was making these for a picnic so I kept it quick and easy……..my two favorite ingredients to any recipe!
I’m always disappointed when they have too much noodle action and not enough filling action so you can make your own ratio up to please your palate…..but, trust me, my way is really yummy!
I also put the sauce inside for ease of little people, and big people, eating outdoors, but you can make a separate dipping sauce if you want.
Yield : 14 rolls
You will need :
- 1/2 BBQ chicken, or duck for extra yum, shredded
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 2 spring onions, julienned
- 1/2 packet bean shoots
- 1 good handful of mint leaves
- 1 good handful of coriander leaves
- crushed peanuts
- 100g vermicelli, I prefer green bean vermicelli but simple rice is fine
- 1 packet of rice paper
- 2 tablespoons ketcup manis (sweet soy)
- 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
Set yourself up a work station so everything you need is at hand.
Fill a baking tray with hot water, not scalding, just hot, and dip your rice paper in for 5 seconds.
Once upon a time I thought you had to leave it in until it was totally pliable and wet, but you don’t at all. In fact, it still feels quite cardboard-y after 5 seconds but it gets more pliable as it sits, and it’s way more manageable.
Smear a small amount of your sauce on the bottom and then add a little bit of your chicken, then your vegetables, then your herbs, bean shoots and top it with some noodles. Sprinkle some nuts on top and fold the bottom of your rice paper up, creating a semi-circle. Fold in the sides, one at a time and then simple roll the rest into a neat cigar.
Call the first one a practice one, ok?
Repeat, and repeat and repeat, until you’re over it or your ingredients are gone.
If your first one looks dodgerama, maybe try a little less filling……You’ll be a pro in no time.
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