Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Roll Fun House

If I haven't said it before, I'll mention it now:

I live in my hometown.  I've been here all my life, except for, like 12 years, when I was off at university, getting Career, and becoming a parent.

And while I'm a great proponent of change, I do believe there are some things that are sacred.  For example, the city park in my hometown had one of these dealies:

Actually, this is the actual Fun House from the park in my hometown, lifted from a website called

I'm sure most of you can see how this works.  Much like a hamster in a wheel, running inside the fun house gets it moving rather quickly.  Inevitably, somebody trips, falls, gets quite hurt, and hurts several others participants in the process.  Also, risks of getting painful splinters were very high.

It was really good, clean family fun.

Imagine then, my surprise, nay, my indignant vexation to discover this fun house had been torn down after being deemed unsafe?

It was sad, really, like a significant piece of my childhood had been punched in the face.

It was with this mixture of sadness and nostalgia that we made Spring Rolls a couple of nights ago.  Because Spring Rolls look a lot like fun houses.

Courtesy of
Spring Rolls are very similar to egg rolls, except rice paper is used in lieu of wonton wrappers.  Rice paper is amazing stuff.  Once you dampen it, it becomes stretchy and sticky.  So - keep a damp cloth or a bowl of water nearby to keep your fingers wet as you work with this.

Remember that flat iron steak we'd been marinating in the last post?  Now is its time to shine.  A quick fry-up in a hot skillet, some bean sprouts, shredded carrots, and fresh mint, cilantro, and basil leaves are the only things needed to fill your Vietnamese fun house.

Dip the rice paper in water, fill the items listed above (not too much...bulging spring rolls are unattractive), and roll up, tucking in sides.

This little guy was made by one of my children, I suspect.  It's rather untidy, but you get the point of what's going on here.  The green of the herbs, brown of the meat, and white/orange of the vegetable all press up against each other in a Fun House of Deliciousness.

I am instantly transported back to the wooden barrel fun house of my youth.

Oh, and, consider whipping up a quick, yummo Asian dipping sauce (for me: soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha, and sweet chili sauce).

Your life will be nearly complete.  Nostalgic memories and all.

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