Tuesday, 22 January 2008

It shouldn't come from a bean #3

Today was going to be a beany interlude as I thought I'd be back late from London after meeting Munchkin Gramps (Grumps? Hurry up and learn to talk, Munchkin, so you can decide what you're going to call your grandparents!). We were both supposed to be working in the Big Smoke today, but unfortunately Munchkin Gramps fell victim to the floods in the north of England and had to cancel. Of course it was the station which fell foul, not MG himself, thankfully. Anyway, this meant that I headed home a lot earlier than I expected to, and suddenly the pasta salad I had with me to eat on the train didn't seem nearly exciting enough for this week of vegetarian delights, despite its Scientist-repelling tomato and cucumber. (Coating goodies I want to hoard myself in tomato is a sure-fire way of making them Scientist-proof, though it does, of course, assume that all treats are improved by being tomato flavoured, which is not necessarily true. I once accidentally sprayed The Scientist's arm with seeds from an over-ripe cherry tomato and have never seen him look so horrified). Anyway, I digress. I needed something quick to prepare if I was going to up the ante - I got home at 7, hungry, and a hungry Lysy is an impatient Lysy.

Luckily, inspiration was at hand. A couple of months ago I had made a successful search for rice-paper discs after seeing Eco Sis and Eco Bro preparing some delicious-looking spring rolls. I'd only popped in to say hello on my way home, but I must have looked very covetously at their dinner as they gave in and gave me one. I was seduced by the off-hand air of expertise with which the Ecos soaked the rice paper in hot water, and wrapped them deftly around the filling. When I reproduced it at home though [can I just add here that I am having to stop typing at least twice a sentence to tickle a very demanding Pooky-cat, so apologies for any break in the flow...], The Scientist was unimpressed (with the food, not my efforts, I hasten to add). I think he thought it was a lot of effort for something that didn't make him feel any less hungry, and I have to admit that we were pretty inexpert at the rolling up. I sighed and put the rest of the rice papers away. Now was my chance to revisit them.

I didn't want to waste my pasta salad entirely, so I didn't cook any rice noodles for the spring rolls, which I otherwise would have done (I say 'cook' - 'soak' is more accurate - this is a low effort dinner even with the noodles!). Instead, I extricated the broccoli and cucumber that was in the salad, and added some avocado, no doubt with gay disregard for the boundaries of ethnic cuisine. What are food boundaries in today's diverse world anyway? Filling ready to go, you just soak the rice papers in hot water straight from the kettle, sprinkle filling artistically in the centre, and then wrap up into an elegant little cigar just like you get fried in a restaurant. Oh all right, you make a bodged wodge which looks like an overstuffed envelope, but still tastes great. I ate mine with some soy sauce for dipping, and sprinkled some seaweed flakes in as I went. I'm sure you can imagine that these attractive little bundles plus the somewhat denuded salad didn't exactly make for a very aesthetically pleasing plateful, so no photo this time. Let's pretend they were beautiful. Not the same as a coffee with Munchkin Gramps, but I thought of him as I ate them (and also that I must remind him to READ THIS BLOG!!).

So, an impromptu offering to the week of Scientist-inimical cooking. The most rebarbative qualities of this meal for him were the rice papers and the cucumber and tomato. Perhaps surprisingly the seaweed is not on the taboo list - it's a recent acquisition for making fake tuna mayo a la Vegan Dad's blog (very tasty indeed). I didn't even suggest that The Scientist try the 'tuna' - he tried it sprinkled on a stir fry and was was quite amenable to it. I will try revisiting the wrapper debate when I manage to locate won ton wrappers though - I have been inspired by the lovely looking dumplings fellow blog-tail party goer Lisa writes about on her blog.

Oh all right, here's a photo after all, to illustrate the difficult conditions under which this entry was written. It illustrates what is known chez Lysy and Scientist as a 'Pooky glove'

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