Daily ruts

15 Aug

In the very least, I can say that I’ve learned an incredible amount about myself this past year.  I’m sure that when I look back several years from now I will appreciate the experience (not how it happened!) and value what I was able to take away from it.

The only part of the past year that has been torturous to get through – other than the obvious –is the loneliness that I wrote about back in April.  That feeling still seizes me from time to time but never as sharply as that first time, when the feeling was unidentified and unexpectedly took hold.

What I have found dangerous for a single gal is how easy it is to become complacent and fall into what I’m dubbing “daily ruts”.  They lie beneath the surface and are usually so undetectable that by the time you think you’re starting to recognize one, you’re already in the throes of it.  One too many late nights at the office because there’s no one waiting for you to get home.  Spending too many evenings watching TV, waiting for your takeout to be delivered and swearing you’ll do something productive after you eat.  Sitting in front of your laptop with a glass of wine for hours at end willing the right words to come while playing Russian roulette with iTunes shuffle.  And you’re probably praying that the walls of your tiny bedroom are not about to cave in and suffocate you.  Okay, maybe it’s not this dramatic and I’m taking a bit of creative license but if you’ve ever been there, you know what I mean.

This is where I was last week, held captive by daily ruts.  In that interest I decided to make spring rolls at home on Thursday, something that I’ve wanted to try for a while now.  That, and I assumed it would keep me busy most of the evening.  After buying the ingredients on Thursday, I threw a self-induced temper tantrum because I wasn’t in the mood to cook.  I ordered takeout and watched TV all night instead.  But I got my act together on Friday!  Here’s the recipe I used:

Spring Rolls

Ingredients:
Warm Water in a shallow dish
Rice Paper

Filling Ideas:
2 lbs large/jumbo shrimp (deveined) or 2 lbs of marinated spicy pork (I used already cooked shrimp)
1 head of romaine lettuce
3 avocados
6 sticks of imitation crab
2 tomatoes (I replaced with shredded carrots; I didn’t like the idea of soggy tomatoes)
2 cups of mungbean sprouts
3 persian cucumbers

Sauce:
1/4 cup ground chili paste
1/3 cup hoison sauce
2 tbsp chili sauce (Sriracha)
juice of half a lemon

Directions:

1. If cooking shrimp, melt butter and add shrimp to a pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, add a drizzle of white wine, and cook for 3 minutes or until pink. If cooking pork, add marinated pork to a pan until cooked thoroughly.

2. Wash romaine lettuce and julienne it into small pieces along with persian cucumbers. Tear sticks of imitation crab into bite sized pieces. Slice avocado and tomatoes in 1/8 inch pieces. If serving later, make sure to drizzle some lemon juice on the avocados to prevent browning. Wash mungbean sprouts and set aside.

3. For the sauce, mix all four ingredients until thoroughly incorporated (you can also use a more traditional peanut sauce if you want).

4. To assemble, soak the rice paper into the warm water for about 10 seconds. Flip over and do the same for an additional 5 seconds. Add desired fillings and pour sauce as well (start off with a little bit a sauce, then gradually increase as desired…it might be too hot!)

5. Wrap up the rice paper and eat

I used a recipe from a different site for the spicy peanut sauce but would drastically cut down on the peanut butter next time:

Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon hoisin
1 teaspoon Sriracha

Directions: Mix peanut butter and water together until thoroughly mixed.  Add more water (1 teaspoon at a time) if the consistency is too thick.  Stir in hoisin and Sriracha and top with crushed peanuts. Serve with spring rolls.

The results; drum roll pleeeease….

If you ever would have told me that something this simple would be necessary to help keep my sanity (let alone documenting it on a blog!), I would have thought you were the crazy one.  But it is and I’m just fine with that.  A few other things are in the hopper to battle my daily ruts…but more on that later!

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One Response to “Daily ruts”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Beware the Kappa « Unwedded Bliss - August 24, 2011

    […] beer and wine tastings, and most recently, a sushi-making class.  I was amidst one of those daily ruts when a deal for the class hit my inbox.  I forwarded the email to one of my girlfriends and asked […]

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