Lynsey Dyer made this slideshow a few years ago…I love it! #SheJumps
When you see “Spring Rolls” on a menu or picture them in your mind, what do you envision? Are you imagining some crispy, indulgent explosion of flavor? Or a fresh, revitalizing, and energizing snack? For me, I like a combination of the two, with the indulgent part coming as a complimentary dip to the “spring” flavor of super fresh vegetables.
Here is how I make my spring rolls!
You will need:
1 large mixing bowl
1 package of rice papers (I like the “OK” brand)
1 red bell pepper, slivered (see technique below)
A couple of carrots, peeled into strips
Romaine (1 head), finely shredded
1 cup fresh basil (whole leaves)
1 cup fresh mint (whole leaves)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Avocado (see trick, below)
Slivering your red pepper: to get the most flavor, the least amount of water, and incredible burst of color, cut the inner membrane of the red pepper off with a thin slice of your knife. From there, you can dice or sliver the red pepper for the spring rolls!
Avocado Trick: You have an avocado. You want the avocado. You do not, however, want the skin. And don’t you hate it when the spoon ruins that killer texture? How to slice? How to dice? Never fear. This trick is here to save your avocado!
Cut the very tips of either end of the avocado off. Cut avocado down the middle…Use the knife to karate-chop the pit and extract it from one of the sides it came off with…Then you are free to PEEL the skin off and you are left with two perfect avocado halves! Genius! Thank you BOB for teaching me that!
Toss all your ingredients (except, um, rice papers) in a giant salad bowl, like this one.
Meanwhile, get a skillet with about 1 1/2 inches of water steaming hot. This part, my friends, is all about technique, and chances are you will need some practice! While the water is heating up, clean a space on your counter right next to the skillet (if possible) really well. Clear out all stuff from the counter and this will be your spring rollin’ spot! Wipe down with a wet paper towel rag to leave a small amount of moisture.
You have your space all cleared out, the spring roll ingredients are mixed and in your mixing bowl. It’s time to ROLL!
These rice papers are about a dime a dozen, or maybe like $1.50 for 50 papers, so don’t be afraid to mess up on a bunch of them. Here’s what you do!
Take one rice paper and hold it just on the very end. Slowly dip in the skillet with the water and count to 3. Spin the paper around (you will probably feel some heat on your fingers here) and make sure your original hand-holding spot gets wet too. You want the rice paper to get warm enough to become pliable, but not so soaked that it rips apart. You’ll see what I mean!
Next, lay the rice paper flat on the counter top and put a medium sized handful of the spring roll mix in the middle of the rice paper. Fold each end (the tips) of the rice paper in towards the middle. Carefully pull the side closest to you up from the counter top (it might be sticky) and fold it away from you. You want to get the tightest roll possible, and the rice papers can handle some stretching. It might take you a few tries!
When you’re all done, it’s nice to cut them on a bias (angle) to serve. They look cool on the plate that way!
And the dipping sauces…Next post will be the recipe for peanut sauce! I serve with a trio: fish sauce with jalapeño and lime, thai sweet chili sauce, and peanut sauce. Enjoy!
Here is a wonderful video made by Chris Morgan of Two Sherpas (Ogden, UT) about the 2013 (S)heJumps into the Canyon program. (S)heJumps into the Canyon (SJIC) is a SheJumps program that connects inner-city teens from Salt Lake with positive role models in an encouraging and adventurous 4-session ski workshop. The teens are completely outfitted from head-to-toe by SheJumps, given lift tickets from Alta, and ski rentals from the local shops, and le voilá! They are shredding! This video is truly great, and I thank Chris for his hard work to tell this story! Enjoy…
It’s that time of year again! The nonprofit SheJumps.org is looking for passionate volunteers (who know how to ski) to share their love for the mountains with local inner-city teens from Salt Lake City. The program (S)heJumps into the Canyon is a great way to give back and get some teens stoked on skiing!
Email me at email@example.com or check out shejumps.org/sjic2013 for more information
A common theme lately for me is hearing myself and a lot of other people around me talk about how busy they are. If we are always so busy, what are we really getting done? I feel that way at least. Currently the reason why I feel ridiculously overwhelmed and busy is because a lot of things are in transition for me. On a personal note, my boyfriend was just here visiting me and his departure left me feeling very lonely and sad; so there was an element of gregarious self-inflicted schedule conflicts that I think helped to take my mind off the heartache.
The true reason why I’ve been so busy is actually very exciting! SheJumps is getting a giant REFRESH! A new website, new programs, new structure for all the regional coordinators, and even an ambassador program sponosored by Isis. I am very happy about all of this. I feel that 5 years of hard work is finally going to pay off and become something real, tangible, and earth-changing.
A lot of this has come from a wonderful woman named Tamra Geryk. Tamra had an organic SheJumps experience–you know, meeting SheJumpers, getting outside–no advertising was involved or pry for her participation. She has a great marketing and business sense (great is an understatement, phenomenal is more like it) and she is helping me put into dollars, cents, and real life so many ideas and visions I’ve had for SheJumps in the past.
So let me get back to being super, super busy.
Here is an awesome sunset pic I took from a brief trip to NM in January!
It shouldn’t take one special day to stop and realize how grateful you are for everything in your life, but at least we do have one day in ‘murica when people get together and appreciate one another and the things and experiences in our lives.
This year I’m trying to be grateful for my knee injury. On May 6, 2012 I tore my ACL skiing in the backcountry at Lake Louise. Ever since that moment I can remember each and every day. I remember the fear, the pain, and more than anything, the harsh realization about my life as a nomad. I found myself wondering, “Where will I even go? How will I heal from this?” I had come to appreciate my beat-up blue Subaru (250,260 miles currently) as a home on wheels. I considered the bike and skins in my backpack as the only other transportation I’d need. There were so many questions and the Claire I knew before seemed to quiver before this monumental moment of true reality. Some harsh realizations quickly formed: financial, emotional, physical, and long-term.
But it’s taken this long (5 months post surgery) to learn that I’ve let this thing get bigger than it needs to be. Yes I am in pain. No, it’s not “normal” at this point. Yes, everyone is scratching their heads as to why I still can’t get my knee straight. I find myself crying at the gym, feeling so frustrated and angry at the pain. I get mad at myself for being so “weak.” I keep wondering how other people have gotten through this. I especially feel bad for all the friends I’ve had who’s injuries have taken them away from the things they love and wonder if I showed even a glimmer of the support I now know is necessary. I don’t like hearing myself wonder if I’ll ever get back to my normal life of playing in the mountains. It’s so dumb. Of course I’ll get back…and that’s what everyone else can see, but it’s hard to see it from the seat of a stationary bike while it’s snowing outside.
I’m not trying to be like “Oh poor poor me” but yes, through the breakdowns, pathetic or not (Shawn MacNamara) what has this injury showed me?
First of all, it’s showed me that I am so lucky to have a passion in my life that could cause such despair when it is gone. It showed me that skiing isn’t just something I do to pass the time on this earth from sunrise to sundown. I now know the meaning of “skiing as a way of life.”
This experience has shown me a darker side of myself that I don’t think I really knew existed before. A few days before my surgery, my friend Anne Keller sent me this poem:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your
laughter arises was oftentimes filled with your tears…
When you are joyous, look deep into
your heart and you shall find it is only
that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in
your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been
The depth of my sorrow is good to show me the height of my happiness. In fact, I’ve started joking that people won’t be able to ski around me when I get back at it: I’ll just be too stoked.
I am grateful to have had an experience that does show me how many absolutely amazing and wonderful people in my life who not only love me and show support, but how have been there to tell me they think I’m strong, even when I don’t. A huge thank you to my family, Spencer, Angel, Deb, Johnny, Jim (Collinson); Bob, Molly, Meggan, Re, Catie, Hannah, McKenna, Lynsey, Laura, Marcela (who I’ve never met but has been my online knee surgery penpal), Vanessa, Kristen, Cecile, Joanie, Justin Ridgeway, David Owen and Carolina, Gustavo…the list goes on and on. Thank you everyone! You all (hopefully) know who you are.
At the end of the day, it can always be worse!! And when it’s bad, it seems like it will never get better. There are so many terrible things in this world, one knee injury can’t be that bad, especially if it’s going to change my life for the better. I will appreciate fresh and frigid mountain air burning my lungs as I hike uphill and the wind in my face so much more when I’m coming down. And I will know that I can handle physical and emotional uncertainty with more, well, certainty.