kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not Quite Around the World in Three Days

Zip and I haven't been home much in the last few days.

On Friday we took my Mom to visit her sisters in Mt. Joy, PA.  This is in the heart of PA Dutch country.  Part of the visit was eating out, of course!  Zip loves the PA German cuisine.  All that meat and potatoes never seems to put any meat on HIS bones, though!!!  I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but they had a fantastic bakery right in the building.  Their soft wheat dinner rolls were to die for.

We had a nice visit with the aunts.  Kami had gone with us since Brad was away for the weekend.  She and I and my Aunt Ada had a good time discussing family history.  Next time I should take a recorder so I can remember all of it.  And while all the eating and talking were going on, I forgot to take pictures.

On Saturday we went to Carlisle with our friends Chuck and Willa.  We are eating Asian this time.

We were looking forward to trying the Issei Noodle restaurant that features many interesting Japanese, Viet Namese, and Thai entrees.  This time I took pictures.

Chuck and Willa ordered the salad sampler with three different cold Asian salads.  The deep fried tofu with ginger sauce is on the right.

Zip's meal was called chicken and egg dom-buri.  It was thinly sliced tender chicken breast with egg, greens and a mild sauce over rice.  Yummy!

I ordered the classic Phad Thai with meat instead of shrimp.

The portions were large enough that we had leftovers to take home for lunch the next day. 

This restaurant is family owned and operated.  Very tasteful decor.  The only drawback on a Saturday night is trying to find a parking place.  There is only street parking so we had to walk about a block, not that I minded.  We'll be going back!

I like to make spring rolls at home.  To make the best ones, you can't use eggroll wrappers from the grocery because they are too thick and will not give that wonderful light crunchy texture.  I have only found the spring roll wrappers at Asian groceries.

I looked online for Asian groceries that were open on Sunday and found the Asia Mall in Harriburg.  Off we went!

Once again, I was so involved in the fun of the trip that I forgot to take pictures!!!
In this small  mall there are two restaurants (Thai and Asian noodle), a bakery, fingernail shop, gift shop, and a large Asian grocery.

The bakery is run by people originally from Viet Nam.  We were surprised to see French style fruit turnovers and loaves of French bread there.  A lovely lady explained to us that Viet Nam had once been under the rule of the French, giving this interesting twist to their baking tradition.  The pastries were excellent!

The same lovely lady again talked to us in the grocery store and introduced us to the owner.  She must have thought we were tourists of the worst order!

What an amazing store!!!  They had fish in so many varieties, dried, preserved in salt, frozen, fresh on ice and live in tanks, plus ways I probably couldn't imagine!  There was a huge variety of meat and poultry.  Quail eggs, chicken eggs, duck eggs, preserved on who-knows-what eggs!  I didn't even get to the produce section.

There was every variety of packaged Asian anything that you could imagine!  It was so unbelievable fascinating!  I found all the ingredients I needed for my spring rolls, plus a few extra goodies.
I can't wait to go back! 

After the Asian experience we went for dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Carrabba's.

I love the wonderful warm bread they serve to be dipped in the olive oil and herbs.  Zip ordered linguini with spinach, mushrooms and lobster.  I had the mezzaluna which is a half-moon ravioli filled with chicken, spinach and cheese.  We both had leftovers to bring home for lunch today.

So there's our little world tour, all within a hundred miles of home.  Who knew central PA could be so much fun!!!

Homemade Spring Rolls
Zip says these are as good as we get in restaurants.

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 small head of cabbage 
spinach or Swiss chard
2 or three scallions
fresh ginger
Asian sesame oil
soy sauce
1 pk. cellophane noodles
spring roll wrappers

I used Swiss chard because we still have some in the garden.  A few leaves, shredded fine will do just to add color.

Slice or shred the cabbage into fine strings.  Chop the scallions.

Finely chop the garlic and ginger.  I did not add specific amounts.  It depends on taste.  I usually use 1 or two garlic cloves (NOT heads!!!) and a nickel sized slice of ginger. 

 Put in a small bowl and drizzle with about 2 tsps. of sesame oil.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Set aside.

 Put your ground turkey in a large skillet and light ly brown the meat.  Add the shredded cabbage, chard/spinach and the scallion.  Saute till the veggies are tender crisp and the water in the pan evaporates.  Sprinkle on a little soy sauce.  Not much!  Add the garlic and ginger and heat for a few minutes.  You want the mixture to be dry, with no juice in the bottom of the pan  when done cooking.  Set aside to cool.

Next soak the cellophane noodles.

 Put one bundle of noodles in a container large enough so that they can be covered with water.  Heat water to boiling and pour over the noodles and let stand for a few minutes until they are flexible.

Drain the noodles and pat them dry with paper towels.  These noodles are VERY long!  Take kitchen shears and snip them into small pieces and add them to the pan of cooled meat and veggies and mix thoroughly.  No further cooking is necessary.

You are now ready to roll the spring rolls.

 Take only a few out of the package at a time, covering the ones that aren't being used to keep them from drying out.

Lay a nice spoonful of the filling near point of the wrapper and fold the point up over the filling.  Roll to cover the filling, then tuck the side points toward the center.

 Finish making the roll.  Lay on a baking sheet with the open point folded under. 

I have tried both baking the rolls and frying them.  Of course, the fried ones taste better!  Wouldn't ya know??? 

To bake, I lightly sprayed the rolls with cooking spray, then flipped them over and sprayed the other side.  Put them on a rack over a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned.  I can't tell you what the oven temp was because the oven control on my 1940's gas stove no longer works.

To fry the rolls, I put about 1/4 inch of veg. oil in a fryin pan and got it nice and hot.  Then added the rolls and fried till golden brown.  Then drained on paper towels.

Both turned out nice, but we preferred the fried ones.  Try them with the red pepper preserve that's listed in the recipes tab at the top of the blog.  Yummy!

Uncooked spring rolls can be frozen.  Just wrap them individually so they don't stick together.

That was a long one!
I think I need a coffee.


  1. Oh Pat, Now I am starving after reading this post. Everything sounds and looks so good. My family has no sense of adventure with food so I only get to visit restaurants like that when I travel alone.

  2. Pat, what are you doing to me, girl? I only have chicken soup on the stove for lunch. Seriously, what an interesting weekend you and Zip had. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe for spring rolls with pictures. I can't wait to give it a try and I'll let you know how I make out. All I need is the spring wrap. I have every thing else.

    Lucky you to be treated to great tasting restaurant food by Zip. Thanks for sharing your great weekend. JB

  3. Oh Pat Pat Pat - I'm ready to gnaw on my arm right now - you made me so hungry! Those rolls looks wonderful - will definitely have to try them - Phil would love them - We have some asian groceries fairly nearby so will have to venture in and hope I don't look like a fish out of water!

    Too cute your comment about the meat and taters (by the way that's what's for dinner here - a roast in the crock pot and taters) not putting meat on Zip's bones. Is there anyway we can extra whatever it is keeping him skinny and inject it into us?

  4. Wow Pat! That looks absolutely delicious! You are the most wonderful chef! Your instructions are perfect and great photos so us "visual people" can really see how it's done! The closest Asian restaurants around here would probably be in Minneapolis two hours away. Thanks for letting us tag along on your adventure!
    Cathy G

  5. What a weekend! You and Zip have been so busy - glad the visit with the aunt's was a success. I know your mother appreciated it.
    I love Asian food and yours sure looks yummy. You are so adventureous in the kitchen! Afraid I don't have the nerve to attempt spring rolls but sure would love some.
    How does Zip keep his girlish figure?????

  6. I will be trying the spring rolls. The husband is a fussy eater so not much for asian. but I love it.

  7. Pat ~
    Your weekend was making my head spin, but what fun!
    Hugs :)

  8. Greetings dear Pat,

    What a wonderful post and we are now hungry all over again.

    The food looks not only delicious but to a certain level also healthy and that is good.

    Dad wanted me to also tell you that the layout and overall design of your blog is very, very good. It breaths and flows nicely, allowing the visitor to focus on your story.

    We also like the thin white frame around your images.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Miss Kitty and Egmont

    PS: We prematurely posted and withdrew it since it is for tomorrow. -e


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