Friday, September 16, 2011

Food Friday: Summer Rolls

Dropping mercury across the country this week signaled the end of summer days. My rowing league also wraps up this week. Last night was our last pot luck and tomorrow our last regatta. In the spirit of summer, I brought these 'summer rolls' last night. Until yesterday, I thought veggies wrapped in rice paper rolls and cooled were spring rolls. Searching for cold potluck dishes, I both discovered this idea and learned these are actually called summer rolls. The difference? Deep frying.

The summer rolls were a hit. So much so, one of my teammates asked if I would bring them to their church lunch one day. She even offered to buy the ingredients!

I have made these a few times now, when I have had some time and craved something fresh & crisp. They are excellent with large, cooked shrimp, sesame oil, julienned carrots, cucumber and coriander. Yesterday, I used: fresh basil and chives, julienned carrots, red peppers, avocado and green onion.  

The most common question was where to get rice paper. I have noticed most grocery stores now carry rice paper in their ethnic foods section, near the rice. It comes in round sheets, which you have to soak in luke-warm water (I use a pie plate) for 1-2 minutes, before they're soft enough to work with. Lay them out on a towel, then lay out your ingredients, wrap, slice and enjoy.

To serve later, I soaked a tea towel, placed on top of the rolls (unsliced) and wrapped in plastic. When ready, slice and serve with thai peanut dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Happy Food Friday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Swag Party

Farm show season is in full swing, and farmers from all over Ontario will descend on Woodstock this week for Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. Farmers love farm shows. There is of course the business side of the show; seeing new equipment and technologies displayed in action. Then, there is also the social aspect where you need multiple days to see a show, because one day is dedicated to just talking to people. As a kid, I hated this when I went to farm shows with my parents. They had to talk to everyone. Today, I'm the exact same!

The other thing you are guaranteed at a farm show is 'free stuff'. Having worked several John Deere trade show booths, I know there are people who come to the show in search of the 'swag'. When I was a high school student, we would head down the Agri-Fair in Chesley, in search of as much free stuff as we could find. After all, why buy pens when you could get them free at the farm show? I'm sure most farmhouses already have enough 'stuff', but it always seemed appropriate to bring home that bag (or 3 inside each other), jam-packed with brochures, pencils, stress balls, fly swatters, peanuts and a meter stick!

At John Deere, we love swag too. Our product launches and expos tend to be loaded with giveaways, and in 5 years, I don't know how many John Deere hats I've been given! Here is the swag I brought home from Indy a few weeks ago.

Finally, right about the time I read about the 'swag party' Strategy magazine recently threw, Agvocacy 2.0 delegates were blogging about the swag they brought home from the conference. So, I immediately got to thinking, what kind of 'swag party' could we throw with all the goodies we bring home from ag shows and conferences? What has been your favourite farm show swag this year?