Saturday, January 31, 2009

January Update

My goal was to post family updates at least monthly--and here it is January 31, 8:07 PM (that's close to bedtime for me).

This has been a great month. It has been extremely busy for the family--perhaps the busiest month we've had in recent memory. But we did find time on two occasions to take breaks. First on "Human Rights day" (as MLK day is called in UT), we went up to Midway and had a wonderful day being with family and sledding. It was great.

Then this past weekend we traveled down to St. George to participate in a Best of EFY. The whole family came -- it was just as glorious as a family vacation should be. We had almost no fighting the whole trip (thanks to "The Magic Treehouse" on CD. We stopped in Virgin, UT to visit the ancestral homes of Hugh and Isabella Hilton and John and Maria Parker. Each of them had children (John Hugh Hilton and Maria Parker (2), respectively) who married each other, and were the parents of Eugene Hilton, my great-grandfather. Maria's house still stands, and the Hilton land is for sale (13 acres for just 879,000).

(this is the actual hut Maria and John Parker lived in).

We also stopped along the way to tour Zion's National Park. We hiked the trail of the weeping rock (a nice Chinese family took our picture).

When we arrived in St. George we saw palm trees and felt at home. We spent some glorious time in the pool, and while I spoke at the EFYs, Lani took the kids to the Tabernacle and other great St. George site. We went to Cove Fort on the way back and the kids were excited about the pioneer toy that they received.

One other funny story from this month is worth mentioning. We invited some Chinese friends to come spend the Chinese New Year with us. Cameron, by Chinese-speaking brother also came. The Chinese visitors typically bring gifts; once they brought a gift for the kids this time they brought a gift for Lani. As they were leaving Maria asked, "Did you bring a gift for me?" Fortunately, Maria is sometimes hard to understand and so I was able to revise what she said in the translation and none were the wiser.

Picture of the night, and recipes below. The Spring Rolls we didn't make (but we wished we had--we tried a lesser recipe, we used a steam bun mix from Chao's, and the coconut rice balls are partly my invention).

Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk - Boa Loy


3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sticky rice flour
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup coconut milk

Pour 1/2 cup of hot water into sticky rice flour and knead until a dough is formed. The dough shouldn't stick to you hand. Add more flour or hot water as needed. Bring a pot of water to boil. Use plenty of water. It is similar to cooking pasta. Pinch off the dough and roll it into a small ball in your palms. Drop the ball into the boiling water. The dough will start rising to the top when it is cooked. Remove the floating balls

{this part is my invention}

Dip the balls in dulce de leche (mixed in with coconut extract) and sprinkling w/ coconut

1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon chile sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 (16 ounce) package spring roll wrappers
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place pork in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove from heat and drain.
In a medium bowl, mix together pork, cabbage, carrot, green onions, cilantro, sesame oil, oyster sauce, ginger, garlic and chile sauce.
Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture in the center of spring roll wrappers. Roll wrappers around the mixture, folding edges inward to close.
Moisten fingers in the cornstarch and water mixture, and brush wrapper seams to seal.
Arrange spring rolls in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Brush with vegetable oil.
Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, until hot and lightly browned. For crispier spring rolls, turn after 10 minutes.
Makes 12 spring rolls.


Diane said...

Hi guys! I love your blog! I can't believe how big the kids are getting! I still remember when Lani brought newborn Maria to institute! Congrats on the new pregnancy, although I don't think it's very new anymore! Just in case you don't have it here is our blog address:

Take care!

April Perry said...

We miss you! I'm glad you got to have a fun trip to St. George. Hopefully we'll get to see you soon!

Shannan J. said...

We think we'll be in Cedar City in July (if we don't go to Australia!! ha, ha). Maybe we can get together for an afternoon or two? There is plenty of room at my folks to stay...