Friday, February 02, 2007

Spring Rolls

First, I want to say thank-you to everyone for your kind and supportive thoughts on my post below. I am feeling better - I don't feel great, but, I don't feel wretched, either. And not feeling wretched is definitely an improvement!

Yesterday afternoon, a Vietnamese family invited us to come to their home for dinner for traditional Vietnamese spring rolls. We thought this was a very gracious and generous offer, and we had a lovely evening.

Most people probably think "spring roll" and imagine a "spring roll" from a Chinese restaurant - sort of like a smaller version of an egg roll. But, a traditional Vietnamese spring roll is different. Sort of like a burrito. But cold. With shrimp and vegetables.

It was a very social kind of meal. We sat together at the table, and we dipped hard rice paper disks into bowls of warm water. When the rice paper was soft, we put it on our plates and then put cool rice noodles, strips of cucumber, cilantro, mint, green onion, lettuce, beef and shrimp into the roll, then rolled it up, and ate it, dipping it into a garlic sauce. It was very good. We have had pre-rolled spring rolls before, both in Vietnam and at a Vietnamese restaurant in Chicago - but, I didn't care for them on those occasions because they had been chilled and it hurt my teeth to bite into them (my teeth are sensitive to cold) and I don't usually eat cold foods (except ice cream, which requires no biting) because I hate the way cold food makes my teeth feel. (I even heat up milk before I put it on my cereal in the morning. I don't like cold food is what I'm trying to say.) But, because we were fixing these ourselves, they were more room temperature than cold, and they were really really good. Lana was in heaven. She ate two whole rolls and some plain shrimp.

What she didn't do for most of the 3 hours we were there, was TALK. I kept telling the family that she DOES speak Vietnamese to us all day long, but, she was not keen to speak to strangers. Finally, towards the end of the night, she began to talk a little bit to D~, who was playing with Lana and D~'s 2 year old son. Afterward, D~ told me that Lana has a strong "central" dialect in her Vietnamese, and she may not be completely understanding the southern dialect of their family. I hope that if we visit them again she will be comfortable enough to speak more freely. I would love to know what she is thinking of all this - her new life, etc!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there. Time changes everything. We know what we want and know what we can provide and the love we want to give. But, they are unique individuals with standing feelings and personalities. You are definitely a loving and caring person and Lana will come to tear down the wall of obstacles as you begin to bond. I am glad you are writing about your thoughts and how you are feeling. It is a hard thing you did in adopting a 4 year old child. I commend you and applaud you.

Friday, February 02, 2007 1:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Christina/Mrs. Broccoli Guy said...

What a neat oppportunity, to eat with a Vietnamese American family in their home - sounds like the beginning of a good friendship. I'm not surprised about Lan being quiet - Zeeb did the same thing. When we had dinner with some Vietnamese-American friends of ours, the only thing they could translate was whatever little things he said to his siblings.
Glad to hear you are feeling better... day by day, it will get more and more "normal"!

Friday, February 02, 2007 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger KelleyO said...

Lucky! Dinner sounded like a lot of fun and yummy too!

Saturday, February 03, 2007 9:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Good Luck!

Sunday, February 04, 2007 5:24:00 PM  

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