Stranger in a Foreign Land

Stranger in a Foreign Land

Have you ever felt like an alien being?  Like you just didn’t belong, & others were making you painfully aware of this?

As a child, we feel this way of course, especially in those school years.  A sense of belonging and being accepted is important for all of us.  When we feel accepted, we can be free to let our God given personality shine, whether introvert or extrovert.

Even as an adult, I was made aware of how different I was when my young navigator husband & I moved from rural MS to Mather AFB in Sacramento, California.  I had never lived more than 2 hours away from my parents, and never out of the South.

I soon discovered I spoke differently from others.  “Where are you from?” was a daily question whenever I opened my mouth.  Sometimes the request was even asked in an exaggerated fashion of those mimicking my accent. “Whur are you from?”

All were good-natured, but I confess, after a while this got a little OLD!!   I was almost rendered speechless when I responded, “I’m from Mississippi” & the person I was talking to said, “That’s a state?  I thought it was just a river.” (Right now I’m just shaking my head & rolling my eyes)

I’m reminded that as I identify myself as a believer in Christ, my speech should be seasoned with Grace. It should reflect my faith in Him & glorify the Savior.  There should be something different about our walk & our TALK from those who are truly ARE strangers in this foreign land.

I’m sharing today a recipe I got from a military wife I met while stationed in California.  These Egg Rolls with a Red Plum dipping sauce are requested by my family for every special occasion. 

Red Plum Sauce

1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple in its own juice 
1 c. white vinegar
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 T. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp. water 
1 c. red plum jam

Mix sugar, water, vinegar, soy sauce, and pineapple in saucepan until boiling. Mix cornstarch and 2 tsp water until smooth and add to heated ingredients. Stir until thick. Add plum jam and stir to incorporate. Serve warm with egg rolls.  

Note: The Sauce freezes well.

Egg Rolls

1 lb. lean ground pork 
2 carrots, grated
1-2 c. cabbage finely shredded
2-3 T. oyster sauce (in oriental food section)
1 pkg. egg roll wrappers  (about 15 wrappers)
vegetable oil, for frying

Brown ground pork, breaking meat up into very small pieces as it cooks. Drain well.
Add cabbage and carrots to warmed meat. The cabbage will wilt a bit. Add enough oyster sauce to coat, but not saturate meat mixture. Allow to cool.

Lay egg roll wrapper on counter.  With point of square toward you. Place a heaping tbs of meat mixture on middle of wrapper. Carefully fold the point toward you over the meat, pulling it slightly toward  you to tighten the wrapper around the meat. Fold in the sides to the middle and roll the wrapper toward the last point.

Dip your finger in water and dab it onto the last point and press it onto the wrapper. It will stick to itself. Continue until all meat mixture is used. (The egg roll wrappers will have a picture with instructions on the package, if this sounds confusing).

Heat 2 inches of oil in skillet. Test oil for frying by dropping a little piece of wrapper into it. When it has turned golden brown, start adding egg rolls into the hot oil.

Do not crowd the pan or leave it unattended. They brown very quickly. Turn over when browned on one side. 

Drain browned egg rolls on paper towels and keep warm in oven until all fried. Serve hot with plum sauce.

Note: This is the first recipe I asked for as a new bride after sharing a meal with a new  friend from Hawaii. I’ve made them for 30+ years. Please make the sauce when you make these. They really make this dish special.

Egg rolls can be filled, placed on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart, & frozen. Place in a ziploc bag or a plastic container with a lid when frozen. Fry as above.  Leftovers may be reheated in oven to crisp up for about 10 mins.