Something Wicked This Way Sprouts
I’m not afraid to admit that I am an avowed brussels sprouts-hater. Harsh words, true, but spoken with sincerity.
My memory of sprouts stretches back to childhood. I can remember sitting at the table, nose mere inches away from the plate, staring in utter horror at its contents. On one side was the s’kat steak, a sort of generic version of Steak-Uumms, and I gazed upon it with love.
On the other side- brussels sprouts. They sat flaccidly, in a limp pool of grey-green disenchantment. I whined, cried, and begged for mercy, but The Parents were firm: you have to eat at least one!
With no other alternatives, I’d pick up a sprout with one hand, pinching my nose tightly closed with the other. Screwing my eyes closed, I popped in as much would fit, desperate to get it over with. It seemed a lifetime of chewing that disgusting, snotty texture around before it was small enough to go down my gullet. I immediately gasped for air, and grabbed my glass of milk, chugging for all I was worth.
Can you feel my pain?
So it was quite a bittersweet day when, in my very own kitchen, I found myself staring down a row of brussels sprouts once again.
You see, I kept running into brussels sprouts everywhere I turned. First, there was Molly rhapsodizing about them in her enticing and tempting way. Then, Stephen goes on a bonafide brussels sprouts rampage, tearing through six renditions in just under a couple weeks’ time.
Clearly, this was a matter that called for careful investigation.
I settled upon Stephen’s
Brusssels Sprouts with Pancetta, Garlic and Basil , certain that with the aid of a little pork, DucCat would be willing to test-drive the hated little cabbage.
As it turned out, it would probably be easier to get him to try tofu. “No way!” he laughed, and I dropped the matter for a short time.
Then, Molly busted out another paen to the sprout, and a new recipe: Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Poppy Seeds and Lemon. I had all the ingredients at hand, and more importantly, it looked like it would be easy enough to prepare for myself alone.
I couldn’t have been more right. With sprouts sliced and ready to go, they emerged steaming from the pan in a matter of mere minutes. Of course, one always must taste and adjust any recipe. I plucked out a slivered sprout, exhaled, and mentally mantra'd, "Fear is the mind-killer..."
Carefully, I placed it upon my tongue.
For a moment, I re-lived those old childhood fears. Then- utter joy washed over me.
The flavour gently unfolded itself, tender and sweet, with a hint of nuttiness. The proudly green sprout was bursting with fresh lemony flavours, pefectly enhanced by the wine and garlic. I swallowed in awe, and as Molly promised, the universe began opening up to me.
I immediately demanded that DucCat try a piece, and under protest, he did. Alas, the little rabbit hole didn’t open for him. Gagging slightly, he chased his portion with a hearty swig of wine. He even tried again at the table (cuz' that's the love he has for me), once they had cooled off just a bit, but no dice: DucCat is still a proud, card-carrying member of the Anti-Cruciferous Veggies Club. What can I say- the man doesn’t even like broccoli!
Me, on the other hand, I'm a swooning, happy convert. Vibrantly hashed sprouts, a baked potato and a perfectly grilled steak – truly, dining euphoria.
LONG LIVE THE SPROUT!!
This post is dedicated to Molly and Stephen for showing me The Way.