Brussels sprouts, blech. As far as I was concerned, the only thing worse than those little nasty cabbage like sprouts were lima beans. Actually, lima beans still rank at the bottom of my list!
As a kid, Dad loved them. I don’t think anyone else was much of a fan. Though, my distaste for those gruesome balls of green was far greater, I think.
And what’s worse? They were usually from the freezer.
Oh wait, it gets worse still. If they were served on my plate, I had to eat them, all of them. My taste buds cried out in horror.
It’s not as if I was a kid with a limited palette. While most kids’ favorite food item was from the more standard fair of pizza, tacos, or spaghetti, I loved seafood, a mean stir fry, and even shucked oysters on the rare occasion I visited family in Virginia.
But, brussels sprouts? No. Thank. You.
Brussels sprouts were on my hit list back then and continued to reside there well into my thirties.
I was madly shopping for our 2010 Thanksgiving dinner and by my fourth grocery store, I still had not picked up a vegetable when I saw this gorgeous baseball bat sized stalk with dozens of green bulbs climbing it. So struck by its beauty, it took me a few minutes to realize what it was.
I’d come upon those dreaded brussels sprouts, presented in its organic state and suddenly I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. As much as the flaming orange, red, and yellow bell peppers sang out to me, or the comforting cry of our favorite friend, zucchini, called, or the green bean Thanksgiving standard whispered my name, I was deaf to all of them. My eyes were locked on my target and would not deviate until I gave in.
I left wondering what on earth I was doing. Had I lost my mind? Seriously, had I just ruined our Thanksgiving meal? And my goodness, what would my husband think? He couldn’t stand brussels sprouts just as much, if not more. Considering he was cooking, I thought I was crazy not to factor his distaste for them into the equation!
To my surprise, he started laughing when I pulled out that big green, bulbous stick…I mean, stalk. He quickly had the kids giggling as well. And suddenly, he was game to give brussels sprouts one more try.
We opted to roast them as we had yet to miss with that method. And just in case they were as hideous as we remembered, he fried up a couple strips of bacon to crumble on top. He rationalized that everything is better with bacon.
Thanksgiving day, everyone watched the sprouts come off the stalk, one by one, as if it was a grand new spectator sport. Those of us in the peanut gallery had many a how-to opinion to offer. And then they were off the stalk, halved, misted with olive oil, sprinkled with a wee bit of salt, and into the oven they went.
Sitting down to the dining table for dinner with a beautiful turkey, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, the most scrumptious dressing, and those roasted brussels sprouts. I was apprehensive, to say the least.
We grownups, having been tainted by nasty balls of green on our plates as kids, had to put on brave faces to try our first bites. But, the kids, who had been so excited by our new brussels sprout adventure, they dove straight in.
Eyes widened. Could this really be? Our surprise was palpable. And our conclusion was drawn with that first cautious bite.
Move over artichoke! Move over zucchini! Move over bell peppers, cauliflower, Japanese eggplant, spinach, crooked neck squash, and all varieties of tomato!
Move on over and make room for another favorite vegetable to join the ranks!
Brussels sprouts. No bacon needed. Who knew?!
Thanksgiving 2010 Brussels SproutsRoasting them was the key for us and bacon never again necessary!