Monday, November 7, 2011

Brussel Sprouts

photo.JPGOn Friday Peter and I were grocery shopping together.  As a rule, I do not like shopping of any kind with my husband.    In our 30+ years of life together we have discovered that we can enjoy many activities together.... shopping is NOT one of them.   A typical Susan and Peter shopping expedition sounds a little like this: Me: (picking up a large container of hummus) "This is Parker's favorite kind of hummus" -  Peter (checking out the price) ; "I CANNOT believe that hummus cost almost $8!.... why do we need that much hummus? Isn't there a cheaper store brand? I hope we're not going to get expensive chips to go with that hummus.  Can't we make our own hummus cheaper?   I didn't even know what hummus was till I was in my 30's!..... blah, blah, blah...... "    

Now,  picture variations of that dialog going on with practically every grocery store item I pick up.  Yeah... now you may begin to understand just why I don't like shopping with my husband..... However, there was one ray of sunshine in Friday's outing to the grocery store..... I noticed that they were featuring Brussel sprouts by the stalk.... I picked up a huge stalk and held it up for Peter to see... he actually smiled and then checked out the price... $3.89!  This inspired a huge grin from my frugal husband as he considered this to be  a real bargain.  Never mind that he and Parker absolutely ABHOR Brussel sprouts....  a deal is a deal and we added the stalk to our cart.....

Which brings me to my thoughts on Brussel sprouts....a vegetable I happen to love.  I've never felt that Brussel sprouts get the credit they deserve..... they are an amazing vegetable.....  I started growing them in my Vermont garden many years ago and could not believe how easy to grow and hardy these little veggies are!  I could trudge out through the snows of November and December and those little Brussel sprouts would be sturdily hanging on to their stalks, all green and happy and ready to be picked.... a truly admirable vegetable!  

Eating wise, they are without peer.... simply the aroma of cooking them is a unique experience (in my house I can count on my son whining about the "putrid smell of those disgusting green things" within minutes of starting the cooking process) ... ... I love them steamed with a little salt and margarine or as the featured veggie in a winter soup,  but my favorite way to have them is in a stir fry with other veggies like onion, peppers, cauliflower, etc. etc..... simply delicious!

Finally, when I see those little green globes,  well... they just look like tiny cabbages to me...... I can just picture a late October work-line of tiny mice or perhaps bunnies happily harvesting them from the garden, anticipating a long winter full of Brussel sprout creations.... one "sprout" could easily provide dinner for an entire  family of field mice...

Okay, perhaps I've read a little too much Beatrix Potter...... I've always taken my animal literature very seriously.... Charlotte's Web,  Winnie the Pooh, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Redwall series, Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH, Watership Down, Black Beauty........ have all contributed to me becoming an devoted animal lover, a vegan...... and a lover of Brussel sprouts.

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