Monday, November 23, 2009

Brussels sprouts

Today I harvested our last produce from the garden. The Brussels sprouts have survived through endless days of rainy cold, and almost a month’s worth of freezing nights. They have outlasted the cabbage moths and the garden pests - the chipmunks, raccoon, and deer.

When Dave and I first met, corn was the only vegetable he ate. My mother loved vegetables and served at least two at most meals. Dave’s Mom had raised him well and he always tried a little of each vegetable, but not with enthusiasm.

My mother was a clever cook. She adulterated all her vegetables. Eggplant with onions and cheese, scalloped corn, green beans with mushroom soup and dried onions, broccoli with Italian salad dressing, cauliflower with mustard and Miracle Whip. Perhaps her most successful adulteration was Brussels sprouts with grapes.

Dave eats more and more vegetables. Planting our own garden has been a big part of it; but he has also realized that he likes vegetables. Some he eats just plain – home grown tomatoes, sweet corn, sugar peas, and winter squash, but others he eats for the adulterations. Every fall we look forward to the Brussels sprouts harvest, to the combination of flavors you taste with pungent red pimentos, the fresh green globes of Brussels sprouts, the earthy chewiness of mushrooms and the sweet burst of flavor in the grapes.

Brussels Sprouts, Mom’s style

3 cups Brussels sprouts
½ cup sour cream
2/3 cup drained mushrooms
1 cup seedless grapes
¼ cup chopped pimento
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup grated cheese

Cook Brussels sprouts until bright green and tender. Drain. Add everything else but the cheese. Heat in double boiler or microwave until everything is hot. Sprinkle with cheese
and paprika. Enjoy.

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