I’ve talked about Brussels sprouts before. I bring them up again, because they are something we have at Thanksgiving, even though they’re normally the slimy fish head ones and nobody really eats them. It reminds me of my Thanksgiving as a kid.
I was, surprise, a picky eater. We went to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving every year, and I loved it. She lived on a “farm” with turkeys, chickens and goats. I think she had a cow at one point. I loved playing with the chickens and the turkeys. One year, some of my out of state family came a few weeks before Thanksgiving. We went to visit my aunt early so we could see them. I chased the turkeys around and played with their softball (they thought it was an egg, I remember my aunt remarking how incredibly stupid they were for sitting on it like it was an egg). Then we went home.
A few weeks later, on Thanksgiving, I noticed that one of the turkeys was missing. I normally only played with the animals on Thanksgiving, so I never remembered from year to year how many turkeys there were. I asked and was told, in a nice way, that he was in the oven. Once I realized what this meant, I cried. My aunt apologized and said that was just the way things were on a farm. Where did I think turkey came from? To be honest, I had never really thought about it. We got ours from Kroger. They weren’t fun to chase at Kroger.
That Thanksgiving, and for a long time after, I would barely eat anything my aunt cooked. I didn’t care if it was a vegetable tray. I assumed my aunt had murdered whatever it was on the plate. I never liked to play with her animals again. I assumed they were just there to be lunch. I remember asking, “Did this come from a store or from your yard?” before I ate anything (for some reason, I still thought food from a store was different than food from her lawn).
We started bringing a dish to Thanksgiving and I’d eat that. My mom was no murderer. That’s a tradition I carry out today whenever I go to someone’s house for a big dinner party. Even though I’m no longer a strict vegetarian or a vegan, I know I’m still picky. I always mention my diet to people, but they normally make something I don’t like anyway. It’s not their fault. Besides, I don’t expect non-vegetarians to think of things like beans, broth or gelatin being non-vegetarian. They just don’t. It’s not being hateful to serve me pan gravy or mashed potatoes cooked with chicken stock, because they didn’t think about it being non-vegetarian. So, I always ask if I can bring a dish (if appropriate), or just shut up eat what I can. I can always eat something else later. There’s no sense in making a scene and ruining their dinner. My diet is not really their problem. Especially on Thanksgiving. People have Thanksgiving traditions that are bigger than my dietary constraints.
If I were bringing a dish to Thanksgiving dinner this year, I think I’d bring these Brussels sprouts. We sometimes make a dish with green beans and apricot sauce for Thanksgiving. It’s divine, but I love green beans. I decided to try the sauce on Brussels sprouts, something most that people don’t give a fair shot. It’s delicious and I think the apricot bits would be tempting to even Brussels sprouts haters.
- 4 ounces dried apricots
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 bushel of Brussels sprouts
- Roast Brussels sprouts (here is how).
- While they are roasting, place the apricots and orange juice in a sauce pan and simmer until the apricots are tender.
- Puree the orange juice and apricots until smooth. If you want chunky sauce, as pictured, remove 3-4 apricots and chop them.
- Remove the Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl and toss with the apricot sauce.
Easy! Great tasting too. These would be a much bigger hit than those slimy ones. Since I roasted them first, they still have that roasted flavor, with a hint of sweetness from the apricots/orange juice.
I think I’m kind of obsessed with Brussels sprouts. I found a stalk of Brussels sprouts at the store the other day for just $3.79. The stalk keeps the sprouts fresher, so they store longer. They’re easy to remove from the stalk. You just twist them and pop them off.
Another recipe for Brussel sprouts that I’ve tried recently is cheesy Brussels sprouts. I subbed them in a green bean dish my mom makes for Thanksgiving. She puts a can or two of french cut green beans in a casserole dish and pours heavy cream in the casserole dish until it covers the bottom. She sprinkles it with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, mixes it all together and bakes until it’s brown. I used Brussels sprouts instead of green beans, and it was heavenly. It would be a Thanksgiving hit for sure.
Yup, I’m having Brussels sprouts this year.