It's all Jamie's fault. We were getting our weekly shopping and he saw brussels sprouts and started jumping up and down with excitement. Anybody who gets that excited about something that most people hate really deserves to be given a chance, don't you think?
Well it turns out that he has a special way of cooking them. Which means that it's not his fault at all, it's his step-dad's fault. Gary, who taught Jamie how to work hard and to wash dishes and to cook brussels sprouts. Gary's dish-washing technique, by the way, is one that Jamie has tried to teach me repeatedly. I am unteachable. I leave streaks on my dishes, and sometimes there's still food there. This is because I learned to wash dishes from my dad, who was on a boat most of the time. Washing dishes on a boat is not about getting them as clean as possible, it's about using as little water as possible, thus our cleaning routine went something like "run under water, rub with hand, turn off water and dry". The look of horror on Jamie's face when he first saw me doing this (granted, he'd been eating off my dishes for a while) was almost funny. Funny because I am pretty much forbidden to do the dishes in our house now. But not quite funny because I really had no idea I was doing it wrong in the first place.
So anyway, after hearing about Gary's great dish-washing technique for so long (and never quite being able to master it; I think impatience plays a role here), Gary came to visit us for a couple of days. And he asked for a glass of water, and then I went to get it and there were no clean glasses. And with Gary standing right there I had to wash a glass.
Let me tell you, I actually broke a sweat. I mean, here was Gary who knows how to wash dishes so well that he actually has a technique, and me who knows how to wash dishes so badly that she's not allowed to do them very often, and Gary wants to drink out of a glass that I will be washing. My hands were shaking as I tried to remember the fold-cloth-over-lip-and-press-hard thing. He didn't look horrified. Good sign. Then he actually accepted water and drank it. Double good sign. I think he probably wondered why this weird girl was shaking while doing dishes.
I was chatting to my friend Mark last week when he mentioned that he was force fed brussels sprouts as a kid. He hates them so much that BS to him does not mean bull poo. Nope, it means brussels sprouts. I thought this kind of funny. My hatred really didn't run that deep, I just found them kinda pongy. But I have been converted. And it's not just me. My 13 year old sister who HATES anything cabbagey, who told me dubiously that she'd try it but only because she'll try anything once, actually loved it so much that she made it herself the next day. Yes, I converted a teenager to brussels sprouts land. If that's not enough to convince you then you're obviously too hard a sell.
Sprouts, the good way
1 lb brussels sprouts
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tb butter
2 tb olive oil
Slice the brussels sprouts into thin strips, about 1/8" wide. Get a skillet nice and hot, then reduce to medium, add the oil and butter, and throw in the sprouts. Sprinkle over the salt and pepper, and then let them sit there for about 2 minutes. With a spatula, start to move them around a little-- they should be golden brown in places. Then let them sit another minute or so. Then move them around again. They should be browning in some places, and bright green in others. After about 5 minutes total, remove from heat and serve.