the family brussels-sprout tradition
MY TINY FAMILY’S GIANT TRADITION: Brussels sprouts! I bring over the homegrown, still-on-the-stalk, bigger-is-better sprouts to my sister’s each Thanksgiving, and we have at them, assisted enthusiastically by my brother-in-law (and pushed around the plate by my niece). That’s baby-sister Marion and a mock-terrified me showing off a recent holiday harvest–just one image of many in another long family tradition: taking crazy photos. Individual crustless pumpkin pies and pureed sweet-potato soup with greens might be on the menu, too:
Brussels sprouts are delightful just roasted (it’s easy to roast vegetables, like this), but lately I have become addicted to a “salad” at nearby Crossroads Food Shop. Chef David Wurth has combined halved roasted sprouts with roasted sweet potato wedges, tossed with walnuts, and happily in a chili-lime juice vinaigrette. (I’m going to try using some chili paste as one ingredient in a pinch over here, but the Crossroads master says he toasted dried Ancho chilies, shook out the seeds, soaked then boiled and let them sit till really soft, then blended the remains with some mustard, cider vinegar, lime juice and olive oil. If only he’d offer cooking lessons on the menu…)
I eat a lot of winter squash simply split and roasted, too. Slightly more festive, though, for finishing off the holiday meal: individual pumpkin custards, like little crustless pies that even a full-ish tummy can make room for. The recipe.
Will this Thursday’s meal start with soup, or not? In case we decide it should, I have a big pot of my favorite from “Love Soup” author Anna Thomas. It’s her Green Soup With Sweet Potatoes and Sage that in my kitchen gets to be more like Sweet Potato Soup with Greens and Sage—you know how that goes, when a borrowed recipe evolves and becomes your own? How to make it.
(Photo of me and my sister by Erica Berger.)