Saturday, January 12, 2008

MISSING: Five Brussel Sprouts

Last night Donny asked me about my New Years Resolutions which prompted me to recall (this morning when the fog of last nights post-holiday Company party cleared) that I had already failed to follow-through on one of them: to try new varieties and eat more vegetables.

There is alot of year left.

So this morning I shopped. I bought an artichoke and a little bag of five fresh brussel sprouts. Yes, five. I am suspect of brussel sprouts. I strongly suspect that I don't like brussel sprouts. But last week on Simple Cooking or Simply Cooking or Look Cooking is Easy or whatever the heck that Saturday morning show is called, honestly I can't remember for sure.....I watched as the freshly-scrubbed and hip-looking Ana cut little brussel sprouts into quarters, spread them on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and baked them in a 450-degree oven, swearing that the little shrinked-up sprout sections were, after a liberal sprinkle of sea salt, "sweet and delicious".

She didn't mean sugar-sweet, I knew what she meant. Lots of years ago my ex-husband and I were invited to a pots-and-pan party in the home of his boss. It was the kind of party where the host invited a big table full of couples and then proceeded to prepare an entire delicious meal, by way of the use of waterless cookware....promising us from the moment he first dumped the butter-beans into the pan with nothing more than 2 tablespoons of water...that everything would be sweet and delicious.

Butter beans. In a pan. With just water. Yyyyyyuk, right?

Ha!!!! NOTSOMUCH!!!!!!

The only reason we'd been invited at all to the party was because another couple had cancelled and the host was obligated to the pots-and-pans sales guy to provide a full table of deep-pocket friends and neighbors for the free meal. We had no money. I remember Dave's boss even making a point of asking him not to mention that we couldn't afford the pots-and-pans....just eat the meal, graciously decline the salesman's offer and slip out the side door as soon as someone else started to write up their order. We really didn't have much choice. It was the boss, after all.

The point is.............those darn beans were FABULOUS. It was the first (and the last, since we couldn't afford the pans) serving of butter beans that I'd ever eaten because they just look nasty to me and they honestly, truly, really were delicious.

Oh lord. Where was I.............butter beans, cookware.............oh yes. The beans were SWEET. Not sweet like they had sugar spooned over them but they were absolutely sweet, the waterless cookware and low temps having cooked the natural sugars in the beans out to make them noticeably sweet and.......yes, they were really really good. Who woulda guessed!!??

So fast-forward 30 years and it's conceivable to me that if I followed the directions of my happy Saturday morning cooking friends, the result just might be a mid-life love affair between me and a pan of five little brussel sprouts. I was game to give them a try. Thus the shopping trip.

The problem is, I'm a kitchen chef all dressed up in a ball gown of enthusiasm with no floor on which to dance. I can't find them. I can't find my five little brussel sprouts. I can't find my artichoke either. I have looked everywhere. I shopped for them at a favorite market, I watched the bag-girl tuck them into one of their paper bags with the cool little handle, I brought them home, I SWEAR to you I brought them home.

And they're gone. Gone. Vanished.
The bag is here. The little chocolate bar I bought to send to my friend with a birthday card is here. For the love of God people, does this EVER happen to anyone else?????


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