For some reason it seems that everybody I know is having roofing work done this week. We had three early storms blow through here in the last 10 days and it looks like it's going to be a long sloppy wet cold Winter. So, in this teeny tiny break in the weather, everyone's taking advantage and all of a sudden it's Hammertime!
MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This by EMI_Music
Yes, this song has been running through my head ever since the roofing guys arrived here this morning, a day early and several hours late. Actually they were supposed to be here yesterday, but it rained yesterday so everything was moved until Wednesday. But it's Tuesday and of course they're heeeeeeer! It sounds as though a million fat guys are falling down endless flights of stairs over my head. Oh, and did I mention the Death Metal radio blasting out of the attic, and faces peering down through the skylights.,..(yes in the bathroom too) at unexpected times. Just another charming sign that Fall has arrived in the sleepy country town of Sonoma. Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em!
Nothing I like better with script pressure dangling over my head and a Manager that haunts my Facebook posts (get to work!) than a whole freaking lot of hammering. Of course I like running for buckets even less, so there you are.
Since with all the pounding and hammering I really feel like we're battening down for a long winters' nap around here, I got into a real autumnal mood this afternoon and grabbed the first Brussels sprouts of the season when I went to the market. It just felt like a Brussels sprouts sort of day, overcast, gloomy threatening (but not delivering) rain.
There was no Indian food cooked here today, as I am planning an early Dwiali dinner this weekend for Berkeley cousins and there will be lots of exotic treats. Therefore during the week I'm keeping it simple and these sprouts were paired up with a simple roast chicken and applesauce which is all one really needs when fall is in the air.
Okay, so it's pretty clear that I love Brussels sprouts cause they give me a whole Thanksgivingy "over the river and through the woods" kind of thrill. Alan not so much. In fact I think that a lot of the vegetable varieties that Alan's has had have been since he's known me, and I've known him a long time. I met Alan right after his college graduation (he's two years older than me) and when we first met, his two favorite vegetables were fries and potato chips. Since then he's come to love and appreciate all the vegetable varieties, but there are still a few hesitations...okra is a big one..and then there were brussels sprouts.
"How about some brussels sprouts?" I would say...
(OH FREAKING GREAT! NOW THE POWER JUST WENT OUT!!!)
Ahem..as I was saying...
"How are you going to fix them?" he would ask warily.
(what do you think I'm freaking trying to poison you after all these years?)
Early on I learned the correct answer. One word.
Yes, what I've found is that most men will eat anything that is wrapped in, or adjacent to bacon.
Okra?? Nooooooo, Okra with bacon.? Big yes!
Collards? Noooooooo. Collards with bits of bacon. By all means yes!
Give them bacon and they will eat it. It's kind of Similar to how I used to give the dog worm medicine... wrap it in bacon... Sold!
So for Brussels sprouts, fast and easy...
Brussels Sprouts With Bacon
Here's what to do:
Wash 1 lb of Brussels sprouts. Drain them and cut off the woody stems. remove loose funky leaves. Cut them in half lengthwise.
Heat a large pan or skillet . When it's hot, toss in 2 chopped strips of bacon.
When I am being very very bad, I sometimes put on my Paula Deen pants and toss in a tiny (I'm serious here tiny is not "ironic", or sarcastic, I mean a very very small amount of butter)
When the bacon begins to cook down and there are bacon drippings, toss in the Brussels sprouts.
Stir fry them on a high heat until they start to brown, then turn down the heat to low, slap a lid on things and cook them for another 10 minutes or so until they're tender.
Shake the pan every now and then to make sure nothing is sticking or burning as they braise.
Salt to taste.
Before serving scatter a chopped handful of California walnuts over the dish and stir them in.
Usually I make this with bacon I've cured and smoked myself, but I'm behind on my bacon makin' so I just picked up a couple of strips at the market. It isn't a fancy dish but something that's great for a weekday dinner or lunch. While making it, visions of dried cranberries or sour cherries were dancing in my head and if I'd had any, I'd gave added them. Maybe next time.
Meanwhile, I've was given an app to try out. It's called Appetites. I cooked one of the dishes from it today and I'll be serving it at dinner tonight. I'll be letting you know how it is to cook from one's ipad! Follow along on Twitter @kathygori and like us on Facebook