2011/11/23

Where did they go... (FFwD:Brown Sugar Squash & Brussels Sprouts en Papillote)

Growing up, in my house Brussels Sprouts were the thing that "Legends" were made of...


I know that I have whined lamented about this before, but when you are the baby of the family AND your next closest sibling is 13 years older than you... you don't catch a lot of slack.  You ARE the baby and as such, nothing is sacred.  Because of this, you either have to choose to have a sense of humor about it and let it go or be in a constant state of grump. 

It's not in my nature to stay grumpy for long periods of time.  So, I learned to have a sense of humor...up to a point.


One of the family "Legends" involves my first introduction to the world of Brussels sprouts.

I was a mere "sprout" myself at the time - no more than 6 or 7 years old.  I can remember sitting around the old, worn out kitchen table on one of white vinyl chairs with the upholstery tacks all around the perimeters of the "fabric". (Don't judge - it was the late 70's - it worked with the orange & avocado green kitchen.)  My feet were probably dangling - not quite reaching the floor.  Which means I was probably swinging my legs, bouncing my knee, or engaging in some other utterly aggravating fidgety behavior.  (Because I am fidgety - which was a constant irritation to the poor people who had to raise me.)

For some reason, my brother was home from college - enduring his annoying little sister. 


I remember nothing else about the meal that night.  Except for the big green bowl of cabbage-y looking things in the center of the table. 

I was intrigued.  I was dubious.  Yes, all at the same time.  All I knew is that they weren't Lima beans (blech) or beets (double, triple blech), so they had potential. 

There must have been some conversations around what they were and that I should "try them they are good for you" was most certainly thrown around. 


So, being the "good" child that I most obviously was, I tried them.  And tried some more. And tried some more.  At some point, my brother went back for seconds, but the early bird catches the worm...

The look of bewilderment on his face was priceless.  At which point, everyone tried to figure out where all the Brussels sprouts went.  I am sure I my guilt eventually gave me away - much like the Narrator in Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

The story has since been passed around at many family gatherings - whenever the need for a "cute-child-eating-their-vegetables-story" was needed. 

Needless to say, I fell in love with a new vegetable that day.  A love that has transcended the decades and has since been passed along to my children.  Brussels sprouts just don't get enough love in this world, people. 

If you aren't a fan, I won't try to convert you  (more for me).


Now let's talk about squash & Brussels sprouts packets.  The more sophisticated of the group will use parchment, I am sure.  But yokel that I am, I resorted to "E-loom-e-num" foil.  Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do... 

I certainly don't need to elaborate on the wonders of cooking in a foil packet.  It works.  It works well.  It's easy.  It makes clean up a cinch. 

If you don't like one vegetable, throw in another.  Your choice.  But, for Pete's sake - eat your vegetables.  They're good for you.



This holiday season, I am thankful that I have so many warm memories about my family - and so many that revolve around food.  I am even thankful for the annoying memories...  I have never known true hunger in my lifetime and there have always had a soft-place to land when I've needed it. 

This post participates French Fridays with Dorie.  This week was "cook's choice" - it will be interesting to see what everyone has come up with!

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods, have a wonderful holiday & be safe.

31 comments:

  1. Your dish looks great!
    But I still squirm at thought of brussel sprouts!
    You were an adventurous kid!

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  2. So many memories tied up with Thanksgiving, its nice to be able to take a moment to soak them in!!
    Love this recipe for one of my favorites Brussels sprouts and the squash-looks so delicious. Happy Thanksgiving Cher;-)

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  3. Cher, This dish looks wonderful and so perfect for Thanksgiving! I don't think at a young age I would have tried Brussels sprouts...although I love them now.

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  4. I have no strong feelings about brussel sprouts. I don't love them, but I don't hate them either. I haven't tried this recipe yet. I should just suck it up and stop allowing my ambivalence put it off.

    Happy thanksgiving! I forgot all about FFwD this week. I wanted to do the duck breast from a few weeks ago, but don't want to serve it to my inlaws b/c it will be too expensive to serve 4 (haha), so I'll probably just wait until they leave.

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  5. I was the baby, too, with the next oldest 10 years older. I had the opposite problem, though: brussels sprouts were unequivocally banned in my house by all my siblings - I never even tried them until I was in my 30's. Love the sprout ... roasted with bacon. Mmmmm.....

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  6. Wonderful story, Cher! I am becoming a huge fan of en papillote! I'm so glad to have gotten to know you over the past year! Wishing your family and you every happiness!

    BTW, I made Long and Slow Apples - they were delicious!

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  7. I have never heard of a child who liked brussel sprouts! You may have been the only one in history. I for one hated them as a child, but have learned to love them as an adult. This recipe looks delicious and I'm looking forward to giving it a whirl myself.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

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  8. Cher..we think alike...I chose the one cooked en papillote too but mine was the curried chicken,peppers and peas en papillote :) Yours looks delish and I shall try yours when I have squash at home :)

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  9. I absolutely hated brussels sprouts as a child, but I think it was the way my mom cooked them. I have since made them as an adult and have come to appreciate them and really like them best roasted. This looks like a great way to fix them and I am sure they pick up the sweetness of the butternut squash which sounds like a perfect combination.

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  10. I was never served Brussel sprouts as a child. I love cabbage now as well as the sprouts! This looks heavenly....it's so nice to see real dishes (sometimes no pictures alongside recipes aren't enough)!

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  11. I didn't get to make my Brussels sprouts yesterday, but they're on the menu today. I loved reading your memories...as a child of the 60's and 70's, I remember those avocado appliances well :) Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

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  12. Yummo - I would happily tuck into both brussels sprouts and squash.

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  13. What a sweet story! And yes, a little unexpected. I was totally waiting for the moment when the young Cher make faces about the dreaded brussel sprouts. I love vegetable of all kinds too and glad to hear this intriguging recipe works well. I look forward to try it myself.

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  14. What a fun story! This looks like a great addition to the winter table. Brussel sprouts are a favorite at our home!
    Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

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  15. personal stories about food get me going and I love yours! You picked the perfect dish for the week didn't you? Did you know that as we get older our taste buds change toward liking bitter things? It is why adults prefer dark chocolate btw and also why it takes us a bit to come to love brussels sprouts. Now they are my absolute favorite veggie and I can't get enough.

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  16. Loved your brussels sprouts story as much as I love brussels sprouts. But, I was a late bloomer and didn't pick up on a rather "sophisticated" taste until adult-hood. You've provided another way to serve them - butternut squash is yummy - and, I intend to combine the two, throw a little paper around them, and enjoy this unique dish. Thanks for the effort and the story. Happy Holidays.

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  17. I've always loved brussels sprouts, too, and could never understand how many people wouldn't try them, even well into their adulthood. The compensation for the loss of summer fruits? Winter vegetables, all the way.

    I agree with Elaine - these sound like a perfect combination.

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  18. I also love Brussel sprouts since I was a little girl, but just happende to marrie the wrong man (a guy who hates Brussel sprouts). And my childeren doesn't like them as well. I wished my childeren were as you were in your younger years. I never heard of the combination of Brussel sprouts and squash. It's certainly a thanksgiving dish.

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  19. LOL! FOR PETES SAKE! :) I just made roasted brussels for myself for dinner just before T-day :) They were delicious! I don't think my mother really knew what to do with them, we never had them as kids, they are sure delicious with lamb though :) your papillote would make Graham Elliot proud though!

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  20. I have loved brussels sprouts for as long as I can recall, but that is partly because Nana always cooked them with bacon and roasted pignoli nuts.They were on our Turkey Day table as such this year. What's not to love ? I didn't even realize how despised they were until I grew up and started preparing dinner party menus - my poor hubby loves everything (including just about all "Dorie Food") but suggested that not everyone was a fan of sprouts. Who knew ? Like you, I considered it a victory of "more for me". Bad hostess :) Love your keeping it real aluminum foil packets- you made them look gourmet with your sprouts and squash. Love this time of year and Nana and I both wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving !!

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  21. Yum, great selection and fun story. I am a true BS lover too! I hope you and yours had a terrific Thanksgiving.

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  22. Great story - I enjoyed reading your post. I love brussel sprouts too but have never tried them with squash. I'm excited to try this recipe.

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  23. Sounds like a winner (what's not to like). I never tried Brussels sprouts until college as my parents made a pact when they married that they would never serve Brussels sprouts (or liver) because they both hated them. I enjoyed them from the first time I actually tasted them. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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  24. I like Brussels sprouts, so this looks delicious to me.

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  25. I used to dislike Brussels sprouts but have learned to like them as an adult. I made this dish a while back and we loved it! Good choice!

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  26. That was such a cute story about you and your brother. I had to chuckle at the "Tell Tale" part because my son and I just finished "The Cask of Amontillado". "Why do we have to appreciate Poe" they ask!!

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  27. It wasn't the tell tale heart that gave you away, it was more like Alvin and the chipmunks!

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  28. Wait, WHAT? I wasn't reading your blog back in 2011? What was WRONG with me??? Loved the story in this post, Cher. As always!

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  29. You were a brave child - I know I wouldn't have touched these with a ten-foot pole at 6 or 7 but I am starting to enjoy them now.

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  30. Ha- this was a fun trip down memory lane, for you and for us to see the post again as well as our comments. Time sure is passing, no ? Now pass those sprouts :)

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  31. I actually just started liking Brussels sprouts within the past 5 years. Wouldn't touch them before. Now, I love them. You were advanced for your age! :)

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