Until a month ago, I had no idea that Brussels sprouts grew on stalks. I’d only ever seen them loose, or pre-packaged: tiny little cabbages in string bags. Then we had dinner at a friend’s house and I spotted this gigantic Jack-and-the-Beanstalk looking thing in her kitchen. What the fuck is that? I said. Brussels sprouts, she said.
It’s a bit of a shock to find myself so divorced from the roots (pun unavoidable, unless I think hard, and, y’know, as much as I love and admire every single one of you, a post about Brussels sprouts just isn’t worth it) of a vegetable I eat often.
So just in case any of you are labouring under a similar burden of ignorance, here you go:
Yes, it really is three feet long. And heavy. You could use it as a battering ram. Or plant it in a pot, stick a star on top, and put presents under it at Yule. You can thank me when you get over the nightmares.
12 thoughts on “Big as a battering ram”
Is the stalk edible? I'm a Brussels sprouts junkie, but the stalk intimidates me.
kathleen, wow, that never occurred to me. I'm guessing if you roasted it and ground it and… Ooof. Nah, I think I'll just sharpen it, put it in the pit with the other stakes for unwary Fools Who Knock on the Door to Solicit, and call it good.
For some reason, I always think of brussels sprouts as the quintessential English vegetable. Probably this is the result of dinners described in English novels. Who knew they were also heroic.
barbara, heroic and medieval…
I, too, only recently learned what Brussels sprouts actually look like. I, too, was shocked! Glad I wasn't the only one.
I grew them one year. It's like having triffids staring back at you, waiting for their moment. Brussels sprouts are one of those foods that taste better after they've been hit by a light frost. So we waited and waited… and of course, the day they were undoubtedly at their most delectable, the deer ate every last one.
Jill, did you have venison stew shortly thereafter?
Forgot to mention: sprouts look even more otherworldly with their leaves still on the stalk. Your sample was carefully prepped for market.
Jill, that 'carefully prepped' is about as weird as I'm willing to go with sprouts right now…
There's so much we toss out without even thinking of it as food (stalks of artichokes), but on the other hand, as great aunt Ekatrina used to say “if no one eats it, it's because its uneatable.” (English wasn't her strongest language) She would have approved of your sharpened stake idea though.
Vonda, hadn't noticed that! But, wow, yep.
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