Chou de Bruxelles

Our family lived in Brussels for several years to learn French and tropical medicine at L’Institut de M├ędecine Tropicale d’Anvers. Steve took the train everyday to Antwerp to study all the strange tropical ailments in French – he passed with his usual aplomb. I stayed at home with two cherubs and a sprout on the way.

The ‘sprout’ ended up being late by my midwife’s standards; they wanted to hustle me off to the dreaded hospital but we convinced her to wait. Having a doctor for a husband has come in handy in some instances. Our ‘sprout’ began his life at 11 pounds in a downstairs apartment. After all the hubbub, I stumbled up 4 flights to my mattress on the floor, passing out at each landing. We cleaned out a drawer for the baby bed and life’s adventures continued.

Brussels sprouts are tricky – even the spelling – the lack of an apostrophe throws me off. These tiny sprouts began their lives in Brussels, thus their name in English. In French, it translates to ‘cabbage of Brussels’.

Sprouts love northern climes, as do all types of cruciferous veggies. Delicious roasted, stir-fried, thinly sliced in a salad or sauteed with a sprinkling of cheese and herbs. Boiling them is tricky. If over-cooked, they turn grey and stinky which is probably the reason for their negative acceptance.

Along with Brussels sprouts there will be choices of onions, potatoes, cucumbers, garlic, peppers, melons, raspberries, spinach, broccoli and beets.