I was having a casual, throw-away chat with the woman ahead of me in the grocery store line, the way you do, just before Christmas. She had admired my colorful reusable shopping bag, and said that once again she had left her bags in her car. I smiled and babbled something about “Good intentions…” and she nodded, vigorously, agreeing. “Yes, they will just lead you straight to H, E, double hockey sticks!” And then she walked away. Wowser. It reminded me of fourth grade, when we were tempting fate and experimenting with the power of the Almighty, or our omniscient mothers, by saying boldly, “Well, beaver’s dam!” And nothing happened. No smiting. No bolts of lightning. The earth didn’t suddenly yawn open with pits of fire. We had to learn to make our own fates. This was autonomy.
In this first week of January, our New Year’s resolutions are still novel and attractive and easy. It is the obvious time of the year to reset behaviors, atone for holiday excesses, and Mr. Sanders and I have jumped onto the health bandwagon. This will be the third year that we have practiced Dry January. So no cheap white wine for a month. Sigh. I am also trying to re-commit to walking 10,000 steps a day. Luke the wonder dog and I used to walk that and more, but lately we have both been a little ache-y, and lazy, and slacked off over the holidays. But as of January 5th we have averaged between 10,000 and 11,000 steps. Three hundred and sixty more days to go!
My doctor eyes me suspiciously when I assure her that I do indeed eat lots of fruits and vegetables every day. Which isn’t always completely true. I do get tired of limp salads, though, and need to up my greens intake. Mr. Sanders and I went to the big city, and wandered through a Trader Joe’s last weekend, and I picked up some novelties. Our normal grocery store does not offer Brussels sprouts on stalks, does yours? Crazy! I was raised when iceberg lettuce, decorated with curlicues of shaved carrots, hothouse tomatoes, and maybe a sliver of purple onion for a touch of the exotic were the norm. I don’t know what my mother, who finally came to embrace garlic, would have said about stalks of Brussels sprouts, unless Julia Child was championing them.
Luckily for me, Julia Child had quite a lot to say about Brussels sprouts. She was even hip enough that she didn’t boil them to a stinky death: https://food52.com/recipes/38991-julia-child-s-brussels-sprouts-with-braised-chestnuts And a judicious application of melted butter makes everything taste better.
Ina Garten is coming into our kitchen more often these days. Her recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts is more hands on, but the roasting makes the sprouts tasty, sweet, and nutty, and undoubtedly the olive oil is better for us. I love the touch of sea salt: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-brussels-sprouts-recipe2-1941953
More labor intensive is Alice Waters’s roasted Brussels sprouts: https://www.wnyc.org/story/recipe-alice-waterss-roasted-brussels-sprouts-sesame-seeds-and-ginger/ Not an easy weeknight side dish, but would be perfect in February, with friends in for a roast for dinner, and wine!
Mark Bittman goes for the crunch in his Brussels sprouts salad. It’s nice to have something made ahead of time, that you can just whip out of the fridge, and it’s a salad that doesn’t include insipid, vitamin-free, iceberg lettuce. I’ll be able to look my doctor in the eye, and so will you. https://markbittman.com/recipes-1/brussels-sprouts-salad
Brussels sprouts are low in calories and high in nutrients, especially fiber, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. Just so you know, the path you are taking in this new year does not go straight to H, E, double hockey sticks: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-brussels-sprouts
Happy 2023, Gentle Readers. Walk more, eat your greens, treat people with kindness.
“Good resolutions are like babies crying in church. They should be carried out immediately.”
― Charles M. Sheldon