I ate brussel sprouts last night.
Those who know me well are, at this moment, checking the url to make sure they are, indeed, reading the blog of Jenné Beecher Fromm. For that statement, that single statement is as shocking to them as if your rabbi posted on his blog, "I had a pork chop soufflé for dinner."
When I was a year or so old, I got very sick – not due to brussel sprouts but due to my kidneys. It’s a long story which I don’t tell well and when I try to get details from my mother the conversation inevitably turns into a lecture as to why I shouldn’t take ibuprofen and why I have to make sure to watch how much vigorous sex I’m having because it can cause cystitis and that can lead to a kidney infection and since I only have one functioning kidney left blah blah blah
And that’s where I phase out of the conversation … you would too upon hearing your mother say “vigorous sex”.
So the story of what exactly went wrong and when and what it meant and how scary it was for everyone won’t be retold here. I will say, however that I cannot be blamed for my poor eating habits and dislike of vegetables in adulthood because of that incident. It turns out I was right at the age when all sorts of foods are tried out on kids and they learn to like certain foods and since I was so deathly ill at this ripe old age of one, I never learned to like much of anything food related.
Except ice cream
And I’ve always been keen on chicken. Meat too. And pasta – although that came later.
I didn’t eat pizza until I was a senior in college.
I didn’t eat rice until I was 22
I didn’t eat cheese, for heaven’s sake, until that famed pizza my senior year of college.
I finally gave in to potatoes when I was in my twenties and sometime in the last 3 years I’ve begun eating squash and onions. Not together.
To say I’m a bit of a picky eater … well kids, that’s an understatement. And a bit like saying Marshall Applewhite was a bit of a strange duck.
I’ve tried very hard and very deliberately to expand my palate and I must say I’ve done a fair job of it. In all areas. Except one.
I hate vegetables.
Now here is where you say, ALL vegetables?
And I say, Pretty much.
And you say, What about CORN?
And I say, Yes, I’ll eat corn.
And you say, Well, CORN is a vegetable!
And I say, Okay, I hate all vegetables except corn.
And then you, thank goodness, shut up.
I’ve had the conversation more than once.
It’s not that I haven’t tried to eat veggies, I have. I try quite often. In fact, whenever I am somewhere and someone says, unprompted, “Man, these are good (insert veggie here)s!” I always ask to try a bite. This has never gone well and once went badly enough that I had to excuse myself from the table, the dinner, the restaurant and was found later in a fetal position in the middle of my bed.
Man, I really do NOT LIKE asparagus.
But still I try in hopes that one day I will either find a vegetable I can tolerate or discover that magically my taste buds have gotten together and decided enough with all of this, let’s give the poor girl a break and not go into death spasms every time a green thing comes through those gates.
I’ve often thought that the only way to acquire a taste for the whole category is to find some sort of transition veggie. A bridge of sorts. Kind of like in college when I thought I should be drinking coffee so I bought that crap that comes in a can and tastes like hot chocolate … the one where you can have international moments. I figure if I could find a veggie that is sort of half vegetable and half oh I don’t know, vodka or chick-fil-a, then I could do it.
So you can understand how incredibly incredible it is for me to have eaten brussel sprouts. I mean, have you seen a brussel sprout? It couldn’t be MORE of a vegetable if it tried! It’s green. And leafy. And not small. Those dudes were the size of a large egg. And it has a stem of sorts. It should be the picture in the dictionary beside the word VEGETABLE. It should win the contest for the most vegeabley of the vegetables. It should wear a sash and a tiara as far as I’m concerned. Who would every think that I would eat THOSE? But ate them I did. I steamed up those suckers, then ran them around a pan with some olive oil and fresh garlic and I’ll be darn tootin (more about that later) if I didn’t eat brussel sprouts.
Two of them.
I know. It isn’t a lot. And truth be told, I only got the last one down by pretending I was a giant who had stumbled into a village and was eating whole heads of lettuce out of their teeny tiny garden. But who cares. Yesterday I ate brussel sprouts.
Now about that gas …