Monday, October 1, 2012

Guess That Crop

California is a good state for agriculture (obviously), and often we play an unofficial game during road trips: Guess That Crop.
I am surprisingly bad at this game.  They aren't all obvious crops like good ol' strawberries and artichokes!  Besides, why don't YOU try to guess that crop at the speed Will drives?

Driving down to Half Moon Bay recently, we saw this:

Any guesses?

Cabbage, maybe?

Not exactly...

Brussels sprouts!

Did you eat these growing up?  I didn't.  I don't think my sous chef did either (at least not willingly; he has some pretty awesome stories about how he "cleared his plate" growing up, but those are stories for another day).
For me, it wasn't that I detested them...I don't ever remember having them.  But I knew that a kid's sole job was to hate brussels sprouts, and I was a good kid.

Several years ago in North Carolina, I was surprised to hear Will declare that they were good.  I figured I should give them a try, so I bought a bag of frozen brussels from Kroger (during the winter, you have to buy most your veggies frozen...)  I'll save you the $2.50.  Frozen brussels sprouts are awful, no matter how you prepare them.  And trying them for the first time when they are defrosted and mushy is the last way you should initiate yourself.

Another year or so passed until one night my sister-in-law prepared them during one of our girls' nights (watching the Bachelor, obviously).  They were fresh, which was clearly the key.  Oh, right--the other keys: bacon + butter.  I was re-initiated--this time the right way--and I haven't looked back since.  I love them now, and I have even graduated to roasting them with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Yet it wasn't until last year when I moved to California that I first saw them sold on a stalk at the grocery store like this:

I had no idea....

And now, I am a little better at Guess That Crop.  Last weekend, I beat Will.  But now he has been enlightened too.

That was way too many green pictures for one post, wasn't it?

If so, please feel free to appreciate your brussels stalk from afar--as home decor.  I think this deserves a Catalog Living caption!


  1. It looks like a terrifying battle axe, but tastes delicious.

  2. We should go on a crop tour together!
    We had roasted brussels sprouts for dinner tonight in your honor.

  3. "Sigh. The winter had been long, and this year the only Christmas tree they could afford looked like a stalk of some unidentifiable crop, like cabbage or even brussels sprouts (which the Mr. of the house hated). Next to their sad tree stood an old piece of glass they collected pieces of bark in. One day, they hoped the jar would hold real pennies."


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