Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thanksgiving musings and a recipe

This year I have so much to be thankful for I don't even know where to begin. But I do know that I will be taking time to reflect on the gifts and challenges I've faced in 2012. (at least so far.)

I've been pain-free for over a year now, which has allowed me to reclaim my life, move forward in the pursuit of my dreams, and regain my sense of whimsy.  I didn't know how deep down the rabbit hole I'd fallen until my doctors figured out what was wrong and finally worked out a way to treat it.

I've had the constant, joyful and blessed support of my best friend, who has given me the great honour of being part of her life, and that of her daughter. With no children of my own, my time sharing her kid is both the most wonderful thing in the world, and a poignant reminder that there is an upside to being kidless. I don't repeat everything I say seventeen times a day to a smaller version of me and my cat almost never rolls her eyes at me.

There's the book writing thing of course, and the even more amazing "I have a publisher" bit. I still pinch myself routinely to make sure I'm not dreaming. All in all, it's been an amazing year.

This Monday I will be sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner with my mother and three people I have never met. We're having an orphans holiday feast, and several of my mother's friends are invited. They even offered to cook!  With my Dad off hunting in the wilds of the Canadian north, it'll be a small but enjoyable gathering, where I have been warned the dogs will out number the people. I'm in charge of the brussel sprouts, and as a bit of an early Thanksgiving present, I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

This is the BEST thing that has ever happened to the sad and much maligned brussel sprout. I highly reccommend trying it.

Brussel spouts & Bacon

2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4-6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
You will want to pick out some of the larger sprouts if you decide to peel the leaves individually, and smaller ones if you decide to just trim and quarter the sprouts before cooking.   I tend to do a mixture of the two. 

Wash and dry the sprouts and then trim the ends.  Peel the outer leaves and then quarter the inner section and set aside.
Cook 4-6 pieces of good quality bacon and remove from pan when done (brown, not crispy) and place on a paper towel to absorbed excess grease.
Add the olive oil to the pan and heat to medium heat before adding the diced onion. Cook until onion is soft and translucent.(about 4 minutes)
Add the sprouts and increase heat to med-high. Add salt and pepper and any other seasonings you feel like.
Toss and stir until leaves are soft, warm and tender. (about 3-4 minutes)
Readd the bacon & toss
Serve and enjoy

**This is the only way my mother will eat Brussel Sprouts.