May 9, 2014

I’ve been looking for you. Where have you been?

brussels sprouts

Seat 21A. I like the window.

Oh, so you mean you’re in Limbo.

That’s one way of putting it.

How’s the food in Limbo?

You would ask.


The Reindeer Burguignon in Svalbard was a little tough, but tasty.

I thought you had sworn off reindeer.

You’re thinking pork. I swore off pork in high school, remember?

Not really, but, I’m guessing you cheated when you saw Black Pudding for breakfast near Loch Ness?

Guilty as charged. And don’t forget the Cotechino with Umbrian Lentils.

That was the one you had at the Vatican? With the pope, right?

No, by Cathy Whims at a pop up dinner in Greenwich Village. His Excellency was in the mood for flank steak, with chimichurri…. his mother’s recipe.

Cathy Whims and Ronnie

Umbrian lentils

Does H. E. know you’re not a believer?

Do you know I am a believer?

In­ what?

The presence of god in a salad of pomegranates, fresh figs, sheep’s cheese, toasted pine nuts, and tender lettuce.


The very one.

And now you’re going to tell me the two of you were on Mount Olympus.

In the vicinity. Then she resurfaced in late-December, in Fresno, as a voluptuous persimmon.

Love, she’s such a shape-shifter.

With bacon and blue cheese, she’s even in a purple Brussels Sprout.­

raw purple sprouts med

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Blue Cheese

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED (for 2 to 4 mortals):

4 ounces (120 g) slab bacon, cut into 1/2″ (1 cm) cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound (450 g) purple Brussels sprouts, or green, halved lengthwise
10 sprigs fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Crumbled Castello Blue cheese, or your favorite blue


Choose a heavy-gauge skillet (I like to use my iron pan) that will be wide enough to accommodate all the Brussels sprouts face down. Heat the pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until it renders some fat and is browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from heat, reserving the rendered fat in the pan, and set the bacon aside in your serving bowl.

Add the olive oil and butter to the same pan, and place all the Brussels sprouts face down, beginning from the outside of the pan, where it will take longer for them to cook, and working your way into the center. Drop the sprigs of thyme on top and then for about 10 or 12 minutes resist the common urge to stir. Leave them alone as they brown. That’s what the professional always tell me to do, although I do like to check that the browning is happening evenly, and I rearrange the sprouts toward the hotter part of the pan or away from it, as needed. The important thing is that they remain face down.

Once you have nicely browned the interior side of the sprouts, add the salt, pepper, and bacon, and cook the whole mix, stirring occasionally for even browning of the sprouts, about 10 more minutes.

Discard the thyme sprigs, season the sprouts to taste, and transfer to your serving bowl. Top with crumbled blue cheese, as much or as little as you like.



  1. Good conversation with your italics friend. And Bacon yet? Sounds very interesting. Maybe you can make it sometime when I’m in range. Mom

     ~ Roberta (Bobby) Waddell, May 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm.
  2. hahahahaHAHAHAHHHAAAAA…rushing to buy organic non meat bacon, meditating, talking to the gods, hoping for a deus ex machina to place me somewhere in Italy and getting out my heaviest cast iron pan after reading this. LOVE YOU. You are the best. Galina

     ~ Galina, May 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm.
  3. Galina, put some love in those sprouts. Love you too.

     ~ admin, May 11, 2014 at 1:24 am.
  4. please bring back some purple brussels sprouts seeds so we can try to grow them here in Bali…the colour is wonderful and there are wondrous things we could do with them! beach greetings and miss you!

     ~ diana, May 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm.
  5. I think you are getting your mojo back!

     ~ Jane Dara Rosenbloom, May 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm.
  6. Oh, baby, I KNOW that you are getting your mojo back. The mind is freeing up, eh? And without all of our complicated neurology, where would we be gastromically? In your particular case, I’d say that the complications are ever so compelling and twisted up just right! Oh, and thanks for the brussel sprout recipe. Better than haggis.

     ~ T.L., May 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm.
  7. Use so you know I won’t be reading your blog…. Why is that those from a judeo.christian heritage feel so obliged to consume animal flesh…. ?

    Ah yes, its because of dominion….

    Fortunately there are many delicious and inspiring vegan blogs from Indian origin bloggers…. a culture steeped in the compassion of ahimsa….

    Please do reproduce my words…. People must learn that there is no compassion for animals in the judeo.christian tradition.

     ~ Ruth Eisenbud, March 11, 2016 at 11:43 am.
  8. Dear Ruth,

    Thank you for your words, and for the reminder. I am close, but I am not a strict vegan, or a vegetarian. To become one is a process, and I respect the various stages of that process for anyone. Jamie Oliver, a big meat eater and chef, said on tv last night he’s off meat twice a week. I salute his progress, and his willingness to spread the word.

    I believe there is little compassion for living forms, animals included, in many traditions, even non-Judeo Christian ones. For example, Balinese (Hindu) and Thais (Buddhist) consume pork and other meats with abandon. I find this doubly confounding. The Thais and the Balinese practice eastern rituals on a daily basis, and are taught the principle of ahimsa through their traditions, but they persist in eating animals.

    If you look closely at my recipes, most of them are vegetarian. The five restaurants I founded all have copious meatless dishes that I developed. I have a statement on vegetarianism on my website, and a pdf guide that can be downloaded to help anyone eating at my restaurants choose vegan and vegetarian-only options. Furthermore, my strategy is to make the vegetarian and vegan options so tantalizingly delicious that customers choose them anyway, even if they are meat eaters. Imagine Penang Curry with tempeh, which I first braise in savory coconut and lemongrass, both grown on my organic farm. It’s a vegan curry recipe that I lovingly created, and it’s better than the standard one with beef. Lots of meat eaters come into my restaurant not necessarily looking for vegetarian food, but what do you know, they end up ordering it anyway. You can’t convert meat eaters into vegetarians in a vegetarian restaurant. They won’t enter in the first place.

    Because the tone of your comment is quite judgmental, I will conclude with the same tone: you not only have your facts confused about judeo-christians being the only ones who claim dominion over animals, but you also display little understanding, patience and compassion for humanity. We are all living in such a state of separate-ness and disunity that we tend to view animals as others, and therefore as suitable for slaughter and consumption. Please send compassion, not condemnation.

    Om shanti shanti shanti.

     ~ admin, March 12, 2016 at 7:52 am.

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