Brussels Sprouts and Shenanigans

Winter Panzanella

Winter Panzanella

It’s Sunday night, but contrary to our usual Sunday schedule, today went pretty well. Colby and I went to early mass, out to lunch, and then I dropped him off at his friend’s house for a bit. I sent myself directly to Starbucks to drink tea and grade like a fiend. In less then three hours I was able to grade approximately 120 assignments and make a comprehensive grocery list.

Matt has been a total BUTTHOLE. I get to say that because, well, I’m the one at the keyboard. But he really, really was and I was really, really pissed. We’re on the tail end of our first (horrific) home improvement project and while on most days we really are quite amicable, this has brought out the worst in both of us. I’ve made a point to be out of the house for the past couple of days so he could finish up his end without interference from me and also so he can’t be mad at me for sitting on my ass while I do work (that honestly, must be done while I am sitting on my ass). But I digress.

By the time Colby and I returned with groceries Matt was nice and apologetic which immediately translates into “everyone leave mama alone in the kitchen so she can drink a vigorous glass of wine while she cooks.”

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Jam jar or wine glass? You be the judge.

So I turned on my own music and poured a glass a wine and got down to business with a bag full of brussels sprouts after I made as many ‘balls in a bag’ jokes as I could. What I ended up with was a loose approximation of Smitten Kitchen’s take on Michael Chiarello’s Winter Panzanella. Smitten’s adaptation is great, but I made a few tweaks myself. In lieu of spending an hour cutting squash, I bought a pre-cut bag and halved the pieces that needed to be smaller. I used a pound of brussels sprouts instead of a 1/2 pound and was quite glad that I did. The recipe called for them to be quickly cooked in salted water, but I chose to roast them in a 400 degree oven. Water in my salad grosses me out. I’m on my second glass of wine so I guess I’ll get that recipe up for you tomorrow. But really, try this. You all know how much and how frequently I love my chickpea panzanella and this is my new way to fill that void during the Maine winter (when I cannot stand to eat anything cold).

Look Dad! I finally ate my brussels sprouts!

Look Dad! I finally ate my brussels sprouts!

I thought this was my sexy apron, but no one agrees with me. Seriously.

I thought this was my sexy apron, but no one agrees with me. Seriously.

Colby says "next time - no vinegar based dressing"

Colby says “next time – no vinegar based dressing”

Matt says "next time - add beets and cook everything more." It's not my fault the man likes his vegetables overcooked, I'm just not going to do it for him.

Matt says “next time – add beets and cook everything more.” It’s not my fault the man likes his vegetables overcooked, I’m just not going to do it for him.

And the after-dinner shenanigans. Oy. That project I was talking about? The stairs and upstairs hallway are covered in polyurethane and  someone  left the radio on upstairs. We had to put Colby through the drop vent to turn it off . . .

He goes up-

He goes up-

-and drops down his Santa given potato chips for safe keeping -

-and drops down his Santa given potato chips for safe keeping –

-he comes down-

-he comes down-

-and he lands. And is hit on the head by a briefcase that followed him down.

-and he lands. And is hit on the head by a briefcase that followed him down.

Only here. Only on a Sunday. Eat your vegetables, friends. I’ve gotta go. Downton Abbey is on in 7 minutes!

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