You might think I am making that statement about me, but actually I am making it about you. Brussel sprouts were your least favorite food. Right? Right.
Why were they your least favorite food? They were my least favorite food because my mother only ever boiled them in hot water. I don’t know why. I guess because we weren’t really home cooked meal people? We were more restaurant people? I have such fond associations with restaurants that when I see children under the age of ten eating gnocchi in a trattoria I feel immediately homesick for my family.
Do you find that? By “Italian restaurant” and “gnocchi” I really mean that every time I went to a piano recital my parents would reluctantly let me go and have two donuts of my choice at Dunkin Donuts as a reward afterwards. Every time I pass a Dunkin’ Donuts, I think about my parents sitting there in evening clothes, my mother eating a donut hole which she’d pry apart daintily, and me, at seven, trying to suck the filling out of a jelly donut with it clenched in my teeth, waving my hands around in a parody of children who could ride bikes. So, eating donuts like a monster. Like a weird fucking monster.
Was it like that for you?
I never feel like I deserve to go to Dunkin’ Donuts now.
So, basically it was only on Thanksgiving that we really did much home cooking, and one part of that was brussel sprouts, which were boiled in water and then served up like these horrible little dead martian heads.
Brussel sprouts boiled in water taste like lettuce that curled up in a ball and died horribly.
Actually, most of the Thanksgiving meal involved boiling things in water. Why didn’t we just go to a restaurant? That was absurd of us. Anyhow, we all ate them with a sort of steadfast diligence I think is generally best observed in convicts in Johnny Cash songs. That is to say we smiled and longed for death’s sweet reprieve. And coffee.
I called my mother and asked her why we never tried doing anything different with the brussel sprouts.