“Thanksgiving dinner was always too good and, by design, too much, because leftovers were expected and almost better than the original meal…almost.”
One funny Thanksgiving memory Susan recalls involves Brussels sprouts. “This may be the craziest Thanksgiving tradition in my family,” Susan says with a laugh. “My mom always served them, but no one ever ate them. And if they did, they were drenched in gravy. Then one year, my mom decided not to make them and we were all stunned. It just wasn’t Thanksgiving without the Brussels sprouts. So now, everyone takes a turn at coming up with a new, desirable Brussels sprout recipe. To date, my big brother Tom has the winner. There is bacon and cream in the recipe, need I say more?”
Susan has hosted many of her own Thanksgiving dinners over the years. But with time, new traditions have come. Now the holiday often follows hours of skiing in the Colorado mountains with her husband and three children. “It’s not quite the same—bejeweled aunties in floor-length gowns have been replaced by rosy-cheeked children wearing their long johns—but it is a happy crowd and I’m thankful for every moment of our family Thanksgiving dinners,” adds Susan.
—Ann Marie Scheidler
Uncle Tommy’s Brussels Sprouts
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper to taste
- Four slices bacon, chopped
- One shallot, chopped
- 1/4 cup cream sherry
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the Brussels sprouts in a bowl, and soak the sprouts in the salty water for 1 hour. Drain. Then, toss the sprouts in olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to coat.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Cook bacon in frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown at the edges. Reduce heat to medium; stir in the shallot, then cook until shallots turn translucent, about 5–6 minutes. Stir in the sherry and cream until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir until reduced by half. The thickened sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
While the sauce is cooking, lay the Brussels sprouts, cut sides down, on baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the sprouts are browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer the browned sprouts to the sauce, toss to coat, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. —Susan Pasquella, Lake Forest