By LYNN IRONS
I attended a potluck supper recently where brussels sprouts were served. I have to admit, they are one of my favorites. I have grown them for years and thought my children enjoyed them as much as I did.
Years later, I took apart my dining room table to discover a little shelf under the top that had rows of dried-up sprouts on the children’s sides of the table. We now have the family joke of using the brussels sprout ledge for unwanted food.
They take some time to mature and thus need to be started in the spring along with cabbages, kale, kohlrabi and broccoli. If I am on top of it, I dose them with DiPel a couple of times mid-summer to put an end to the heinous cabbage worm. DiPel is not a poison, but in fact is a bacterial disease which eventually kills the caterpillars after they eat the leaf. It is harmless to pets and humans.
They are just beginning to mature, but I like to harvest them after a couple of freezes to ensure bug-lessness. They can be steamed for a few minutes, sliced in half and sautéed with garlic and bacon.
The French call them choux de Bruxelles or petit chou, meaning little cabbage. I worked for Gratia Harrington in her 100th year. She had a portrait of herself painted when she was 75 with a little, white lapdog named Petit Chou. It was her last pet because of her advancing age. She regretted not having another, as she lived another 29 years. Her eyes filled with tears as she remarked, “Life is only half-living without a little dog!”
I am continually amused by misprints in my column and how one letter can change everything. Last week I meant to say I moved some hostas, but it come out mowed. Now, granted, I have been known to take the lawn mower to a particularly weedy section of the perennial bed, but I did not mow my hostas last week.
One other time I meant to say, resist the temptation to prune a forsythia into a globe-shape and it was printed glove. It was a great mistake, however, as I could blab on about topiaries. In particular, I wanted to have the reader notice the great boxwood elephant on Spring street up from the intersection with Franklin street. I had never noticed it until Christmas when it was all decked out in lights.
Was I asleep in economics class at the North Texas State University in Denton, Tex., around 1966? Admittedly, it was one of the most boring events of my young life. I kept taking my pulse to see if I had actually died of boredom. I did get the message, however, not to borrow more than I could, in a reasonable world, repay.
When raising my children, alone, I did experience some dicey moments in relation to my finances. The one thing I learned was to pay off anything with a higher interest rate than I was given for savings. I would rather have no money in savings than to owe or worry that someone else was taking risk with my money. Wealth without work can lead to fear and greed. “A truly vibrant and sustainable economy requires that no one can be allowed to charge all that they are worth while always having to pay slightly more than they can afford.” (The Small Farmer’s Journal)
I am always amazed by the blame placed on the bleeding-heart, Volvo-driving, latte-drinking, Birkenstock-wearing, Northeastern blue-state liberals.
Let me make one historical factual comment about my take on why we are in the current mess. Since the untimely death of John F. Kennedy in 1963, we have had only three Democrats in the White House and they all were Southerners!