Just when winter becomes completely unbearable, the Olympic Games come along and totally redeems it. In my book, the Summer Games don't hold a candle to the Winter. I like gymnastics and swimming pretty well, but speed skating, skiing, snowboarding ... all these events and someone is going to fall. Nothing dramatic ever happens in the 100-meter dash. Everyone knew that Jamaican guy was going to take it, and it was awesome when he did. But it was a sure thing. At any moment, the Anton Apolo Ono could wipe out on the ice, two snowboard cross racers could bump boards and be out of the competition, and Shaun White or Lindsey Vaughn could, oh wait, those were both a sure thing.
Men's figure skating has me riveted. I stayed home, curled up under a fleece blanket (not a snuggie) to watch Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir. My sister and I were incredibly obsessed with figure skating, starting when Tanya Harding's husband planned the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. We would practice our triple axels and salchows in the living room. I got excited about Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski, who were all around my age. This year the men's competition is pulling me in. It's the age-old Russian versus USA, we'll see who the champ is tonight.
Before the Olympics, all I had to look forward to each night was some hearty food (yes my life is that focused on food). These Brussels sprouts turned out pretty OK. I should have broiled them with gobs of butter, but they weren't as bad as my mom swears.
Last weekend, I heard the sounds of spring: water melting and running into the gutters and birds chirping--all before it snowed the next day. But I was driving home on the Interstate and saw (gasp) a bird of prey. I wasn't sure which one--I like to focus on driving you know--but I was screaming in my car. I haven't seen any birds since November. Good day, sunshine.
To blanch the sprouts, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cut a small "x" in the side of the sprouts to help them cook through before plopping them in the bath. Boil for 6 minutes if you're going to braise them later and for12 minutes if you're hungry and want to eat, like, now. When finished, drain and run cold water over them to halt the cooking. I cut mine in half, melted a nob of butter over them, and seasoned them with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.
To broil, place sprouts in a casserole or fire-proof dish with loads of butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes on 350. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.