Tuesday, November 17, 2009
A rallying call to all Brussels Sprouts lovers out there......
It's that time of year when the Brussels Sprout starts to take centre stage in the vegetable stalls of Britain. I feel a hint of guilt about the humble sprout. As a child, I hated them. I would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid eating them. I perfected the art of hiding the sprout in one cheek whilst consuming the rest of the meal. At the end, I would leave the table and run with one bulging cheek like a hamster up to the top of the house where I would retrieve the intact sprout and throw it out of the window. I can remember watching the sprout bounce down the slates of the roof before falling three stories down into the garden.
Having learned to love sprouts and even more surprisingly found that Freddie loves them too, it is time to pay them back. So when I read a news story earlier this year, I thought it was time the Great Big Veg Challenge started to campaign. But I really need all your help in this. Let me tell you first the story that grabbed our attention:
Royal Navy Commanding Officer Wayne Keble OBE is in charge of the illustrious HMS Bulwark. He was allegedly heard to say that sprouts were the 'devil's vegetable' and should be banned from the Captain's table. Read one version of the full story here. Looking at the picture of the Commanding Officer in that newspaper article, he seems a reasonable man, a friendly face - not one that you would associate with an irrational fear of sprouts.
I imagine it might be difficult for sprouts to sue for libel. And they are frequently the target of negative press. A few years back they were voted in a survey Britain's most hated vegetable. (Apparently they have regained some ground coming second to the aubergine this year).
So what can we all do? Well, we've thought of two things:
1.We have started a petition to encourage Commanding Officer Wayne Keble to learn to enjoy sprouts. We'd love you to sign this petition online. This is what you would commit to:
"We the undersigned, call on Commanding Officer Wayne Keble OBE, to put aside his hatred of Brussels Sprouts and to lead his men and women by example, sampling delicious recipes and dishes that demonstrate the delectable taste of sprouts.
We the undersigned will also commit to supply him and his Royal Navy catering team with irresistible sprout recipes to help him on this culinary voyage of discovery".
2. And the second thing I would like you to do is to join me in putting together the most imaginative and delicious selection of your Brussels Sprouts recipes. If you are a blogger, would you agree to one day where you celebrate the sprout and feature your favourite recipe dedicated to Commanding Offiver Wayne Keble? No negative postings here please - just an attempt to encourage all sproutophobes. If you are interested in this - please leave me a comment or email me.