My mother always got on me for saying “I hate” as a child. All my statements of “I hate this dress!” or “I hate brussel sprouts!” or “I hate my brother!!!” were all met with a resounding “No. You don’t hate. You just aren’t very happy with it right now.”
Well, I’d like to say I’ve learned my lesson, Mom. You’re right, I didn’t hate my brother… he was just pissing me off at that time of my life. Really pissing me off. But I didn’t know the word “piss.” I only knew the word “hate.” See the dilemma? However, after 26 years of life, I do know the difference between “I hate” and “I seriously dislike.” And let me tell you…
I seriously dislike this Miracle Whip commercial. In fact… I hate it.
Wait… no. I really really hate this commercial. I hate this commercial with the fire of a thousand suns.
Riddle me this, readers. Does the Miracle Whip marketing team think that I will purchase their jar of white goo if they put a bunch of hipster-doofuses on my television? Do they expect me to believe that if I buy their product, I will suddenly morph into a dude who wears vintage wool cardigans and skinny jeans? Will my own personal soundtrack of indie bands (too cool for you to recognize, of course) start playing as soon as I wake up in the morning? Will I suddenly become so freaking cool that my body cannot contain the awesomeness, such that I spontaneously combust?!?!
According to this commercial… that’s a big, fat, YES. Emphasis on the fat, of course, since we are talking mayonnaise here.
So yeah, rant over. I HATE this commercial.
However, you were right, Mom. There were some things that I *thought* I hated back then that I don’t entirely hate now. Maybe that I don’t hate at all now. One thing I seriously disliked when I was 8 (that I have since seen the light, complete with the “Hallelujah” chorus on repeat in the background) is… brussel sprouts.
I know. They are nasty, disgusting midget versions of cabbage.
And they smell like rotten eggs when you boil them… the epitome of gross. But I can’t help it. I’ve had them three times in a month. (It helps that they are in season, but you see where I’m going with this.) It’s getting embarrassing – it’s like the foodie equivalent of getting caught performing the entire dance routine to Britney Spears’ “Oops, I Did It Again” video… in front of your mirror. In your underpants.
It’s not like brussels aren’t good. Heck, Serious Eats is totally on a brussels kick right now. They respect the brussel. But these suckers have a terrible reputation, and most of it is well-deserved, depending on how you cook them. If you boil them, they are mushy and disgusting and all together vom-inducing. But, if you saute them, broil them… add some bacon… where can you go wrong?
I’m serious. This was my first brussels recipe since… forever. I had them forced down my throat as a kid, but not like this. I mean, bacon and balsamic vinegar certainly don’t hurt. Try it, give the brussels a chance. Learn the difference between dislike and hate.
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Balsamic
From the Kitchenette
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 cups brussel sprouts
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Add bacon to a heavy oven-safe skillet over medium heat and saute until crispy. Add pecans, brussels sprouts, and butter and stir to coat brussels with butter and bacon drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Move skillet to oven and bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Stir brussels, and cook again for 10 minutes, or until edges begin to get brown. Remove brussels from oven, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Now playing in the Kitchenette: Pearl Jam / The Fixer – why do Eddie Vedder and brussel sprouts go together so well? These are the questions that mankind seeks to answer.
PS. While trying to remember the brand of mayonnaise that drove me off the freaking cliff with their stupid commercials, I came across You Made My List!, which is fast becoming one of my favorite websites. Go take a look at these other hipster-doofus commercials and embrace the sarcasm.