The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 23, 2012

Mike Pound: No positive spin for Brussels sprouts

By Mike Pound

— The New York Times has finally gone too far.

For years, I’ve put up with its despicable liberal media habit of relying on facts instead of just making stuff up the way the respectable news outlets do, but this time they have stooped lower than even I thought they could stoop.

On Friday, The New York Times had the nerve to publish a positive story about Brussels sprouts.

I know!

The story was written by Melissa Clark, but I’m not blaming her. Judging by what I read, Melissa is a fine food writer who seems to know her way around the kitchen. Instead, I blame her bosses. I’m pretty sure they threatened to lock Melissa in a room with Paul Krugman and David Brooks if she didn’t get on board with the Times’ leftist, Brussels sprout agenda.

Not only does Melissa make the case that Brussels sprouts are actually edible, she also makes the ridiculous claim, unsupported by the facts I might add, that they taste good. Clearly, someone at the Times has been sipping too much pinot.

I happen to have a reliable source tell me that Brussels sprouts taste like dirt that has been dragged through cow waste, dipped in 6-month-old stale milk and left to sit in the sun for 36 hours. That reliable source of whom I speak is me.

When I was a child I would be forced to sit at our dining room table long after my brothers and sisters had left because I refused to eat my Brussels sprouts. One year I missed the entire fourth grade.

If I had to choose between eating Brussels sprouts or watching an entire episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” I would opt for “Dancing with the Stars.”

I dislike Brussels sprouts is what I’m saying.

In her story, Melissa writes that while Brussels sprouts for many years have been thought of as a side dish, they now can be turned into a main course. To which I reply: Nuh uh.

Melissa says that she loves to mix Brussels sprouts with pasta and bacon or sausage. She also says that she prepares the dishes in a variety of ways.

“With quartered Brussels sprouts and sliced Brussels sprouts, I’ve added red wine and leeks. I’ve added nuts and cheese; I’ve broiled the sprouts instead of sautéing them. I’ve even deep-fried the sprouts, which was wonderful but much too messy to attempt again on a weeknight.”

Just reading that paragraph makes my skin crawl. The only way that paragraph could be saved is if the words “Brussels” and “sprouts” were deleted. If you did that you would have a much improved paragraph. Granted, it wouldn’t make much sense, but, as we know by reading stories about Black Friday shoppers, sense is vastly overrated.

Melissa, in the story, shares one of her favorite Brussels sprouts recipes. One of the great things about the recipe, she writes, is that it takes very little time to prepare.

“You can crave it at 8 and be eating by 8:30,” she says.

First of all, why someone would crave Brussels sprouts is beyond me, and why he would want to be in a hurry to eat them is doubly baffling. It would be like craving a punch in the nose.

“You can crave it at 8 and be bleeding by 8:30.”

For the recipe, Melissa says she mixes the sprouts with pancetta and tops it with either an Italian or a Spanish cheese. I do have to admit that after reading Melissa’s description of her dish, I did think everything about it sounded pretty good.

Except the Brussels sprouts.