Tailgating at 9am (a post by Josh)

by johamlet

From my limited understanding about tailgating, what you do at a tailgate is stand around the back of a truck, grill, drink, and stand in a parking lot. How American. That’s not what I ended up doing at nine am yesterday, but I did tailgate. What? Stop confusing me.

What Davidson has stated to do in the winter months, when the crops are few and far between, is have its weekly Farmers Market become a bi-weekly tailgate Farmers Market. What that means is every other Saturday, farmers will bring their produce, baked goods, jams, ostrich meat, flowers, to the back parking lot of the local coffee shop, Summit.

Yesterday was a Saturday that the market was happening, and how thankful was I. It was the first beautiful day in North Carolina since the November heat wave – a comfortable 60 degrees, blue skies, and crisp.

Although there were a bunch of appetizing vegetables, I only had my eyes set on brussel sprouts.

Um, why?

Well, it turns out that yesterday was not only a good day because of the Farmer’s market, and beautiful day, but also because there was to be a potluck that night. With potlucks, I always try to bring that food that everyone thinks they hate – see: cabbage, mushrooms, etc – and make them try my version. For me, it’s the ultimate test: can I make someone like something that they used to hate? So this time, I tried brussel sprouts.

Once I got home with the two packages of sprouts, I realized that I actually didn’t know how to exactly cook these miniature cabbage-like things. Looking in a few cook books, I figured that boiling them, then sautéing them would be a legitimate option.

So after washing and halving them, I boiled them for about four minutes.

In that four minutes, I chopped some onion, garlic, and brought all of that to a simmer in a pan with some oil, salt, and pepper.

After draining the brussel sprouts, I added them to the carmelizing onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. I wanted to get the nice pseudo-burnt taste to the sprouts, so I added what every good southern cook adds: butter!

I let this cook for about ten minutes on medium-high heat. Transferred to a bowl, and walked fifteen minutes to the potluck.

I think it was worth it all. One: I got to tailgate. Two: I got to be outside on a beautiful day. Three: I got to cook. Four: I was told “Josh, these are great. I used to… gag…. at the smell of brussel sprouts. These are amazing. Oh my god…”Thanks Catherine. You’re a good friend.