If you have more than one child, you may understand this tale. I have two children. One is an adventurous eater, and one is not. One loves fish, and the other can’t stand it (although I don’t recall her ever tasting much of it). One adores butter and milk, while the other would prefer not to be seated at the same table with dairy products.
My highly unscientific theory is that this is nature’s way of ensuring that its offspring do not starve. If siblings have opposite tastes, then there is enough food to feed the litter. After all, how would our species advance otherwise? At least this is how I console myself as a parent and a cook.
Which brings me to Brussels sprouts. OK, I understand that you don’t have to be a child genetically wired to preserve the human race to dislike Brussels sprouts. These little crucifers have been known to offend many a mature adult. But in our home, they are enjoyed — at least by most of us. My son likes them, and, therefore, my daughter does not.
So, in a moment of inspiration and indefatigable hope, I bought a bag of pert and pretty Brussels sprouts at the market with a plan. Instead of stir-frying or steaming them, I would cloak them in bechamel and cheese. For, while my daughter dislikes Brussels sprouts, she loves gratins. Anything cheesy, creamy and crispy is right up her alley. So, why not? I would give it a try. And you know what? She liked it. The problem is that my son, who dislikes rich and creamy food, did not.