Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. – George Eliot
I can see her today, standing in our kitchen. She is a little over 5 feet tall, pleasingly plump encircled by a full apron, tied about her neck and waist. Flour is strewn about the kitchen table where my grandmother stands, her powdered white hands and arms diligently working away at a lump of dough. The push and pull, push and pull, mesmerizes me, and I watch the steady rhythmic dance in awe and wonder.
My grandmother made the softest, most delicious white bread imaginable and as I watched, she sprinkled bits of wisdom my way that had tremendous influence over my life as I grew older. Grandma taught me to bake bread, show kindness to others and love with a big heart. She rarely measured when she cooked…a pinch of this and a dabble of that was her method, and so too with her love. A generous sprinkle here and there of affection and warmth to give this sometimes lonely child a sense of love and security.
I am grateful for the times I got to spend with her and sometimes wish I could fold myself into her ample embrace once more. As I reflect on Grandma, I wonder what lasting impression and legacy I will leave with my Grandchildren. How will they remember me? A serious thought well worth pondering, for maybe it is not only the words we speak that leaves a lasting impression, but perhaps in how well we love that procures the greatest impact.
- 1½ pounds Brussel Sprouts, Rinsed well, wilted leaves discarded
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup dried sweet cherries
- To Roast Brussel Sprouts:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place cleaned Brussel Sprouts in large baking pan, add oil. sea salt and freshly ground pepper, mix well.
- Roast Brussel Sprouts for about 20 minutes, shaking pan half way through cooking time to turn Brussel Sprouts. When done, Brussel Sprouts should be soft on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, bring the broth and maple syrup to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced to ¼ cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
- When Brussel Sprouts are done, add cherries and pour glaze over all. Stir to evenly coat Brussel Sprouts and cherries.
- Add additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve warm.