Bruins & Brussel Sprouts
I’m surviving the empty nest.
Although, I have to admit that having the baby 1600 miles away is not easy. However, Delta airlines and Marriott hotels help for a quick trip to Missoula. They’re perfect for taking in two hockey games and a little mom and son time. Recently, I even pulled off the surprise of just showing up at his Friday night game! He had no idea I would be attending.
Now ironically enough, even though he had no intention of officially playing hockey in Montana, he didn’t even take his hockey bag to school with him for fun. In chatting with him on the phone while at school, I knew he missed it. He missed the hockey boys. We had no clue there was a junior team in Missoula; but when I shared with a trusted hockey connection, he of course said, “Let me call my buddy. He’s the coach of the Junior team there.” And the next thing I know, I’m Fed-exing his hockey bag and sticks.
And the next thing I know, I’m Fed-exing his hockey bag and sticks.
So after watching that Friday game, I settled into my hotel room. He was off doing college things. I checked out the movies and chose The Act of Racing in the Rain. I knew nothing about the movie except that cute Jack from This is Us and a golden retriever was in it. Spoiler Alert: The theme was that dogs die and come back in our human lives to show their loyalty…and our family dog had just passed away. Well, two hours later after continuous tears, I went to grab tissues and walked by the sweatshirt that I bought at the game to show support of Cayce’s team. I stopped in my tracks. Cayce’s hockey team is the Missoula Bruins. Our dog’s name, that big brown boy, was named Bruin. I smiled and wiped my tears. Thanks, ya big brown oaf. I know my son may be far away, but he is just where he’s supposed to be!
I do love West Michigan.
It is fun to scour new places all around and to find items that one just can’t find anywhere else, kinda like how everyone always needs to take a gift from Blueberry Haven when traveling out of town. The Counting House on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids caught my attention this season with some inspiring ideas for setting the table, arranging a cozy sitting area, and lots of other great goodies. I found placemats that make such a beautiful addition to my fall table setting. I suggest you pop into that cute little store. You never know what you might find that you need.
As I contemplate Thanksgiving, there is so much we have to be thankful for.
I am grateful that I at least I will have two of my sons home with me on Thanksgiving day. I am sure #2 will find someone who is thankful they are having Thanksgiving with him. I’ll be whipping up a recipe that everyone is grateful for- not only is it healthy but simply delicious.
Perhaps, it will bring joy to your table too.
Brussel Sprouts, Blueberry Haven Style
1 lb brussels sprouts
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 18 oz package potato gnocchi, ( I used frozen)
6 TBSP butter
Freshly grated parmesan
Trim and coarsely cut in half brussels sprouts
Shred enough of lemon peel for 2 tsps of zest.
In a 12 inch skillet, heat 3 TBSP’s olive oil, I used my cast iron skillet.
Add brussels sprouts to skillet in an even layer, placing the cut side down.
Cook for about 3-5 minutes, undisturbed. Then, add the pepper flakes and cook for another 2-3 minutes until tender.
Put in a separate bowl.
In the same skillet, heat another 1 TSP of olive oil.
Over medium heat, break up and cook the gnocchi in the pan until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.
Add butter, drizzle the honey over the gnocchi, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the brussel sprouts.
Heat until all warm.
Serve and sprinkle with freshly grated parm.