This post is really for the pastor, who loves Brussels sprouts so much he even re-wrote a Christmas song in their honour… I do apologise for the Christmas theme some of you may feel inherent in talking about this vegetable. If it’s any consolation, I heard a child singing ‘Jingle Bells’ this morning. In April!

I had an email today, entitled ‘Shall I compare thee to a Brussels sprout?’, a title that was definitely intriguing! The email said:

“I’m afraid it’s a fact of life that, just as not everyone likes Brussels sprouts, things won’t always go your way. In fact there may be days when it all goes any which way but yours. While it may seem as if an existence with no problems would be an utter blessing, (a) sorry, it’s not going to happen, and (b) there’s the distinct possibility that a totally predictable life could soon get boring anyway.

When a Brussels sprout seed is sown, it needs water, sunlight and nutrients from the soil if it’s to thrive. Somewhat surprisingly, however, gardeners and cooks agree that the flavour of a sprout improves no end after the plant has endured a frost. It’s as if it needs to come through adversity in order to reach its full potential.

Brussels sprouts sometimes get such bad press (completely unfairly in my view, but there you go) that it would seem the height of rudeness to compare you to one. But perhaps it really is the case that when we overcome our problems, difficulties and challenges, we truly do become a better brassica.” (