Backwards Brussels Sprouts

I am a member of two writers’ groups, in which, once a week, I sit down with friends and write for 30-40 minutes in response to an exercise someone has set, or a selection of random words.  I recommend this to anyone as a way of getting yourself writing and generating ideas.  It’s a bit hit and miss, of course, but some of the pieces are worth polishing up as poems, short stories or passages in novels.  Others don’t really fit any of these categories, but I will sometimes put those I like on my blog.

As we have now entered THAT time of year, I thought I’d share a little piece I wrote at Holmfirth Writers Group (HWG) a couple of years back when we were asked to write a Christmas recipe (in a suitably literary sort of way, I suppose).

Well, I didn’t really get any ideas for recipes, but thinking about Christmas dinner reminded me how much I loathe Brussels sprouts – testicles of Satan, I call them.  So I wrote this little backwards recipe for how to liberate your Christmas dinner from those vile, infernal veg.

Not that it did me any good.  At the HWG Christmas meal a few days later I got back from the toilet to find some wag had put a nice big pile of Brussels sprouts on my plate!

Backwards Brussels Sprouts


you will require:

your Christmas dinner

a small plastic bowl

an old, unwanted spoon

a little lighter fluid, or petrol

several sheets of kitchen roll

a mallet, if available

an open fire


Place the bowl and the spoon beside your place setting on the dining table.

In an adjoining room, place the fuel, the mallet and the kitchen roll upon a table.

Ensure that there is a roaring, well-stocked fire in the grate


With the spoon, carefully remove the Brussels sprouts from your dinner plate and place them in the bowl. Ensure that no palatable food is wasted and that no remnants of Brussels sprout remain upon the plate.

Excuse yourself, retire to the adjoining room and place the bowl upon the table. Wrap the sprouts in kitchen roll. Hit them repeatedly with the mallet until reduced to pulp. Drizzle liberally with lighter fluid or petrol. Throw the sprouts and kitchen roll carefully into the fire. Watch it burn until not one molecule of Brussels Sprout remains.  Utter expletives to taste.

Give yourself a little cheer. Return to the dining table and enjoy the rest of your Christmas dinner.

[ photo (c) Oyvind Holmstad ]


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