There’s a reason that All Soul’s Day takes place this month. With the swift onslaught of darkness each day and the even-swifter wind, we can hear our ancestors calling from the other side. We certainly can feel them. They’re in that rush of grief and wonder that grasps us while we scurry from place to place, the cold whipping all around us. No wonder we create holiday after holiday to gird us against that good night. No wonder we cook long, elaborate dishes to warm our hearths, entice our senses. We are clinging to our corporeal selves.
To that end, I sharpen my knife and eye this intimidating stalk of brussel sprouts I brought home from the farmers market today. It is bright green and almost otherworldy in its formation, like a medieval weapon crafted by aliens. With smoked salt and thyme and chili pepper and olive oil and a whisper of honey, I plan to capture all the sunlight that helped it grow. I will roast it into something so bolstering that it will ease the melancholy of this long Sunday eve. Say amen, somebody: It’s the Church of Sunday Vegetable.