Whistle Down The Wind

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These sproutful recipe ideas might make you whistle, and they’ll almost certainly make you hum… the tunes, of course!

Whistle Down The Wind - five glorious ways to get more sprouts into your life!

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Originally a novel by Mary Hayley Bell, Whistle Down The Wind was adapted as a film in 1961 starring the author’s daughter (Hayley Mills – of Parent Trap fame). Two musicals have used the novel and film as inspiration, the first by Richard Taylor and Russel Labey in 1989 and the second more famous 1996 version by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman (Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell collaborator), responsible for the Boyzone hit single No Matter What.

The novel and film are set in late 1950s rural Lancashire where a group of children discover a stranger and, believing him to be Jesus, hide him in a barn to protect him. Meanwhile, the police are hunting a fugitive wanted for murder… The Lloyd Webber musical adds various complications to the basic plot and relocates the setting to Louisiana, prime Bible Belt country and the centre of brussel sprout horticulture in North America*. Two years prior to the 1998 West End opening, a poorly received version premiered in Washington DC. This version included such songs as I Hear Thunder (In My Pants)*, The Devil’s Own Brassica* , Crucify The Cruciferous* and Momma, Does Jesus Smell?* None of these songs made it onto the the original concept album or into subsequent versions of the show.

*Possible made-up fact warning!

Sprouts! Love them or hate them, they are a perennial feature of Christmas meals bringing joy and loathing to the family dinner table. For the haters, although some of this can be blamed on memories of badly-cooked vegetables, there may be a genetic basis in this seemingly unreasonable (to me!) dislike of sprouts. People with the TAS2R38 gene (this bit isn’t made-up!) detect a very bitter taste when eating cruciferous vegetables (sprouts, kale, cabbage…). Imagine my delight, having married into a sprout-hating family, that my children seem to be developing a keen appreciation of Brussels sprouts (genetic AND culinary win!)

Like puppies, sprouts aren’t just for Christmas, and so perhaps a few additional suggestions may help convince the sprout-haters in your life that these are not just the sinister mushy green lumps spoiling their Christmas turkey (just don’t give them the genetics excuse). These ideas don’t require full recipes, so just them as a basis for your own versions.

And as for that other side effect of eating sprouts? We won’t even mention it… no matter what.

The Knicker Ripper: Sprout and Dolcelatte Grilled Cheese

Whistle Down The Wind - five glorious ways to get more sprouts into your life!

Sautéed shredded sprouts, dolcelatte (or gorgonzola) in sourdough. 

The Bubbler: Sprouts, potato cake and egg

Whistle Down The Wind - five glorious ways to get more sprouts into your life!

 

The Quack Attack: Sprout Carbonara

Whistle Down The Wind - five glorious ways to get more sprouts into your life!

 Blanched sprouts roasted with pancetta and chestnut, served on pasta with a raw egg and Parmesan. 

The Cheek Squeek: Sprouts In Blankets

Whistle Down The Wind - five glorious ways to get more sprouts into your life!

 

The Blame It On the Dog: Sprout-slaw (well, we had to have at least one healthy one!

Whistle Down The Wind - five glorious ways to get more sprouts into your life!

Raw shredded sprouts with grated carrot, red onion, tangerine segments, plain yoghurt, pomegranate molasses and pink pepper berries. 

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