Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Orange Beach Alabama

alabama orange beach

I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this. Still orientating here in the start of residency, half-learning to use new electronic medical records, getting tours of the hospitals and clinics where I will be working, filling out small mountains of paperwork, getting fit tested for respirators. Mostly I am enjoying getting to know the young, bright and fetching cast of characters that comprises my intern class. This last weekend was our Psychiatry department retreat—to Orange Beach, Alabama. I warmed myself on white sand, body surfed in the Gulf Coast saltwater, threw down Dancing in the Streets at the Pink Pony Pub’s karaoke night, and managed to lobster-ify the entire back surface of my body. Six years of Minnesota means that my poor lily white arse stood no chance against an hour of noonday Southern UV exposure. The upside of having chapped my backside is that I really shouldn’t be sitting down today anyway—there is only a narrow moat of a walkway among the boxes stacked high still in the new house—I have much work to accomplish upright. If only I had an aloe vera kiddie pool mattress top cover to sleep in until this burn cools to flake.

Since we only have time to create and consume snacks, I am trying to make sure those snacks are not an unending litany of chip and dip combinations. This is a great and quick veggie option for the Moving In Munchies.

brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Adapted from Bon Appetit

2 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved lengthwise

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon white soy sauce or reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss brussels sprouts and 3 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing halfway through, until softened and cut sides are brown, 20–25 minutes.

W     hisk vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl. Add brussels sprouts and toss to coat; transfer to a platter. Top with pumpkin seeds and rosemary; sprinkle with Aleppo pepper.

brussel sprouts

And finally, since I really am getting too far behind in posting the haikus punctually so that they jive with the content of the post, here I give you the last near-month of haikus—going all the way back to the Med/Psych retreat at the Juneau Lodge and Safari Park in the middle of nowhere rural Louisiana, where the distinction between a protected animal reserve and a thinly veiled illegal poaching operation became somewhat disturbingly blurred.

louisiana goat and pig la swamp la skulls la taxidermy

Mark my words, one day a pig like this shall be my pet. And she will be named Clementine.

la pig la alligator

Haiku #151 May 31st

More taxidermy

than a medieval castle


Haiku #152 June 1st

A convertible

takes me to the airport, then

I think, so am I.

Haiku #153 June 2nd

No one puts baby

in a corner. Nobody’s

world fits in boxes.

Haiku #154 June 3rd

There are no hyphens

in haiku. Either a word

fits on a line, or

Haiku #155 June 4th

Like magnets, so that

we don’t lose our filings, we

must increase our field.

Haiku #156 June 5th

Like Hemingway, I

guzzled one too many a

daiquiri with friends.

Haiku #157 June 6th

Life, after all, may

be beloveds’ redundant

search for belonging.

Haiku #158 June 7th

Ikea tetris.

The Mazda receives a couch,

bite-size red pieces.

Haiku #159 June 8th

These flowers are not

supposed to survive here—a

contrary garden.

Haiku #160 June 9th

Each time I move, I

Consider converting to


Haiku #161 June 10th

To catch a chicken,

I advise goggles, strong knees,

And partners in crime.

Haiku #162 June 11th

Bird loose in the car,

loose in streets, on walkabout.

Chicken Houdini.

Haiku #163 June 12th

First day amid new

faces, spaces, and in heat

under cool of palms.

Haiku #164 June 13th

Backyard chicken swamp.

Eggs landing on mosquitos

like fat, dry raindrops.

Haiku #165 June 14th

Again, the story

of the mustard seed, told by

the human live oak.

Haiku #166 June 15th

We go to pub quiz

without answers to gather

with the curious.

Haiku #167 June 16th

Cracked red carapace

Severed heads among stray legs

A comma of meat.

Haiku #168 June 17th

Bowling to Elvis

tunes with an Irish dancer

kneeing his high fives.

Haiku #169 June 18th

Even though the keys

were found where we left them; to

us they were long gone.

Haiku #170 June 19th

Who says stars and the

tilt of other rocks out there

can’t trump tilting genes?

Haiku #171 June 20th

Intern year asks you

to sprint through sand, to welcome

dirt under your nails.

Haiku #172 June 21st

Lobster bottom in

a pale white bikini, balmed

by dance floor aloe.

4 thoughts on “Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Orange Beach Alabama

  1. Spectacular haikus, and photos of that crazy rural Louisiana animal place, holy cats! Also, Orange Beach AL is a beloved vacation destination for many of my mother’s side of the family. I was there with them during our SPU freshman year spring break, as a matter of fact! 🙂 I LOVE knowing that you are having some relaxing moments in a warm, sunny beach paradise following weeks of packing and moving madness. So much love to you and KP!

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