Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Green Eggs and Ham Sandwich

Classic Dr. Seuss: try something new and you may like it!
Do you like Green Eggs and Ham?

Let’s go make some, Blog-I-Am! 

March 2, 2014, marked the late, great Dr. Seuss’ 110th Birthday!  He was born Theodor Seuss Geisel and is still beloved by children and adults alike around the world for his quirky, imaginative and surprisingly profound children’s books. 

When I think back on some of my ‘learning to read’ memories, Dr. Seuss is there, right along with Robert Munsch, Shel Silverstein and Beatrix Potter. Green Eggs and Ham was a classic (probably because I was such a picky eater) and we always watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas during the holidays. The speech of the valedictorian of my high school graduating class was even interspersed with excerpts from Oh, The Places You’ll Go. There was not a dry-eye in the house...

Dr. Seuss has been part of my journey through childhood, young-adulthood, auntie-hood and teacher-hood. As an auntie to two amazing little boys, we’ve spent hours reading aloud together and nothing is more fun than stumbling through the tongue-twister masterpiece Fox in Socks while a little four year-old giggles uncontrollably! Even the older kids in my life love to get ‘Seussified’, like the Junior High students I directed in The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, the Drama 7 class that brought The Lorax to life, and the English 10 class who enjoyed listening to Green Eggs and Ham. Those almost-too-cool high school students didn't even notice they’d transformed back into kids while I read to them.  Plus, it helped them understand the tricky concept of theme.

To honor the birthday of the man whose books hold a special place in my heart, as they do in the hearts of so many others (Beatrix Potter herself included!), I was inspired to recreate the most famous, oddly-colourful food in sandwich form: Green Eggs and Ham!

You do not like them. So you say.

Try them! Try them! And you may.

Green Eggs and Ham ingredients!
For this Special Literary Lunch, you will need:

Eggs (for two sandwiches, I used four eggs)
Sandwich Bread, toasted
Chopped Green Pepper
Fresh Dill, finely chopped
Green Food-Colouring (a few drops)
Ground Pepper
Swiss cheese (for the Mouse, while you enjoy it in your House)

How to make them here or there, how to make them anywhere:

1 – Crack the eggs in a skillet over medium-heat.
2 – Keep them moving by constantly stirring them in the skillet to avoid burning/sticking and add the green pepper and dill.
3 – Squeeze a few drops of the green food colouring onto the eggs while they’re still runny and keep stirring them to set the colour.
4 – Divide the eggs into sandwich portions and remove from heat. Bread should be toasted now to avoid drying out.
5 – Spread some mayo and mustard on the toasted bread and place the eggs and cheese on one slice.
6 – Arrange the ham (the damn ham, as Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird might say) on the other slice and sprinkle with dill. (Or if you want to dye your ham green too, go for it!)
7 – Assemble the sandwich and slice for easy eating.

Ready for lunch! Munch, munch, munch!

The crisp, faintly bitter flavor of the green pepper contrasts nicely with the sweet, slightly tangy taste of the dill – much like the up-beat, optimistic Sam-I-Am and his bitter counterpart. The melted cheese and the sharp tinge of mustard combine with the other ingredients at just the right moments; just as the profound themes of Dr. Seuss’ stories don’t overpower the plot, they are subtle, yet truthful.

Plus it’s just so much fun to eat a Green Eggs and Ham sandwich! My inner four year-old was giggling along with my adult-self.

You can eat them in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse. 
You can eat them here or there, you can eat them anywhere!
If you try Green Eggs and Ham, you may like them, Blog-I-Am!

I do so like Green Eggs and Ham!
Some fun, little-known facts about Dr. Seuss:

*He wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a bet with his publisher that he could write a book using only 50 different words.  He won when it was published in 1960 and it remains one of his best-selling books.

*If I Ran the Zoo, published in 1950, introduces the word nerd. Thanks, Doc!

*Many of Dr. Seuss’ books have a political bent: Yertle the Turtle, 1958, opposes tyrannical dictators, The Sneetches and Other Stories, 1961, decries racism and Antisemitism and The Lorax, 1971, warns of the dangers of exploiting the environment.

*Due to its political themes, The Lorax has been on the American Library Association’s Annual List of Banned Books.  Who knew?

*Dr. Seuss was awarded in the Pultizer Prize in 1984.

For more Seuss titles and info, check out:

Happy Reading and Eating!

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