I ran into an H-E-B the other day to pick up a couple of things and started wandering through the store. Before I was finished, I picked up more than I had planned to, including the most highly anticipated book of the summer.
I loved “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but I’m waiting for her new work to come in on CD at the library, so I can listen to it in my spare time.
The new book I grabbed was “What Pet Should I Get?” from the one and only Dr. Seuss, who left this life in 1991.
We want a pet.
We want a pet.
What kind of pet
should we get?
I won’t spoil the wonderful surprise in store for readers, but I will say that it got me thinking of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. Head and shoulders above the rest is “Bartholomew and the Oobleck,” followed closely by its brother volume, “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.” They were tandem favorites of my childhood, thanks to the good doctor’s fine sense of storytelling and illustrations.
Dr. Seuss knew his food, too. From the roast beast in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to the Truffula fruits in “The Lorax,” he had a keen taste for when food played a part in his impeccable rhyme scheme. Nowhere is this more evident than in the tale of the pickiest of picky eaters, “Green Eggs and Ham.” Or “Huevos verdes con jamón,” as it is known in Spanish.
Don’t know this version? It’s a great way to learn the language, though a few names have been changed to protect the innocent – and the all-important rhymes.
¿No te gustan
los huevos verdes con jamón?
no me gustan nada,
All this Seussian delirium also got me thinking of a scrapbook of recipes my sister Linda once made for me. It featured recipes she had culled from numerous publications, everything from Katharine Hepburn’s brownies to Senegalese Deukhine, a stew with meat, fish, mussels, peanut butter and fiery chiles. At the very beginning was a recipe for Green Eggs and Ham.
It ran under the headline “Invite Dr. Seuss to brunch,” but there is no other marker telling me the source of this recipe. Nonetheless, I’m sharing it with you in an effort to raise a toast to Dr. Seuss, who has been entertaining me for decades.
The recipe, which is reprinted here verbatim, is an obvious relic of a time in which margarine and non-fat milk were thought to be healthy and the nutritional information of a recipe failed to include a carbohydrate count. We know better now, so modify the recipe as you see fit.
The important thing is to enjoy it as well as some new Dr. Seuss, no matter what pet you eventually get.
Green Eggs and Ham
1 loaf whole-wheat bread, unsliced
2 tablespoons corn oil margarine, melted
8 egg whites
½ cup non-fat milk
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh chives or green onion tops
½ teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
½ teaspoon salt, optional
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon corn oil margarine
1 cup chopped cooked lean ham
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives or green onion tops, for garnish
Parsley or tarragon sprigs, for garnish
Fresh cranberries, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Slice the top crust off the loaf of bread. To make the croustade, carefully hollow out the loaf leaving walls ¾-inch thick. (Save the breadcrumbs to use in another recipe.) Using a pastry brush, evening apply the melted margarine to the entire croustade. Placce it on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until it is well toasted. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm.
Put the eggs and egg whites in a bowl and beat them until they are frothy. Put the milk, ½ cup parsley, ¼ cup chives, ½ teaspoon dried tarragon, salt and white pepper in a blender and blend until smooth in texture.
Pour the “green” mixture into the eggs and mix thoroughly.
Melt the tablespoon of margarine in a large skillet and heat the skillet well before adding the eggs.
Add the egg mixture and reduce heat, stirring the eggs constantly until they are almost set. Add the ham and cook until eggs are desired consistency. Be careful not to overcook the eggs as it makes them too dry.
Remove eggs from the heat and spoon them into the croustade, which has been placed on a serving platter. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon chopped chives over the top of the eggs and decorate the platter with sprigs of parsley or tarragon. Garnish with cranberries, if desired.
Makes 4 servings. Approximate nutritional value per serving: 300 calories, 228 mg cholesterol, 16 g fat, 864 mg sodium.