Dr. Seuss’ birthday is coming up — March 2, to be exact. So, get ready to grab your hat and read “The Cat in the Hat” all over again.
It’s always a good time to have some fun. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, explains it this way:?“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”
My favorite Geisel book is “Green Eggs and Ham,” and it’s the perfect book to read before breakfast. Plus, it inspired me to create this recipe — a little bit of nonsense and a whole lot of good.
Obviously, Dr. Seuss knew about eggs. He wrote “Scrambled Eggs Super,”?in which he used this line:?“I picked out the eggs in a most careful way. I only picked those that I knew were Grade A.” Or how about this line:?“If you want to get eggs you can’t buy at a store, you have to do things never thought of before.”
I’ve always been a true believer — in good eggs and in Dr. Seuss. Nowadays, my brother Bob has been gifting me with eggs from his heritage breed chickens. The Silver Laced Wyandotte is colorful, hardy and a productive egg layer, giving up light brown eggs all winter.
I never raised this particular breed but did have brown and green egg layers. When I operated my own little restaurant, the breakfast menu was called Green Eggs and Ham, with the appropriate signature dish to go along with it.
Because my last name is Greene, I thought it only fitting. But then I went a step farther and made sure that I found the best chickens to lay those green eggs. And that is where the poor misguided, distrustful, stodgy old adults always were separated from the inquisitive, believing and nonsense-loving kids.
“These are green eggs,” I’d say, holding in my hands a pale green or maybe avocado green chicken egg.
“Cool!” the kids would exclaim.
“Yeah, right,” the adults would say.
Grown-ups! What can you do with ’em?
Green eggs and ham
6 English muffins
12 eggs, beaten
6 Tbsps. milk
2 Tbsps. butter
6 slices of breakfast ham
1 lb. fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3-1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean the spinach leaves, removing the tough stems. Chop coarse and steam or microwave until just tender. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
In saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour while whisking to form a roux. Cook for one minute to brown the flour slightly. Add milk while whisking to form a smooth sauce.
Add grated cheese and cook for five to 10 minutes, until cheese is incorporated and melted completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the cooked spinach and add to the sauce; keep warm.
Split and lightly toast English muffins. Mix the eggs and six tablespoons of milk together and cook in frying pan with two tablespoons butter, scrambling the eggs as they cook.
Arrange the two halves of an English muffin on each plate and spoon the eggs evenly over the muffins. Cover with the spinach and cheese sauce. Serve with a side of ham.
For garnish, make a mini Dr. Seuss hat using rounds of red tomatoes and white cheese. Make a larger round for the brim by cutting a larger thin circle of any kind of white cheese. Place this “brim” on the plate first, then build the hat using cherry tomatoes — slice the ends off to make them lie flat — and rotate with equal-sized circles of cheese. Secure with a toothpick.
I’ve been working on family genealogy and have found it to be addicting — hours go by while I search for elusive ancestors. I have discovered a number of interesting facts. Some of my English ancestors, for example, refer to themselves as Saxons. Old Saxony, which is now Germany, was part of the Roman Empire. Large numbers of Saxons pushed their way into Great Britain and became part of the Anglo-Saxons, a group that helped form the English kingdom.
I’m a little disgusted with this unpredictable 2017 winter weather, so I looked in the Farmers’ Almanac to find what I could find, and what did I find but a call for all home cooks to submit entries for the publication’s recipe contest.
Send your original spinach recipe and you could win up to $250. That could make this crazy winter weather more palatable.
Your mom (and Popeye) always told you to eat your spinach, and with good reason — spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, especially when eaten raw or cooked lightly.
The Farmers’ Almanac wants your best original recipes, using spinach as the main ingredient.
All recipes become property of Farmers’ Almanac. Winning recipes will be printed in the 2018 Farmers’ Almanac and online. Entries must be received by Feb. 15. Winners will be notified by mail.
You must verify that your recipe is original and that you are not a professional cook or baker. Submit them online at FarmersAlmanac.com.
In the meantime, here are a couple of recipes to whet your appetite.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, back in 1967 Americans ate per capita nearly 131 pounds of pork, beef or lamb, 37 pounds of poultry and 11 pounds of seafood. Fifty years later, we are projected to eat 57 pounds of red meat — down from a high of nearly 100 pounds in 1976. We are expected to consume more chicken this year, about 108 pounds per person. So, while our red meat consumption goes down, our taste for chicken, turkey and other poultry continues to go up.