Everyone grows up with Dr. Seuss. His timeless books rest on bookshelves in millions of homes around the world. They are inscribed by loved ones, collected and passed on through the generations. Every reader has a favorite. Maybe it’s his breakthrough work, The Cat in the Hat, or One Fish, Two Fish. But can you guess the best-selling Seuss book of all time? Would you, could you?
That’s right, Green Eggs and Ham.
And to think it all started as a $50 bet.
Dr. Seuss, born Theodor “Ted” Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Mass., accepted a challenge from a friend in publishing to write a children’s book using 50 words or less. Seuss later joked that he never got the payment, but after receiving seven honorary doctorates, two Academy Awards, two Emmys, three Caldecott Honor Awards, a Peabody, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a little thing called the Pulitzer Prize, we doubt he held a grudge.
Dr. Seuss credits his mother for the rhythmic absurdities found in all his children’s books. When working in her father’s bakery, she would memorize the names of the pies on special that day and repeat them in a singsong voice to her customers. His mother even sang the specials to herself at night if she had trouble sleeping.
If you’ve ever found yourself lying in bed trying to push the Sam-I-ams from your head, you aren’t alone. The musical quality of Dr. Seuss’s writing wriggles its way into our thoughts and eventually into our hearts.
But when your arguments with a child over what to eat start to sound as nonsensical and repetitious as Green Eggs and Ham, it’s time for a new approach. Kids ask for the book over and over again (and again, and again) because it’s playful and fun. Sure, they are learning through the process, but telling them would steal away the joy. The same goes for food. Creative meals can go a long way in getting picky eaters to dig in rather than wrinkle up their tiny noses. Paula’s always looking for new ways to get her grandson, Jack, excited about mealtime, so she brewed up a Dr. Seuss-inspired recipe she calls Green Eggs and Ham Cups.
Sadly, the beloved Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991 at the age of 87. But the 44 children’s books he wrote and illustrated leave a lasting legacy for all readers, young and old. This month, celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by seeing how a little imagination can light up a child’s world.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!” –Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham Cups
8 slices deli ham, thinly sliced
1 slice sandwich bread, divided into 4 pieces
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup White Cheddar cheese
4 slices toast
4 slices bacon
Preheat oven to 400ºF
Lightly coat 4 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray. Fit two of the ham slices into each cup (ham ends will be above cup edges). Divide bread among cups. In a blender, combine eggs, spinach, salt and pepper and blend. Divide mixture among cups. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake on middle oven rack until egg is cooked. Approximately 15-20 minutes. When warm enough to handle, remove the cups from the muffin tins and serve with a slice of toast and crispy bacon.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15-20 min