You may know him as Dr. Seuss, celebrated author and legendary American icon. March 2nd is his birthday and it is widely celebrated in conjunction with Read Across America Day.
“The Cat in the Hat”, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” have inspired millions of children and kept Jim Carrey working the movies. He wrote around 50 children’s books, a few under pen names, that brought imaginative characters and rhyme to life.
“Oh the places you’ll go! There are
“Points to be scored. There are games to be won.”
“The Cat in the Hat”, published in 1957 changed the landscape of children’s literature. No more Dick and Jane or even Spot for that matter. His characters were mythical in appearance, but with spot-on logic and views of the world.
He was a notorious liberal who often disguised world political views in his characters and themes. In 1947, Dr. Seuss won an Academy Award for his anti-war documentary “Design for Death”, a movie that brought home the point that too much power in the hands of a few people is dangerous, and a precursor to world war.
But his bread and butter, in my book, (Pardon the pun), was the groundbreaking book “The Butter Battle Book”, published in 1984.
It is again homage to the lunacy of war, prejudice and the path to mass destruction. All in a child’s book format.
If you recall, the Yooks and the Zooks are at war with each other over the way they spread butter on their bread. The Zooks eat their bread butter side down. The Yooks are irritated by this practice because they eat their bread butter side up.
“It’s high time that you knew
“Of the terribly horrible thing that Zooks do.
“Every Zook eats his bread
“With the butter side down!”
It is a classic stalemate ending with both sides standing in front of each other, weapons drawn and waiting for attack. Fortunately, Dr. Seuss leaves it up to your imagination as to how it ends.
Simple yet complex, Dr. Seuss weaves a modern day Aesop’s Fables into his text. You read his stuff in all of its simplicity, and then you sit back and think. Genius with some expert storytelling and bright provocative illustrations.
As you know, food often plays a central character in many of his stories; “Green Eggs and Ham” come to mind first. But I couldn’t find any cool butter recipes, short of milking a cow and churning it. Boring. So I roused up a classic Bread and Butter Pickle recipe that could have been a theme in a Dr. Seuss book. It is also a recipe that would make Aunt Bee and Andy proud.
Bread and Butter Pickles
5 Cups Kirby Cucumbers, Washed and Sliced
1 Onion, Thinly sliced
¼ Cup Kosher Salt
1 Cup Ice
1 Cup Cider Vinegar
1 ½ Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Turmeric
½ Tsp. Celery Salt
1Tsp. Mustard Powder
1 Bay Leaf
Combine the cukes onions and ice in a large non-reactive bowl and let stand for 1 hour.
Drain the cukes and onions place in a large stockpot and add rest of ingredients. Bring mixture almost to a boil. Remove from heat immediately. Place cuke mixture evenly in sterilized jars, seal and let them set in hot water for ten minutes.
“And now comes an act of enormous enormance!
“No former performer’s performed this performance!
“And today the Great Yertle, that marvelous he
“Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.”
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss