I’ll admit, I’ve never been a fan of Dr. Seuss (not even when I was a kid). It wasn’t so much the stories, but the illustrations, which I thought were ugly. I’m still not a fan of the drawings, but I was inspired the other night to spoof (for lack of a better word) “Green Eggs and Ham”. I’d thought about including “Sweet Potatoes and Yams” in my collection of children’s nursery rhymes, and while I’m all for fractured nursery rhymes and fairy tale retellings, this just seemed a bit too close to the original to be legal.
I just read that “Green Eggs and Ham” (as of 2001) is the fourth best-selling English language children’s book of all time. I will say, when I think of “Green Eggs and Ham”, I think of the yolks of eggs that have been boiled too long and pork at the Cracker Barrel “restaurant”. (My mom once ordered pork there, and it was green upon arrival.)
I came up with the idea of sweet potatoes (I’ve been trying to like healthier foods, sweet potatoes being one of them) when I finally found a recipe using them I liked, which can be found here: http://www.paleoplan.com/2014/01-04/sweet-potato-brownie-icing/
I’m hardly an artist (when it comes to pencil and paint), but, since blog posts with pictures grab the eye more, I concocted a “Veggie Tale” style tuber/cartoonified sweet potato. I still don’t get why they’re a paleo food and regular potatoes are not (they both grow in the ground; they are both natural foods), but that’s a topic for another post. I am considering using my free Shutterfly photo book offer to “publish” the digitally-illustrated story, “Sweet Potatoes and Yams” for my daughter, who I think might just get a kick out of it.
Sweet Potatoes and Yams
I am Shirley,
Shirley am I.
I like all potatoes—red, yellow and white,
and even purple, cooked just right.
But I do not like sweet potatoes,
and I do not like yams;
I don’t care if they’re fresh or canned.
I do not care if they’re frozen,
or even if they come in flakes mixed into cakes.
I do not like them I say–
not in any way!
I do not like them baked,
I do not like them mashed.
I would not eat them dried,
I would not eat them fried.
I do not like candied yams,
or sweet potato pies.
I do not like them with brown sugar,
I do not like them with cinna-butter,
I do not like them with peanut butter.
I do not like them in salads,
I do not like them in soups,
I do not like them in any group.
I would not eat them at home,
I would not eat them at Gram’s,
or even at Uncle Silo Sam’s.
I would not eat them at a diner,
I would not eat them anywhere finer.
I would not eat them at the beach,
or at the park on a bench.
I would not eat them salted and fried French.
I would not give them to my dog,
I would not give them to my cat.
I would not even eat them with a side of hog.
I do not like sweet potatoes or yams.
I would not, could not eat them,
without them coming back up, no ma’am.
I do not like them when I am high or low,
sideways or cross-eyed,
inside or outside,
coming or going,
or to and fro.
I do not like them anywhere I stay or go.
“Eat these, Mama says,
“these are brownies.
Just a bit of mashed sweet,
with a little cocoa and honey—a real treat.”
I cross my arms, shake my head and say,
“I do not like them, I say!
I do not like them with honey,
I would not eat them for money.
I do not like them with maple,
they will never be my staple.
I do not like them in muffins,
I do not like them in bread,
I do not like them at all, I said.”
“You may like them,” she says with a sigh,
“if you just close your eyes and try.”
She takes a bite,
and then holds them out to me,
“Here, like them you might.”
I double down and say,
“I cannot, will not, ever eat them,
so put them away!”
“Could you, would you, just try a taste?”
I shake my head and make a face.
Just then, my little brother Charlie walks in.
He is brave, braver than I, for he takes a bite,
and says, “These are quite all right.”
He cannot be braver than me,
I will show him,
so I take a nibble and say,
“I do like sweet potatoes,
but only this way!”
“I would eat these squares fried at a fair,
or in bed on a dare in my underwear.
I would eat them at Gram’s,
I would eat them at Uncle Silo Sam’s.
I would give these to my dog to share,
or the rest to my cat to spare.
I would eat these once a day, every day,
and just this way!
I like sweet potatoes and yams,
or my name isn’t Shirley Graham.”