The recent Halloween/Snowtober event we endured involved a lot of powering down in the Northeast. We were prepared for the worst, with batteries for flashlights and canned goods at the ready. Me and my neighborhood fared well, suffering no power or heat loss; But I was left with a few too many cans of soup. It should be noted; I am, among other things, a self-professed soup connoisseur. I love to plan ahead with a new recipe or pick through the fresh ingredients from my fridge to see what I can create without a trip to a market. Anyway, I was feeling less than energetic last night, so I thought, why not? I carefully chose a yummy sounding chicken noodle with a picture of a real chicken and a porcelain bowl of the steaming soup on the label…It was so bad that I offered it to my dog who also decided against it.
Soups and stews are like books. You need good bones, good ingredients, before you can taste the reward. I had the opportunity to read some of the worst childrens books ever over Snowtober week. (One even had a picture of a real chicken on the cover) My little friend Phil stayed with us while his home lay cold and dark, so we took full advantage of story time. Phil’s library strategy involves pulling off as many books at eye level and dropping them into the bag Sally is holding. Discriminating good from bad hasn’t factored into his repertoire yet. I had been trying for several visits to get Phil to read one of the three Shel Silverstien poetry books we have. He would take a look at the black and white covers, sans swords and guns, and adamantly say, no way.
After another trudge through a particularly annoying fairytale-gone-bad story, I simply started reading aloud from my beloved, Where the Sidewalk Ends. It wasn’t long before Phil was hooked and laughing out loud, and then we proceeded to read through two of the three large volumes of Shel Silverstein poems from my bookshelf.
Upon the last night of of his stay, I offered one of the library books to Phil to see how he would react. He simply picked another one of Shel’s books and left the annoying fairytale-gone-bad story for the dog, who promptly ignored it.
Me-Stew by Shel Silverstein from Where the Sidewalk Ends
I have nothing to put in my stew, you see,
Not a bone or a bean or a black-eyed pea,
So I’ll just climb in the pot to see
If I can make a stew out of me.
I’ll put in some pepper and salt and I’ll sit
In the bubbling water-I won’t scream a bit.
I’ll sing while I simmer, I’ll smile while I’m stewing,
I’ll taste myself often to see how I’m doing.
I’ll stir me around with this big wooden spoon
And serve myself up at a quarter to noon.
So bring out your stew bowls,
You gobblers and snackers.
Farewell-and I hope you enjoy me with crackers!