Sunday, September 25, 2011

Comfort Food With A Good Book

I asked for a hot dog
with everything on it.
And that was my big mistake,
cause it came with a parrot,
A bee in a bonnet,
A wristwatch, a wrench. and a rake.
It came with a goldfish,
A flag and a fiddle,
A frog, and a front porch swing,
And a mouse in a mask
That's the last time I ask
For a hot dog with everything on it.
by Shel Silverstein

Where The Sidewalk Ends, Light in the Attic and The Giving Tree were staple books in my classroom. My students never tired of hearing and reading Shel Silverstein's poems with his witty, playful words and zany drawings. So I was ecstatic when I heard his family just released a new book with 145 of his poems titled Everything On It. Today is Shel Silverstein's birthday. He was 68 when he died in 1999. He left a huge legacy of over 1,500 poems to his family. This recent book was a culmination of over a year's work as a team of family members whittled down the poems to 145 for publication. They worked hard to stay true to his format used in previously published books. Shel Silverstein also wrote songs. It may surprise you that his most popular one was "A Boy Named Sue". It became famous when Johnny Cash sang it at his famous San Quentin State Prison concert.
Today I enjoyed a bowl of comfort food chili while looking back over some of his books. The following poem has remained one of my favorites
I have a band-aid on my finger,
One on my knee, and one on my nose,
One on my heel, and two on my shoulder,
Three on my elbow, and nine on my toes.
Two on my wrist, and one on my ankle,
One on my chin, and one on my thigh,
Four on my belly, and five on my bottom,
One on my forehead, and one on my eye.
One on my neck, and in case I might need' em
I have a box full of thirty-five more.
But oh! I do think it's sort of a pity
I don't have a cut or sore!

Note this recipe is my own that serves 10-12 depending how large the servings portions are. I have found this chili tastes better made a day or two in advance of serving to maximize flavors and then all you need to do is reheat.
  • 3 lbs. hamburger, cooked, drained and crumbled
  • 1 jar of spicy tomato basil sauce -26 oz, (I used Classico brand but other brands work just as well)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes basil, garlic, oregano (I used Del Monte)
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup onion
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 4 TB. lemon juice
  • 2 TB. brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 4 can light red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 TB. chili powder
  • Brown hamburger with celery and onions and salt/pepper to taste
  • In a large kettle or soup pot add hamburger mixture with rest of ingredients
  • Simmer on low uncovered for several hours stirring occasionally

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