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Brennan delivers fun food to Seuss empire

January 22, 2007
Elisabeth Sherwin -- gizmo@dcn.davis.ca.us

Georgeanne Brennan, Winters resident and Enterprise food columnist, also is the author of “Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook,” with a bright orange Seussian cover.

“It takes a minute for people to understand that it’s a cookbook,” Brennan said. .

Dr. Seuss fans will be delighted with this concoction and those who dislike Dr. Seuss should steer clear: It is Seuss to the max.

From the signature recipe (mint jelly, cilantro, parsley and avocados make the eggs and ham green) to “Remarkable Foon’s Sizzling Hot Pebbles” (red beans) or “Yot in the Pot” (sausage, onion, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, clams – you name it) this is a cookbook for Seuss-loving adults and kids.

“The photographer – Frankie Frankeny -- and I like quirky cross-over books,” said Brennan. They first started working on a Harry Potter cookbook project, but J.K. Rowling said no to the idea.

“We thought the Seuss book could be done, but we had to get three approvals with Dr. Seuss’ widow having the final say,” Brennan said.

And it didn’t look like a sure thing. Twice before Seuss cookbook projects had been proposed, but each failed.

And it wasn’t necessarily going to be easy. First of all, who ever was going to get the nod had to be able to write cookbooks. In this regard, Brennan is a pro with many cookbooks under her belt. But she also had to be well-versed in the Seuss world – he had, after all, published 44 books.

“What turned the trick for me was my reputation as a cookbook writer,” said Brennan. There are many people who know and love Seuss’ written word, apparently, but few have the background that Brennan could bring.

“It turns out the widow was a food person and a part owner of a restaurant in La Jolla,” said Brennan.

So Brennan and Frankeny got the go-ahead.

Then came the challenge of creating fun real-food recipes that people would actually like to eat. Some cross-over cookbooks look like fun – but nothing you’d actually want to make and/or eat.

“We wanted it to be real but we also wanted to maintain whimsy,” she said. For instance, “Nupboards’ Nuggets” is a cross between nut brittle and trail mix, made out of items you can find in your cupboards.

“It’s homemade granola,” Brennan said. “It’s loads of fun to make but really wonderful to eat.”

On a cold winter night the Hoop-Soup-Snoop Group Potato Soup looks especially tasty. But then so does the Skipper Zipp’s Chops and Chips.

And while Brennan is happy with the success of her Seuss cookbook (Random House printed 100,000 copies) she is looking ahead to her newest book, “A Pig in Provence,” which she describes as her first non-cookbook, a non-fiction memoir.

“It’s the story of truffle-hunting in France, it’s a food memoir,” she said. “It tells the story of when I first bought a house in Provence 30 years ago.”

The book, to be published by Chronicle Books, will be celebrated at a launch party at Chez Panisse in Berkeley on March 20.

“It gives me a chance to write and talk about food and life in a real book instead of in an introduction to a food article in The Enterprise,” said Brennan.

-- Reach Elisabeth Sherwin at gizmo@dcn.org and watch for more local writers to be featured biweekly at this web site.

For More Information, Visit These Links:

  • Previous Printed Matter column about Georgeanne Brennan, March 9, 1997
  • Wikipedia entry about "Green Eggs and Ham"
  • Dr Seus at Wikipedia

    To inquire about ordering any of the above mentioned books from an independent bookstore,
    Bogey's Books at discounted prices [ Click Here ]

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