Saturday, April 5, 2008

As I am sure I have mentioned before, or at least I should have, I love poems and poetry. And I have quite a few favorite poems and poets. One of my favorite writer's of children's poetry is Shel Silverstein.

Born Sheldon Alan Silverstein, September 25, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, "Shel" Silverstein was an American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children's books. He wrote 3 books of poetry for children Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), A Light in the Attic (1981)and Falling Up (1996).

Just an interesting aside, Shel Silverstein also wrote the music and the lyrics for the following songs: "A Boy Named Sue" that was performed by Johnny Cash, "The Unicorn" which is popular in Irish pubs all over the world, "The Cover of the Rolling Stone" a song performed by Dr. Hook.

The following poem can be found in his book "Where the Sidewalk Ends". "Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me, Too" is a wonderful poem. It's fun to say, the children love the rhyme and the images that it creates. It is also a marvelous poem to act out. There are so many places for the children use their imagination.

If you have the time and the facilities, why not go a step further and have the kids make Mulligan Stew!(It's mentioned in the poem :)

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Went for a ride in a flying shoe,
"What fun!"
"It's time we flew!"
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle was captain, Pickle was crew,
And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew
As higher
And higher
And higher they flew,
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Over the sun and beyond the blue.
"Hold on!"
"Stay in!"
"I hope we do!"
Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Never returned to the world they knew,
And nobody
knows what's
happened to
Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Written by Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)

I know from experience that your average child will ask you what mulligan stew is as soon as you finish the poem, if not sooner. So here is your answer (just in case you did not know, I didn't.)

Mulligan stew is a kind of dish said to have been prepared by hobos in camps in the early 1900s. Usually, it includes meat, potatoes, vegetables, and whatever else can be found. The hobo who put it together was known as the "mulligan mixer". A stew is generally difined as being made, literally, of "whatever is on hand" including meat, potatoes and vegetables in any combination.

I have included 2 different stew recipes. Enjoy!

Campfire Mulligan Stew
Ingredients :
Method :
In small amount of hot fat in heavy frying pan, brown: 1 pound stew meat, cut in small pieces Add: 1 tsp. salt Stir in: 1 can condensed tomato soup 1 can water Cover tightly and let cook slowly until tender (about 1-1/2 hours). If fire gets too hot, take from heat occasionally to keep at a simmer. When the meat is tender, add: 3 carrots, cut in thick slices
3 potatoes, quartered
3 onions, halved Continue cooking slowly about 30 minutes. If there is not enough juice, add water during cooking. If too thin take off lid and cook sauce until thickened. 4 to 6 servings
Recipe from the Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls

Easy Crock Pot Beef Stew Recipe
- 4 each potatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 each onion, chopped
- 1 pound carrots, sliced
- pound stew meat
- 1 can tomato soup
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 package stew seasoning

Cut the vegetables and meat into bite sized pieces. Mix the stew seasoning with the water. Place the meat on the bottom of the crock, cover with vegetables. Pour the soup and stew seasoning mixture over all. Cook in the crock pot on high for 6 hours or low 10 hours.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 or more hours
Servings: 6