Cooking With a Seuss-Chef

A farmers market meal and a good book

When my husband and I were in graduate school, being locavores meant not only consuming local food but also consuming abundant amounts of free media at the public library. That tradition continued after the birth of my son. Now, our Saturday mornings are spent selecting books and music to be enjoyed with that day’s market picks.

When we moved to Oberlin, we were happy to find the Oberlin Farmers Market* conveniently located next to the Oberlin Public Library. As it goes with many toddlers, my son’s appetite for books was much more substantial than his appetite for greens. Although my little one would look forward to our weekly walks to the market and library, he was less enthusiastic about the meals. It wasn’t until we developed the Green Eggs, Ham and Cheese Sandwich that he began to make positive connections between something he enjoyed (books) and his food.

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Now with a new baby sister, our typical Saturday morning in Oberlin always begins at the J&R Farms** truck. From nearby Shelby, Ohio, Justin and Roseanne Burkholder specialize in grass-fed and hormone-free meats, eggs and cheeses. Since our first meeting more than a year ago, we have purchased everything from our weekly staples to an extraordinarily fresh holiday turkey from the couple. Their brown farm-fresh eggs with golden yolks, nitrate-free bacon and sharp cheddar are all musts for our breakfast sandwich.

The next stop on our market adventure is Lakeside Produce for their delectable homemade multi-grain bread. There are also several vendors available to meet our garden green needs. My son loves ripping the stems off of spinach, kale and basil, which we are sure to find at Lakeside Produce, George Jones Farms, Hook’s Greenhouse, Murray Hill Farms or the many other friendly and fresh produce vendors at the Oberlin Farmers Market.

With goodies in hand, we make a trip to the public library to collect the final ingredients for our late-morning meal: several good books. Returning home, we arrange the bacon on a slotted baking sheet at 400° for about 15 minutes. While the bacon cooks, my toddler sous-chef begins ripping the kale and basil with great concentration and focus, to be added to one whisked egg. In a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, we fry the “green egg” until fully cooked. Around this time, our bacon is ready to be removed from the oven. Returning to our skillet, we layer one slice of lightly buttered multi-grain bread, a half slice of cheese, the green egg, one slice of bacon, the other half of cheese and the final piece of multi-grain bread, to be cooked over medium heat until the bread is slightly toasted.

Slicing the completed sandwich in half to share, we set a picnic blanket outside, and enjoy our farmers market meal paired with a fine Dr. Seuss classic.

*Oberlin Farmers Market: Saturdays 9am–1pm 

**J&R Farms sells on Saturdays at
Oberlin Farmers Market and on Tuesdays at Tremont Farmers Market.