Monday, February 26, 2018

Green Pea and Potato Soup / Souper Blog Hop

A big thanks to my daughter, Chrys Fey, for hosting this blog hop for me and to EVERYONE who is participating today or just hopping around, gathering recipes.

Twenty years ago, I penned a children's story about a little boy who loves pea soup so much that he ate a few bowls before naptime. It was so good that Gregory dreamt about swimming in a lake made of pea soup. While he swam, he ate all the soup he wanted. When he woke up from his nap, he was green! Even his teddy bear, Sammy, was green. His mother's remedy to get rid of his green was to make tomato soup. And Gregory and Sammy wondered how'd they look all red.

Original illustration of them swimming in pea soup!

That was the original story. I read it to my children and to the children at the elementary schools I worked for.

The idea for this story was inspired by my son Danny, who loved my homemade split pea soup, and his Cabbage Patch Doll...Sammy! In my story, my son's beloved doll became a teddy bear. But when I read my stories to classes in the media center as a librarian assistant, I would act out the stories with the real Sammy. He was a huge hit!

Last year, I rewrote the story for today's generation of kids. And now Pea Soup Disaster is available in print! This time, Gregory eats pea soup for lunch at school and his classmates make fun of how it looks. Ew. Bugs! Just imagine what happens when he turns green in front of them!

In honor of Gregory and Sammy, I am sharing a Green Pea and Potato Soup recipe.

But don't eat too much or you may turn green, too. Hehehe.

Original illustration of Gregory and Sammy
trying to wash away their green.

Green Pea and Potato Soup

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
2 cups of beef broth
2 cans of Campbell's Condensed Green Pea Soup
2 medium-size potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
Dash of black pepper

1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil.

3. Add the two cans of Campbell's Condensed Green Pea Soup.

4. Add the diced potato, dried sage, and black pepper.

5. Lower heat to a gentle bubble, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

6. Cool and pig out!

**Don't forget to share some with your favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal! ;)

And here it is...

BLURB: Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the rescue—his teddy bear, Sammy. Sammy usually only comes to life for Gregory and his family, but Sammy has an important lesson to teach Gregory and his classmates.


Praise for Pea Soup Disaster:

“Bullying is not fun and, with colorful illustration and interesting characters, the author handles the topic in a simple manner, giving a clear message about how the color of one's skin is not important. It is a perfect book for children starting school or joining a new school midway as it will give them the confidence and courage to stand up to bullies in case they run into them.” - Readers' Favorite (5-Star Review)

“A charming and imaginative tale that can help children cope with being bullied.” – Sherry Ellis, author of That Mama is a Grouch

“A beautiful story about a bowl of pea soup and a teddy bear with a secret that shows the kids at school bullying is never fun.” – Beverly Stowe McClure, award-winning author of A Family for Leona

Visit the other Souper Blog Hop participants:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Turtle is a Boy's Best Friend / Slice of Life

My first Slice of Life post!

Last week, my eleven-year-old grandson's turtle died.

I had found his turtle six years ago on my screened-in porch when I shook out a blanket. And out plopped a turtle about the size of a quarter.

Baby Patio

How did it get there? I would leave the screen door cracked open for a stray mommy cat who would seek shelter for her and her babies at night. I suspect she brought this itty bitty turtle onto my porch.

We named her Patio.

We had her for a year before she got too big, so we gave her a new home with my eldest daughter. Sometime later, Patio found her forever home with my grandkids, and my oldest grandson claimed her as his. My grandsons have a few other turtles and love them all so much. So much, in fact, that the illustrations for my picture book Slow Poke are of my grandsons and their turtles.

Patio portrayed a male turtle named Samson.

Illustration from Slow Poke. Patio is on the right.

My grandson came home from school last Wednesday to find his buddy had passed away. They noticed she had started to show signs of illness two nights prior and ordered medicine, but she wouldn't hold out for it, which would arrive the next day.

My grandson buried Patio in their yard. He tied two pieces from a palm branch together into a cross to mark her grave and wrapped his favorite red and black earbuds around its base. Next to the cross, he set a large, empty container of turtle food in the dirt. And he added a few painted stones he collected from #BrevardRocks, a movement in our county that involves people painting and hiding rocks everywhere and anywhere for others to find.

He drew a picture of Patio that said, "R.I.P. Patio. We love you very, very much." He taped this drawing on the wall then set their other three turtles in front of it as if they were paying their respects. He took a picture of this to have forever on his phone.

They say a dog is a man's best friend, but maybe a turtle is a boy's best friend. Or at least that was the case for this little boy.