Alright, so there’s been a few people asking me to talk about Sprout. Now, those who know me well know that I don’t really like to talk much about him. I mean, we’ve had a pretty rough history. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
So, I basically started this gig a long, looooong time ago. Heck, back in the day, I used to wear a bearskin, and they painted my skin to try to make me “blend in.” Boy, I don’t know WHAT The Suits were thinking back then. But I was young and just excited at the prospect of working, you know?
Anyway, things were going pretty great. It had been my gig, and my gig alone, for YEARS. Like, nearly 40 years! I was on top of the world. I was traveling all over the place, getting wined and dined with all kinds of celebrities, and starring in a bunch of commercials. Those sadly never really led to the movie career that I’d hoped, but you know what they say: a working actor is a good actor. I was at the top of my game. Oh! And I’d had TWO songs written about me. One by Tennessee Ernie Ford, and the other by The Kingsmen. How great is that?!
But no, for some reason, in 1972, The Suits thought it was time for a change. They brought in this kid. Young kid. Decent enough actor, but he hadn’t really done much. Supposed to connect with the consumers more, they said. He’s just gonna be a background guy, they said.
But you know what really happened? They gave him all the lines! Now Sprout’s out there, practically getting top billing, while I’d been toiling away for forty years doing this stuff! Heck, my name’s what they called the company!
I should have been mad at The Suits, but I was so mad at this little entitled kid, coming in here and taking my spotlight. You know how hard it is to find work as a 50 foot tall green guy from Minnesota? It took me half a decade to even lose my accent. There’s no way I’m losing my job to some punk kid.
I’m not going to go into details about the fights we had, or all the drama, because I don’t think it’s healthy to hold onto all that stuff. And I’m all about healthy. And anyway, the kid really saved my bacon, too. It took me way too long to realize it, but he really did help connect with people, and keep the brand relevant. If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably still be bagging groceries or just helping out around the farm.
No, when it comes down to it, Sprout’s a good kid, with a good heart. We’ve been working together for over 40 years now, and I can’t imagine working with anyone else. That said, he’s still a bit of a camera hog, and the merchandising that he got into was CRAZY.
With that in mind, I think I’ve picked out the PERFECT recipe to share this week, because it’s cheesy, and full of ham. This one’s for you, Sprout. I love you, buddy.
Ho ho ho,
Broccoli Cheesy Ham Panini
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 package (8 oz) sliced deli ham
- 1 bag (11.8 oz) Green Giant™ Steamers™ frozen broccoli & cheese sauce
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- Heat two-sided grill or flat skillet. Brush outside of bread pieces with melted butter. (A panini press is perfect for this, or a George Foreman Grill)
- Arrange ham slices on one half of the bread. Cook frozen broccoli as directed on bag. In medium bowl, mix cheese and cooked broccoli.
- Spoon broccoli mixture over ham slices. Top with remaining bread half.
- Place on grill; close cover. Grill about 5 minutes or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Dig in! I like to serve this with dill pickle chips.