Friday, January 16, 2009

Liver and other Delicacies

Funny thing, liver makes me think about my mom, too (see the post entitled 'Childhood Memories' down a couple). She made it every so often, but what I remember most about mom was her unparallelled ability to turn a perfectly good piece of liver (calves liver, NOT beef!)(unless you really like gristle) into something that more closely resembled the sole of a shoe. For mom, liver (or anything else of a meat-like nature, for that matter) was cooked, until it was really really really cooked. I mean sooooo cooked that you needed a table saw to cut through it. No piece of meat dare show the slightest shade of pink and expect to hit the plate on our table. She used to talk about the horrors of undercooked pork, and that I really do understand. I'm just not so sure that every other food out there carries the same threat of contamination that must be stamped out with all means possible.

So what I'm saying is, my dad really knew how to cook liver. Tender, smothered in onions, oh yum. I still love it, and the reason G2 knows this is that I have a penchant for ordering it in restaurants. And we have been on vacation together, so she really does know. I rarely cook it anymore, because, hey, it stinks the place up. I know you are thinking, turn on the fan over the stove. Ah, but I live in an apartment, and one of it's more charming attributes is that, yes I have a fan, but no, it is not connected to a pipe that carries the sucked up air and it's odors OUT. It just...recirculates. Apparently, while this is lame, this is also legal. This is why I got one of those George Foreman grills, and whenever I want to cook, say, fish...I plug the thing in and set it out on the balcony. If I cook fish in the apartment I can still smell it three days later. Wonder if you can do liver on a George Foreman grill? It never occurred to me before, hmmmmm.

Ease up on me about the liver btw. I know, it's full of saturated fat, heavy metals and isn't supposed to be good for you anymore. I only eat it maybe twice a year, and it does have nutrients in it that are good, and thank you, my cholesterol level is always low. Sometimes, it's just what I want...sort of like, liverwurst. I seem to remember that when I confessed my liverwurst binges (who knows why, sometimes it just sounds like what I have to have), you confessed to them too, G2. It was a bonding experience, hehe.

But back to Mom. Her worst offense was against the poor, innocent little vegetables. What she could do to a perfectly healthy stalk of asparagus, well it was just a crime. I was 25 before I found out that asparagus could actually be good! Once or twice a year, she'd splurge when asparagus was in season, and she would commence to boil it. The dinner hour would come and we would sit there, staring at the limp, pale grey-green long things, collapsed into waterlogged submission, waiting on our plates. "But Mom, I don't really like asparagus" was met with "Eat it, it's a delicacy!". By God, we were going to eat it, every....last....piece. I developed an asparagus strategy (you couldn't hide it in your pockets, like the boiled peas). Cut into two inch lengths, lay on tongue pointing at throat, drink a slug of cold milk and wash that baby down before it could touch any taste buds. I ate it, but mom would be sighing and shaking her head. I just didn't appreciate good food.

My brother will back me up on this, btw. We loved our mom and she was wonderful at many things. Cooking just wasn't one of them. The two of us sometimes regale each other with tales of things she cremated, I mean, cooked. Well, we did survive to adulthood, lol.

1 comment:

Grandma said...

I must cook the same as your mother. I have no talent for it and my theory is, cook it as fast as you can cook it and get it over with. The Microwave was a wonderful invention.