Have you ever cooked liver? I did, today.
I've never made it before, but I've been thinking about making some for a while. Not like obsessively thinking about it but it's been in the back of my mind ever since I read an article about the health benefits of liver. Also, I think it might be that I read too many articles. I know this because when my eldest child tasted it, not knowing yet what it was, he made a face, looked directly at me, narrowed his eyes and said, What is this? Did you read an article about this?
Umm. The boy is not wrong.
Moving right along.
I spent the better part of today cooking and while I was waiting for some water to boil, I looked online for a recipe for liver and onions. It's a long and complicated story (not unlike this blog post), the recipe wasn't as easy as it looked, but we both - the liver and I - made it out of the recipe in one piece.
At dinnertime tonight, I put some liver and caramelized onions on each plate and these onions, they were really good, really long cooked onions. In my head, everyone would taste this wonderful new food item on their plate and love it, but as so often happens, a lot of times things don't turn out the way I think they should and this was one one of those times.
I can see you're concerned. What kind of crazy mom serves liver and onions to her four precious children for dinner? I hear your question and all I can say is that it was also taco night, so everyone was okay, and I only put about a tablespoon worth on each plate.
My least adventurous eater, but a lover of anything meat, looked at his plate, and this is what happened:
10 year old: This is my favorite meat ever!
Me: Did you taste it?
10 year old: No. But I love how it looks.
Me: That's great! Taste it.
10 year old tastes it and:
Aaargh! Ugh! What is this?! It stinks!
He asked that while holding up his napkin filled with ABC food, trying to give it to me.
Me: Huh. Wait , so you don't love it?
And then I had a pair of 10-year-old angry eyes looking at me.
I hear him. It does stink. Like the inside of something, which is what it really is. Had I known that cooking liver would make my house smell the way it did, I might have given this some more thought before making it. But I didn't know and my house did not smell so good this afternoon. About an hour before I left to get the kids from school, I Febreezed. And then my house smelled like liver and Febreeze, but that is way way worse than liver alone.
So I opened all the windows to let fresh air do its thing. Except, the wind chill today was about zero, maybe maybe a little higher, like 2 degrees. I don't know, but I was cold all day long and the windows open didn't help me warm up but they did help the house smell better...
So back to dinner, the 8 year old, my most suspicious child, loved the onions. And then she said, I don't know what that is, but it's not meat. Are you sure it's meat?
The 6 year old wouldn't even touch it. She carefully took a napkin and used her spoon to push it all onto a napkin, which she then folded up and quietly threw in the garbage. I just love a neat kid.
I'll be honest, I ate it (my own plate, not what she threw in the garbage), but I didn't love it. The whole experience vaguely reminded me of my childhood, when my grandmother would make this but either hers was way better than mine or I've just put a shiny gold halo around all my memories. Or both. Most probably both.
The problem I have now is that I have a ton of this stuff. I wanted to try making liver with liver that is organice because organic. And grass-fed and free range and all that stuff. It must be better, right? So here's the thing - we have a whole case of this stuff because organic liver is only sold by the case. What do I do? And Josh isn't home yet and also, there's no way in the world he's going to taste this. He's a really good sport and tastes a lot of weird things that I make so that the kids will taste things too, but there is a line and it seems that I have crossed it. I know that because he told me I crossed the line when I asked if he'd try it if I made it.
Josh: Jen, no. Just no. It's liver. Just no, Jen.
Except. Except Josh just walked in from work, like right now, as I am typing this.
Josh: Hey! Smells like onion rings in here!
Me: Ooh, lucky you!
Josh: There's onion rings?
Me: No. but! Wait!
Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, he's going into the kitchen and I feel like I'm watching a movie in slow motion, except it's all moving very quickly. It's so hard to type and watch this unfold at the time.
Josh is in the kitchen and I'm watching him take a bowl and fill it with the onions and liver. Does he know it's liver? I don't know! Aarrgh! I can't watch. I have to close my eyes.
I hear chewing. And no vomitting. I can't believe this is actually happening.
Josh just said this - I promise he did:
Yumm, onions and meat and farro*.
He went back for a second bowl; I don't know what to do with myself, I'm laughing so hard. Should I say it's liver? Do I keep quiet? Aaargh! LIFE IS SO FULL OF HARD DECISIONS!!!
***I'll be back, consider this an intermission in live blogging***
I told him.
I had to. We don't have a keeping-secrets-have-your-own-bank-account kind of marriage.
Me: Honey, you know that's liver, right?
Josh, my love, my light, just looked at me for a full minute with this very neutral expression on his face and even though we've been married for a whole 13 years, I really had no idea at all what he was thinking. No idea. I wasn't sure if I should slowly back out of the kitchen.
So what did I do? I started laughing. Hysterical, hyena laughing, tears streaming down my face laughing. I laughed so hard I may or may not have needed to cross my legs while standing there. But I'm okay with that, because I've had four babies and there's only so many kegels a girl can do.
HE REALLY DID NOT KNOW IT WAS LIVER! He didn't know. He just didn't know.
And I couldn't tell if he was playing me or not.
I kept asking, you really didn't know?! Are you sure?!
And he really didn't.
He really thought, ooh, caramelized onions with pieces of steak in it! Happy birthday to me!
I feel so bad.
But not all the way bad because it's so healthy! And he liked it! He finished it off, the pan was empty, I couldn't even take a picture of liver and onions to show you because there were none left.
I am in shock.
I am sitting here shocked.
I don't even know how to end this story.
He's going to feel so energized tomorrow morning from all that iron.
Is that what happens when you eat liver?
I have no idea.
The world is so crazy.
I'll let you know what happens.
*Farro. It's a weirdo grain that I bought ages ago and made this week because I ran out of rice,
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)