My friend (and regular Be My Guest Thursday’s Guest Blogger) George Fisher’s comments on Liver and Onions reminds me of something that the writers of the 80’s hit TV show “The Wonder Years” might have dreamed up. I was raised in the exact same era as the Arnold kids – you know… 12 in 1967…. and it speaks to me in a way that no other TV show has since. Kevin Arnold might surely have given a similar soliloquy on the subject! Many of you may remember that the show was narrated by Daniel Stern, and as I read George’s take on this subject, I can hear it spoken in Mr. Stern’s voice. At the end, Joe Cocker sings the theme song “I get by with a little help from my friends”…. Yes indeed, I do get by with a little help from my friend! Thank you George for the laughs and the dinnertime memories that this story brings back in my mind!
Liver and Onions, Revisited by George L Fisher LTC – Guest Blogger
I recently made comments as to the merits of Liver and Onions, of which there
are none. It is a bad marriage in my humble opinion.
Quite frankly, onions deserve better.
Let me explain.
Liver is an organ meat. I don’t eat organ meats. I don’t eat organ meats
because they are organs. The only organs that are allowed are those that are
played musically. Lest I digress, let us stick to the liver for a few
moments, shall we?
I know there are Humans out there among us who think Liver and Onions are
quite the meal. Like one of my friends said, “Why mess up good onions?” to
which I heartily concur.
I have no issue with anyone who likes to eat liver and onions, or just liver
by itself. But hear me clearly, I do not like it. I do not like it a lot.
Detest may be a better word for it but I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings
who enjoys eating the organ that is the filter for whatever animal to whom
entrails it belongs.
Childhood Trauma to Blame?
My Dad was one of the most intelligent human beings I ever knew. One of his
favorite things was to cook. He made excellent Lasagna and Pizza, among other
things. Much to my Moms chagrin, in the process of his preparing meals he
would totally destroy the kitchen. Every cabinet door would be open, every
knife, fork, spoon, bowl, dish, and cooking instrument used and spread out in
a holocaustic array that one could not adequately describe, but whose carnage
one had to experience.
Dad also loved liver and onions. Loved it, I tell you. And quite naturally
when you love something you want everyone near and dear to you to love it
too. So on occasions—-(actually I know of about three times this happened
in my young life) the Old Man would get a craving for Liver and Onions.
I remember the first time. I was making my way home in time for supper (back
then the rule was “have your narrow ass in this house by dark or else”) and
about half a block away I smelled something. At first snort, it didn’t seem
an offensive smell at all. I then discovered the smell coming from my house
so I proceeded to make my way inside and when opened the front door and made
my way into the kitchen, still delving into the unknown, I inquired:
“Hey Dad, whatcha making?”
“Liver and Onions.”
“OH N—!” But before I could form the word “NO” I was cut off.
“You don’t have to clean your plate but you do have to TRY IT!”
When the Old Man said that, it was over. No discussion, no debate, no
reprieve, no last minute call with a pardon from the Governor. There would be
none of that “I ate a late lunch” or “I’m trying to lose weight for Baseball
season so I can run fast around the bases” pleas for exclusion. I was the
size of a broomstick, anyway. Any other meal that I would have stared at when
I was a kid (I was quite a wormy little guy) would have gotten me a lecture
about “all those starving little children in Africa” or wherever. Why, oh
why, could all the starving little children not have my liver? I would have
been glad to donate it to them.
“Try it, you’ll like it”, as the Alka-Seltzer commercial slogan went. I had a
bad feeling that Alka-Seltzer wouldn’t come close to fixing the pending issue
I had as the dinner hour quickly approached.
The proverbial dinner bell was rung. With the speed of a sloth I found my
barstool at the counter in our little kitchen and my supper. Liver and
onions, rice, and tea to drink. I had many a meal out of rice and or white
bread and tea in the past; surely I could negotiate my way around this
manhole cover sized piece of liver sitting on my plate. My siblings were in
the same boat as I, and we looked at each other and then the plates. Then
each other. Then the plates. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The Old Man set his eyes upon us.
That only meant one thing, and that was to cut into the organ meat and taste
I cut a piece as small as I could that would be big enough that the Old Man
wouldn’t say anything and small enough that perhaps I could swallow it whole
like a pill. Saying a prayer I popped it in my mouth and began to chew. I
would show Dad I was man enough to eat his silly old liver and onions. I
chewed some more. Nothing. The taste wasn’t good at all. It tasted like…well,
like Liver. I took a swallow of tea and continued to chew. The Liver was
being chewed but it was ten times bigger now than the piece I had originally
had on my fork. I chewed faster, thinking that the mechanical action of my
jaws would naturally take over and send the liver on its way. It was not to
be. The liver was in the roof of my mouth, the sides, the corner, and in the
front. In short, it was everywhere that I had taste buds and had begun to
homestead right there in my mouth with no plan of going anywhere ever.
More tea. By God I would drowned it all. I would wash it away if I had to
drink a gallon of tea to do it. Somehow, we all survived the supper. I know
that Dad was only trying to show us the way and expand our horizons. Quite
frankly my horizons expanded a lot better with Peanut butter and Jelly or
some Cap’n Crunch. Moms spaghetti, Fried Chicken or roast beef would have
been heaven-sent in a situation like this, but like I said it wasn’t
necessarily a democracy at the Fisher house back then, so you just had to
take the good with the bad– or liver, in this case.
I vowed by all that was holy that If I ever smelled that smell while coming
home for supper I would ditch my school books in the bushes and hide out
until past dark, reckoning that even getting in trouble for being late and
the butt-whipping that would ensue would be childs play compared to eating
But like I said, I harbor no ill will for Liver lovers. To each their own. I
do know of one purpose for liver when it’s not filtering the toxins of its
owner, and that’s to use as bait for fishing.
I have to stop writing about this now. I have begun to sweat profusely and I
am cold and clammy. I also have the sudden urge to floss.
Liver is the work of the devil. You can quote me on that.
Thanks again George! Cue the theme song! “I get by with a little help from my friends…….”
- Liver Come Back to Me (kountryking.wordpress.com)
- I ate liver and lived (susanbranchsmith.wordpress.com)
Sometimes they just don’t wanna eat… and like my Grandmama used to say “If it don’t love it, don’t make it eat it!” More on that in a later blog post! Janiece