Liver Night

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A quick disclaimer:If you are a lover of liver, this post is not for you.Just sayin’.
I hated liver.  The smell. The taste.  The texture.  Everything about liver, I didn’t like.  When I was a kid my mom made it at least once a month.  I guess she thought it was healthy.  I thought it was gross.
My parents belonged to the generation where no one could leave the table until one’s plate was empty.  Roast beef nights were great.  So were stew nights.  Fish nights and meatloaf nights were okay, but not liver night.  As soon as that familiar, disgusting smell began to waft through the house I knew I was doomed.
Those were the days when the whole family sat down together.  When dad got home from work, dinner was served.  We sat in a little alcove in the back of the house formally known as the breakfast nook.  Three windows brightened the area along with the cheery yellow and orange-flowered wallpaper.  But on liver nights the windows never let in enough light.  Even the wallpaper seemed faded and dull.
My dad sat at the end.  Nothing escaped his view.  Mom served up the liver and we ate.  Or we tried to.  I came up with every way to finish my plate of food without actually tasting the awful-smelling meat.  I cut it up in teeny tiny bites swallowed it whole. That seemed to work, but wasn’t very much fun.  I plugged my nose, but my dad told me to stop playing around and that I was hurting my mom’s feelings.  Once I had the bright idea to cut it up and then sneak pieces in a napkin.  I tossed the offending beef parts and placed my plate in the sink.  I thought I was safe, but a while later my dad brought me back into the kitchen, pointed to the balled-up napkin in the trash and demanded a confession.  I received a spanking and an extra serving of liver.  I never knew who ratted me out; probably my little brother.
This went on for years and when I moved out I was finally able to be free of the liver night stress.  A few years ago before my dad passed away we started talking about mom’s dinners.  We agreed that most were wonderful.  I took a deep breath and brought up liver night.  As we reminisced, he confessed he also hated liver.  He said he only ate it so my mom’s feelings wouldn’t be hurt.  I was shocked, even appalled.  He, who hated liver with as much passion as I, forced me to eat it?  I told him because he never confessed his true feelings we had been doomed to years of liver nights.  We both looked at each other and pondered…  Did my mom only make it because she thought my dad liked it?  Or did she really like it?  To be honest, I really don’t remember her taking heaping helpings of the nasty stuff – just polite-sized servings.  Then she pushed the meat around her plate with a fork as the rest of us put on our best manners and smiled while we ate.  I guess we’ll never know.
Do you have a food you absolutely hate?  Leave a comment below.

7 thoughts on “Liver Night

  1. In the early 70's I joined Weight Watchers and liver was a mandated part of the menu. I tried but gave up. Then years later I learned that's where the cholesterol is concentrated. You are right–gross.

  2. I too was forced to eat that which shall not be named, because a Dr. told my mom I was anemic and that I should it the you know..I did force it down a couple of times but on the third time the smell was so noxious and I was only eleven years old, I told her if I put one bite in my mouth it would come back out, she didn't believe me and well you can guess what happened a couple of bites later it revisited, and she never made it again…:)

  3. I always loved liver. My mom cooked it so it was tender and juicy with a beautiful caramel-colored gravy. I've even cooked it, trying to replicate Mom's method.

    It was disappointing to learn of the health cautions; it's been years since I've been able to eat a plateful of liver. xoA

  4. My father insists liver is tasty. I've never tried it. I was a super picky eater as a kid, something my father would not have tolerated. Lucky for me, my mother is an even pickier eater than myself. No way was liver going to be mandated at her dinner table! Unfortunately, my mother also worked part-time nights which gave my father a night here and there in which to inflict such horrors as Tuna Noodle Casserole! Eeewwww! It had peas! Lol! No idea what I'd think of it today. Lingering food-hates? Mushrooms.

  5. Never really was exposed to liver, and don't have any interest to this day. But the end of your story was quite familiar. When I was young, my grandmother made barbecue hot dogs (and for Californians that think grilling is bbq, this was very different, crockpot, bbq sauce and lots of time) for certain summer events. I ate them to be polite, but didn't really care for them. I find out after some years of this, that since I ate them my grandmother continued to make them since she thought I liked them. Quite a circle there.

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