Liver Makes Me Quiver

18 Oct

When I was a kid, I ate liver.

My mother made it; I ate it, no coercion necessary. One night, my sister leaned close to me and whispered in my ear, “You know you’re eating an organ, don’t you?” I haven’t eaten liver since.

Now that I am a mother, I am astounded that my sister wasn’t grounded. Instead, my mother made hamburgers for my sister and I whenever she made liver for herself and my father. I don’t recall where my brother’s sympathies lay in the liver war.

I am nowhere near as accommodating as my mother was. If you don’t like what I made for dinner, you are welcome to make your own. But here’s the tricky part: my feelings will be hurt. My husband knows this and so chokes down whatever I’ve made. My daughter whines but eats what she’s been given because she is too lazy to make her own dinner.

My son is a special case. His reactions to dinner range from “I’ve had better” to running to the sink to violently spit out whatever vile substance I’ve asked him to eat “just one bite of.” One night last week, he asked what was for dinner. I said, “Fish.” He said, “Lame.” I asked what would be NOT lame. He said, “Sloppy Joes.” I went to the store, I got the things necessary to make Sloppy Joes. I made the Sloppy Joes. The fish stayed in the refrigerator. When confronted with the Sloppy Joe, my son said, “I thought we were having fish.” He wasn’t hungry; he had already eaten.

No matter what I make, my son never says, “Mom, this is really good.” He probably never will. His favorite cookies are sugar cookies. I made very excellent sugar cookies recently. Everyone concluded that they were excellent cookies. I knew my son concluded they were excellent cookies because he didn’t say, “I’ve had better.” He took the entire plate of cookies, went to his room and locked the door.

My son’s favorite cake is yellow with buttercream frosting. Plain buttercream frosting. I made a devil’s food cake with coffee buttercream about a month ago. It was delicious. My son wouldn’t speak to me for the rest of the day.

My daughter has her own eating eccentricities. They center more on how foods are prepared and presented than on the actual taste of the foods. Apples must be sliced and any bit of the core must be removed. Oranges must be sliced as well and all bits of pith must be removed. Recently, she asked to have her strawberries de-seeded. Because I am a curious kind of person, I attempted to remove the seeds from the strawberry. It is possible. The resulting strawberry looks almost obscene in its seedless nakedness. When we have three or four houseboys, I will have my daughter’s strawberries de-seeded. Until then, my knowledge of strawberry de-seeding is between us.

I have discovered that, no matter how heinous children find a particular food to be at home, they will eat it with gusto somewhere else. My daughter eats macaroni and cheese at the neighbors, she claims to hate it here. Her best friend eats vegetarian sausage at our house. I’m sure she spits it out at home. My son doesn’t let a vegetable cross his lips at home; he eats them readily at my sister’s house. I am sure he would eat eggplant there.

Like many mothers, I have tricked my children into eating things they dislike. I have put finely diced beets in the spaghetti sauce and whole wheat flour in the Snickerdoodles. Whole Grain White Bread is my new best friend. As long as the children don’t see the label, all they taste is the white bread. If they see the label, all they taste is whole grain. My neighbor deceives her children about food, too. They don’t know it, but they like fish sticks. They call them “sticks.” If mom calls them “sticks” they get eaten. If mom calls them “fish sticks” they go in the trash.

Packaging is tremendously important to my daughter. Mandarin oranges are terrific in the little cup, but won’t be touched if they come from a can. The little cup is not entirely reliable, however. Peaches must come from a larger can. Put in a lunch box, the little cup of peaches comes back home unopened every time. Applesauce in the little cup was a treat for a while until some little girl in my daughter’s class started bringing in applesauce in a squeeze pouch. “You can get them at Costco,” said my daughter.

I no longer shop for my children’s favorite foods at Costco, though. There are few guarantees in life, other than the one about death. Another is that whatever favorite food you finally find in a 48-pack will become a “no eat-em” the minute you bring the case into the house. No Eat-ems abound in the back of my food cabinets. I have three packages of cinnamon cereal, 12 packages of Mini-marshmallow cocoa mix and numerous individual serving size boxes of Cocoa Puffs. For a long time, we had frozen beef pot pies on every shelf in the freezer when my son decided that only chicken pot pies were worthy of his gastric juices. It took us nearly a year to work through a 36-pack case of microwave popcorn. Do any of you need applesauce in the little cup?

Color seems to make a difference for my children. When he was tiny, my son would only eat white foods. Mashed potatoes, cooked chicken, even tofu were eaten happily. His diet is still pretty colorless. Meat can be red, but vegetables can only be potatoes, preferably mashed. PopTarts, which must be of a brown flavor, seem to be a major food group, but they are best consumed alone in his room.

Blue food gets my daughter in an eating mood, particularly ice cream. Normal-people ice cream flavors, like chocolate or vanilla, can easily be passed up, but blue ice cream, no matter the flavor, gets her vote every time.

I’m thinking I’ll invent a new ice cream flavor. “Blue Liver.” Whatcha think?

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7 Responses to “Liver Makes Me Quiver”

  1. Emily Schuler October 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Did you know that there’s such a thing as bacon-flavored ice cream? I still can’t quite wrap my mind around that one…

    • jmlindy422 October 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

      I did not know that! You can get bacon flavored chocolate. It’s not bad, but it’s not great, either.

  2. Elaine October 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Ah, the vegetarian sausage. I believe I stocked up on that after my little missy gobbled it up at your house, what, two years ago? I’m quite sure nearly ALL of it is still in my freezer. I give up!

  3. Jen Maloney October 20, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Girl, you have GOT to get yourself a magazine deal. This is great stuff!!

    • jmlindy422 October 20, 2010 at 10:41 am #

      Well, thank you! Share with your friends, please.

  4. bobbi October 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    blue liver even yummier than the brown kind Mom used to make.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Snide Reply - September 26, 2011

    […] my episodes on the prairie illustrate, I still have anger issues. I still hate liver, read crap and get jealous, too. But, I haven’t taken a serious trip to Funky Town in a while. My […]

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