Judith Gayle Smith
What does child abuse taste like? Try these: chopped liver deceptively spread on a favorite cracker and dubbed "peanut butter" by a dotingly fiendish Grandmother. A pinkly-white frothsome confection that Daddy most joyously informed me was a strawberry sundae, but in reality was a horseradish-laden shrimp cocktail. A lusciously juicy grilled hamburger stufficated with a jalapeno pepper replete with seeds.
The above is all in justification for the following tidbit - aka the definitive pickyfoodeater horror story - that, plus the very lamentable fact that we did not have a drooling slack-jawed beggar-faced willing puppy under the kitchen table.
Ahhhhh, the to-die-for smells of pan-fried onions and bacon. Yummm! But - what is that blob-like purplish slither oozing in that white wrapping paper - oozing? It is - it is - oh no, the dreaded slimy fuzzy-tasting like rotted meat for upsettling stomachs - liver! Oh don't, please don't slap it into that onion and bacon filled pan! At least take out some of the bacon and onions for me! Aghhh! Too late! That slimy wet has touched everything in the pan! Aghhh! The stench! Throw up! Barf!
At the dinner table. ugh. Stare at the fried 'it'. Think of all the bad words you wish you could say aloud. Sweet Mom says, encouragingly, "It's just a teensy piece. It won't hurt you. It's good for you! Think of all the starving children (can I wrap it up and send it to them?)everywhere! You want to belong to the 'clean plate club', don't you?" Dad,not so encouragingly says, "Eat it. All of it. Now! Or I'll really give you something to cry about!" Unhelpful big sister is gobbling hers down like a pig - she actually likes it! Yuck! What can you expect from a kid who likes mushrooms and lima beans! We shoulda had a dawg.
Hmmm - smashed taters and peas. Cut a teensiest microscopic fleck of that rotted dratted liver. ugh. Roll it 'round with lots and lots of onions and bacon (pretend like the liver never touched it). Smoosh it into a huge forkful of smashed taters and roll it all up in the peas. Take a piece of bread (no crust) and slather lots of butter on it to help the liver slide down more easily. Now the tricky part - squeeze eyes real tight shut, hold nose 'cause that's where the tastebuds are - and shovel whole mess in face and swallow fastest! Immediately gag on piece of liver. Ack! Ack!
Pretend not to notice daggering eyes stabbing you from all directions. Cough very daintily into napkin, tears streaming down face - simper sweetly and nobly. Place spat-up liver now enfolded in napkin back down to your lap, and when no one is watching - stuff liver into crack in plastic cushion of your chair.
Continue through meal with varying stages of rolling, coughing, wheezing and stuffing - hopefully you will get lots of sympathy and extra dessert ("Poor little tyke - think she's coming down with something?"). Ha! Coming up with something is more the case!
But be very careful to stuff yucky pukey liver into plastic cushion very very deeply - so no one ever finds it and finds you out! And pray like crazy that your Mom doesn't one day decide to recover the kitchen chairs - like mine did. Oh-oh.
We shoulda had a dawg.
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