Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Buckets of Fonzy

Today my friend, Simcha, over at Turkish Cooking, Everyday has posted a recipe for a Turkish liver dish, Ci─čer Kavurma. She prefaces her recipe with a story of a childhood memory of having to choke down some Liver & Gravy, and disliking it completely ever since. But being cajoled and force fed something that you find horrifyingly repulsive is sort of the universal childhood experience; a right of passage, if you will. We all bear the scars. Simcha says that she has come to terms with liver and actually likes it prepared in a particular way now. I cannot say the same. Here is the story of my first and last taste of liver.

My sister and I were staying with our Aunt & Uncle, on their small farm. Being suburban kids, this was a rather novel experience for us. They had chickens, horses and cattle. As little girls, we were used to every "pet" having a name, and were shocked to find that no one had bothered to name any of the cows. We put our heads together and came up with Laverne & Shirley for the ladies, and Fonzy for the bull. Thinking back, I can remember my Aunt being like, "Ok, but....", but we, oblivious to the eventual fate of the moo-moos, became somewhat attached - albeit from a distance.

Bulls aren't known for their gentlemanly behavior, and Fonzy expedited his exit when he took it upon himself to try and gore my cousin's beloved horse to death. I can't recall if the horns hit the mark, but I do remember that the horse got knocked into a whole mess of barbed wire, hard. Fonzy had just put himself on the fast track to freezer camp.

Memories can be tricky - I'm honestly not sure if I'm remembering this 100% correctly or if my experience has been influenced by repeated viewings of Napoleon Dynamite, but as I recall, our school bus was just rolling up to drop us at the driveway, in full view of the pasture, when the shot was fired.

Trauma, tears and worry for poor, widowed Laverne & Shirley followed in tidal waves of 7-year old emotion.

It was either later that same day, or perhaps the next that the real butchering began. Bits were here and there. There were multiple 5-gallon buckets in the kitchen filled with various guts and whatnot. It was horrifying.

In stark contrast to the scene in the kitchen was the smell wafting out from the stove top as my Aunt made dinner. I remember that the aroma of whatever it was she was cooking was so good. Like pot roast or chicken soup, something warm and homey, the perfect balm to my emotional afternoon. I was starving!

When dinner was served up, it was liver and onions. It looked pretty sketchy, but the tasty smell and a few stern looks shot my way by my Aunt and Uncle compelled me to tuck right in. From the very second that that first bite hit my tongue, liver and I were done for good.

I honestly don't recall the taste. It may have been incredible. All I can remember is the texture in my mouth, and flashing back to pictures of the buckets in the kitchen. Buckets of Fonzy. Even if I could have got past the weird, creepy texture of the liver, the psychological trauma probably would have been enough to stop me eating it anyway. I put my fork down and sat their trying my damnedest to swallow that bite. I got it down but simply could not take another. I was threatened, bribed, and finally, warned that I'd be spending my entire night at the table in front of that rapidly cooling plate of Fonzy if I didn't just buck up and eat it already.

I spent the rest of the evening at the table, as did my sister.

Guess what was for breakfast the next morning?

My Aunt & Uncle were old school like that. I don't recall whether or not we went without breakfast of any kind, but I can tell you for sure that neither one of us ate that stone-cold, day old liver. I can only imagine that later that day I must have attacked my school lunch like a demented piranha, grateful for my fake mashed potatoes and instant gravy like I'd never been before.

And that is why I just say no to liver. It's the texture, the idea, the mental associations, all of it. I can't eat it in any form - pate, fois gras, no way, no how. That is my general approach to all organ meats really. It's not snobbery, it's the mental & textural issues that I can't overcome. Given the choice, I'd rather eat my napkin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Look Who's New in the Hollow, Winter 2011

Valentine, born 2/14/11

Oreo & Buckley, born 2/14/11

Hop, born 2/10/11

Barley, born 2/10/11

Surprise! Eight(?) baby bunnies, born sometime late this past week.

Hop & Barley trying to figure out this whole "nursing" thing

Kisses for Mama from Barley boy :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And Even More Babies!

I was sure that Wide Load errr.... Fritzen was going to pop while I was out of town on my girls weekend, but she wasn't the one to bless us with babies this week, instead we got MORE BUNNIES!

I don't have any pictures of these little fuzzles, because Mama & Papa bunny are not letting us get too close to their bun-buns just yet, but I will try again tomorrow. Either the last litter were born premature, or these guys have somehow been hiding in their orchard grass/bunny hair nest longer than just one day, because from what little I saw of them, they are significantly bigger and are also ever so slightly furry already. Scarlet, who "discovered" the bunnies, has her eye on a white one that she wants to name "Milky-Silky". We'll have to see about that...

I can't believe that they re-bred so quickly! The first litter was born on January 8th, and it's supposed to take 31 days for mama to gestate a litter, meaning that she got back in the family way within about 5 days of delivery. Aye chihuahua!

We're not sure yet if we're keeping any of the babies or selling them all, but one thing is for sure: Prince Charming is about to lose his charms. Sorry pal, we can turn a blind eye to getting down with your sister once twice, but this isn't "that" kind of place. And unless timothy hay and alfalfa pellets start falling from the sky, we aren't going to be able to keep all of these mamas and babies in food.

Sooo.... who needs a bunny? ;)