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Cry Baby! December 30, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27At one point, my parents had four children under the age of five ~ Jim (5) led the pack, followed in short order by me (3), Doug (1) and Betsy (newborn).

One morning (before Betsy’s arrival), Doug started crying. Mom changed him. Still crying. She fed him. Still crying. She put him down for a nap. Still crying. Nothing worked to stem the steady tide of tears.

As lunchtime rolled around, with Doug screaming bloody murder in the background, Mom decided to let Jim and me have a picnic lunch in the backyard ~ so we could eat away from the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise.

Since she hadn’t planned on serving us a picnic lunch, Mom didn’t have any traditional picnic fare on hand ~ and with three young children, one purple with virtual apoplexy, she wasn’t about to run to the store.

No problem. Ever the resourceful type, she decided to serve us one of her favorite meals ~ liver and bacon!

On a picnic!

What was she thinking?

As she sautéed up the liver and bacon, Doug continued crying. As she set up a small table and chairs for us in the backyard, Doug continued crying.  As she carried out plates of liver to us, Doug continued crying.

When I looked at the plate of food she placed in front of me, I started crying.


Pluto-HappyAt the time, we had a Cocker Spaniel named Muffin. Old, no longer house-broken, and without any real tolerance for children, Muffin was not an ideal family pet. But, as I stared in dismay at the liver and bacon on my plate, her short-comings were not in the forefront of my mind because Muffin had one redeeming virtue . . . she loved liver.

So, with Doug still crying in the background, I fed my liver to the dog.

Jim looked over at me, smiled, and said, “I’m telling.”

As it turned out, Jim did not get a chance to tattle on me ~ Mom had seen the whole thing from the kitchen window.

When she came back outside carrying a plate, I assumed it was dessert.

It wasn’t.

She placed a second portion of liver in front of me, grabbed the dog by the collar, and returned to the house to check on Doug, who was still crying.

Now, at this point, Jim was really smiling . . . a Grinch-y Grin curled up from his lips as he reached the halfway point of his liver and entered the home-stretch toward dessert.

In contrast, I hadn’t even left the starting gate, nor did I plan to.

I hated liver and knew (even though I was not quite two) that liver had no place on a picnic.

Hmm . . . perhaps this picnic signaled the advent of my vegetarian lifestyle.

I sat there, letting the liver congeal on my plate, without taking a single bite, while Doug continued to serenade us with salty sobs in the background.

When Mom returned for Jim’s plate, she took one look at my untouched plate, and said, in her best Scottish brogue, “Ye canna ha’ yer pudding until ye eat yer meat.”

Life is so unfair at times.

As I burst into salty sobs of my own, with Doug competing for attention in the background, I thought . . . What a Cry Baby!

He doesn’t even have to eat liver!

* * * * *


WP Daily Prompt ~ The Early Years (write page 3 of your Autobiography)


1. nuvofelt - December 30, 2012

Let’s face it, liver doesn’t even look appetising, does it. No wonder you cried!

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

Awful stuff. 🙄

2. granny1947 - December 30, 2012

Thank you so much for the belly laugh.

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

Glad you enjoyed, Granny! Everytime I think of this “picnic” . . . it makes me laugh.

3. seeker - December 30, 2012

Iron is good for ya! Eat it or drink it (Cod liver oil) YUCK x20.

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

Yuck x 207! 😯

4. Jas - December 30, 2012

ha ha 😀 But liver is good for health.

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

I don’t see how. 😉

5. klrs09 - December 30, 2012

What a great memory! I can’t remember anything from my childhood, it totally amazes me when people have these great recollections. Oh, and I’m with you — I HATE liver, too! My mother made it every stinking Thursday and I’d have to gag down a piece in order to be excused from the table. ( I remember this because I was in my teens and she made me flour the damn stuff before she cooked it.)

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

We often remember traumatic experiences such as this one . . . and your own experience of gagging down a piece of liver in order to be excused from the table! 😉

6. kateshrewsday - December 30, 2012

Ha! I had a very similar experience at roughly the same age with a plate of minced beef. Even the memory makes me feel uncomfortable….

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

My mother served “mince” over boiled potatoes which we’d mash on our plates. The four of us, if given the choice, would have chosen “mince” hands down over liver. 😀

7. colonialist - December 30, 2012

I never minded liver. Parsnips and artichokes and stringy beans were pet hates, and at times (with the strictness of that era meaning one had to empty one’s plate before leaving the table) I would spend from 1:00 to about 5:00 p.m. at the dinner table staring disconsolately at congealed muck.

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

OK . . . here’s the deal:

YOU eat any LIVER that comes my way and I’ll gobble up any parsnips, artichokes, or string beans that land on your plate.

colonialist - December 30, 2012


nrhatch - December 30, 2012

But I’m NOT sharing my chocolate. 😀

8. Nancy Curteman - December 30, 2012

It’s an unfortunate fact that parents are all amateurs when it comes to parenting. My mom forced me to eat hominy and to this day I can’t tolerate it. My mom thought she was doing the right thing. As I think back on my parenting days, I realize I could have handled some situations better. Parenting may be difficult but it’s not terminal. We all get through it.

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

Well . . . I figure my parents were amateurs with Jim.

But by the time they had four of us they should have risen to the ranks of “trained professionals.” 😉

9. cshowers - December 30, 2012

Ha! I love it. 😀 What a perfectly wretched picnic… Liver? You’re right, you had good reason to cry. I enjoyed your post very much.

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed. I enjoyed writing it. Great prompt.

10. Booksphotographsandartwork - December 30, 2012

That was so cute! Oh my gosh liver! Ick. I think it has no place on any plate. Why would we eat anyone’s liver? When I started reading and read the back of several canned meats that we used to eat I stopped eating them!

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

Yup. Ick! Eating liver reminds me of Hannibal “the cannibal” Lecter, that brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer from Silence of the Lambs. 😯

11. jannatwrites - December 30, 2012

What a traumatic memory! My mom never cooked liver…but Grandma did. And it was nasty! The scene you described and all the crying raised my stress level and reminded me why two children are plenty for me. Now, I’m going to follow the advice of your recent post and eat some chocolate…you know, to reduce my stress 😆

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

I’ll go eat some chocolate too . . . as a preventative measure. 😉

12. Patricia - December 30, 2012

I like liver and onions. Probably because my mother was a horrible cook and she couldn’t make liver any worse than it already was so it was good. Does that make any sense at all?

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

Gotcha ~ my mother was a great cook, most of the time. But she did disappoint on occasion.

You’re not alone. My dad loved liver. And one brother was somewhat of a fan. The rest of us just choked it down to get to dessert.

13. dogear6 - December 30, 2012

I totally grossed out my daughter when I told her (not too long ago either) that during my pregnancy I couldn’t tolerate the iron pills and instead had liver for breakfast every morning while I was pregnant. I’ve never minded having it, but during my pregnancy it was for whatever reason, something I really craved and tolerated much better than other foods.

A long-time employer of mine used to serve liver once a month as part of the cafeteria line and it always sold out. A number of us liked it enough to eat but not to cook or get it cooked at home.

What a memory you wrote – that was worth sharing! How unfair to not get your dessert. Some chocolate is definitely needed. I’ll be right over to help you taste test it too 🙂


nrhatch - December 31, 2012

Thanks, Nancy ~ it’s an acquired taste that many of us never acquire at all. As for the chocolate:.

We’ve got white, dark, milk, so you can take your pick.
We even have hazelnut chocolate stuffed in a wafer-ish stick.

Eating chocolate on New Year’s Eve brings good luck, you know
It banishes sadness and sorrow, allowing happiness to grow

Happy New Year!

14. sufilight - December 31, 2012

Haha, thank goodness you didn’t develop an aversion to picnics with a trauma like this one~ 😀 I too have yucky memories of cod liver oil and liver. Ugh. Mom was not a good cook, so I would when I could get away with it, go to the bathroom and flush down the food in the toilet. 😀

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

I love PICNICS! We opt for vegetarian fare these days ~ breads, cheeses, fruits, pasta salad, hummus, pita, olives, and C~H~O~C~O~L~A~T~E!

Flushing unwanted morsels of food down the toilet is an excellent battle plan for liver and other unsavories. 😀

15. barb19 - December 31, 2012

Not the best picnic food – good try giving it to Muffin, shame your mum saw the gesture. No wonder you cried . . .
Thanks for the laugh!

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

A frustrating experience for all concerned . . . except for Muffin, and possibly Jim. 😆

Happy New Year (almost)!

16. sweetdaysundertheoaks - December 31, 2012

Funny story Nancy. My Mom made liver and onions with bacon. I hated the liver but loved the onions and bacon in the gravy. I don’t think I could choke it down for nothing now!

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

I expect that liver is cooked with onions and bacon to create a more palateable fragrance than that created when frying up organ meat. 😉

The bacon was the best part of the meal.

sweetdaysundertheoaks - December 31, 2012

Absolutely true your comment!

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

Bacon is also used to mask the smell of eggs. 😀

17. theonlycin - December 31, 2012

I had a good chuckle, closely followed by a craving for liver and bacon 🙂

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

Thanks, Cin. I’m in a generous mood . . . you can have mine. 😉

18. Three Well Beings - December 31, 2012

I had about two bites of liver once…and that was it for me! I can’t think how a two-year old could navigate that taste and texture. You had a strong backbone even as a little one, didn’t you! 🙂

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

I did, Debra. Although, perhaps, my backbone was more surreptitious back then. Instead of open warfare via bold defiance, I created an ally (Muffin) to assist me in “cleaning my plate.” 😉

These days, I would merely decline the proffered meat with a gracious (and snarky) smile. :mrgreen:

19. ryoko861 - December 31, 2012

The only time I ever ate liver was when mom was preparing a chicken to roast. She’d take all the giblets out and throw them in a pot but take the liver and saute it in some butter and she and I would share it. Just that little bit we’d savor! But she never prepared it for the family. I love liver, especially with onions and tons of butter!
What was wrong with Doug anyway?
And how did mom know about Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” before it even was produced!??

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

Chicken livers and chicken liver pate are a “different breed of animal” entirely from baby beef or calves liver. Liverwurst too.

Pink Floyd borrowed the line from her . . . or her mother. 😉

As for Doug, I expect he was teething. Of course, without teeth, he was in the enviable position of not being served liver. 😆

Have a bright shiny day today . . . and ring in the new year with good cheer! Here’s to happy endings and bright beginnings.

ryoko861 - December 31, 2012

Hmmm, did mom know Roger Waters!? Maybe they were channeling eachother……ok, anyway…..interesting about the chicken liver. Did not know this!
Happy New Year Nan!

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

Perhaps. Ideas circulate . . . it’s our job to reach up and grab hold of the ones that work. 😀

Have a great day today, a glorious time tonight, and a New Year filled with pizzazz! 😎

20. ericjbaker - December 31, 2012

That’s the best part of being a grown up. You can eat pudding any damned time you want.

nrhatch - December 31, 2012

Damn straight! And tonight our “pudding” of choice will be Chocolate Mousse Pie! It’s guaranteed to bring Good Luck in the New Year! 😀

21. Pocket Perspectives - December 31, 2012

I would have sat there all night rather than eat liver… some foods inspired a stubborn stance and liver was one of those. And Nancy, 4 kids under 5 years old!…wow, your mom must have been amazing to keep everything going along!

nrhatch - January 1, 2013

These days I would have to be near starvation to allow even a sliver of liver past my lips. 🙄

I don’t know how mom managed to keep us straight, much less cook, sew, perform in plays, do photography, etc. Oh, right, she didn’t waste time blogging. 😉

22. Tokeloshe - January 2, 2013

Great post !
I don’t like liver either.

nrhatch - January 2, 2013

It seems that more folks don’t, than do. Count me as one of the majority on this one. 😀

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