This week I’m helping a friend out by cooking for her camp. It’s a great working vacation for me—still busy but with only one job rather than 10, with the added bonus of having lots of girls and horses around and being in the woods. There have been several food conversations here, though (“Cereal is a huge treat at my house!” “My mom grows a big garden, cans, raises all our meat so it’s all good.” “There’s lots of food allergies at my house, like corn, wheat, and dairy.” “My Dad and one brother are super healthy eaters, my other brother specializes in junk food.”). It’s interesting to see what people feel is important in their diet and how they go about acting on that belief. Sometimes their food choices are knowledge based, sometimes necessity based (as in the case of food allergies), sometimes economy drives the choices. Everyone wants to be healthy and at some fundamental level we know that food is a medicine (or a poison, depending). If you are a reader of this blog, we recognize that you are seeking to do your best, with the tools you have, to procure this most basic of medicines. I realized, again, this week that I appreciate all of our customers’ for that reason.
By the way, I wrote a while back about my experiment with liver. My body goes through B vitamins like water and I have a hard time getting enough to keep my motor running strong. Our naturalpathic doctor recommended a whole food supplement which really helped, but I figured the good Lord made a food that’d do the trick in a much more economical fashion. Since then, I’ve been working at getting at least a little liver every day to see if that would help. For me, it does. It doesn’t take much if I keep up with it—a couple tablespoons of pate, a ¼-1/2 cp. of fried liver, and so on. I’ve found several ways to make it to change up the flavors. The moral of the story is that there are superfoods out there that will help you to be healthy. I have a saying: “that’s like liver and lumpy oatmeal: not very tasty but good for you.” So, be encouraged to research what foods will best meet your health needs and treat food as medicine!
Ways I’ve found to get liver down my gullet:
Pre anything: I always soak liver and kidney in either milk, salty water, or lemon juice. This helps pull out blood and impurities and makes the flavor milder. I’ve soaked them for half an hour up to overnight in the fridge. Rinse well and they are ready to use.
1) Fried with hearts and herbs. I split the chicken hearts in half and fry them in coconut oil, lard, or butter. When they are no longer red, add lots of onion and garlic and saute until the onion is clear. Add diced liver, salt, and pepper and fry or cover and steam just until cooked. Over cooked liver has a chalky texture, just cooked liver has a much more palatable chewy texture like meat. With the liver you can add any combination of spices. Sometimes I go Italian with fennel and oregano, sometimes I use sage and thyme—this is the creative step that keeps it interesting. Liver is a strong canvas to paint on, so don’t be afraid of cayenne, horseradish, or other strong seasonings.
2) Pate sounds hoity toity, but is very easy to make. Saute the onions and garlic in LOTS of fat (coconut oil, lard, butter). Add the liver and any seasonings. Cook just until the liver isn’t red and is cooked through. Using a blender or food processor, blend it all until smooth. I like it creamier, which requires a great deal of fat, so be sure you have a good quality fat. If I’m in a flavor mood, I use lard or butter. If I’m feeling the need to be more healthful, I use coconut oil. Pate will freeze, so you can make a batch and freeze it in smaller portions. I can eat it with crachers or stir it into whatever else we’re having for dinner and take my “vitamins” that way.
3) A great way to disguise liver is in spicy dishes. I haven’t tried a curry yet because I don’t care for curry, but anything Mexican is great!
On a final note, I just saw this on facebook (thank-you Ajna!): It is not lucrative to be healthy. That is why the food/agriculture and medical industries do what they do and say what they say. It’s about money. However, you beat the system every time you choose to let nature help you be healthy, and food tops the list. But that is starting to sound like a thought for another day….