We just finished eating the last of the chopped liver left over from our Passover seder and aside from the fact that it was tasty, I love that the ritual of making it as a family has remained intact since I was a kid.
When I was really young, my grandmother would make the chopped liver and it was a solo affair. When I got a little older, my parents would make it, with my sister’s and my contribution being merely to provide commentary. “Ugh, worms!” we’d exclaim as the ingredients would go through the old-fashioned grinder. Have you ever seen liver coming out of the holes of a grinder? Yes, it does look just like worms. Now we refer to the process of making chopped liver as making worms. And we wonder why the kids don’t eat chopped liver?
Now that we’re adults, we help a little bit more with the chopped liver making process. This year, my mom sauteed the onions and the liver and boiled the eggs. My daughter and I peeled the eggs and my dad put all the ingredients through the same grinder that we’ve used forever. I served as sous chef, pouring the oil from the pan into the ground mixture to moisten it and seasoning it with salt and pepper. The kids were on hand to to say, “ew, worms!” although my sister and I are not above that despite the fact that we’re adults.
My sister sliced the vegetables to be used as garnish, and my cousin, sister, and I plated the chopped liver with the garnish and served. (It sounds pretentious to talk about “plating” chopped liver, but I’ve moved too far into the foodie world to think up a normal word for it.)
Last year we had a chopped liver crisis where the kosher butcher would not sell liver that was kosher for Passover for some obscure religious reason. We had to buy ready-made, which was horrid and deprived us of the experience of making it. Thankfully, this year we got our “worms” experience and I enjoy it all the more for the family participation.
Happy Passover everyone, or as my Mormon friend tried her best to say to me, Chag Sameach!