Tomorrow is my grandmother’s birthday. She never had a crowd over for her birthday. She had a crowd for New Year’s. If they had to come to hers for her birthday, she would have kept it to cake. Because that is not when a crowd was supposed to come. They were supposed to come on New Year’s. If you wanted to come on New Year’s with the rest of them, there was chopped chicken liver, a quiche, salad, smoked fish, and sharp cheese. And bread that she made. And cookies that she stored in shirt boxes in her closet. I am not saying if you came on your own, she wouldn’t cook for you. She would. Vegetable soup with chunks of beef and butterballs, or a little steak with a side of tomato. Or a snack of fresh fruit with cool whip. Or date, walnut cookies the size of your palm. “Eat” she would say. “What else do you have to do?”

“What are you making tomorrow, Gram?” “Well. The same thing I always make.” “Okay.” “Is there something you don’t like about that?” “Nope.” “Why would I change?” “You are right.” “I just hope you are hungry.” “I am always hungry, Gram.”

Chopped Chicken Liver

In a saute pan, add a little butter and olive oil. Very finely chop yellow onion, shallot, and celery, in nearly equal parts. Maybe a half cup total for half a pound of livers. Add some salt, pepper, a sprig of rosemary, a few sprigs of parsley and a few sprigs of thyme with one small smashed clove of garlic. Let all of that go tender and slightly caramelized. Give it a grind of black pepper. Drop in half a pound of organic chicken livers that you have dried off on paper towel. Season them with salt. Let them cook on all surfaces and then add a pour of dry white wine. Finish cooking until the livers are cooked through completely. You can break them up with a wooden spoon as they cook if you feel like it. Toss in a few capers. Taste. You might have to add a little more salt or pepper. Give it another pour of olive oil. Just a little. Puree with the immersion blender until smooth and taste. You can thin it out with a little water, or if it needs fat, add a little more olive oil. It should be really delicious. It is good on rye bread or baguette with a side of quiche, but I also like it with 9 minute eggs and watercress.

In my head I hear, “what do mean, you are not making quiche?” “People don’t always eat quiche so much anymore, Gram.” “That’s ridiculous. Of course they do.”

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