It was drawn to my attention a few months ago that my iron level was abysmal. The Egyptian, upon learning of my iron deficiency, promptly showed up and cooked roast beef for me. I can’t say much about that without sounding like a lovestruck idiot, but suffice it to say, these simple, careful gestures make the man.
I resolved to correct my iron deficiency through diet opposed to supplements by rolling the task into the already ongoing protein intake project. Thus began The Egyptian’s quest to get me to eat liver. Liver: The Best Source of Iron.
After six weeks, I had managed to double my iron by the sheer force of my diet awesomeness.
“Just imagine how good it will be after the liver!” said The Egyptian.
“There is no fucking way,” I said.
But The Egyptian’s enthusiasm to cook me liver did not wane in the coming weeks, and finally, last night the time had come. We’d had a nice walk in the ravine and as we discussed what to do for dinner, his eyes lit up – I knew. I knew I was going to have to eat the liver.
At the grocery store, I almost hit the jackpot when we couldn’t find liver on the shelf. Sadly, I had the idea to look in the butcher case and, yes indeed, there it was. The Egyptian ordered it up. I was practically gagging as the kid piled the slabs onto the scale. “Blaaaggggh, I don’t think I can eat that!” I moaned. Dramatically.
“Honey, after this you’re going to wonder where liver has been all your life. You’ll craaave it.”
Back at home, I observed as The Egyptian prepared the liver. He explained that liver is an Alexandrian specialty. As luck would have it, my Egyptian is from Alexandria. At least my first liver experience was in good hands. He sliced the liver into very thin strips, then fried it with some olive oil and a lot of garlic. Right at the end he added salt, pepper and cumin. The liver was then put into some nice rolls and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice.
I’ve always heard that the smell of liver cooking is absolutely atrocious, that it would “gag a maggot” as we like to say in my family. But as the liver hit the pan, not only was there no smell offensive enough to cause a maggot to barf, there was practically no smell at all. Just garlicky deliciousness.
And I did wonder where liver had been all my life.