Thursday, July 25, 2013

Liver Cheese: A Family Tradition

Today is an anniversary date. One of those dates you wish you did not have to remember but there is no way you can forget. 

Fifteen years ago today,two days after his birthday, my father died of lung cancer. He was a lifelong smoker and his cancer was aggressive. His battle was short. He fought for six short months after his diagnosis. He knew the chemo was not working and that his time was limited. When he came to this realization he became the best dad in the world. 

In the days before my father's passing, my family shared some memorable moments. One of those moments centers around the deli meat: Liver Cheese.I would not be surprised if you have never heard of it, or even never tasted it. But I was raised on it as it was one of my Dad's favorite things. 

What is it? Well, it is a German food that is actually called Leberkase. It is bacon, corned beef, pork, and onion that is ground together and baked. It comes with a lard ring around the meat {which kinda grosses me out, so I remove it}. For my family, fresh deli Liver Cheese is way better than the packaged stuff any day!

As my family gathered fifteen years ago, someone from our small caring community brought us some fresh deli Liver Cheese. My poor dad had not eaten anything in days.  {A fact that Hospice told us would happen. As the cancer progresses the patient looses interest and sadly food just feeds the cancer}. I, however, was hungry and made myself a Liver Cheese sandwich. I took my sandwich into our living room as sitting space was very limited. I ended up sitting on my dad's hospital bed expecting him to be asleep or incoherent due to all the morphine he was one. 

As I was eating my sandwich, my father awoke, and in a moment of clarity, he asked me what I was eating. I told him and asked him back, "you want a bite?" He did and I offered him my sandwich. He took such a huge bite he almost bit my finger!

Sadly, a day later he died. 

Now, every year on either the anniversary of his passing or his birthday, my mother, brother, son, and myself eat Liver Cheese.

I like my sandwich on white bread {which is weird because I normally prefer whole grain}, mayo, onion,, and Liver Cheese. 

Just the way Dad liked it.

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