Yes, Virginia, Chopped Liver Is Real

When I mentioned to people that I was asked to make chopped liver for the Seder I was invited to, a few people asked, “Chopped liver? Like, ‘What am I, chopped liver?’ Is that a real thing?”

Yes, Virginia, chopped liver is a real thing. I think the saying, “What am I, chopped liver?” comes from the idea that chopped liver is the often-ignored (and sometimes detested) side dish, and the person using the expression thinks they’re being sidelined.

Chopped liver is a popular/traditional Seder side dish, and every Jewish family has its recipe that has been handed down for generations. You always need that, along with matzoh ball soup, for Seder, whether you like it or not. It’s not part of the ceremonial Seder meal, but it’s a staple nonetheless.

Anyway, I did not find my ex’s grandmother’s letter in time to use her chopped liver recipe for Seder on Saturday. But I got a lot of response after my “Lonely Jew” post and my BFF’s mom wrote to me with her family’s recipe (thank you!), which I used, along with backup for measurement purposes from a recipe that I found on Pinterest, of all places.

Sherpa actually did most of the shopping and cooking, which is no surprise. He went to a local butcher and got a big plastic bag full of chicken livers – it was like a carnival prize goldfish bag, but full of chicken parts. Apparently the butcher told Sherpa there were some other parts in there we would have to sort through. That was fun.

Anyway, we made an egg-heavy version of the recipe and it turned out really well. I liked ours better than the store-bought version that also showed up at the Seder, and we got lots of compliments on it. Sherpa, it turns out, just doesn’t like chopped liver. Something about it reminding him of the liver and onions his dad always requested when he was growing up. But there was plenty of non-liver food, so we were both happy. And going to another “new” Seder is always fun for me. This was Sherpa’s third Seder already! He’s like an old pro.


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