Eat & Drink

‘The Wizard of Oz’ calls up wicked memories of liver and onions

FILE: Turner Classic Movies Film. Movie. The Wizard of Oz. Flying monkey. Wicked Witch. Dorothy in magic ball.
FILE: Turner Classic Movies Film. Movie. The Wizard of Oz. Flying monkey. Wicked Witch. Dorothy in magic ball.

Sometimes I dare to dine on foie gras or nibble at a swipe of pate on toasted bread. Just don’t ever ask me to enjoy what I have come to think of as a truly wicked dish: liver and onions.

When I was about 3 years old, my mother, a registered nurse, pulled a night shift at the hospital, which meant Dad was in charge of dinner.

To coax me to eat a plate of liver and onions, he flat-out bribed me. Finish dinner without a fuss, he told me, and I could watch that night’s TV special feature movie presentation: “The Wizard of Oz.”

Sensing that histrionics like grabbing my throat and choking would get me nowhere — and lulled by the idea of watching something I imagined might be like Saturday morning cartoons — I managed to wash down the strong, metallic-smelling organ meat and slithery worms of onion with giant gulps of milk and a grimace.

As Dad promised, I was excused from the table. I slid off my chair and bolted for the rabbit-eared, black-and-white TV, where I sat cross-legged and waited. And waited. He tricked me, I thought. Who were these “Huntley and Brinkley” guys droning on? And on.

Finally, “The Wizard of Oz” came on the screen. I don’t recall being scared by flying monkeys and wicked witches. No, liver and onions had already sent shivers down my spine.

GOT AN ‘OZ’ STORY TO SHARE?

As part of our celebration of the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” movie, we’d like your “Oz” memories. Share a personal anecdote about the movie. As a kid did you flee the living room when the flying monkeys attacked? Did you dress as Dorothy at Halloween? Did your family watch it on TV every year? Email your story (no more than 150 words, please), along with your name, phone number and city, to starfyi@gmail.com. Put “Oz memory” in the subject line. Deadline for submissions: 11:59 p.m. Aug. 18.

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