After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

This Home is a Liver-Free Zone

There were a few surprises as I read my Mom’s memoirs. She didn’t think she was a very good mom for feeding us kids frozen meals instead of true home cooking. She rectified this in later years as her cooking skills improved.

Frozen meals were introduced in the early ’50s by Swanson as “TV Dinners.”

Since they predated the microwave oven, they were frozen meals in disposable aluminum trays covered with foil that was peeled off after they were heated in the oven.

I understand my Mom’s reasoning, but we thought they were awesome.

My favorite variety was Salisbury steak. The meat patty was in its own little aluminum well, with other compartments containing mashed potatoes with gravy, mixed vegetables, and the best part: dessert! A smaller section contained a little brownie.

She also mentioned our distaste for liver and onions, and she’s right there. My parents both adored liver and onions, but we absolutely detested them.

My mom once tested the theory that we were only feigning our revulsion for the dish by serving me a cooked slice of liver and telling me it was steak.

Steak? I love steak! Gleefully, I dug right in.

This subterfuge was only effective until I took my first bite.

Alice’s stance on liver was the same as mine: yuck! And we never served it to our children.

I’ve told them I have this fear that someday they will be served liver and onions, discover they love it, and bitterly lament that we deprived them of this marvelous dish during their childhood.

They’ve solemnly assured me that no such thing will happen.