When I was a child, steak night was a family tradition as far back as I can remember. My family moved from Anderson to Connersville, IN, when I was four. My dad was the produce manager at the Standard Grocery store in Anderson. He accepted a promotion as manager of the Connersville store. My younger brother was born in Connersville in May of that year.
Steak Night Date Night
I don’t know when it started, but my mom and dad had a date night on Friday nights. My two siblings and I would eat early then we were whooshed off to bed.
Mom and Dad had a romantic dinner, watched TV, and then did whatever young married couples in their late twenties did in the 1950s. I don’t want to know.
We moved from Connersville to Indianapolis when I was in the third grade, so I was probably nine, maybe ten years old. That’s about when I realized I was not fond of steak. The early kids’ dinner on Friday night was steak, then Mom and Dad would have their steak after we went to bed. Sometimes Mom would prepare their steaks in the oven on broil, and other times Dad would fire up the charcoal grill.
We Hated Steak Night!
However, the kids’ steaks were always cooked in a skillet with onions. Here’s the thing. All three of us hated steak night because we hated steak. We’d ask for cereal or PB&J but no. Steak it was. Part of the problem was my mom wasn’t a very good cook. For one thing, having grown up during the great depression, she’d always look for ways to cut corners.
Some of the dishes she brought to holiday family gatherings were famously terrible. Especially since my two aunts, my father’s sisters, were outstanding cooks. She once brought a Jell-O mold with Vienna sausages in it. She’d found the recipe in a homemaker’s magazine. Another family non-favorite was her poor man’s cake. I’m not sure what was in it, but it certainly was poor.
So, as I said, part of the problem was the chef, my mom. It wasn’t until I was a couple of years older that I learned the real problem. I was at a friend’s house when their dad lit the grill. He asked if I wanted a steak, and I shook my head vehemently and said no! My friend’s father convinced me to try it. I did, and it was wonderful. It melted in my mouth. I’d never tasted anything like it in my life.
No More Steak
The next day at the dinner table, back then we ate together at the kitchen table; I told my story and then asked why our Friday kid’s night steaks didn’t taste like that. Mom and Dad looked at each other, and then Dad said, “The truth is you didn’t get steak. You had liver and onions.” Wait what?
My tight-ass parents didn’t want to splurge on steak for my siblings, and me. Don’t get me wrong. In later years, I learned to appreciate liver and onions when it was properly prepared. Still, the combination of my mother’s poor culinary skills and cheap liver almost ruined me on beef. After that, we never had another sibling steak night. We had hot dogs, burgers, or a PB& J on Friday night but we never ever had liver again.
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And there’s a book of humor
Want to read a collection of humor pieces? Writing I Think I’m Funny: and it gets me in trouble all the time has been a labor of love. Of the 47 stories in this book, more than 30 are true tales from my days on this planet. Most of those make it clear how my warped sense of humor gets me in trouble.