So Let’s Talk Liver
Miri was born at the foot of the Himalayas, foretold to become shaman of the Adi people, her advice sought often when illness gripped the land. Her hut was east of the Upper Siang valley, found by the natives only when the need was great. That seemed odd since it was hard to miss, of two levels, made of dried mud and bark. The roof would open when a rope was pulled so Miri could read the stars at night. No one knew her age but it was believed everyone was younger than she.
One day after she picked the leaves of the Xingzan tree which she would grind up and drop in an open kettle of boiling water, reading them, a vision perceived, when suddenly she heard a knock on the door, disrupting her concentration. It was Yetta, her sister, who she hadn’t seen for many years.
“Where have you been for so long, Yetta, my sister” asked Miri.
“If you had truly been able to seer, you would know”, said Yetta sharply, then added after some thought, “far and wide, many places and things I have seen from other lands.”
“Well, reading liver and entrails has always been my specialty” responded Miri.
“Then I will bring some liver tomorrow. Perhaps you can tell me the cause of the pain in my back that has plagued me for so long”, she said.
When Yetta came with a covered pot the next day at sundown, they sat at the creaky wooden table.
“So let’s talk liver” Miri glared suspiciously at the pot.
“Well,” retorted Yetta, “the pain comes mostly at night, radiating down my spine. Then it disappears.”
“Let me examine what you have brought” her elder sister responded, removing the top.
As she breathed the odor, her white bristled nasal hairs resonated, eyes opened wide as she gasped:
“You’re not supposed to put green peppers in chopped liver. It causes gas,” shared Miri with a gleam in her eye.
Shaman Miri’s Recipe for Chopped Chicken Liver
1 pound of chicken (cow or yak) liver
1 peeled onion
Chicken fat, or substitute
2 hard boiled eggs, cooled in ice water for 10 minutes before peeling
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Take a 10 inch heated skillet and saute a sliced and diced onion in chicken fat (or substitute) until light brown, mix two tablespoons of red wine for flavoring, then add a pound of chicken livers. Cook for about five minutes on high flame, tossing occasionally until firm. Mix the liver in a wooden bowl with two hard boiled eggs, add the fried onions. Use a sharp chopping blade, add wine as needed till it’s of pasty consistency. Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Best served chilled.