Sunday Column Reprise
Note from Dan: While I’m on vacation, I’m treating your to some oldie-but-goodie columns from the past. This column was published April 19. Stephanie Smith died the following September. Let’s hope there is liver cheese in heaven for this dear soul.
Stephanie Smith is 60 years old, and she’s not feeling too chipper these days.
The northwest Roanoke resident has a trifecta of autoimmune diseases. She also has end-stage renal failure, congestive heart failure and lung cancer, and she recently lost one eye and has a cataract in the other.
For all of that, she speaks with surprising vigor. Her voice is loud and clear. Her mind seems that way, too. She has old-fashioned manners and a keen sense of humor.
Somehow, she can still read this humble column. She says if her one good eye ever gets so bad that she can’t, she’ll hire someone to read it to her.
God bless you, Miss Smith.
She called recently to sic me on a story about the recent disappearance of liver cheese from grocery stores in the Roanoke Valley.
“What on earth is liver cheese?” I asked Smith. I had never heard of the stuff.
“It’s older than dirt,” Smith told me. “It’s been around forever.”
It’s a cold cut, kind of like liver-wurst. Lots of people like that, though liverwurst has always struck me as the most vile concoction at a deli counter besides the supremely revolting headcheese.
Unlike liverwurst, which is round, liver cheese is square, and a bit stronger-tasting. The meat portion is surrounded by a narrow band of lard. The chief ingredients are pork livers, pork, pork fat, salt and reconstituted onion.
It doesn’t sound too appetizing. But you can’t tell that to Stephanie Smith.
She’s been eating it since she was a young girl. It is best with the lard peeled off, then laid on bread slathered with name-brand mayonnaise and crisp lettuce, she said.
“When you get as old as I am, there’s not many things in life that you enjoy,” she told me. “I’m stubborn. I’m used to the things I’m used to.”
Oscar Mayer makes it — they’re owned by Kraft now. It used to come prepackaged in the already-sliced deli meats sections of Kroger and Food Lion.
But Kroger carries it no longer. To her chagrin, Stephanie Smith realized this a couple of months ago.
READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN HERE.