A Few Slices Of Liver

(Early Days, Palmerston Boulevard)
Henri van Bentum

This story takes place in the late 1960’s when I used to spend most of the morning at Rinpoche’s house, arriving there with him after the morning class. I’d stay on and often help to prepare lunch.

For one of these lunches at Palmerston Boulevard, Ananda Bodhi sent me out to get a few slices of liver for the soup he had in mind. Also some marrow bones, leeks, and potatoes.

When the time came for me to prepare the soup - after the bones had drawn their stock and the potatoes and leeks were cooked in the broth - I looked around for the liver. No where was it to be found.

“Looking for something?”, said the Teacher.

“Yes, the liver. I’m sure I put it in the fridge.”

“Why liver?”, AB asked.

“Because you told me,” was my reply.

“What made you think it was for the soup?”
(Of course I’d taken it for granted the liver was for the soup).

“Where is the liver?”, I asked.

He laughed. AB had cut it into very small slices, and without me noticing, fed it to the felines. (In those days Ananda Bodhi always had some beautiful Burmese cats and also a Siamese cat.)

The following week during one of my shopping errands for the Teacher's lunch, he told me to bring spinach, barley, marrow bones, and liver. When the soup was almost ready, AB came into the kitchen, looked over his shoulder to me and asked, “Where is the liver?”

I said, “I thought it was for the cats.”

“Did you ask?”

“No, sir”, said I.

“Well, then - you took it for granted again, didn’t you?”

Happily, liver doesn’t take long to cook, so I got the liver out and cut it into slivers and added it to the soup. Again, he chuckled, in that unique way when his ‘Irish imp’ was performing.

(Footnote: That was the first time I ever ate spinach, barley, and liver soup! And nourishing it was).

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License