K is For Kidneys

Do you remember the Meat Boycott of 1973? It was primarily organized by women’s groups protesting the rising cost of food.  Meat, in particular, had skyrocketed along with oil and gasoline prices. In the metropolitan New York and suburban Long Island areas there were a number of rallies and protests. The boycott was scheduled for a full week in April.

Mom decided to demonstrate solidary to the cause. Her big appetite family went through groceries like a swarm of locust. Anything to save on the necessities was worth the effort. Besides, my mom reasoned, cutting down on meat consumption was a healthy endeavor even in 1973. She would not participate in a rally or protest, but she did plan on meatless meals for the boycott week. No cold cut sandwiches, no bacon with eggs and no meat with dinner had to be endured for the cause.

Did I mention my mom taught high school biology full time? Looking back, I am in awe that she worked every day, managed five kids and put a full meal on the table by the time my dad got home. A true supermom.

Mom baked bread, made ham-less pasta fagiole, and put together a mushroom casserole. We missed real meat. Even a slice of baloney would have been appreciated.  I suppose the whining had gotten to her by day four or five. She came home with a package of kidneys. She cooked it for dinner saying that kidneys were a very cheap meat and did not really hinder the boycott’s goals. After all, who would want to eat kidneys? Organ meat has a distinct heavy smell as it cooks. The kidneys had a strong cat food aroma that permeated through the house. Although no one ate the kidneys (ergo staying true to the meat boycott), no one dared complain. Tripe or tongue may have been on the next night’s menu.


Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’  kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure.  If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk.  Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!


Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

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5 thoughts

  1. I used to make steak and kidney pie. There weren’t too many kidneys but they gave the whole dish a pleasant flavour. My mother cooked lambs fry and bacon, crumbed brains and we had cold lamb’s tongue on our sandwiches. You could buy it canned in the grocery store. She drew the line at tripe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d forgotten abt that, I was up in Ct. hubby reminded me that that was when horse meat became popular. I remember there was a meat place in Westbrook Ct that sold it and people protested on horseback! I’ve never eaten kidneys or Mama either. I’ll pass on trying it!

    Liked by 1 person

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