Food made with Alcohol

Went out socialising last week surrounded by alcohol for the first time and more than survived. I had sparkling water as my drink for the evening. Dinner was great. I had dessert too. I enjoyed myself. I didn’t miss drinking alcohol. My dessert had alcohol in it but I let that slide. Tiramisu. I’m okay with that being in my life. I noticed that the slice of baked pear on the plate tasted of red wine too. Again, I’m okay with that being on my plate.

I’m not writing this to spark an argument but how do you feel about food with alcohol in it? I haven’t cooked with alcohol. Actually that’s not true. I cook with sake sometimes. Mirin too. It’s ingrained in Japanese cooking. I haven’t cooked with red/white wine. I don’t want to start the cooking with wine, one for the pot, one for me. I’m thinking of Spaghetti allla Vongole (Spaghetti with clams). Thinking aloud here really.

The reason I’m sober is that I cannot be a moderate drinker. I choose not to drink. I like myself better sober. I trust myself to have tiramisu out at an Italian restaurant and not feel like I’m failing myself. Put it this way, I didn’t feel the urge to order a glass of wine or limoncello after having dessert. That being said I don’t wish to buy alcohol filled chocolates. I don’t think that’s healthy for me. But having tiramisu while out occasionally is okay.

I have cooking wine, Chinese and Japanese in the kitchen and I use those for cooking for flavour. I have no desire to finish the bottle because it’s open. It stays in the cupboard. So what I’m asking myself is what is stopping me from using white or red wine? It’s the possible temptation of an open bottle sitting on the bench or under the bench. Nine months on and I think I’m okay with it. Just writing out these niggling ridiculous thoughts.

I just really love Spaghetti allla Vongole. Clams are cooked in the white wine sauce till they open. I didn’t use to make it often but I did have a glass or two of wine with it. More than. Now I think I’m ready to make it again without the glass of wine with the meal. Sparkling water is my go-to drink. Yeah. I think I’m okay with that.

That’s my rambling way of saying I’m okay cooking with alcohol. Tiramisu is not technically cooked so that’s an exception, I get that.

Buon appetito!

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I am no longer counting…

I am no longer counting the days I am sober. My milestone was 90 days and I am past that now. Am I pleased with myself? Absolutely. Will I remember the one year anniversary when it rolls round later this year? Absolutely. However I will no longer counting my days. Why not? I am free of alcohol. I am not sentenced to 90 days or 6 months sober. I am free of the drug alcohol. I am not deprived by not drinking. I am gaining life. For that I am thankful and grateful.

Kick The Drink…Easily! by Jason Vale.

Just started reading the book and it makes a lot of sense.

Counting days is great if you are counting down, waiting excitedly for a joyous occasion. Those are good counts. Could be a birthday, an anniversary, a new family member, a graduation, a new job, a wedding, or a driver’s license.

Counting up is like wrapping yourself around the anchor of the poison. Instead of releasing yourself you are chaining yourself to the ball of poison. How many links away am I now? 90 links? No matter how far away you are you are still linked to the poison. Today I am breaking that bond.

I was using the website Living Sober to count and would check in every so often and check out the counter there to see how I was doing. Did I need to? No. I knew how I was doing without needing to check. I wanted a number. The bigger the the number the better. I don’t need a number anymore. I am thankful and grateful I don’t drink.

My trainer wheels are off. I am walking on my own two feet. I no longer have to say, one, two, to myself, as I step. I’ve got this.

Back to reading and the garden.

Aren’t I a hypocrite. Didn’t I say I wasn’t counting but then in the very next sentence I say 90 days? I’m confused.
I’m not. This is my logic. It all makes perfect sense. I am linking myself to a date in time. I am not linking myself with a length of time. A length of time takes more calculation and consideration to add up. Whereas a date in time is just that, a date. I am simplifying my life. See, that makes a whole lot of sense, right?

Ridiculous Thought #3

“I’ll never be able to wear my favourite pyjamas ever again.”

Conclusion: Case Dismissed With Prejudice.

The day after I decided to become sober I almost threw out my favourite pyjamas. I have several actually. “But first champagne” and “Let’s celebrate” written in cursive text on the tops and half full champagne glasses decorating the pyjama bottoms. They are super soft and extremely comfortable and they remind me of an overseas trip. It was a festive trip, it was around Thanksgiving. I bought four pairs.

Now that I’m sober I couldn’t possibly wear anything with alcohol on it. I cannot associate myself with alcoholic brands or drinks. I really thought that I had to bin my pyjamas. I actually had one pair in my hand ready to toss them away and I thought wait, they weren’t cheap, they were super soft. You can’t just walk into a shop and buy them. They don’t sell them in New Zealand. Long story short. I slept on it. Like I do with everything. I decided to postpone the fate of my pyjamas. And after some careful deliberation, a few days, or a week, I decided I would keep them. I decided I was strong enough to wear them and not be tempted to follow the wording literally.

Why did I decide to write this today. Guess what I’m wearing? I made the right decision to keep them. Cheers! Chamomile tea this evening.

Blemishes

Summertime and horror go together. Was watching Kaidan, Japanese Ghost Story, a few days ago, a story of revenge, then the next day I was reading Allen Carr’s book, “The Easy Way For Women to Stop Drinking” and found the similarity between the blemish/cut on the face stories to be fascinating.

The samurai fails to pay back his loan to the money-lender upon request and in return the samurai kills him and dumps his body. The samurai then suffers bad fortune and ends up killing his wife and himself in a murder suicide. The daughters of the money-lender never know the fate of their father and grow up, meanwhile the son of the samurai is raised by relatives and becomes a tobacco traveling salesman. One daughter meets the son and they fall in love. Their love is tainted because of their fathers so their love is doomed. The longer they stay together the more they ruin each others lives. The daughter gets a cut over her eye. She is tended to by the son but instead of getting better she becomes worse, the infection spreads and she eventually dies. The story doesn’t end there but that part, the cut or the blemish is the point.

The cut/blemish on the face if left alone would have healed by itself. The daughter should never have been with the son. But fate was cruel and they both suffered.

In Allen Carr’s book, “The Easy Way For Women to Stop Drinking”, someone had a spot on their face and kept using ointment to try and heal the spot. Instead it kept getting worse. So they applied more and more ointment. Turns out the ointment was poison. In the film the son was poison. And in life alcohol is poison. I found it interesting the horror story and a book to quit alcohol both had the same poison scenarios. Revenge and addiction served as one.

Sometimes it’s best to leave something well alone.

Mrs D is Going Without

Mrs D is Going Without by Lotta Dann

I have taken Lotta Dann’s advice and gone to the library to get books on getting/being sober. I picked up a bundle today and I am already halfway through Mrs D is Going Without. At the rate I’m going I’ll have it finished tonight.

To read a book that speaks to you is quite a Godsend. Every person’s reason to give up alcohol is different. Every person’s triggers are different. Every person’s symptoms are different. Depending on which questionnaire you fill out you can either breathe a sigh and think falsely that you aren’t an alcoholic. The stages of alcoholism are different depending on which website you look. Every country has there own relationship with alcohol. Some are closer than others.

Some people drink from the morning, others from 5pm. For me it was 6pm. Some days dry some days not. Life used to revolve around alcohol. From trips overseas, to a theatre visit to a night at home al fresco in the garden. Oysters? Why not. A nice glass of Chablis to go with that. When in Spain do as Spanish do. A brunch sandwich? Yes. Why not. A glass of red to go with that? What an excellent idea. Intermission. A wine? Or an ice cream? Why not both?

I have no regrets of what, where and how and with whom I have consumed alcohol. To regret would be redundant. I do enjoy wine. I can’t say did yet because it is still too soon.  I have a sneaking feeling that my idea to go back to wine will be a disaster of an idea. The concept of moderation is not why I am here today writing about quitting alcohol. I go to this point by over indulging, drinking to excess. Because I couldn’t drink in moderation. I haven’t woken up to the idea that moderation is not me. All in or not at all. I will learn eventually. For now though I concentrate on not drinking and trying to sleep. This insomnia is being to become stale. I am well and truly over it.  I accept insomnia as a side effect of giving up alcohol. i bear it stoically. This is all self inflicted. There is no one else to blame except myself. But even with that said I do not blame myself. It is what it is.

Back to my book….Thanks Mrs D.

The pounding in my head

As I listen to the sound of the neighbour’s party music and loud raucous voices, I don’t feel the slightest bit envious. I am not missing the drink. The constant need to have a drink in one’s hand. To say something witty or profound. No. let’s pass on this round. Let’s pass on the conversation. Let’s sit back and wonder why? Or not. I really cannot be bothered.

Reaching for a glass, pouring the contents of a bottle into said glass, not to the rim, yet a generous pour none the less. Consuming the contents of said glass at a rather fast pace. What is the hurry? you say? Well. I’m not really sure. But as the rabbit said I mustn’t be late. There is no rhyme nor reason for someone to drink fast. It is neither better nor worse whether with company or alone. Alone there is no competition but a race to get to the end of the bottle. Again there is no race, but an imagined one. There is no reasoning with one of the competitors once the race has begun. They must finish the race no matter the consequences. It must. It really must.

Essentially holding a glass or a bottle in one’s hand is a coping mechanism, is it not? A desire to fit in, regardless of the crowd. As they say you cannot fit a square into a round hole. But you can sure spend time trying. Alcohol numbs the noise of the voices in your head. The ones that tell you you are not enough. Why we listen to them is beyond me. Why do we have them in the first place?