Leprechauns dancing

What’s your line in the sand?
So I’ve decided upon a life without alcohol.
Okay, done…well let’s say an ongoing work in progress with no end.
What’s my line in the sand on this one?
I was at an Irish pub recently for dinner with a FUN group of folks!!
I had ordered myself a diet pop and was perusing the menu when it struck me….cue in light bulb moment Irish music and Leprechauns dancing…3/4 of the menu items had the words Guinness in the title.
So I was in a bit of a pickle, somehow in my wearing blinders way I hadn’t even considered this situation.
I mean why would I?
Just because I was sitting in an Irish pub, surrounded by banners, coasters and uniforms all screaming Guinness….who could have known this would happen?
Throw me a bone here folks.
Everything I wanted to order had alcohol in it.

Eventually hubby found me a curry dish without alcohol which was quite good but I was still pissed off that I couldn’t have the Yorkshire pudding and roast beef I wanted.
Afterwards hubby and I were chatting about the situation and he asked me why I didn’t want to eat the other items.
Disclaimer: hubby was so supportive at the restaurant and just wanted to know because he thought alcohol burned off during the cooking process.
At this time I just didn’t want to ingest alcohol because I was afraid it would allow me to grey my line in the sand. If I knowingly ingested alcohol it may allow me to take it a step further in the future and that could end up back to the bottom of a bottle.
My history of doing this speaks loudly to me.
I’m curious how others feel about this, people in recovery who have chosen a life without alcohol, would you eat food cooked with it?

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9 Responses

  1. I think it is an awesome line to draw in the sand. I drew the same clear, bold, no exceptions line in the sand for at least the first five or so years of recovery. I haven't drank alcohol for going on twenty-four years now, and now I am okay with eating foods that are "cooked" with alcohol, although I don't seek them out! Having said that, I do think that those lines are up to individuals, I don't have any particular belief on the issue. Sounds like you have it figured out just right for yourself, just for today.

  2. Wow, I really admire you for drawing *that* line in the sand and for actively *protecting* your sobriety! I love it…that is so precious. I don't drink any alcohol ever. I just don't. I never have. Alcohol, the smell, the sounds of it pouring or the ice clinking in the glass, slurred voices, all give me a fair amount of real honest to God anxiety. I made that decision many years ago….I was a teenager when I chose that. I do have the fear that I very likely would be one of those people who picks up her first drink and can't stop. I Have that dynamic at play in other areas of my life…I have comfort behaviors, shopping, eating, diet coke…all relatively harmless, BUT, I know what they provide for me and I think alcohol consumption for me could be a really big stumbling block. With all of that said, I do add red wine to a stew that I make. I do think most of it cooks off, and even holding that bottle and smelling it as I pour it in…makes me slightly uncomfortable. I am just really crazy that way. I always liken it to having been the victim of a violent crime and then being forced to face your offender…it is scary.

  3. My experience with alcohol ladden foods has been one of benign consequences. I really see this as a personal choice – how it fits into our own personal recovery process. Years back in the AA rooms, old-timers were emphatic about this issue, and many like it,,,but as time marched on, I began to learn what works for me – my program may not look like yours, and I don't see how it possbly could or should. I take wine over grape juice at communion, love cooking with red wine and idulge in bourban balls over the holidays; all with zero prompt for picking up.One might say I am flirting with disaster, but, again, this is simply what works for me….~dThanks for the query

  4. I have pondered this issue myself. I do still cook with alcohol (beer, wine, and occasionally vermouth). I do shy away from baked goods that contain alcohol. I don't know why I feel like they are too close to crossing that line- but my mind tells me not to go there, so I don't.

  5. A couple things:According to a chemist friend: it all cooks out.According to a chef friend: he is of the opinion that it does not. Not completely.Both of these people are in recovery.I have no problems with eating restaurant prepared food that has been cooked with alcohol. I do have a problem with homemade food made with alcohol. I don't cook with it because I don't keep alcohol in my home (my new home.) However, I had a 'gravy incident' over Thanksgiving one year where a relative made a gravy recipe that was so laden with booze, I could taste it immediately and it 'triggered' something in me. Turns out that this relative (newly married into the family) is an alcoholic and may very well have been quite liberal in their dosing. So, I stay away from the homemade.At one year, I would still consider you early in sobriety and it's probably best that you have strict and unbending lines in the sand. Hypervigilance is never a bad thing.

  6. Technically, it depends on what kind and how much alcohol is in it, how long it's been boiled (alcohol has a lower boiling point than water) and whether it leaves a residual taste that triggers any kind of addictive (i.e., sensory) memory. That's why it's so subjective. You know yourself best. Just know that whatever you choose is right for you right now, and that your comfort zone may change somewhat as you go deeper and deeper into recovery. Brava!

  7. Wow! Great subject and I may even use the topic as inspiration for my own blog post soon. Because THIS is an interesting question. I live without alcohol. I used to live without alcohol with a big fat PERIOD at the end of that sentence, so that must have been my line.I do not cook with alcohol, nor do I consume things cooked with it. I won't eat truffles that have rum and I don't eat duck marinated or cooked with wine. It doesn't matter to me one bit that the actual alcohol burns off. I took this stance in the beginning for the sheer fact that I lived in fear of feeling it, tasting it, or ANYTHING that could spark a craving.Every single time (still, 5 years later) I order a diet soda I am reminded of the fact that I am not ordering a *drink*. Every time. I'm used to it now.However, 5 years into this, I will and DO take Nyquil with the alcohol if I feel deathly ill and need to take a cold medicine to help me sleep. But, early on, I DO NOT recommend this as I CAN feel the affects and I CAN feel the slight burn as it goes down. But I am at a place now that I can take the recomended dosage and that's all. If I couldn't, I would toss it in the trash. Seriously. It took me a very, very long time to get here but here's where I'm at.This is just ME and I guess those are MY lines. Thanks for the great post, I love reading about recovery and everyone's unique experience and questions about it.~Sarah

  8. Good post my friend. I asked my sponsor this question very early on in my recovery. She said it was up to me if I wanted wine at communion, to cook with wine, to take a product to help me fall asleep, cold medicine etc…because everyone has a different opinion on this. I was raised on the common cup of wine for communion. Right now I choose the grape juice but knowing that I can take the wine as a symbol of the "blood" if I want is enough for me. I have eaten food cooked in wine, and I make Julia Child's Beef Bourgonione(sp) with red wine. I have never felt any effects from eating it, and it didn't make me want to start drinking all over again. For me I guess I don't think about it much, but like you said I wouldn't go seeking it out. Like one of the commentors said above, "you know yourself best" and I feel that you are strong in your program as well as you convictions:)

  9. Thank you ladies for your sharing here, I'm always interested in others' perspectives. For me the line remains the same and might forever but our diversity and the discussions which stem from this is what makes us stronger and gives the newbies a heads up in this case.

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