Make My Pulled Pork a Virgin, Please (cooking with alcohol)

Today is Carole’s 16th AA anniversary.  She’s still a teenager.  We’ve been together for almost 15 years (because I wouldn’t meet her until she’d had a year).  It was a little scary for me, back then, getting involved with a newcomer.  I told her then that AA was central to my life and had to be central to hers, for us to be together.  As I write this she’s at a meeting and I’m …….. not.  I’m really glad she’s stayed with me even though I don’t go to enough meetings.

Yesterday she and I went shopping in one of those giant warehouse stores.  As she mused about possibly trying Jack Daniel’s pulled pork, or some such monstrosity, she pointed out that she and I differ in our attitudes about alcohol in cooking.  Later, as she went to the check out line, I doubled back to frozen foods to see if they had any frozen dinner type things.  I try to bring myself something “good” to work on Fridays, when my building is dripping in my favorite food, pizza.  I found one combination package that included Margarita chicken, so I passed.

Today I read goplacidlyamid’s post about cooking with alcohol.  This is something I would never do.  I spent part of my sobriety living in my mother’s house which was stocked with alcohol.  It’s not that I can’t be around alcohol or even live with it in close and constant proximity.  But what are we hoping to gain from this type of cooking?  Alcohol flavor?  We think not!  I mean, talk about triggers.

The Jack Daniel’s pulled pork may not have a drop of alcohol and it might not even taste like alcohol.  It has the label that looks like alcohol, and it’s not coming into my house if I have any choice about it.  And I certainly won’t eat it.  Same goes for the Margarita chicken.  In that huge warehouse full of obscene amounts of everything under the sun, do I need to buy these two things?  Or one of them?  Why?

Why?  Why would I risk it?

I remember (sort of) a time in my early attempts at sobriety when I took cough medicine and then I took that as a total excuse to drink.  I don’t know if the medicine had alcohol in it or not, and I know I probably would have latched on to any excuse that came my way, but that was the thing that I felt “made” me drink that day.

I’ve had no problem for 27 plus years staying away from alcohol in cooking except for one day.  At my cousins very fancy wedding two years ago, I swear (and I have witnesses) that every single dish had alcohol in it, even the desserts.  I think I may have eaten some cheese that seemed safe.  But that was it.  I’m lucky I don’t get invited to many shindigs or I might have to face this issue more than once every quarter century or so.

It’s my choice, and I’ve drawn a very hard line around it.  I won’t purposefully eat anything that’s made with alcohol or is flavored like or with alcohol and now I have to also say I won’t eat anything that has an alcoholic label.  Why would I?

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