Whew!! Talk about a "flambeed topic"
. Just kidding. There was a member in the program who was also a chef. This came up as a topic. As a chef, he stated that there was never any guarantee that all of the alcohol cooks out or burns off, and at that...although the 'content' may dissipate, the flavor will still be there. It's a good idea to be as cautious as though allergic to peanuts...or...shrimp for that matter. We can buy granola bars and chocolate bars that indicate on the box that they are peanut free. If you had a child or grandchild who was deathly allergic to peanuts, you'd be looking for those peanut free labels. Cough medicines & cold remedies...there are alcohol free products on the shelves. As for the listerine/mouthwashes...ideally you are spitting it out, not swallowing it (YIK)...(Nyquil on the rocks??
...why bother? Just go&get some Jack Daniels for heaven-sake
). Back to the cooking, though...most recipes that say to use cooking sherry or wine usually include an alternative that is non-alcoholic. The chef said that if it's a red wine sauce, one can use (and he has) either red grape juice (or crush some real red grapes), and one can add a little vinegar. For white sauces, vinegar and a little bit of chicken oxo. (Pretty sure that there are non-alcoholic products on the shelves, too...haven't ever looked for sure, but chances are....they're out there). The point is, there are alternatives. I had made a joke one evening prior to meeting start-up...there weren't too many in attendance, one asked where another was...a joking comment was made about the one absentee's age (he'd just turned 50 a few days before, so a razz). I added to the humor, something about home/taking his geritol. It was the chef, in fact, who said that there is alcohol in that (this is what actually sparked the meeting topic).
Seeing as how Dallas has brought this up...and with the holidays right around the corner, it's just a suggestion, to be mindful at staff parties and other gatherings...to be mindful of the punch bowls, the chocolates getting passed around (may be liquered) and other foods. I usually try to mention this at meetings about this time of year, and last year (or the year before???), it had escaped my mind. A couple of days after Christmas, at a meeting, one of the members was absolutely beside herself because she had never even considered the liquered chocolates. She was at her staff party, the host was passing a plate of chocolates around, the member took one graciously&innocently...never even thought that the chocolates would be a danger. As soon as she bit into it, she knew. It was rum. Everyone was sitting around a living room, she was self-conscious about getting up and spitting it out (she'd only begun this job a couple of months prior), not wanting to be rude (be rude, kids...), she swallowed it. She said the experience of feeling the rum/chocolate sliding down...was warm, her muscles relaxed, and what she felt was sheer relief...then...sheer anger. She got up, angry, flew off the handle, saying things like 'they knew she was in AA...how could they pass around a plate of chocolates full of liquor on not tell her.' She stormed out...and went and got herself more liquor. Now she'd slipped, so she might as well make good use of it. (We won't go into how well she was or how long she'd been in the program...not the point). What amazed her afterwords, was how one minute...she was calm, not wanting to be rude, she didn't spit the chocolate out...then the next...completely embarrassed herself. She learned, exactly, how alcohol, even in the most minimal quantity, affected her thinking
Could I just have one glass of wine today? Sure. How it affects me is...tomorrow would come...then I would think: I had that one glass yesterday, and stopped at that, hmmmm
...I can do that again today. And...I could. But...the next day...I'd think, okay...I'll have 2, then the next day...4, then the next day...why stop at 4? It's a mind altering substance for me
. I begin to illogically "rationalize"
, that...indeed...it won't burn me this time. U-huh...rii-iight. Hence I trigger dishonesty with myself, I trigger a big heap of a volcano that I've been trying to diminish by working these steps. Never mind the slap in the face to God as I understand Him...'thanks God for saving my life...now, I'll go out again...you'll save me again...I have faith.'
For me...I've been taught that it's not a good idea to take any chances. This is my life. For me, it's a life and death situation. I used to have thoughts, not of taking my own life...but...there were many times where I thought that if I "accidentally" got hit by a bus, that'd be a good day for me. Today...well...I drive a bus. Safest place for me when it comes to buses is behind the wheel. The safest way for me, without any wonder, without any confusion...is to stay away from the accidents--stay off of alcohol absolutely. It's not my place to ask a host of a party to make sure nobody brings anything that might have liquor in it. It's my responsibility to ask 'what of these has alcohol in it?' so that I know what to avoid. I've gotten to a place where I desire to have my sobriety protected. Maybe that 'little thing' won't give me the inclination to go out and drink...but...maybe it will, and for me...that's a gamble I'm not willing to indugle in.
Great topic!! Keep it simple, kids.
In the Spirit of the fellowship,