Thursday, 19 December 2013

Small victory: spicy cod-cakes, fun without booze!

Last night's dinner was fun! I made a parsley salad with marinated feta, then spicy cod-cakes in tomato sauce, all from Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook, Jerusalem. So yummy! I've made 3 recipes from that book so far, and I strongly recommend it. I haven't had time to cook anything new in months, so it was a treat to try making something new.

I drank my special pomegranate-ginger drink and didn't miss the wine at all. Not even one bit. (I honestly didn't. I was paying attention, because I know I can sell myself on a program and then later doubt the whole thing, so I wanted to know how I was really reacting, not just convince myself that it was fine. For one moment, when I saw the bottle of wine on the table, I did have a small pang, but it passed immediately. And throughout the night, I enjoyed staying clear-headed.) We ate and talked and laughed lots, and I felt so relaxed and happy I thought I would burst! My friend missed the liquor store (the one in our neighbourhood closes early) so he didn't have a lot to drink, because we didn't have it on hand. And my partner never drinks a lot. So despite my worry, it wasn't a super boozy evening anyway. Just good food and good friends enjoying each others' company. Hooray for that!

This week is interesting. Me being me, I've made a zillion plans for how I'm going to deal with this drink problem. But mostly, I'm just paying attention. And I'm surprised to find myself relaxed and happy, enjoying not drinking, just plain pleased with life. For today, that's good enough.

Peace and joy.



  1. Isn't that interesting! That paying attention to yourself and your reactions is helpful in not feeling deprived or forlorn. In my experience so far, I'd corroborate that- paying attention, learning how you react- is part of beginning to honor oneself as a worthy human being. Alcohol anesthetizes us and permits us to ignore feelings. Not drinking alcohol allows us to notice these feelings, and begin to learn that they are not so scary after all, do not need to be avoided with alcohol.

    And cooking is such a creative, supportive activity!

    Yay! for You!!

    1. Thanks, Carrie. I appreciate how you put that. Paying attention is the thing, isn't it? As I wrote on your blog, I can get sucked into wanting oblivion, but I really am feeling that it's just not for me any more. I think focusing on what I think and feel instead is helping me a lot. I was doing well with that for a while a few months ago, so it's good to be back.

      And yes, I do love cooking. But right now my partner is making a late breakfast for us, so I must go pretend to help and drink my coffee. Thanks for the support, and I'm glad you're doing so well!

  2. That's me too- lots of planning! Lots of thinking! It can be exhausting sometimes. :)

    Cod cakes and parsley salad sounds so good. Is it like tabbouleh or just a parsley salad needing no fancy name?

    Glad you're feeling on the ups.

    1. Thanks, Amy. Exhausting it is. I know it's never possible to figure out all the possibilities at once, but that never stops me from trying.

      The salad is kind of taboulleh, but the authors said they didn't use that word because people get so attached to their own personal favourite taboulleh. It's really just loads of parsley with barley instead of bulghur (but I didn't have barley so I used quinoa) and cashews (I used walnuts, no cashews on hand) and some Middle Eastern spices, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. The feta gets marinated in some more stuff, cumin and thyme and so on. Yum yum.

      And yes, feeling much better. Many thanks!