it’s not that i quit drinking so that i could cater. but catering definitely had something to do with it. maybe you also have some hobby, life pursuit, thing that you like to do that you can’t really do well, or enough of, when drinking. god, that could include anything, right? all the things that we do poorly or not at all – childcare, running, work, career, books read (or written). for me it was catering. i could get up at 6 a.m. to bake bread when drinking BUT i hated my life. i hated when the alarm went off. i’d plan all these catering events, planning to NOT drink the night before (duh) and of course I would, then it’d be morning and i’d literally hate myself and my life.
so once, about 4 months before i actually quit drinking, i had a really large catering job, the biggest to that point in my career – lunch for 20 people, with additional desserts for 50. she ordered everything (i also had no sense to limit the menu back then, and i only had one fridge…). she ordered handmade caramels with dark chocolate and sea salt, she ordered 3 lemon meringue pies (had to order new glass pie plates from the UK because they’re not available in france – and then the client broke one of them … another story). she ordered sandwiches and chili and quiche.
and when this large job came up, back in march, before i actually quit, i KNEW that i couldn’t do the work if i was drinking. knew it with 100% certainty. so i made a deal with myself. i wouldn’t drink for the 5 days of prep time. and i didn’t. I got up and ran every day (sometimes only for 7 minutes in one direction to the store). i did catering prep, baking, mixing, premeasuring all day, then i did job #1 at night. and then i had a dessert in the bathtub. every night. turns out this would be the blueprint for being sober longer-term, too.
when the catering job was over, the seed had been planted: if i want THIS thing to happen, i have to give up booze. at least for a while. at least for now. I have to give up drinking because it makes me hate my life.
and i did give up booze (intending to only quit for a month – see the archive links on this blog to July 2012). and then i did cater two weddings, do sandwiches for the embassy, cater for a perfume store’s annual party. i’ve done brunches and dinner and take out and birthday cakes. i can set my alarm for 6 a.m. to bake bread and not hate my life (ok, being sober hasn’t really made me a morning person, but i can do it). i’ve even done a few overnight shifts where the bread has to be fresh to make sandwiches in the morning, and so the bread is mixed at midnight, shaped at 1:30, baked at 3 a.m., and cooled by 4:30 a.m. to begin assembly. you can’t cut hot bread.
you can’t drink and bake overnight. you can’t drink at all. alcohol pours into the spaces and crowds out everything else. and i have to say. fresh bread is BETTER than alcohol. by a mile.
new book here > 3 versions available (e-book, audio, paperback). yes, i’m still signing the paperbacks. yes, there are some left. yes. there’s one for you. yes.