This is going into my seventh week without a cigarette. Drum roll, please. I never really considered myself an addict, although if the past weeks didn’t confirm this to be a fact to me, there’s just no doing it. I viewed myself more as a smoker, who simply chose not to quit. Neither are good adjectives to apply to yourself certainly, but the latter sounds less intimidating. Addict began to resonate a little stronger in my head on the third day of nicotine deprivation when I found myself visualizing running over baby ducks in a cross walks and eating my way through my pantry starting with the applesauce and work my way through to the Zwieback’s.
Growing up my parents smoked. There was always a lovely etched silver cigarette holder with a glass lid on the coffee table for guests which, like a candy dish, was replenished regularly. People smoked in theaters back then, watching actors actors on the screen puffing away. It was accepted, actually chic, and an integral part of the social fabric in the years following the second world war.
As for me, I managed to sail through my peer pressure years without a puff. I never took a drag until my husband passed away when I was twenty-six and one was given to me by a well-meaning friend to relieve my stress. Guess what, it did. Hello? If one is good, a pack must be amazing. Sure enough. Once I got over the irritation factor to my lungs, nic just settled in like an old pal. We hung out, I took him everywhere. When I was feeling down, he perked me up. if I was bored, he gave me something to occupy myself with . He was better than a binkie, but as the years passed he was getting increasingly more expensive and less healthy.
In truth, if I thought the world was ending in two weeks I would light up immediately and proceed to consume a steady diet of In’n Out hamburgers, garlic fries dipped in Ranch dressing, lobster in drawn butter, and margaritas, but as I believe we’re probably in this for the long haul, and have promised those that love me to abstain, I will.
A friend of mine, a former three pack a day performer, finally quit ten years ago after many failed attempts. For her, her entire daily routine revolved around her menthols. Morning make-up was applied, dishes washed, phone calls answered, one was inhaled after sex, before sex, before bed, when she got up, with coffee, without coffee, driving, or simply standing still. Basically, there was one in her hand every moment other than when she was asleep. When the doctor told her she must stop it got so bad for her that when the urge struck while she was driving she would have to pull over to the side of the road and run around the car until the craving subsided. People must have been crossing themselves as they passed and praying for her soul. I spoke to her last week after ingesting a half of bag of corn chips which I washed down with a container of sour cream. Of all things, she suggested plastic drinking straws?????
Now straws certainly did not seem a viable solution for my needs, unless perhaps there was a nicotine feed attached on one end. As I was contemplating just being put on ice for a year like a bucket of shrimp until the cravings passed, awakening refreshed and nicotine free, I was grasping for straws, if you will, so bought a pack. I cut them in half and keep one in my mouth if I get a craving I can’t ignore. Since I’ve started this I have given up the Doritos runs and am feeling much less stressed. It seems silly, but I’m posting this for those others who are struggling, and I’m sure there are those who are, this might be of help.
Whoopi Goldberg said on the View the other day that New York City has banned smoking in the streets and parks. I would like to stand up for those that are still smoking and have to deal with a product that is legally sold, the revenue collected by the government, but is not accepted by the general non-smoking public. Smokers seem to have no voice. To me it’s like selling a cosmopolitan to a customer in a bar but telling them it’s illegal to drink it. It’s got to be one way or the other in my book. Anyhow, the following recipe comes with the liquor in it which saves you a step.
Pork Loin with Spicy Whiskey Sauce
1 3-3 1/2 lb. pork loin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp. Jack Daniels
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line roasting pan with tin foil. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper and rub into meat. Place onions and green peppers in bottom of prepared pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place meat in pan on top of vegetables.
In small mixing bowl whisk together maple syrup, Jack Daniels, mustard powder, cayenne and garlic. Brush pork with half of the glaze. Roast for 45 mins. Brush with remaining glaze. Roast for another 1/2 hr. or until internal temp. reaches 150 degrees. Let the meat rest for 10 mins. before slicing. Serves 6.