June 24, 2012


Addiction:  the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such and extent that its cessation causes sever trauma.

So, who among us DOESN’T have an addiction?  Think about this carefully.  Although the definition above (www.dictionary.com) uses an example of narcotics, an addiction is not necessarily unique to narcotics.

I doubt that anyone would actually admit that they have an addiction.  However, if you think about it, we all some addiction.  I’ll begin.

Coffee.  Hot coffee.  Hot black, freshly ground, freshly brewed, intoxicating coffee!  This is what gets my day going.  Unlike the information you can find on the Internet, I love coffee.

When I was a kid, I can remember times when mom or dad would put spoonfuls of their coffee in my glass of milk.  Even before I moved into my first apartment, I was drinking coffee at home.  My parents never discouraged us from having coffee.

If I sit back, close my eyes, and think back, I can still smell the wonderful scent of freshly brewed coffee on Sunday morning, wafting through the house, over and above the smell of frying bacon and eggs over easy!  I’m not exactly sure when I actually had my very first cup of java, but it must have been one of those spiritually awakening moments in my life.

When I first started to drink this ‘nectar of the gods’, I knew I was hooked.  My parents always drank Maxwell House coffee.  There was always coffee in the house.  From my earliest memories, it was instant coffee.  Later, a 50-cup urn.  Later still, a standard coffee maker.

During the week, in the morning and most afternoons, there was ‘coffee time’.  This was when the other mothers in the neighbourhood and sometimes friends, would come over and they would sit in the kitchen, having coffee and chatting.  But Sunday morning coffee – there’s nothing like it.

Even when we went to church, after the service, they would always serve coffee (usually for the adults) and juice (usually for the kids).  When the weather was nice, First St. Andrew’s United Church would always have this elixir served after the church service, on the lawn.  On days when it was not so nice outside, then it would be in the gymnasium.

During these earlier years of my coffee consumption, was when I started disliking instant coffee.  More and more, I wanted and enjoyed real coffee.  Once I got the taste of instant off my tastebuds, then I started to drink my coffee au naturel.  When I first started drinking coffee, I always had it double double – twice the amount of cream/milk/creamer and double the sugar.  Once I got into drinking real coffee, that was when I decided to drop the double double, and immediately drink it black.

At first, it was bitter.  It took a while to get used to the flavour of coffee, and not desire the flavour of sugar or cream.  Fortunately, it didn’t take too long. That was how I also discovered, that different coffees had different flavours!

If I was to be honest, I would say that, in some form or another, I have been drinking coffee for close to 40 years now.  There are days when, due to EXTREME circumstances beyond my control, that I have not had coffee upon waking up.  In my 1/2 century years, I have slowed down on my coffee consumption, but that first sip of hot, black, nectar first thing in the morning, is still part of my life, and I honestly can’t see that waning in the near or distant future.

Another, almost as fervent addiction, is chocolate.  For the most part, and in my experience, those who enjoy a good piece of chocolate, also enjoy coffee, and vice versa.  Yes, there are the odd individuals out there who are not coffee drinkers, who enjoy chocolate, but, for those of us who do enjoy both, don’t you agree that a good cup of  coffee and a great piece of chocolate are a match made in heaven?

I read once (or possibly heard it) that there are two kinds of chocolate people in the world – those that suck, and those that crunch.  I’m a cruncher!

When I’ve had the opportunity to have a really, REALLY good piece of chocolate, I do try to keep it in my mouth, and suck it for as long as I can, but before the chocolate has completely dissolved on my tastebuds, I have already crunched it.  I can’t help it.

I tend to like bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate.  Milk chocolate is okay, but as much as I enjoy eating it, I do find it rather sweet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love sugar (another addiction), but I can only handle so much sweet chocolate.  Semi-sweet and bittersweet – mmm, I can eat it all day!

(digression)

Many years ago, I discovered why cooking wine was cheaper than regular wine, and why you really didn’t need to be of legal age to purchase it.  If anyone has ever had the opportunity, and if you want a rude awakening, purchase a small bottle of cooking wine, available at most GROCERY STORES in Canada, and take swig.  You’ll understand!

Well, that’s what I thought about Baker’s Chocolate.  I figured that Baker’s Chocolate meant that, it was chocolate used in baking, and therefore, was unpalatable to eat.  Until a friend of mine, upon knowing my proclivity towards chocolate, gave me a package of semi-sweet chocolate.  At first, I was hesitant, and (fake) smiling, thanked them for the gift.  It wasn’t until a couple of days later, upon having a craving for chocolate, that I decided to at least try a piece.  O M G!  It was delicious!  Incredible!  Heavenly!!

I couldn’t believe it!  All this time, spending money on ‘chocolates’ at Godiva or other fine chocolatiers, and under my nose, was Baker’s Chocolate!  I could have saved a fortune on my chocolate addiction, had I only known that Baker’s Chocolate was just as exquisite as fine chocolate morsels.

I have shown students in Taiwan, how to make their own chocolates.  There is a store here, where I can get huge slabs of pure semi-sweet and other flavoured chocolate, gently melt it down, pour it into moulds, refrigerate, and voila, I have hand-made, expensive-looking and tasting, chocolate pieces!

I rarely purchase chocolate bars now.  Why bother, when I can get a slab of pure, unadulterated chocolate?  Why purchase cheap, waxy-tasting, super-saturated, sugary chocolate when there is pure ‘heaven on earth’ available?

So, we all have addictions.  Whether you like it or not, whether you realize it or not, no matter how ‘pure’ you may think you are, you still have an addiction.  As the definition above implies, “… a habit or practice, physical or psychological …” is an addiction.  “Do not judge, lest you be judged.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “June 24, 2012

  1. joyce oconnell

    Just lv coffee & chocolate!!!!

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