Too Much. No More.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

-Even so, I'll never toss this cookbook. Too many good memories.-

"Oooh, wow. Amaretto. I cannot do this stuff anymore. The day I turned 21 ruined it forever for me." The Bev-Mo employee bagged the bottle and turned her face away. The offending liquor obviously brought her back to unpleasant memories that involved almond-flavored vomit and a friend holding her hair back in the kind of dive bar bathroom we all celebrated a 21st birthday in.

"That's how I feel about Midori. Ugh," I said. The thought of drinking the Dayglow drink, on it's own or in a cocktail, revolted me. I swear, I gagged a little in the store.

"Oh see," chimed in roommate, "that's Jack Daniel's to me." His normally composed close-shave complexion soured before a small shiver shot through him and caused his teeth to clench.

I think everyone has one of those liquors that they just can't do anymore. Some booze-trauma inflicted due to one of your top three hangovers ever, or simply from just drinking way too much of it over the years.

For me, that drink is Midori. However, mine doesn't stem from retching. I've always had a hardy, alcohol tolerant liver. I consider it my superpower. (That and my uncanny ability to attract stupid people and rabid preying mantises.) In fact, I have never had a hangover in my entire life. That super tolerance, however, is what led to the problem.

When I discovered Midori I loved the neon flavor, the radiator coolant color that made drinks glow, and that tangy melon taste that gave it any cocktail a radical zing. It became my best friend and Midori focused cocktails became common in my apartment. Green Dragons, Jade Slippers, or simple Midori Sours were flung in frosted glasses to guests. My drinking two or seven of these in a single night wasn't exactly uncommon.

Then one day I just stopped drinking it. Midori began to repulse me. "No more!" my brain and stomach cried. They were full and had tasted it too much. To this day, eight years later, I still won't drink Midori. I just can do it anymore. I've tasted it in every way possible yet it no longer surprises or entices. Rather, it's like rebound lover, wonderful at first but then you realize you're bored and tired of it. You need something a bit more serious.

Of course, this doesn't just apply to alcohol. I feel the same way about potatoes.

I can hear the collective gasp. Potatoes, that ever perfect food? Could someone really shun them?

Shunning them would be a bit harsh. I still eat them when served and I enjoy fries and gnocchi, but you will rarely ever see a potato in my home. Yet, you will notice a cookbook on my shelf dedicated solely to the myriad number of ways to prepare potatoes. It is stained, dog eared, torn and beaten, which only demonstrates the love and trials it's seen in the kitchen. This was my tome and without it I would have been relegated to more ramen than any human should have to consume.

Why this book? Potatoes are cheap. When you're in college, potatoes are a fiscal boon. Scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato leek soup, homemade fries with bacon; it's all good and easily affordable. But after four years of potatoes you just hit a point where you no longer get excited for them. If they're served to me I'll eat them and every so often I'll suddenly crave a good baked potato, but they're no longer a staple of my usual diet and I can't say I miss them all that much.

Of course, this sort of thing could be said of any food or drink. Too much of a good thing can be bad. A special food in too much quantity stops being special and it loses that luster that once made it so appealing. Eventually, you just don't want it anymore. The food becomes too familiar; how can a food surprise you when you know it's intricacies so well?

The best resolution is a good long break. Maybe not years like it has been for me with Midori, but a few months need to go by before you dip your toe in the water. Someday I'll be ready for a Midori Sour once more. Till then it's Aviations, bourbon, and good tequila all the way.


  1. I'm lucky enough to have escaped the too much-no more experience with liquor. That said, however, I admit I can never- and I mean never- eat spinach fettucini again. For as long as I live. I ate a plateful (okay, two) during my last day of pregnancy with son #1, and. Well. You can guess the rest of the story. So. Is it too early for bourbon?

  2. Interesting about the potatoes, since I have the same issue. Potatoes have just lost their appeal, although, like you, I will eat them when offered as part of dinner at a friends, but I've had too many sprouted to even bother buying them now.

  3. I love your earlier post on old recipes. My grandmother's house is FULL of old church cookbooks. I love looking through them for similar reasons.

  4. It's apples for me. I went apple crazy when I was a kid. It took me about 5 or so years before I didn't shudder whenever I saw an apple and a few more years to actually be able to eat em again :)

  5. I was fed up with spuds too.
    They made me run to the loo.
    One day in a flash
    I passed all the gas
    Now my house smells like the zoo.

  6. I don't think I'll ever stop loving potatoes, but I have to say I burned out on scrambled eggs when I was little. It's funny because I like deviled and hard boiled eggs, but I can't stand scrambled eggs. I tried eating some a couple weeks ago after not having eaten any since I was five, and I had to spit it back out before I gagged.:P Oh well...

  7. I understand being tired of regular old Idaho russet baking potatoes. Have you tried changing the type of potato? Maybe a small red potato or yukon gold or fingerling, or even dark purple potatoes? Sometimes I make a potato salad or bake with red potatoes and my family grumbles a little-- they like the standard russet. (sigh). Anyway I think your post is a good reminder not to get into food "ruts".


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