Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm a Teetotaler

tee-to-tal-er [tee-toht-ler, tee-toht-]
a person who obstains totally from intoxicating drink

This story really begins in April, 2008. At that time, Rachel and I went on a trip to the deep south states of Georgia & South Carolina. It was a fabulous adventure full of sites, relaxation and most importantly, food. While staying on St. Simon's Island in Georgia, we ate at Barbara Jean's Restaurant. To sum it up: it was heaven. If you love southern food & seafood, you will not be disappointed.

I can't even remember my entree (although I'm sure it was fabulous) but I do remember my appetizer: She Crab Soup. This was the first time I had tried such deliciousness. "Rich, creamy and full of crab and a little bite." is the menu's description. "A little bite" is an understatement; I believe that Mace is an ingredient.

Until recently, I had not thought of she crab soup for a while. Was I clinically depressed? Not to my knowledge; Busy? Yes! Our good friends had recently purchased their grandparent's home. As they were giving us a tour, I noticed a recipe for she crab soup in the kitchen window. Come to find out, the grandparents had lived in South Carolina for a time. I studied the recipe and promptly forgot about continuing the tour of the home. Our friends still hold this against me.

Upon studying the recipe, I found that sherry is one of the ingredients. Not having much experience cooking with wine, sherry or any other alcohol, I wasn't sure how to obtain this. I guess that I could go to the liqour store when no one was watching.

Having shelved this idea for a while, I went grocery shopping at Smith's last week. While in the aisle for balsamic & red wine vinegar I noticed "Sherry, Cooking Wine." What? I thought that I would have to go to the liquor store for this. Quickly turning the bottle to read the ingredients, I never saw the word "alcohol." I put the bottle in my cart & immediately thought of how wonderful it will be to tell Rachel about this.

Upon arriving home, I unloaded the groceries and then proceeded to tell Rachel about my amazing karma. "It was right in front of me; just meant to be there" I said. She read the bottle and then showed me on the front label where it reads: "ALCOHOL BY VOLUME 17%." Then she read the first ingredient: "WINE." By now you are probably wondering how I ever graduated high school given my attention to detail. High school was the best ten years of my life.

I was a little embarrassed about my apparent lack of literacy. But I am even more excited about the upcoming opportunity to cook she crab soup. My mouth is watering already.

Happy Eating.


  1. Sorry Jeff, I ruin all your fun. I've prided myself it that for 8 years... Since our wedding day.

  2. She only noticed cuz it was Holland House brand. You know those Dutch. After all those rum balls they can smell out alcohol. Just kidding. But it did make for a funny post! Love that you are not too embarrassed to make us laugh.

  3. Hey just found your blog via Mich! How fun. Just a couple of things for you with cooking wine. It is super salty and changes the actual flavor that real wine does. That said, I went to RS once where they passed out a study showing how the alcohol does not fully cook out. So I've been substituting with nonalcoholic stuff and have been happy ever since.
    Here is a link for you:

  4. I say bring on the alcohol...and don't be shy about it.

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