Benny Hill’s Recipes

Who are you, anyway? Not that you’re speaking to me,” Madam mumbled whilst burrowing her head deeper into the puffy sleeve of her coat where she was sort of sleeping in the comfy chair in the rehab’s assessment room.

Well, you said you were tired so I thought I’d give you some peace,” I chirped.

Day 2 at rehab and once again I’m doing an admission, this time someone who has been pretty much forced there by a husband who’s had enough. The nickname Madam sums up her attitude. I think we can safely say that the idea of lots of sunshine stories is definitely an illusion I’ve abandoned. Myself and a colleague who I have decided to call Work-Hubby (he shares the same name, is bald and has a beard – just like Hubby) watched as a large SUV pull into the carpark, the type of car where replacing the tyres would cost more than buying my little car outright.

The doors of the rehab are those clever ones I think you get for police line-ups: mirrored on one side so you can’t see in but we could see out. In the front seat we can see there’s an argument going on, animated hand gestures and shouting (not that we can hear them but it looks that way although they might just be people who really like to enunciate). It’s the lady who is going to be booking into rehab for a stay. Then we witness the type of loop you might expect to see on high speed in a Benny Hill episode and we watch it several times over: the man comes out, gets the suitcase out of the boot, goes over to the lady’s side and opens the door for her to step out, she’s not budging, shouting and hand gestures ensue, he storms back around, chucks the suitcase back in, gets into the driver’s seat, more shouting and waving, start the car, then switch off the engine and repeat all of the above.

He’s had it, hasn’t he?” Work-Hubby notes sadly and shoots me a resigned glance.

It’s really sad to see and it’s the man – husband or boyfriend or whatever he is – that I feel really sorry for. Eventually he gets the suitcase again for the umpteenth time and makes his way across the parking lot. Amazingly, the lady steps out and slowly shuffles after him. We introduce ourselves and the man is friendly and seems so hopeful (perhaps relieved she’s finally come through the doors) and the lady is in a shitty mood as well as drunk. She’s rude to everyone and her partner gets the brunt of it. My heart breaks for the guy, there’s something so desperate in his eyes when he looks at either me or Work-Hubby. You can just see how hopeful he is that this is where he’ll pick his love up when she’s been through treatment and on her way back to the woman he used to know and misses so much. Please fix her. Please help her help herself.

I don’t know if I ever got really unpleasant when I was drinking but actually having said that, there were endless mornings when Hubby was in a mood still because I’d picked a fight and I had to try to remember what about. Let’s just be clear – she might be a glorious chick when she isn’t wrecked by booze and I certainly don’t think I was a better drunk. I know I wasn’t. Thank God that’s not me today and I never want to be there ever again.

Of course I prefer to look at here and now and be grateful, but it also made me wonder at which point Hubby might have snapped. Could that have been us? He loves me and I know he’d do anything for me, so I can absolutely imagine him getting me into a rehab and forcing me with ultimatums if he felt my life depended on it. Thank God I’ve never had to see Hubby that way, having to put his hope in the hands of a rehab to rescue me from myself. Just the thought of it breaks my heart. We focus so much on the addict but with risk of offending the whole world now, I genuinely believe it’s those who love us who hurt the most. I mean, I was probably too wasted to notice anyway most of the time. Our Father will probably get a little sick of me repeating myself so much today, but thank God I got out when I did. There is no difference between me and Madam. None whatsoever except a glass of wine – that’s all it would take.

This is my path. It feels so right and I know I can make a difference here. I’m not saying I’ll cure the world of addiction or have high schools named after me, but perhaps I’ll make just one person feel a little better or help somehow, even if it’s something as simple as showing kindness when they’re at their most vulnerable rock bottom.

Hubby is watching rugby on the sofa and we each have a beer in front of us. A Peroni for him and a Becks Blue (alcohol free – dahr!) for me. I really felt like one, really like beer now which is odd because I used to drink wine. In fact, the idea of alcohol free wine (or indeed the regular version) makes my stomach turn. Cool, isn’t it? Blogging and a beer, and I can still head out for a run later. Yep. #winning

Well, because I’m now passing time until the stupid rugby is over, how about a lesson in how to make Anna’s Perfect Cinnamon Rolls? Alrighty!

Crumble 50 grams of fresh yeast into a baking bowl. Melt 150 grams of butter in a saucepan and when melted mix in half a litre of milk and keep on the heat until it’s 37.5 degrees – stick your finger in to check and when it’s just a tiny bit warmer than your body temperature, i.e. when you can feel the warmth, that’s it. Pour into the bowl over the yeast and stir until the yeast has dissolved. Then chuck in 1,5 decilitres of sugar, a teaspoon of salt and a table spoon of ground cardamon. You need about 1,3 litres of plain flour and mix in about three quarters of that – in the end, as the dough thickens you really have to beat it with a wooden spoon and when the dough sort of comes off the sides of the bowl as you move the spoon, it’s ready to be left to rise. Sprinkle some flour over it and cover with a kitchen towel for about an hour.

Then mix a good helping of butter, sugar and cinnamon – I don’t know what quantities I use so I suppose you just go with a mix you like. I like tonnes of cinnamon but that’s just me.

When the dough is good to go (should have risen to about twice its original size), use some of the remaining flower and give it a good kneading. Then take about a third and use a rolling pin to spread it out to a square-ish shape. Spread the butter-sugar-cinnamon mix all over it (not too thick) and then roll it up so you get a swirl when you cut pieces about an inch and a half thick. Put those on to baking trays and once again leave to rise for perhaps an hour.

Then beat an egg or two (I usually end up needing two) and brush the buns before sprinkling sugar on them. Us Swedes have something called “pearl sugar” but if you can’t find this I reckon regular granulated sugar is fine. Or crushed nuts, whatever you like really.

Bake in the oven on about 220 degrees Celcius, bit higher if you don’t have a fan oven (250 probably). We have a fan oven and they seem to be perfect in 11 minutes or slightly less, bake in the middle of the oven.

Ta-daah! Now gorge. Oohhh check out Soberella here, alcohol free beer and sharing recipes on a Saturday evening. What has the world come to? It’s come to something really fucking good, that’s what.

Today I’m not going to drink.

9 thoughts on “Benny Hill’s Recipes

    • “Is non-alcoholic beer alcohol-free? ‘Alcohol-free’ or non-alcohol beer does contain a small amount of alcohol (up to 0.05% ABV). This is because some alcohol naturally forms as part of the brewing process.”
      I agree with above readers comment near beer = near death. I feel its still contributing to the “habbit” part of drinking which may lead to further indiscretions or dropping ones guard. does the junkie opt for a lesser dose or a less evil drug of choice ? lets face it, an alcoholic is no different then a junkie, same weakness and desires to get high. I know these thoughts on something as “innocent ” as near beer sound militant but in my opinion its these very intricate actions that may lead to failure. ask yourself why the sudden desire to drink beer of any kind ? the addict part of your brain is trying to work you over. the addicts brain is deceitful, it will lie, rationalize, tell you well its only fake beer, no problem. the addict in us never stops trying to win. no matter what your d.o.c. you might say well , not me, its not causeing me any temptation. ok, maybe not, but why even take the risk ? thats the real question. my opinion is stated above, its the addict in you that will never quit trying to win . I like this line from an old movie about heroin addicts, “the monkey on your back never dies, he just goes over in the corner and waits for another chance to own you. Im not a counselor with any formal qualifications on this subject. these are my personal opinions based upon much reading of AA’sThe Big Book, and many other sources of information on the subject of addiction as well as personal experience with family members and friends addiction problems and quitting alcohol myself. sober date of Jan. 7th, 2017

      best regards
      Ray
      Annapolis Md U.S.A

      Liked by 3 people

      • Many thanks for your insights! Yes, I know many feel a “substitute” will lead to overpowering temptation but you also have vegetarians eating tofu based foods masquerading as bacon, chicken and so on. Your view may very well be correct and the non-alcohol beer (yes, <0.05% in Becks Blue but still a lot less than in my perfume and mouth wash!) may lead to a spectacular downfall for me, but for now I am doing what works for me and I’m very content in my sobriety. Thanks again. 👍

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bgddyjim – I have lots of friends who feel the same as you. One whose son is now of age and occasionally has booze at home and she can’t bear it, she says just the knowledge it’s there makes her crave it. I don’t know if my way is the right one but I guess I’ll figure it out eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You will. For me, my body could sense even that infinitesimal amount of alcohol. I tried it once, got the shakes so bad I couldn’t believe it. I “recoil[ed] as if from a flame” ever since. That’s just my experience. I actually wish I could be more like you. Not in my deck of cards, though.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. You are going to do great!! Reminded me of the Starfish story:

    A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

    She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

    The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

    — Adapted from ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren C. Eiseley

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This really is exactly where you are meant to be and what you are meant to be doing. Your journey has happened for a reason and brought you exactly to where you are meant to be today. I can’t help but read the stories of these people and first off think how easily that could of been me. Then I can’t help but think I wish I too could explain to them just ride this rehab through as there could be so much good ahead of you if you will just give it a chance.

    Liked by 3 people

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