Monday, September 1, 2008

Living with Addiction: Part 1

I have a confession to make. I have an addiction that I have been trying to hide. It is a problem, and I know I have to deal with it if I am going to go on with my life. They say that the first step to dealing with addiction is to admit that there is a problem. What is my addiction, you ask? I hold back because I am afraid to tell people of my shortcomings. Yet, because you are all my readers and my friends I will share it only with you.

Yes, I am addicted to cooking and cooking shows, specifically Iron Chef and Iron Chef America.

The First Taste

I remember how it all began, on that sunny afternoon while I was living in Union City, CA. The year was 1999 and Ioved watching Japanese shows on the International Channel. It was on that fateful day in 1999 that I got my first glimpse such a glorious show for those of us who love to cook and that show was Iron Chef. Forget Tony Stark and Iron Man, he holds nothing to the fame, glory, and honor of being an Iron Chef.

As time went on I found myself long to hear those beautifully spoken by the Chairman, Hai Cousine. Thus when I moved to NYC, I was thrilled to find out that Iron Chef was now a show in America as well. Yet, I had to hide my addiction from those close to me. Some of them more than likely knew of my addiction, because I was always inviting them over for lunch or dinner. A few of them I invited over for breakfast. I found myself dreaming of becoming the first Kosher Iron Chef, and I would day dream of lentals and cous cous.

I also found that I was not alone in my addiction for Iron Chef. There were others who aspired to learn whose cousine reigns supreme. We were a hearty lot, and we found comfort in each others weakness. My particular weak spot was that as I watched Iron Chef I found myself having to cook something and eat during the show. Side Note: for those who don't know I have a condition I inherited from my father. When I eat and I hear someone talking or I am watching something whatever I hear and see becomes 40% more interesting to me.

Iron Chef America - Battle Mango

The Change

When you become addicted to something it changes you inside and out. You may think everything is okay, but in reality you are not the same. You may start avoiding people in fear that they will know your secret. Once my friends found out about my addiction to cooking, and they were appalled, yet starving so not a word was said. Yet, I could feel their eyes rolling in contempt. Wait, that's not why their eyes were rolling. Their eyes were rolling in delight of my mastery of Moroccan cuisine and juices mixed with ginger.

You may feel fear that someone is watching you, and you may feel guilt. I no longer feel anything, for as I have said before I am man and I am hungry. I now accept my addiction to cooking and that comes with it.

I am not afraid to admit that I caramelize some of my sauces.

I am not afraid to admit that I carefully choose and dice my ingreadiants.

I am not afraid to admit that I use Yemenite Hwaj for certain dishes.

I am not afraid to admit that I use rice milk.

I am not afraid to admit that I add honey to some of my dishes.

In the end I am the one who has to live with my culinary creations and if I am fed and fed well, there is nothing any of you can do to stop my fall into cooking madness. I am a man of faith, and I am a man of the kitchen. Ask anyone who has known me, I am well versed in the ways of the knife, the blender, and the sauce pan. Laugh if you will, but my thirst for freshly squeezed juices will not be denied. It is a thirst that must be quenched day and night.

You can think what you like about me, but until you have cooked a mile in my kitchen you cannot judge me.

The Final Analysis

So here I sit in my apartment in Maale Adummim, Israel. Waiting, watching, and hoping that someone will download another video of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America. I sit by my computer with a special You Tube button, shaking at the thought that there will be a new video for me to savor and later imitate.

Is it wrong that for years I desired to be a place where the Jacknun and the Malawach runs free? Is it a crime to dream of Falafal and Lachuch running freely down the mountainside? Is it a sin to have enjoyed both Ethiopian and Turkish coffee, even though I am not a coffee drinker? Well, if it is a sin then I am a sinner I admit it, are you happy?

My addiction to cooking and to the Iron Chef could cost me everything; my job, my home, my family, and my friends. Okay, I am being a bit dramatic that won't actually happen, but play along with me here.

I know that you all now hate me for my addiction, and I stand to lose your friendship. So I beg of you, while you still can. Please, look away...............I'm hideous.

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue, unless I can find something else to cook.


Rafi G said...

really? an abir warrior who watches cooking shows? seems so out of place!

Ehav Ever said...

Hey Rafi,

What can I saw? I am a fighter and cooker. Now you see my eternal shame. ha ha

I am glad that I am not a samurai. I would have to commit ritual suicide. On a tomato of course. ha

Rafi G said...


shavonne said...

I don't consider cooking an addiction if you are cooking healthy food. I know people who cook all the time but it's always that unhealthy deep fried stuff that clogs the arteries and causes obesity.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey Shavonne,

How are you? I am being completely comical. If you watch Iron Chef, you will understand how over dramatic the entire show is, thus the comic nature of this post. I.e. I am being over dramatic like the Iron Chef show. I mean they have cooks coming out of the floor like they are going into a battle. (smile)

Batya said...

Loved the post!

Send it to KCC, and maybe you'd want to host one. Please let me know!

Don said...

The post, how it began, kinda threw me off at first...but once I realized you were speaking of cooking I sat back and enjoyed the read. Not a bad addiction to have, I wish my female was addicted to cooking.

Tr8erGirl said...

Too funny! You should start an ICA (Iron Chef Anonymous, of course!) chapter in Israel........and take it one day at a time!

Ehav Ever said...

Batya - I'm glad you liked this post. What exactly is KCC?

Don -Hello Don. Yeah, I was hoping that people would think I was talking about something else. It looks like writing skills are still on par. ha ha. Yeah, I am considering having my mother buy me the Iron Chef DVD collection. Maybe if your female watch Chef a bit, you can coerce her into trying some of the dishes from the show.

Tr8ergirl - You are too funny with that ICA remark. (smile) Now that my secret is out I don't think they would let me in. So I have to live my life with the public stigma. Yet, as the Chairman from Iron Chef would say Hai Cuisine!

Felicity said...

You will make someone a wonderful husband and a good father. You'll able to good for your children. It is good to be able to cook.

Siditty said...

I am dying laughing at your addiction, but only because I am crying see I am addicted to Iron Chef as well.

Anonymous said...

I am SOOO jealous. . . I can't cook, but I LOVE to eat good cooking!!

Ehav Ever said...

Felicity - I thank you for your kind words. The ability to cook is definitely a gift. May the torch continue to burn bright.

Siddity - Now you have me laughing outside. Ha Ha. It is good to know I am not alone my addiction to Iron Chef. How did you get cooked, I mean hooked? Was it through Iron Chef America or the original?

Alisha - Don't worry there is hope out there for you. I still remember my promise to swing by and teach you how the next time I am in America. I won't be visiting the US until October 2009, so until then may you continue to burn water. lol

Siditty said...

The original did me in. I love the colorful translation when the judges describe the food. I also love the food!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm falafal... This hindu chica I dated a while back made some killer falafal, that and some samosas Droooool.

D.J. said...

I have a similar addiction. I am addicted to black male chefs and to their cooking shows. will see what we can do about getting a few more Iron Chefs on youtube!