Post # 1
My husband and I hosted dinner last night and we made a red wine gravy. We cooked the wine down and added beef broth etc. For some reason it didn’t occur to me AT ALL that this could be a problem for one of his family members who is a recovering alchoholic. It wasn’t brought up and I am not even sure if the person in question had gravy but now I’m feeling awful I didn’t give them a heads up (if I had thought of it beforehand I wouldn’t have made this recipe). Do you think it’s worth reaching out and apologizing to this person? I’m feeling bad but also hope the alcohol had boiled off before it was served
Post # 2
It depends on the person. I’ve had recovering alcoholics in my life who would not have been bothered. I’ve had some who would have been. I’ve had some who would have been bothered by taste alone even if all alcohol burned off.
Also you would have had to boil that gravy for an awfully long time to burn off all the alcohol. People really underestimate what it takes to burn off all the alcohol and in the majority of cases it just doesn’t completely burn off.
Since you’re close enough to know the person is in recovery, I probably would reach out to them and check and even if they didn’t have any apologize for not being more aware and making it known.
Post # 3
My dad who is a recovered alcoholic, who hasn’t drank in 30 years, asks restaurants to skip a sauce or substitute one if it is made with alcohol. He even buys alcohol free mouth rinses and cough medicine. He says drinking was the worst part of his life and never wants to taste it again…. That said, you can’t go back and change what was served, so I wouldn’t mention it. But going forward maybe be more aware.
Post # 4
I don’t think it’s worth mentioning now – just keep it in mind for future recipes if you think you might be hosting a recovering alcoholic. There’s usually an easy substitution for those recipes (red wine vinegar or cranberry juice, for example).
Post # 5
Thanks for the input. I think I won’t bring it up then.. If I had thought of it I totally would have left it out- it just somehow converted from “alcohol” to “cooking ingredient” in my mind. I just don’t want them to think I was purposefully doing it, I just wasn’t thinking!
Post # 6
well first alcohol does NOT cook off, that’s entirely untrue. But, all said, I wouldn’t mention it now. I would just try to be more thoughtful in the future.
Post # 7
Aww don’t feel bad. It was an honest mistake and if they are a recovering alcoholic it’s their own responsibility to be aware of what they are consuming and the possibility that food can contain alcohol. Just like a vegetarian/vegan would need to check if a dish was suitable for them to consume before they eat it. Obviously you wouldn’t have made it with wine if it had occurred to you. If it makes you feel better you can bring it up to them and apologise and explain that you felt bad when you realised. But don’t beat yourself up about it. They are an adult who is responsible for what they consume.
Post # 8
mahadewi : I see that you mean very well, but I honestly don’t see how bringing it up at this point would be helpful. Unlike, say, Chicken Marsala or Coq au vin, I really can’t taste the wine/alcohol in red wine gravy. And now that you mention it, I’ve served it to children and people who abstain from alcohol for religious reasons and literally never thought a thing of it until just now. You can’t take back what happened. And you risk all kinds of negative things by bringing it up (person feeling the need to count it as a “relapse,” potentially blaming you, etc). I think this is a perfectly fine, and even helpful, secret to keep.