monkey bread is my crack

27 Feb

…in which I reveal some fairly disgusting details of my relationship with sugar

On the one hand, the fact that I am even bothered by what happened this weekend shows how far I’ve come.  But on the other hand, I feel like the words “relapse” and “junkie” can actually be applied realistically to a description of the psychological and physical calamities I brought on myself.

Now, I’ve never shot up crack balls or free-based heroin crystals or whatever the kids are doing these days, so I can’t entirely say if my likening this sick Monkey Bread habit to a narcotics addiction is hyperbole or not.  But I was a psych major in undergrad, I know the hallmarks of a substance problem when I see it.  Or when I smell it…that buttery, caramely, doughy, cream cheesey, cinnamony warmth wafting through the air…do I ever smell it.

I’ve been Officially Sick since Thursday night, when my fever grew and peaked and 103 for a couple of hours.  Since then, the aches and temp have subsided, but left behind a deep, gnarly, phlegmy cough and irritated sinuses, making it pretty awful to get up and move around.  So on Friday night, when I was finally done with a grueling 90-minute session on campus and a meeting with a supervisor that WOULD NOT END, I came home completely pooped.  But apparently not pooped enough not to make a batch of Deluxe Monkey Bread whose recipe came with the special Monkey Bread bundt pan I bought a few weeks ago.  The first factor in this disaster was the fact that when I’m under the weather, all bets are off.  I’m tired, I’m not thinking straight, and I sure as hell am not going to turn down some comfort food.

I think my original rationale was that I’d make it all for J, who had been asking for it ever since I first described it.  Of course, this recipe called for pre-made buttermilk biscuits from a can (onto which one then puts a dollop of sweet cinnamon cream cheese mixture  on each ‘biscuit’ and folds into a mini monkey ball pouch, which line up next to one another in the bundt pan, then are drizzled with homemade caramel/pecan sauce.  Also, why ‘monkey’ has anything to do with it, I have no clue).

This leads me to the second problem:  the two-bite size.  “Oh I’ll just have one, and let him devour the rest!”  Simple! Elegant! I believe science calls this sort of design parsimonious.  Having my cake and eating just a little bit of it, too.   However, my plan was spoiled. J is also still sick, and tolerates Nyquill much better than I do, and so was sound asleep when it came out of the oven at 10pm.  I had to negotiate the gooey pan by myself.  One monkey ball is just enough for a taste test (about a 2″ cube).  But of course it passed the taste test and that’s where I got into trouble.  They’re small enough pieces to feel like a second or third is acceptable.  Or a fourth, who am I kidding.

Which brings me to problem three: two or three or four pieces of Monkey Bread make me feel like shit.  If you break down the time frame from me being aware of the desire for MB till the point when traces of MB have cleared my system, it’s one part happy delicious fun time and about 99 parts regret, bloat, and masochistic craving for more of same.  Saturday morning began with J bringing me a tray of coffee + skim with a little plate of MB.  I haven’t started a day out with pure sugar for a really long time, and I was acutely aware of the consequences: the entire day I felt dissatisfied, constantly searching for more crap to stuff in my face to fill the void.  It was like swimming in a syrupy maelstrom, desperately trying to bob my head above once in a while to sustain myself, only instead of sucking air I was gobbling more Monkey Bread.

So then there’s the fourth issue: IT’S STILL THERE.  One of the justifications I make when going back for more, against all logical arguments for not doing so, is that the more I eat, the faster it will be gone.  But I’ve had between 3 and 6 pieces a day and I think J is not too far behind, and we still haven’t been able to kill it off.   I feel like this magical bread should be part of a Brothers Grimm tale.  Having fallen under the curse of an evil witch, the poor starving grad student stumbles across (at Target) the Enchanted Monkey Bundt Pan. She brings it home, delighted at her apparent good fortune.  But as she soon discovers, the sweet treat is not all good: the Voodoo Yeast reproduce when she is not looking to ensure the legacy of the Enchanted Monkey never dies.  Plagued by a lack of self-control (also part of the evil witch’s curse), the girl is forced to eat the piles and piles of dough accumulating in her house, which also happens to be a giant shoe.  She transforms into a gluttonous beast and is discovered, face down in a plate of caramel pecan glaze, by a band of whistling dwarves. I will get the art team who worked on Killer Klowns from Outer Space to do the movie version.

The big surprise in all of this is that Monkey Bread contains no chocolate.  Apparently my carb addiction does not discriminate.

I believe the only way out of this mess is with vegetables.  Green earthy goodness to stave off the onslaught of rotting incisors and diabetes.  If I come up with a more concrete plan than that, I’ll let you know.

p.s. NEVER LET ME BAKE THIS STUFF AGAIN.  Who wants my monkey bundt pan?!

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