An Ode to IPA
There are a lot of do’s and don’ts to being pregnant, and most of them involve food. Suddenly, and without a proper farewell, the golden, yolky rivers in which I loved to dip my toast were banished from my brunch plate. Exiled from my kitchen was the raw cookie dough I would sneak bites of as they journeyed from mixing bowl to baking sheet. But worst of all was the outlawing of wine and beer.
So many women, past or currently pregnant, reassured me that they simply “lost” the taste for alcohol. But not me. I could make no such lofty claims. And it’s not that I actually drink that much. It’s just that when I do, I really enjoy it, savoring each sip the same way I savor a bite of delicious food. And so I missed my bottled friends and the extra layer of nuanced flavor and pleasure they brought to a meal. But most of all, I missed IPAs .
When the time finally came for me to have my first postpartum IPA, I was giddy with excitement. The scheduling stars of lunch and breastfeeding had aligned, and I wasn’t going to waste the two-hour break from my maternal responsibilities. Time stood still as I took that first sip. In an instant, my tastebuds were running slow motion through a sun-soaked field to leap into the open arms of my long-lost, hoppy friend. I closed my eyes, allowing the light effervescence to dance on my tongue and the robust floral notes to cast a fleeting yet richly golden hue on the world around me. An audible sigh of relief escaped my lips, as if then, and only then, did I feel like I had crossed the finish line of pregnancy and childbirth. It was hedonism at its best, but it was also a welcome return to my old self. Sure, i still had to limit, and schedule, my imbibing, but I was back, and it was glorious.
Admittedly thats a lot to pack into one pint, and I would be remiss not to mention that there’s lots of fabulous things that come with being a new parent - including the freedom to dip toast into runny egg yolks, and unabashedly bake cookies just to eat cookie dough. But nothing, nothing, will beat that first sip of an IPA.