Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Little De-Mystification Please; Alice B. Toklas was NOT a Pothead

Oh, the infamy that comes from putting a word like "haschich" in your book!

Alice B. Toklas, longtime companion to Gertrude Stein, the woman who penned Alice's biography, was not a pothead. The plain truth is, she was running out of time while writing her cookbook and, still shy of recipes, rounded out things by requesting recipes from her friends, many of whom were rather ... er ... different. One of them, Brion Gysin, a painter, handed over a recipe (and the introduction for it as well) for haschisch fudge (NOT brownies!) and the unsuspecting Alice tossed it into the manuscript and away it went. It was not printed in the American edition but was included in the British one. 

*Note: All spelling and grammar is AS-IS from the book

Here it is, in it's entirety~as magicians and stuntmen say, "Don't try this at home."

(which anyone could whip up on a rainy day)
Printable Recipe

This is the food of Paradise-of Baudelaire's Artificial Paradises: it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies' Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. In Morocco it is thought to be good for warding off the common cold in damp winter weather and is, indeed, more effective if taken with large quantities of hot mint tea. Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one's personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected. Almost anything Saint Theresa did, you can do better if you can bear to be ravished by 'un évanouissement reveillé.'

Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverised in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of canibus sativa can be pulverised. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.

Obtaining the canibus may present certain difficulties, but the variety known as canibus sativa grows as a common weed, often unrecognised, everywhere in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa; besides being cultivated as a crop for the manufacture of rope. In the Americans, while often discouraged, its cousin, called canibus indica, has been observed even in city window boxes. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.
There are many really terrific recipes in this book and I will share them someday soon.


ATTENTION! Be prepared! On Tuesday, January 17th, we will be playing a watered-down and just-for-fun version of Ready Set Cook!~check in soon for details and BE THERE OR (dare I say it) BE SQUARE!


eyes_only4him said...

oh I will be there baby, I roll there i am so not sqaure

Anonymous said...

Rainy day brownies? Just what the doctor ordered. I'll pass on the hasch, but thank you just the same, Anne! Out of respect for St. Theresa, of course. ;~)

Anne Coleman said...

Christina-of course you'll be here! You're my number one fan lol

Bonnie-well, ew-I would never make these-the recipe is so out there even without the hash! I got a giggle out of the St Theresa comment-this guy must have been way out there.

Heather said...

Poor little unsuspecting Alice! I visited hers and Gertrude's grave in France a couple of years ago. I'm likin' the fudge recipe too!

Anne Coleman said...

Heather-You DIDN'T! I would so love to go to France someday-I would be thrilled beyond all...