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Posts Tagged 'pot'

Cast Iron Cookoff, Part 2

It puts the eggs in the panA few of you might remember my article from back in April about me finding my Great-Grandmother’s cast iron pan that I reconditioned and brought back to life. Well, finally I got around to using it and here’s what happened.

Just to bring you all back up to speed. I’ve never used cast iron cookware before other than in the Boy Scouts which, well that was never really cooking, but more tossing meat on heated metal until it was safe to eat. We never took proper care of the pans because they were cast iron. In actuality we treated them a lot worse than you’re supposed to, but because they’re cast iron they held up. Since getting married, Wife and I have had non-stick pots and pans. Wife doesn’t really like non-stick and I didn’t really know any better. Luckily Wife didn’t like the idea of me cooking in pan that was made back in 1903 [maybe she though it would turn us into zombies or something] so I got the pan and the kitchen all to myself.

The pan, because it’s really old has a certain quality to it. If you go to a store and rub your fingers over the bottom of a cast iron pan it’s a little rough. This one because of the way they used to make them was smooth and I mean silky smooth. I had re-seasoned the pan and had it all ready to use. Turned the heat on medium and let it warm up with a beat 3 eggs with a couple of teaspoons of water [this is called French eggs I was told by a friend of mine]. I tossed a bit of butter in the pan and swirled it around before tossing the eggs in and once I added the eggs the magic happened.

small amount of sticking, but it easily scraped away

Non-stick pans become, well, sticky after awhile and the true test is whether or not you can cook a liquified high protein material like eggs without it sticking. Cheese is another good one, but I like to eat eggs more than a fried handful of cheese. Our scrambled eggs from a non-stick pan always looked awful. They bound together in clumps and were nothing like the omelets I used to be able to toss out when Wife and I were first married. Well I quickly noticed a difference.

The eggs didn’t stick at all. As a matter of fact I would have had to work hard to break them up as after a minute I noticed the eggs had set and were actually cooking a bit too quickly. Next time I’m going to try a medium low heat. I tried to break the egg mass up, but it stayed together so I tossed a handful of cheese in the center to add more difficulty to the test. The edges flipped over nicely and effortlessly to give me in the end an omelet when I was just trying to make scrambled eggs.

The taste? Awesome. Wife and I liked to go out for breakfast and I have to say that these were better than what we got when we went out, easier to make than the scrambled glop and the clean up was pretty easy as well.

The finished productAfter all the omelet had left the pan I let it sit while I ate. I came back and the pan had cooled a bit, but was still pretty warm. I ran some hot water in the pan, no soap then hand dried the pan and put it back on the stove and heated it up to get rid of any left over moisture. After about five minutes I took a napkin and put some corn oil on it and rubbed it all over the pan and let it finish cooling. Cast iron is kind of like a car. You have to wax it and several thin coats of wax is better than one thick coat. After it was completely cooled down I picked it up and put it away.

While my execution could have been better, it was my first time with cast iron and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked and I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for a smaller one in the future. To duplicate my recipe you just do the following:

3 eggs
1 teaspoon of water per egg
pinch of kosher salt
dash of pepper
beat it like hell with a wisk.

Today food in San Francisco is all about gourmet, artisan, etc. words that are usually tossed around more to raise the price than improve the taste. I do have to say though that while it’s a little more work to take care of a cast iron pan it sure beats having to replace it ever couple of years to get the same results. You also don’t have any toxic fumes from the non-stick coating to deal with and you get the addition of iron to your diet. I suspect this pan will just get better and better over time and I hope it keeps getting handed down throughout my family for many years to come.

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The Hippies Are Coming! The Hippies Are Coming!

Outside LandsThis weekend is Outside Lands which I happened to notice that when you look back on pictures and film of the Summer of Love in Golden Gate Park there isn’t much difference.

There are a few other things you’ll see that you didn’t have in the 60’s like, corporate sponsors and better food. Less Wild Giraffe Banana Wine and more micro brews. Less granola, more artisan food. If the Hippie Movement were today it would probably look a lot like Outside Lands. Seriously, look at the picture. That’s from Outside Lands, not the Summer of Love.

I’m not sure if they realize it, but Outside Lands is just a modern day version of the Summer of Love, just compacted into a single weekend along with lots more people compacted into a single space. If you look at the people of Outside Lands you’ll see the following:

  1. People wearing tie dye
  2. Lots of pot
  3. People dressing not in tie dye, but just as equally outrageous
  4. Lots of pot
  5. Scantily clad & nekkid people
  6. Lots of pot
  7. The Grateful Dead Dance [you’ll know it when you see it]
  8. Lots of pot
  9. Flowers in their hair
  10. Lots of pot
  11. Mud

I wonder if Sir Paul McCartney will be having a bit of a flashback when he performs at Outside Lands this weekend. It definitely be a groovy time for all who are there to experience the happening. For those few who aren’t going to do be advised that it is going to be crowded and getting to the other side of the park is going to be difficult. If you have time you might want to find some of the close by convenience stores to help you stock up for the weekend. It’s nice to have a good supply of munchables and drinks to hold you out through the day and keep you from spending top dollar too often at the concert.

Luckily Muni will have more buses [which may or may not help] and there is rumor of free cab rides to and from the concert. If you’ve got a smart phone you might want to download the Sidecar or Lyft app. Something tells me that cabs will be in short supply, but to safe you some money if you use Sidecar and haven’t used it before download the app and use the promo code essentiallyeric to get $10 credit to help you out on your trip.

Me? I can walk out my door and hear the entire concert without paying a dime, but I’ll most likely be driving around helping people get to and from the show. Have fun, be good and don’t take the brown acid.

No Mo’ Mary Jane!

Seeing as the two times I’ve written about marijuana my hits have spiked and the two most searched terms are redneck girls and marijuana I guess I have to cater to my audience of guys who like to look at nekkid red neck girls smoking pot every once in awhile. So today I’ll be talking about the current attack by the federal government on California on profitable medical marijuana dispensaries.

When I first read it I like many others I’m sure thought that it was a Federal attack on the state’s legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Then  I re-read the article and realized they were only attacking the mmd’s that were making money. Hmmm…I guess you can’t blame this on the GOP, because they would never attack a company that actually made money because they are the job creators.

I think the biggest problem is that a lot of politicos can’t wrap their head around the term medical marijuana. I have trouble some times especially after I attended a job rally for a company called Mary Jane Magazine. A magazine focused on cannabis culture aimed at women. The biggest question people kept asking was, will you have a space available for us to medicate? I thought to myself, if you’re that sick you shouldn’t come to work. I’ve never asked a boss if there was a room for me to go and get drunk during work because of the stress. My mind stores a lot of useless information that it gets to pull up from time to time and today it pulled out Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies who made moonshine to help with her rheumatis’. I think we need to stop thinking about marijuana as a medical drug and think of it like we think of booze.

Most of the people I know who consume marijuana do so for many of the same reason people who drink a martini or shot of scotch do. It helps them relax after a stressful day at work. It helps them relax, etc. Medical marijuana users just use terms that make it sound like a pseudo-science drug. Let’s face it, if I do a couple of shots, pop a valium or smoke a joint [not at the same time, of course] it has the same effect. It’s time to call a spade a spade. The difference is that nobody has beaten their wife after smoking a joint or destroyed their liver from consuming marijuana. It is far less deadly than alcohol or barbiturates. You don’t have to smoke it anymore you can consume a tincture or brownie so the smoking hazard is removed. If we treated marijuana like we treated booze it would be a good thing. We would be taxing it and bigger more efficient companies would be coming in to make it cheaper. Some dispensaries sell their pot at the low price of $45/gram. Now I don’t know the weight of a pack of cigarettes, but let’s say it’s an ounce. You can get an ounce of tobacco for under $6 in San Francisco [$10 in NYC]. What if you could get an ounce of marijuana for $6 including all the added taxes like cigarettes have? California would recover more than the rest of the nation and probably become THE largest economy in the world instead of the eighth largest.

We are living in an age where there is hardly anyone who can say they haven’t tried marijuana at least once. Hell, I’m sure Mitt Romney tried it at some point. I think Rick Perry is using it right now after seeing some of his clouded speaking during the debates. Let’s just legalize it and tax it and make it into a commodity that we can control instead of calling it a controlled substance that the government isn’t really controlling. Which brings to mind a possible urban myth of the government developing it’s own WMD which was a strain of pot called G13 which was supposed to be extremely potent enough to cloud the minds of our enemies and dissidents.

The government knows about marijuana, now they just need to show the small percentage of people that it’s like booze so they can understand that. Then they’ll all be saying to the politicians, hey how can we start making some money off of it? The biggest people against the legalization were the pot growers themselves because they knew that some corporation would come in and find a way to do it better for less. Why else are there so many Escalades and BMW in Humboldt county next to the trucks?

So to sum it all up, the federal government isn’t really against marijuana, just people who make money off of marijuana. I suppose if they’d tax it and make some money off of it they’d think different. Steve Jobs smoked pot. How else do you think we’d have computers in our back pocket today.

Happy Birthday Wavy Gravy! Don’t Take the Brown Acid!

Wavy Gravy is an icon of San Francisco in the 60’s yet he came from New York and lives in People’s Republic of Berkeley. On the 15th of May he will turn 75 years old. For most people today they probably equate hippies with being old, but for those of us reaching middle age we still scratch our heads at the thought of old hippies. Maybe not so much as we used to.

Born Hugh Romney [hmmm…any relation to Mitt?] he received the name Wavy Gravy from of all people B. B. King in 1969 when B. B. just before taking the stage at the Texas International Pop Festival saw Hugh sitting backstage and asked him, “Are you Wavy Gravy?” to which Hugh replied, “Yes” and B. B. responded with, “It’s OK, I can work around you” and preceded to go onstage and play. Not sure who was drinking the Kool Aid that day, but methinks B. B. might have had a glass or two

I guess that was a bit of a day of revelation because Hugh decided from that day to use the name Wavy Gravy as his legal name. He had also chose to portray himself as a clown because as a demonstrator for peace he thought that it would be difficult for the Police to have it in their hearts to arrest a clown. We’re not talking the drunken, swearing after hours staggering around in misery type of clown that TV likes to portray and make people like my wife afraid of clowns, but the happy childlike things are better type of clown.

Wavy Gravy as a clown has brought about change in the world one smile at a time. He started the Hog Farm collective commune in Los Angeles in 1966 which wasn’t the free love, let’s run naked and do nothing else type of commune but a group of people who lived and worked on the hog farm of Claude Doty and turned it into a showbiz enterprise staging concerts in the Los Angeles area before the group relocated to Black Oak Ranch in Northern California in the 90’s.

Wavy also started Camp Winnarainbow which was originally started as a day care for Sufi children so that their parents could meditate and pray and wouldn’t be penalized from that because they had kids. Wavy took the kids and made them have fun by running it like a circus and teaching the kids performing arts. It’s still thriving today though looking a bit less hippie.

He even managed to influence Ben & Jerry to create a Wavy Gravy ice cream. I have to say I haven’t tried it just because it sounds like there’s gravy in the ice cream which seems wrong to me, but there is no gravy in Wavy Gravy ice cream. I suppose that came from the time he spent with the Merry Pranksters in the 60’s. What he might be best known for, at least to me was as head of security at Woodstock [the original one] he walked up to the mic one day and gave everyone the warning, “Don’t take the brown acid.” That moment was immortalized in the movie Woodstock and showed that he wanted everyone to have fun, just have fun safely.

I actually got to meet Wavy a few years ago at a place you wouldn’t expect to see a hippie at. My wife and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary and decided to go to Harris Steakhouse in the city. We liked to have early dinners when we went out to avoid having to scream at each other over our expensive meal. We were the first ones in the restaurant. My wife ordered the Prime Rib and I had the Bison steak [rare!] as we were waiting for our meals to arrive in walks Wavy and his wife Jahanara and they are seated next to us. My jaw kind of dropped because I was raised that hippies were supposed to love the earth and not want to harm animals so they were always vegetarian. Well my parents were wrong teaching me that. I got up and walked over to him and extended my hand and introduced myself. He responded sort of like a celebrity who was just trying to have dinner and not be disturbed and I picked up on that and left at the handshake because I was supposed to be there to celebrate my anniversary after all.

As we got up to leave after dessert and started walking towards the door he extended his cane to block our path for a moment and wished us both a happy anniversary and happy life together. I had never received a hippie’s blessing before, but that day just seemed brighter because of it.

Politics! Politics! Politics!

Note to readers: Having discovered that my name server had changed a little to late when I moved things over to the new server I suddenly lost a few posts and pictures which threw me off for a bit. Now I will hopefully regain my stride and get back to more regular posts.

The only thing that got more people’s attention than the Giant’s winning the world series was the election and pretty much as I figured California mooned the rest of the country.

Jerry’s back as President Governor followed by the rest of the Democrats just showing that we’re more a blue state than we were yesterday. Queen Meg will now have to be questioned on her business acumen after investing over $100 million dollars in a campaign that failed. Think of what she could have done with that money if she hadn’t run and started the Whitman Foundation to help needy kids or homeless people or some other ennobling cause. She’d be seen as a hero, but now she’ll go down as a business woman who spent the most money in a campaign that failed.

Oh yeah, pot is still illegal.

The coastal areas were all in favor of it and the inland empire was against it.  What surprised me the most was that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin showed support for prop 19 yet Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown, Kamala Haris, Barbara Boxer and the California Cannabis Association were against it. Wait, Governor Moonbeam didn’t want pot legalized? What’s he been smoking? It turns out on the against prop 19 list where a large number of pot producers who would, so they thought, lose money if it was legalized because it would drive the price down. Any quick trip online to look at prices for medical marijuana show that that’s not true.

Personally, I think it’s a shame that it didn’t pass. It would have increased the revenue that we already get from medical marijuana sales (which is currently north of $100 million) and it would have given California another reason to be a “go-to” spot. Estimates put the potential gains for the state at north of $4 billion per year.  Think of what that money would have done for our schools, our roads. It’s even possible that we could have eliminated state income tax if it passed. Nevada fortifies itself from gambling revenues so its residents don’t have to pay state income tax. Think about it. Even though our own Governator was against prop 19 he decriminalized have up to an ounce as a $100 fine.

I think the best that can be said about this was said by Richard Lee of Oaksterdam University, “Over the course of the last year, it has become clear that the legalization of marijuana is no longer a question of if, but a question of when.” I guess we just need the state to need the money more and have less people who don’t want to put their political careers on the line to support it.

Marijuana as a commodity

big_bud_marijuana

Marijuana, the crop of the new millenium

I’ve been seeing a lot lately about California making marijuana legal and taxing it in the same sort of way it works in Amsterdam.

Personally, I think this is a good idea. Everyone knows that California is the biggest pot growing place in the US if not the world and cash it’s bringing in is in the billions of dollars. Yes, it is a drug, but so is alcohol and vicodin and valium and all the other prescription medicines out there that. Yet if your company drug tests, none of these will keep you from getting a job, marijuana on the other hand, will.

Historically from what I could find there has never been anyone who has died of an overdose of marijuana [leaving out the possibility of them being stoned and crashing their car]. Alcoholism has killed thousands of people an when you mix in the people who mix alcohol with prescription drugs the numbers jump up even more.

We have medical marijuana clinics now and that makes it easy for people to get a card and get marijuana for it’s medicinal value. These are more of a minor blip in the marijuana cash crop business. Now think about this. If it becomes legal and taxed large companies would jump in and set up farms that would end up producing more marijuana as less cost which would overall end up dropping the price to offset the taxes placed on it. This could overall make it cheaper to purchase than it would to try and grow it similar to common vegetables like lettuce.

California needs cash badly and when you have a billion dollar industry that if legalized and taxed could turn into a trillion dollar industry I firmly believe that California would get a good boost to it’s economy. Not just from sales, but think of all the people who would come as tourists just because they could purchase marijuana legally. This would obviously boost border towns that usually need some help, but it would also boost the economies of metropolitan areas. Which would also help increase the hotel and restaurant business as well. All this would help to bring back the economy in California which while being the 8th largest economy in the world, has some of the worst marks in our school systems.