Thursday, October 28, 2010

Medical Marijuana and Beyond

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Waiting for a friend at a favorite nearby happy hour I picked up a copy of the SF Weekly. Upon flipping to the back, I was shocked by what I saw. What were once mostly sex ads, drug addiction studies, and other such numbers to call in your hour of desperation had been almost entirely replaced by medical marijuana ads.
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In a matter of days, the voters of California will vote on whether to legalize marijuana, which will make it legal for private citizens to grow and smoke pot in the comfort of their own homes.  At present, this is still technically illegal, but the entire state has been gradually backing off of enforcement as there are much bigger fish to fry. If Proposition 19 passes, the state could regulate and tax the sale of marijuana. Seeing as it is presently our largest cash crop, the state stands to make a fair bit of green.

While there are other and maybe more important things happening on election day this year I can't help but think this issue has important implications. While there are certainly thorny issues about public health and questions about who might be allowed to sell, I am firmly in the legalization camp. Of all the evils of our government, America's war on drugs is one of the worst and most futile. While the passage of Prop 19 will not end America's war upon her own citizens and the citizens of foreign nations, it is an important first step.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gearing up for Mushroom Season

It may have rained for the entire weekend but at my house we started getting excited. Mushroom season is approaching!

It was at the end of last mushroom season, in my newish house, when I started realizing the possibilities. My housemates went away from a weekend mushroom hunt and brought back what was reportedly a rather small haul. I was still very excited. Here is the kitchen chopping block covered in morels, the questionable snowbank morels, and porcinis.
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I only started learning about mushrooms early this year, and went one one very successful chanterelle hunt.  In the coming months, I hope to tag along on some more expeditions. Watch this space!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to Make a Basiltini

It was only two weeks ago, when the weather was hot and the days in San Francisco beautiful that I wrote: Sunday is a great day for a Basiltini, but then again, so is just about any other day with pleasant weather. If you're familiar with this drink, stop reading now and go outside. Stop wasting your life in front of the computer. The rest of you, let me tell you about the basiltini.

I first had something like this back in the mid 2000s somewhere in Portland, Oregon that no longer exists. But come to think of it, it's a boring story. Never mind.
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At present, there's supposedly a new golden age of cocktails in the world. Or maybe there is in America. Or maybe just in the ivory tower of San Francisco. Maybe you can get something like this in one of the many overpriced cocktail bars somewhere near you. You know the places: hip, expensive, places to see and be seen. Conversely, you could just buy the necessary ingredients and dance with the speeding freight train that is alcoholism in the comfort of your own home.  At least you don't need to put pants on as you'll be the master of your own domain.

To make a basiltini you will need:
vodka
lemons
basil
sugar
ice
muddler
cocktail shaker

This recipe makes two cocktails.

1. Place a good handful of basil in your shaker.
2. Add a teaspoon of sugar. I like to do this as it aids the next step.
3. Muddle the hell out of your simple mixture.
4. Add the juice of one lemon.
5. Add a handful of ice cubes
6. Add 4 oz of vodka
7. Shake.
8. Pour.
9. slur
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This is my attempt at a recipe for something I usually eyeball. This basiltini, if I'm making it, will put you on your backside if you are not careful. Drink one, or maybe two. Three you just might regret. Headaches follow.

If you've done this right, the drink will take on a delightful green color. Do it wrong and you will feel like a failure. This isn't rocket science. Happy drinking.