Alice B. Toklas Brownies

Discussion in 'Stoners Lounge' started by Startreken, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Startreken

    Startreken Marijuana Chef!

    Funny article and recipie. I found it on The Straight Dope . com, I included the whole thing and added the link on the bottom. Enjoy

    Dear Cecil:

    What does Alice B. Toklas have to do with Alice B. Toklas brownies, anyway?

    — Judy Prisoc, Chicago

    Dear Judy:

    About as much as she had to do with The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas--which is to say, not much. The 1933 "autobiography" was actually written by Gertrude Stein, Toklas's lifelong companion and one of the legendary figures of the Parisian literary scene in the first half of the twentieth century. Similarly, the recipe for marijuana-laced brownies (actually it was a brownielike hashish fudge) that appeared in the 1954 Alice B. Toklas Cook Book wasn't Toklas's own but rather that of a wiseacre painter friend named Brion Gysin.

    It all started when Alice signed a contract with Harper's to write a cookbook in 1952. She was a pretty fair cook, but what Harper really hoped to get (and what by and large it got) was not so much recipes but tales of Toklas's life with Gertrude Stein, who had died in 1946.

    With the deadline only a few months away, Toklas, then in her mid-70s, found herself half a book shy. So she began soliciting recipes from her artsy friends. Gysin came up with "Haschich Fudge, which anyone could whip up on a rainy day." By way of introduction he gushed, "This is the food of Paradise. . . . it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies' Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. . . . 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." The active ingredient in the fudge was what Gysin called "canibus sativa," more familiarly known as marijuana.

    Alice, unfamiliar with "canibus" (at least as spelled by Gysin) and lacking the time to test the recipes, stuck her friend's contribution into her manuscript and sent it off to the publisher. The editors at Harper's spotted the suspicious ingredient and held the recipe out, but the publisher of the British edition didn't. The press promptly went nuts. Tittered Time: "The late Poetess Gertrude (Tender Buttons) Stein and her constant companion and autobiographee, Alice B. Toklas, used to have gay old times together in the kitchen. Some of the unique delicacies that were whipped up will soon be cataloged . . . in a wildly epicurean tome . . . which is already causing excited talk on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps the most gone concoction (and also possibly a clue to some of Gertrude's less earthly lines) was her hashish fudge."

    Alice, a believer to the end in her friend's genius, was incensed that anyone should think it was artificially fueled. Still, as her friend Thorton Wilder told her, the recipe was the publicity stunt of the year and the expurgated American version of the cookbook received wide and generally respectful notice.

    Just so you can see what all the fuss was about, here's the recipe:

    Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverized in a mortar. About a handful each of stone dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of canibus sativa can be pulverized. 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. . . . It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.

    Cecil must sternly advise that you shouldn't try this at home. If you do anyway, it hardly seems necessary to add, "Bon appetit."

    — Cecil Adams
  2. Startreken, are you a Chef by profession or a Chef by education? basically.. did you go to culinary school? if so ... where?
  3. Startreken

    Startreken Marijuana Chef!

    I am currently working in sales. I began to learn my culinary trade as an apprentice to a french chef in Philadelphia at the age of 15 and then went on to work at several restaurants and hotels over the years. I have held the position of chef in three locations, two restaurants and one hotel. I was also a member of the American Culinary Federation and earned certification through them. I no longer work as a chef but I contune to use my skills when I write menus. As a Director of Catering prior to the position I hold now, I also had a hands on approach with my staff to make sure the food was properly prepared. I would also train my culinary staff both on and off site. I did not go to culinary school, however I was accepted to both CIA and Johnson and Wales but I could not afford to go at the time. So to answer your question I learned by doing and not by learning in a classroom.
  4. damn.. 15y/o apprenticeship.. thats a nice lil starter.. too bad i grew up in a tiny town that doesnt support restaurants unless they are burger joints and chains basically... i've really been contemplating over these past couple years if i should go back to school for a culinary degree.. my down fall is living in a town where i can't get that top teir cooking expertise under my belt.. you put me in any kitchen.. whether its something im use to or new to and i guarentee i'll run with the big dogs though.. maybe i just need to move.. but right now im stuck here with obligations
  5. Startreken

    Startreken Marijuana Chef!

    Yeah, I used to have to ride my bike to work when I first started. I have found that most peole will talk well about people with Culinary Degrees but they prefer people with experience. Your best bet is to just find the best restaurant in town and try to get a job there. Hell, even at 15 I had to wash dishes. I learned every job and every station. I was lucky that we had a family friend who intorduced me to this chef. I worked my ass of and I thought I knew shit even at 15 then, well I really learned.

    Johnson & Wales is a very good school but we have a couple of culinary schools here in Chicago as well. For example Kendall College. If you ever decide you want to move Chicago is known for it's food. Unfortunatly you would need to work your way up. However, I know quite a few people and would be willing to put you in touch with the right people.

    I understand obligations but if you should ever change your mind just let me know. I can help you out. Hell, I might even let you stay at my house for a little bit while you find a place. It all depends on what you want to do.
  6. ^^^ well my main obligation i cant change my mind on... im leasing my car through a private lot and im not allowed to move out of state while under contract with them...

    nice thing is i never started out as a dishie.. i went straight to cook.. i applied for dishie/prep when i first started working and they were like "well, these positions are filled, how do you feel about cooking?" i was like hells yea.. i got plenty of experience.. and a bit of clout.. managing for 3 years.. having recipies published in catalogs... winning cook-offs.. i've made well with what i have to work with..

    i applied for CIA when i was still in HS.., they rejected me at the time.. because they only take on students with culinary background.. its not like Le Cordon Bleu.. which will take any moron off the street and call them a cook.. i swear to god thats gotta be the easiest culinary school in the world because i havent met one grad from their that didnt know their ass from a sufflee... thats kinda why at the same time im like "fuck culinary school" but with the experience and that to top.. it would make me able to get in anywhere with no problems at all.. 27 and i already have 10+ years of experience
  7. lucjl volcin

    lucjl volcin Senior Member

    You should go back to school that way you will be able to get hired at a higher paying place

  8. im making pretty good money for just being a cook where i live... i have no responsibilities except to cook food.. and i get paid well to do it
  9. Startreken

    Startreken Marijuana Chef!

    I have found that most of the chefs I have worked with when they see some kid come in right out of culinary school they just make them a line cook anyway. Hell, I have even seen some of my friends reject those kids and tell them to go get some experience. Lol man if you want to see some kid cry..... I tell ya kitchens are no place for kids.

    Just to make a recomendation....if you have not already, read Kitchen Confidental by Anthony Bourdane. I am not sure I spelled his name right. Anyway. This is one of my favorite books and reminds me of my early life in kitchens.

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