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Cooking With Weed

 

Saturday, September 1, 2007.

 

By Franka Philip

 

“Gotta have kaya now”, “Roll a tree and feel the breeze”, “Come smoke my herb”.


Cannabis - the herb that’s been immortalised in many a song. It’s also a hot issue all over the world - should it be legalised or not? A lot of folks think it should be legalised because they feel it’s a lot less addictive than tobacco and it’s natural.


In progressive countries the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is allowed. I know of people who used it to ease their pains as they fought life-threatening diseases.


At the grassroots level, I’ve heard of the healing properties of ganja tea and I don’t doubt for a moment that it’s a versatile herb. So I had a chuckle when I read this recipe for Hashish Fudge (what we’d probably call Ganja Fudge) and I thought I’d share it.


It’s from London chef
Allegra McEvedy who sounds like a real character (and I mean that in the good sense), if this description from the Observer is anything to go by: “Allegra McEvedy has come a long way since being expelled from school and fired from the Groucho Club - for having sex in the shower. She’s now married, is the culinary brains behind Leon, and has just published her first cookbook.”


That cookbook is called
Allegra McEvedy’s Colour Cookbook and it sounds like something that’s worth picking up, if only for this Hashish Fudge recipe.

 

Hashish fudge

This is a classic recipe from the 1954 Alice B Toklas Cookery Book , which I came across in one of my Mum’s cookbooks. It’s a bit of a giggle and you’re never quite sure how tongue-in-cheek she’s being - in the intro Alice recommends it as ‘an interesting refreshment for a Ladies’

 

Bridge Club’- can she be serious? Nowadays, the medicinal qualities of marijuana are understood better and it is used as an effective, natural pain relief by people with arthritis, MS and IBS, as well as the less drastic symptoms of period pains. Very figgy, spicy and sticky.

 

MAKES ABOUT 20 PIECES
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
a scratch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
(I don’t like cinnamon, so I substituted the seeds from a vanilla pod, which worked out really well)
a handful of stoned dates (ha ha)
a handful of dried figs
a handful of flaked almonds
a bunch of Cannabis sativa leaves (or you can just crumble in some hash or weed)
140g light brown sugar
125g butter

 

Method
1. Toast the peppercorns and the coriander seeds in a small frying pan on a high heat until they start to smell wonderful.


2. Put them with some nutmeg scrapings and the cinnamon (if you wish) into a pestle and mortar/coffee grinder and pulverise.


3. Chop the fruit and nuts and mix them in a bowl.


4. Sprinkle on the spices and add the cannabis in whatever form you have - if it’s leaves, they will have to be pounded first (i.e. in the pestle and mortar with the seeds and cinnamon), but hash or weed can be crumbled in with the other spices.


5. Dissolve the sugar and the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. When the sugar has melted, the mixture will be separated: melted butter floating on top of a slightly bubbling brown sugary goo.


6. Slowly bring to the boil - don’t let it catch on the bottom of the pan - stirring briskly with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to boil and come together. Keep stirring until it is a thicker, foamier texture.


7. Mix in the fruity bits, take off the heat and beat thoroughly. The fruit will break down and make it even smoother. If you are left with a little melted butter in the pan, drain it off, and use some kitchen paper to de-grease the fudge mix.


8. Line a tray with a piece of buttered greaseproof paper and push the fudge into it, or Alice
suggests rolling it into individual, walnut-sized pieces.


9. Cool to room temperature in the larder overnight, in the fridge if you’re in a hurry, or in the freezer if you’re desperate.

 

Shelf life: weeks and weeks.

 

Best kept: in an airtight box in the larder or fridge.

 

Allegra McEvedy’s Colour Cookbook is published by Kyle Cathie.

 

Franka Philip is a food expert and a journalist with the BBC in London. She blogs at www.cancookmustcook.com

 

Please e-mail comments to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com 

 

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