The 70's Called...They Want Their Brownies Back!

the ever so popular pot brownie

Welcome to the first installment of Baked! -- an occasional series designed to prepare you for the implementation of Prop. 203, the medical marijuana law. Polly Cooper (not her real name) is an accomplished local baker who will remain anonymous til the law is in effect, but she's eager to share tips for cooking with cannabis. 



The first time I made brownies, I was living with my Mom and Nana. My mother had moved in to take care of my Nana, who had breast cancer, then bone cancer.

My Nana was a beautiful, large, Hungarian woman, who was my best friend, or as I would call her, "My Beautiful Nana". I would often sneak in late at night, as if not to disturb, then always creep, ninja style, half way up the staircase to make sure she was silent or snoring, and not moaning in pain. 


Gratefully, this night I heard nothing and my friend and I proceeded our brownie experimentation -- not properly, but good enough. The smell of marijuana and chocolate melted through the walls and crept up through the ceiling, only to awaken Nana.

 

After all, she had a "love affair with food, and no need for a man".

She wanted the warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven brownie, but I did not dare give her one. She was on numerous medications, and who, for fuck's sake, gives their nana a "special brownie"? So I made up some lie and said we couldn't share.

Later that night, as I crept up to my bedroom, my body feeling light and painless, I heard  Nana moaning in pain. I crawled into bed with her and massaged her aching arm, and wished I would have given her a brownie so that she could feel what I felt, and sleep peacefully for the first in a very long time. Knowing what I know now, I regret not sharing even more.

Years later, a dear friend of mine lost her mother to cancer. She was her caregiver and none of the drugs prescribed worked. She didn't know about the process of making "canna butter," or oil, or about any other medicinal use for marijuana, so she did what she thought would work best, smashing some cheap marijuana to a powder with a mortar and pestle and putting it in capsules. Unbeknownst to her, eating the pot was not the most effective way to relieve her mother's pain, but it did give her some measure of relief.

Even years after that, this dear friend of mine went to see another loved one, this time her great aunt, suffering from excruciating and crippling arthritis, but she was prepared. She had made a preparation of butter infused with marijuana. She spread some on a piece of bread and then covered it with peanut butter. My friend sat at her bedside while she ate the "special toast" and for about 30 minutes, they sat and talked, then her aunt said, "I think I'm going to sleep now."

The next morning, when she was asked how she slept,  she replied, with tears in her eyes, "That was the best, most restful night of sleep I've had in years."

My friend left the butter for her and returned to Phoenix with a new sense of purpose, feeling like she had done something great, watching this work for someone she loves dearly.

There is a stigma associated with marijuana use. The lazy video gamer, sitting in front of the TV; those damn, dirty hippies, burning one and trying to wax philosophical.  There are examples everywhere, and I'm sure everyone knows at least someone who fits a stereotype. The most destructive part of this stigma is that it can prevent those who may benefit from its therapeutic aspects from even asking about it. 

Finally, the voters of the state Of Arizona have decided to make marijuana legal for people suffering with chronic (no pun intended) pain.

If you don't agree with the law or don't believe in the medicinal properties of marijuana, this blog probably isn't for you... BUT, I would like you to continue reading and maybe I can change your mind.

And for those of you on board,  I'm going to tell you how to make  concoctions and tinctures, as well as some wonderful tips, recipes, and ideas that can help either you or a loved one in pain. You never know when the time will come when you are sitting beside your mother, father, aunt, sister, best friend, or lover, watching the meds not work and feeling helpless because there is nothing you can do....Well, this blog's for you.

And, just so you know, my name is not Polly Cooper. I am actually a baker and work for a local business. So, until Prop 203 is legal, I will have to remain your humble, anonymous informant. I promise to teach you that there's more to eating pot than a late-night batch of brownies. But if that's where you want to start, I highly recommend a recipe for King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies.
 
You can make them the regular way -- or wait til tomorrow when I'll give you the recipe for canna butter.
 
Brownies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
    2) In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it's hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
    3) While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
    4) Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
    5) Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
    6) Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.
    7) Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.


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