Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We Miss You, Alice B. Toklas

Yesterday, I missed the opportunity to honor the passing of the great Alice B. Toklas on March 7, 1967, but I'm making up for it today. Toklas is best-known as the steely partner of Gertrude Stein and the unwitting publisher of their friend Brion Gysin’s recipe for “Haschich” fudge. Alas, Toklas did not know that the ingredient “canibis satvia” was marijuana.

In all fairness, my absence of a date-appropriate post on Toklas was not for want of trying. Toklas also published a recipe for Garlic Ice Cream, a frozen dressing for salad. The recipe calls for 2 spoons of “Cowboy’s Delight” and no amount of searching could help me determine what that is.

Two helpful Chowhound sleuths offered clues: it was available by mail order from the Old Smoky Sales Co. in Los Angeles and it’s a common name for the plant, prairie mallow. Unfortunately, these didn’t help me with the recipe, so if anyone has any hints, please let me know.

The picture above is from a 1968 movie in which a “square” Peter Sellars decides to “drop out” and become a hippie after tasting “groovy” brownies. So without further ado, recipes for garlic ice cream and hash brownies from The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, published in 1954. Proceed at your own risk.

(dressing for salad)
4 small tomatoes, chopped to pulp
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 t. Tabasco
1/2 t. salt
1 t. onion juice
1 c. mayonnaise
2 spoons Cowboy’s Delight

Beat until ingredients are well mixed. Freeze. Do not stir while freezing.
Serve in halved avocados.

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 de-stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts:  chop these and mix them together. A bunch of cannabis 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. 

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