Discover more from Pipe Dreams By The Weed Witch
#4: On Yentl Weed Witches and Bitter Herbs
Plus: Grandma CAT's Chicken Soup Recipe x Carly's Potza Balls
This is The Weed Witch. Feeling stuck somewhere between the real world and the spiritual world? Where truth is stranger than fiction? This is a magically pragmatic, cannabis-fueled newsletter dedicated to lifestyles of the credit poor and unfamous. For the healers and dealers, saints and sinners. Discover delicious edibles, healing tinctures, and holistic remedies from the natural world and beyond. Pragmatic solutions inspired by Depression Era grandmothers and time- and space-traveling mystics. Stream-of-consciousness tales, scrappy DIY craft ideas, and divine wisdom from free-thinking societal outliers, a.k.a. the weed witches. An idea sampler platter and content wildcard for your inbox.
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Dear Witch Nation,
No one is free when Carly is oppressed! Which is why this week's newsletter is about oppression. Specifically: Passover, bitter herbs, oppression, and Yentl weed witches — my cultural kin. By the way, my grandma sent me our family's vintage haggadah and I'm so verklempt I’m gonna plotz f’real.
As a relevant gesture of peace, love and good will, I have included my grandmother’s recipe for chicken soup at the bottom, along with infused matzo balls. Will it save you from COVID? Who knows? Helps with all other ailments, and I should know: I don’t have insurance but I’m still alive! It tastes good, helps in a pinch and the potza balls will get you high without having to inhale anything, which is a nice recreational bonus to the myriad of cannabinoid medicinal benefits.
That said, while “content” and the press should live free or die hard, I believe secrets should be paid for. Which is why I will be selling secrets as a paid informant. Paid informant, life coach, and weed witch. Paid subscribers will receive secrets. All of them. Like a digital Deep Throat. Mainly my own. I will tell you about the time I was blacklisted by Michelin. The time I stood up a politician for sex in a four star hotel room in a French castle while eating Viennetta in a bathtub. Plus: a list of everyone I hate.
Should I die, I have no will, estate or benefactors. So, if my legacy is being commemorated as “a visionary ahead of her time,” I’d also like it to be universally known exactly who I hated and why. Just in case I never get around to writing my second book, “I Fuckin’ Hate You #payme: The Carly Fisher Story.” JFC even Rodney Dangerfield got more respect. Where is Lenny Bruce when you need him?!
Speaking of, my first book is actually coming out Tuesday, which you should also buy. I will also be hosting a Zoom virtual party on April 14 at 7 p.m. The whole thing is just hateful. Just sitting over here mulling over what Groucho Marx would do. Encouraging anyone to “join a conversation” makes me automatically embarrassed for myself, which is why there’s a 50/50 chance I will show up unreasonably late or bother showing up at all. “Will she or won’t she?” Like Lauren Hill or Fran Lebowitz, but without any of the notoriety. Picture it: commemorated as “an American humorist and notable Hudson Valley weed witch years ahead of her time.”
Here’s to hoping I survive COVID-19 in New York and can go up there at some point. What a dick disease this shit is. OVER IT.
(Pictured: A forthcoming book from an American humorist, travel and food expert, and underrated genius ahead of her time)
In addition to secrets, I will occasionally send you all poems, art, photos and little special love notes as tokens of appreciation for keeping the spirit of this project alive, whatever it may evolve into — and still believe you should subscribe to newspaper, books, magazines and any form of literacy you love where you are able to! #dotherightthing #payme
You know us Pisces: at our best, we’re sweet intuitive little dreamers who feel all the feels; at worst, we will drown you in a sea of terrifying psychic emotions like a tidal wave. It’s a real give and take being an empath, but none of us are perfect! Onward!
On Passover, Bitter Herbs & Oppression
(Pictured: A beautiful family heirloom, presented with the compliments of Standard Brands Incorporated, New York, New York).
Today is the first night of Passover, which is among my favorite Jewish holidays — true dinner theatre! There’s symbolism on the seder plate, a script (the haggadah), and it’s so impossibly long to get through the whole ordeal that it make sense why you’d need a goddamn feast. Recounting 400 years of Jewish exile in Egypt suffering through 10 plagues while the youngest asks “Why?” over and over and over and over again (4x) like a whining brat stuck on a long road trip is already an ordeal. By the time you get to the fifth question, you wonder why it isn’t “Why does it take so damn long until we can eat?”
Considering our country is under siege from an oligarchical fascist-run government using Evangelical rhetoric to justify oppressing Jew York, it seems like a pretty convenient seasonal allegory and opportune moment to enhance your virtual seder with the addition of cannabis as part of your bitter herb selection. The bitter herbs on the seder plate (moror) “reminds us of the bitterness of slavery, which our ancestors were compelled to endure.” “We partake of the Moror on this night that we might taste of some bitterness, to remind ourselves how bitter is the lot of one caught in the grip of slavery.”
As a reminder: there are countless people still incarcerated in prison for minor offenses pertaining to cannabis as a result of prohibition, and every time you partake, you should be mindful of what it took to get to you and the people who risked their lives to make it happen: growing in the earth, being harvested to produce medicine, traveling through a nebulous journey before being distributed within communities and providing an economic center in areas where there were not often other opportunities to succeed. Cannabis legalization may provide some relief in these places, but not without due diligence. And in the same ways we pass along the generational story of Passover every year, it’s important to remember the story of Prohibition, culture and not let that get swept under the rug as greedy VC capitalists take the lion’s share and give very little back to communities they have taken from. Shocker! Hold everyone accountable! Guillotines for all!
On Microdosing and Smoking for Puff, Puff, Passover
“The sweet, savory, bitter of life.” Last year around this time was the second time I had gone to a Puff-Puff-Passover. Admittedly, the whole thing was a bit of a logistical disaster and a good example of the importance of proper microdosing and coursing when hosting an infused dinner. I’ve received a lot of questions as to whether or not vaping and/or smoking is safe right now. Admittedly, I feel ethically shitty trying to guarantee anything for personal safety considering doing laundry at the corner feels questionable as fuck right now. Then again, I also never made such guarantees before. Tommy Chong and Snoop Dogg seem to be decent human guinea pig case studies about smoking weed every day, so go with that. From first hand experience, I have to give a fist bump to all the local dealers who are gloved and masked up and doing the Lord’s work.
On Shopping For Passover
First of all: there will be no brisket this year and that is a sin. TWENTY FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS at Trader Joe’s while I shlepped around with my fucking face mask and gloves. At the checkout, I told the cute boy working the counter, “This fucking sucks and I don’t want to live this way anymore.” He agreed.
Brisket isn’t even a fancy cut. I blame 2008 for that, along with turning all cuts of meat into designer cuts. Now we can all live plant-based lives. My vegan friends have been pissed they now have to share nutritional yeast, as if this wasn’t what they always wanted. Our family was pretty lax about the whole thing, so my grandmother always had out a tray of hors d’oeurves like homemade chopped liver, cheeses, crackers, and “olievetta,” a.k.a. tapenade. I was always a fan of how “middle class fancy” the whole thing was, and will perpetually have a deep appreciation for ‘60s Midwestern food magazine cooking.
That said, grocery shopping this year for Passover sucks. My fuckin’ grandma says she’s so fuckin’ mad because she can’t have a fuckin’ seder because of this fuckin’ virus. And also: she just used the word “fuck” more times in one sentence than she’s ever used in her life. This is all direct quotes from her, as she struggles to figure out how to use FaceTime so that maybe we can have a virtual seder. I'm not even going to try to explain what Zoom is to her. My heart is truly broken I can’t go back to Chicago this year. Not like Passover was ever a “fun” holiday — it’s among the holiest and most solemn, actually. But my grandma is a damn fine cook, and cooking a $25 brisket for no one seems gratuitous.
While Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love In The Time of Cholera” has become the catch-all pun for discussing any opportunity to write about the current pandemic, my immediate thought while I was stockpiling at the local Key Foods had turned to Passover. In fact, on the first day when I tried to grab essentials, I couldn’t help but laugh at passing a grocery end cap stocked high with matzo, gefitle fish, horseradish and all the fixins for a seder. It almost felt like a cosmic joke. And naturally, I bought it all, along with ingredients for my grandmother’s chicken soup recipe, which I perpetually have at least two quarts frozen at all time to ensure it is there when I need it. (Recipe below!).
(Pictured: An awful scene at Key Foods roughly three weeks ago).
Craft Time! How to Make a Bag of Plagues & Cinematic Screenings
By the way, just found this delightful “How to Make a Bag of Plagues” courtesy of noted goy and Jew enthusiast Martha Stewart in case any of you crafty Pinterest folks are looking for a family friendly activity to explain the symbolism of coronavirus in a really cute way for your kids this year. Additionally, I have included a helpful guide to the seder plate below, courtesy of Scholastic: an organization I bought many books and adorable animal posters from via their print magazine catalogs in the early ‘90s (millennials: we truly remember it all!).
I would also like to make two Jewish cinematic recommendations. Instead of watching The 10 Commandments this year, I suggest putting on Yentl and new Netflix mini-series, Unorthodox. Both are essentially weed witch stories: Jewish female outliers with gender identity crises trying to find their sense of place between the oppressive patriarchal physical world and the ethnocultural spiritual world. It's “Jewish oppression tangential,” if you will.
Grandma CAT’s Jewish Penicillin x Carly’s Potza Balls
Grandma CAT is a legendary and highly underrated home cook whose recipe for Spanish “Tango Chicken and Rice” recipe will be forever immortalized within the annals of local newspapers that no longer exist! Classics are always worth revisiting and reinventing to modern times, which is why this recipe is super easy. Just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and let the good times roll.
Cooking time: 1 1/2-2 hours
For the soup
1 4-pound chicken or 4 pounds of chicken thighs (preferred)
4 quarts water
4 whole carrots, chopped
4 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
1 large onion, quartered
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (try Szechuan peppercorns if you want your mouth to tingle!)
For the potza balls
Wash chicken thoroughly and place in a large pot. Add water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and skim foam off the top. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat to keep the soup simmering for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain soup, discarding all except the carrots and chicken (unless you want to keep anything else for texture/color). Chill soup. Remove fat from the top. Serve hot with noodles or matzo ball or whatever.
Pro-tip: Reserve leftover cooked chicken in separate container, which is good for chicken salad. Stock is always good for everything ever.
For matzo balls: Take one packet of matzo meal
*DIY Green Fairy Herb-Infused Butter
Yields 60 Servings (10 mg/tsp.)
1/4 cup ground or finely chopped herb
1/2 cup butter
Metal strainer / coffee filter / cheesecloth Mason jar with sealed lid
Using a double boiler or a small saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Slowly mix in the greens, stirring frequently. Small bubbles at the edges will start to form, be sure to scrape the sides and continue mixing on and off for 45 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, and continue to stir. Place the strainer of your choice over the opening of the mason jar, and pour the mixture through the strainer into the jar. Squeeze any excess butter through the top of the strainer and discard the extracted greens. This straining process can be done 2 to 3 times depending on how clear you would like your extract to be.
Seal with lid and immediately chill in the refrigerator.
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