Stocking up for Solstice and Dry Mouth January
What to smoke, toke, read and cook through hibernation season
Happy winter solstice! Also Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s. The end of the year really creeps up on you, doesn’t it? Well, here we are. We made it.
After blowing all of my money on loved ones and going overboard on items that belong in the red category of the food pyramid, I am delighted to segue into Dry Mouth January and Hibernation Season. It’s time to bust out the knitting needles for that balaclava you never finished, finally commit to making your own stock in the InstantPot while asking yourself, “Why was I not making this from scratch before?” and saddle up by a video of a roaring fireplace streaming on your television—we’ve got nothin’ but time on our hands now, baby!
Dry Mouth January is a term I coined last year when I decided that I was fine with giving up alcohol for a month, but January is way too boring and I have way too many shows to catch up with to not be stoned*. Plus, I hate the term “Cali sober.” I live in New York, leave me alone.
*Responsible Weed Witch Friend says it’s OK and probably a good idea to take weed tolerance breaks now and then.
Speaking of New York, next week marks the opening of the state’s very first legal dispensary in Manhattan’s East Village on December 29 which will be operated by Housing Works—among the unexpected but incredibly welcome licenses I noticed on the approval list. Housing Works is a non-profit that advocates and provides for unhoused populations and AIDS patients, and has some of the best resale shops in the city. I, for one, will be making a beeline to its storefront on 8th and Broadway as I am very much looking forward to seeing what the new recreational market will carry (and possibly a stoned shopping trip for vintage designer duds after).
That isn’t to say there hasn’t been a slew of other legacy events and concept shops popping up. La Fleur Cafe NYC in the East Village claims the spot as New York’s first Amsterdam-style cafe where you can shop, sip on cannabis-laced beverages, work and socialize. Membership-based club Work’n’Roll in Chelsea offers a stylish WeWork-style co-working space with access to amenities like pet- and stoner-friendly workspaces, a podcast room, events and their Hidden Garden penthouse suite on a daily, monthly and unlimited membership plans. And Pizza Pusha, a.k.a. Chris Barrett, has been running hot slices of Stoned Pizza out of the East Village for a hot minute. It’s not uncommon to see weekly listings on EventBrite for legacy market events.
But, if you use January to lean into your anti-social weed witch shut-in lifestyle like I do or maybe you’re not in New York, here a few ways to take full advantage of some winter solstice R&R for Dry Mouth January.
What to smoke and toke
Stone Road Farms Holiday Collection: Not gonna lie, when I saw that Stone Road was doing holiday themed infused 5-pack pre rolls with names like “Oy Vey Need a J,” “Rudolph’s Red Eye Adventure,” and “Egg Nug,” I thought, “Take my money.” After all, it’s not every day that you get dreidel printed filter tips on a tightly rolled Kosher Kush (blessed!). You gotta treat yourself sometimes.
Kush Queen’s Highly THC Proseccno: What better way to ring in 2023 and the foray into Dry Mouth January than having an infused wine-inspired beverage? Does it have grapes? No. But to be fair, it says that in the title Proseccno. Still, this tasty spritzer will get you high. Powered by their patent-pending fast-acting Bôost Instant Cannabinoid Concentrate, each can contains 10mg of Delta 8 THC + 1mg Delta 9 THC per serving. And because it’s hemp-derived, it ships nation-wide. Also, I am obsessed with their limited edition Swarovski crystal vape pen.
Any of these infused recipes from Fruit + Flower: Christina generously gives the world recipes for weed-laced spumoni pistachio sugar cookies with maraschino cherry with chocolate and freeze dried cherry powder, salted miso cookies. caramel popcorn cookies with maple pecans, and snowball cookies—plus the chance to win a LEVO by December 26. Why not give back by giving yourself a paid subscription to her newsletter?
Pax vapes: It seems as though many of my readers have graduated from needing basic information about weed to wanting my POV on dry herb vapes. There are many good ones and Pax is definitely considered a solid one for being small, sleek, and discreet. Among the myriad of reasons I am looking forward to more accessible legal cannabis is getting my hands on Pax’s fresh-pressed infused flower pods with solventless hash—a speedy option for the stoner-on-the-go.
What to read
12 Bytes: How We Got Here. Where We Might Go Next by Jeanette Winterson: Not going to lie, this one has taken a minute to get through. Because I’m not a brogrammer, the conceptual nature of basic Boolean logic and computing doesn’t make this quite the beachy read. That said, it’s an interesting understanding of the past, present and future of AI and machine learning as written by a woman, which is important because it shines a light on the stories of women who had been previously neglected from the narrative.
Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer by Rax King: They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but I’m pretty confident that I didn’t choose this one in error. I picked a copy up at P&T Knitwear in the East Village (a fine bookstore, by the way) because the cover jumped out at me and the introduction about her astrology-obsessed, costume jewelry wearing mother and opening essay is a cultural critique on the band, Creed, really spoke to me. Plus, she just got married! Mazel tov, Rax!
Glory Guitars: Memoir of a ‘90s Teenage Punk Rock Grrrl by Gogo Germaine: Whether you were a teenage riot grrl, wished you were one, or want to inspire a future one, this is the book for you. This sex-, drug- and rock n’ roll-induced collection of badass memoirs provides a clever, sensory-driven glimpse into the chaotic youth of the ‘90s before they had internet and you had to talk to people.
Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley: One of the things about dating in New York is that it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll never run into your ex. Until you do, again and again. At least in this latest suspenseful ghosts-of-the-past rom-com thriller from New York Times bestselling author Sloane Crosley, co-signed by Elif Batuman and Nick Hornby.
What to cook
A Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way by Rebekah Peppler: As someone who met her many moons ago at a backyard Brooklyn gathering of women in food, I can attest to Rebekah’s hosting skills. At the time, most of my friends weren’t really into putting effort into their food or buying a nicer wine, so the whole thing was sort of enlightening about how much better dinner parties could be. I hope they find this book because it’s not just a cookbook with incredible recipes, it’s also a guide to hosting and just reconsidering the small dreamy touches that make a lasting impression—even if you’re just hosting for one.
What’s for Dessert by Claire Saffitz: Honestly, I’ve been a little checked out on the food front for a bit, but the vintage-inspired photography from Jennie Huang immediately caught my attention. Aside from its arsenal of essential dessert recipes, this is a clear coffee-table stunner with the kind of styling that might make you impulsively start looking for antique milk glass plateware and psychedelic print tablecloths on eBay (as if you needed the excuse).
Keepers by Smitten Kitchen: Can Deb Perelman do any wrong? Not in my eyes. Like countless others, I have been a Smitten Kitchen loyalist for many years, so grabbing her third cookbook was a no-brainer. For anyone who misses the divine pleasure of a New York-style bacon egg and cheese (BEC) sandwich from a bodega, Deb has perfected the recipe (and even made it a little better, if you can believe it).
The Photographer’s Cookbook by Lisa Hostetler: This isn’t a new cookbook (it came out in 2016), but it is new to me and my collection so it might be new to you, too. Most of these recipes, you won’t want to make. But that’s not really the point. What started as a fun archival extracurricular project at the George Eastman Museum in 1977 turned into a nearly 40-year undertaking of documenting the conceptual photos and favorite recipes from famous photographers, including Ansel Adams’s eggs poached in beer, Ed Ruscha’s cactus omelet, and Beaumont Newhall’s choucroute luncheon for Mr. James Beard (yes, that one).
That’s all for now, folks! Wishing you all a safe, warm and healthy new year ahead. Set those intentions to chase your dreams and give generously where you can. Also, wash your hands and wear a mask because it’s never fun getting COVID, flu, RSV and the common cold, and it’s a pretty shitty and indecent thing to spread it to others!
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