Rancho Ganja

Story Recipe

Mom always told me to eat my vegetables. She was from a time and a place where this meant eating mushy boiled blobs that no longer resembled the beautiful plants they came from. I knew all the tricks - wait until Mom wasn't looking and smuggle the goo on to the baby's plate - cover the offensive matter with bones and fat - throw a fit that got me sent to my room. I'd do anything to avoid the limp texture, bitter flavor and loathsome smell of the worst corner of the food pyramid.

The battle continued until we went to a summer pool party at the Winston's house. Debbie Winston was seventeen that year and had a new bikini that impressed even my pre-sexual six year old self. When Debbie wasn't lying by the pool being ogled by the boys, she earned pocket money babysitting the kids in the neighborhood. This experience made her the default overseer for the kids at the party. Not a problem for me. For reasons that I did not understand at the time, I was willing to stay near and do her bidding for the duration of the party.

That was how I found myself next to the veggie tray, trying to act cool. Debbie's perfect fingers sorted through the offerings until she found the perfect floret of broccoli. She trolled the bit sized veggie through a thick white dip, brought it to her full lips and popped it in. I was so enraptured by her that I almost missed the unexpected crunch of raw vegetable in her mouth. Who knew that vegetables could make such a sound. Without taking my eyes off of Debbie's lovely face, I reached into the tray and came up with a carrot. The carrot went into the dip and I took a bite.

It was a revelation! The crisp, fresh carrot was slightly sweet and satisfying to chew. The tart dip was a symphony of herb and salt. A smart kid would have run to his mother and demanded a change to dinner veggies. I had other things on my mind - Debbie decided it was time for a swim. The change in diet would have to wait until my next refusal to eat cooked veggies.

To this day, a tray of crudités with ranch dressing makes me feel strangely happy in a way that years of therapy could never truly explain. Besides being full of wonderful memories, a veggie platter is an easy thing to put together and set out for something to munch on while people are enjoying afternoon cocktails, conversation and community. Of course when the Stoned Soup gang gets together, they expect that there is something else in the dip.

Here's how we do it -

First, make a batch of Marinnaise. You will need about a cup. You also need a half a cup of sour cream. Cook is working on a good way to add marijuana to sour cream, but that is a recipe for another time. For now, the Marinnaise is good enough. For herbs you need chives, parsley and dill weed. These are all plants you can grow in your garden in the summer. Otherwise, check the produce department of your local super market - they will have fresh versions of all of these. Wash the herbs and mince them into small bits. Put a half a teaspoon each in a mixing bowl. The last ingredients are garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. You need a quarter teaspoon of the garlic and onion and an eighth of salt and pepper. Feel free to add more or less of any of these flavorings depending on what you like.

Put everything in a bowl and mix thoroughly, then put it in the fridge for half an hour. That's it. Pretty easy, eh?

All you need to do now is cut whatever vegetables you like into bite sized pieces, arrange everything on a plate with a bowl of dip in the middle and you are ready for the party.



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