A view from the driver's seat

The Cook

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I picked up A downtown in the flower district, an industrial strip of muted buildings with crumbling fronts and sun-faded, hand-painted signs. He was young and had a white homeboy thing going on, baggy clothes, a slight swagger. But not thuggy. No he seemed genuinely nice, sweet. I don’t know how we got on the subject. He brought it up. He had a pot growing operation and had just finished tending to his plants. I was taking him home after his morning shift. He cheerfully explained the logisitics of it; it was legal to grow 8 plants for every card, you got cards from a dispensary, etc. etc. He was in this biz with his brother, his parents supported them wholeheartedly and were coming to visit. It took me a sec to remember that this was legal, that he didn’t need to hide it from his parents. And he took pride in what he knew — the intricacies of  growing and feeding and nurturing and selling a plant. Lots of his friends doing this weed thing were super smart — trained scientists and biochemists who made spread sheets, tested soil, and crunched numbers for optimal growth scenarios. It was hard work too. No days off — 7 days a week. He had been in culinary school and worked in restaurants prior to getting in the pot business so he was used to long hours and manual labor. So much for the stereotype of the slacker stoner.

We got on the subject of hash.

“Oh you can’t find any good hash around. It’s all black, beat to shit.”

“How is hash supposed to be?”

“Some people use PVC pipes to beat it or a machine. But I think the best way to do it is old fashioned, by hand. You gotta stir it constantly — you can’t leave it alone — and then you get this nice yellow color.”

“Oh so it’s like cooking risotto?”


I love when the random things you’ve done in your life somehow come back around and get integrated into whatever you do next. I’ve washed dishes, worked the door in a club, written for music magazines, done band publicity, temped, taught English in Korea, driven strangers around in my car. Yup – – it’s all in the pot. Just gotta keep on stirring.


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