Thursday, March 27, 2003

I couldn't stay away.

Things are happening on the home front too, of course. By which I mean here in New York City. Yesterday the New York State legislature in Albany adopted "a tough antismoking law that would ban smoking in nearly every restaurant, bar and workplace" statewide. New York, according to the article in today's New York Times, is only the third state in the U.S. to have passed such a law. The ban -- voted in by a vote of 97 to 44 in the Assembly, and 57 to 4 in the Senate -- is due to take effect in 120 days.

New York City's own ban on smoking, initiated by Mayor Mike Bloomberg and enacted by the City Council, takes effect Sunday, March 30. Till then, though, nightlife continues on a "smoke 'em if you got 'em" basis.

In an article that asks "Can nicotine lovers look to food for their fix?" the Times suggested in yesterday's "Dining In" section -- "When Smoke Gets in Your Pies (and Other Delectables)" -- that dishes made with other members of the nightshade family, to which tobacoo belongs, could "appease the monkey without violating the ban [on smoking]." Shady substitutes for the devil weed include "potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and red peppers." Good luck eating enough of them to satisfy your nic fit, though. "You'd have to eat well over 100 pounds of eggplant or tomatoes to get a meaningful dose," Dr. Jack Henningfield, an addiction expert at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, told the Times' John Leland.

Maybe potential weed-eaters ought to look elsewhere for culinary inspiration. What if smokers took a page out of the potheads' playbook and tried cooking the stuff? How about Grandma's Green Cookbooks? Her recipes are designed to "lead you into a world of culinary delights with boiling, baking, sautéing, frying and seasoning psychoactive main courses, drinks, desserts and snacks"! Eat up!

Or, for hungry smokers who learn better from videos, there's this page, from (motto: "books to get you f***ed"), which offers Cooking with Marijuana: The Gourmet Menu and Cooking with Marijuana: The Sweets and Treats Menu. Recipes performed by the masked and behatted Chef "Hans."

Get creative!