Fifty years ago, various elements of the growing counterculture - the antiwar movement, feminists, civil rights activists, gay rights activists, and the environmental movement - converged in San Francisco. Tens of thousands of young people descended on the city for what became known as the Summer of Love, arguably either the apogee or the death knell of the Haight-Ashbury period of hippie culture as the city and community infrastructure became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the influx.
But whether seeking Utopia or merely facing the daily grind, everyone has to eat. Today’s post features two guidebooks (not simply cookbooks) published in 1967, one that might well have made its way to California that summer, and another that is more likely to have stayed at home.
First, we have Pot-- How to: Plant, Cultivate, Harvest, Cure, Prepare ... Enjoy, published in Stockton, California by Lord Buckley Production. It opens by stating that “The purpose of this work is not to encourage an illegal practice,” but also urging that “a lot of pot smoking is going on in this country and laws by their nature should reflect the opinions of the poeple. As the laws governing the use of marijuana do not do so, these laws are absurd, anachronistic and should be repealed.”
Following a brief history of the use of marijuana in the Ancient world, and an overview of “The Pot Controversy” strongly insisting that marijuana is not harmful, the text moves on to the practicalities of growing, harvesting, and curing pot, as well as preparing it for consumption. Options include Pot Rarebit prepared with onion and Cheddar Cheese, Peanut and Pot Marguerites (peanut and eggwhite candy), Quickie Pot Fudge, and for the truly committed chef, Christmas Pot and Plum Pudding. Recipes for the last two appear below (note that we do not recommend or endorse the preparation of these recipes unless the title ingredient is left out):
Quickie Pot Fudge
- 2 packages (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup pot
Melt semisweet chocolate over hot (not boiling) water. Remove from heat; stir in milk, vanilla, pot. Mix well. Turn into buttered pan or shape as desired. Let stand several hours or overnight. Makes about 1 1/4 pounds.
Christmas Pot and Plum Pudding
- 1 cup seedless raisins
- 1 1/2 cups mixed diced candied fruits and peels
- 1/2 cup pot
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 eggs - beaten
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped suet
- 1/2 cup claret
- 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon mace
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine raisins, fruits and peels, walnuts, & 1/2 cup of the flour. Combine eggs, molasses, buttermilk, suet, and claret. Combine remaining flour, crumbs, baking soda, spices, and salt; add to egg mixture. add floured fruit and pot; mix well. Pour into well-greased 1 1/2 quart melon mold; cover; set on rack in deep kettle; add boiling water to about 1 inch below cover of mold. Cover. Steam 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve with hard sauce. Makes 10-12 servings.
Although tens of thousands of young Americans may have been making a pilgrimage to Haight-Ashbury in the summer of ‘67, tens of thousands of others, obviously, were not. Some of those who stayed home might well have been planning for marriage, with the help of American Bride Publications’ Happy Living!: A Guidebook for Brides by Evelyn Enright and Ann Seranne. This comprehensive guide to newlywed housekeeping covers everything from choosing plate and silver for a bridal registry, to interior design guidelines (and photographic examples), to instructions on setting up a weekly cleaning rotation (for the wife only, of course). It promises recipes for “breakfasts to please a hearty male appetite, yet get you to the office on time," as well as fare for buffet dinners and cocktail parties. To the contemporary eye, the suggested interiors have a certain vintage appeal, but the culinary chapters remind one that not only politics and culture, but food photography and taste preferenes have changed dramatically since 1967!