SCALLEYCAT is an annual 24 hour bike race/scavenger hunt in Reno, Nevada. It’s also a booze fueled debauch across the high desert and into every den of iniquity in town. SCALLEYCAT started in the mythical past (I thinks it’s 10 years strong now) and is still the best race in the west. Last year, Harpo mane and I went together. This year I rolled down with the New Mystics contingent to race and recreate, visiting some homies in town and scumming around the Biggest Little City.
Living in Washington, where marijuana has recently become legal recreationally as well as medicinally, New Mystics is doing something about access. Cannabis has been used for centuries by humans – see Herodotus’ records regarding the Scythians, or the wealth of Ayurvedic literature on the plant as medicine – so it seems appropriate that we end the prohibition of this plant.
New Mystics had some concerns about the corporate takeover which would inevitably ensue from asking the state Liquor Control Board to legislate access to cannabis. Hence, they’ve been planting seeds wherever they roam – an since the crew includes cyclists, messengers, hikers and pedestrians of all stripes, is pretty much everywhere in western Washington. Much like picking huckleberries in August, there should be free and easy access to marijuana for those who want to find it. And sure, if you’ve got the loot and want to buy some super fancy weed at a legal shop then by all means, it’s your legal right to do so. But weed is a weed, and we should let it grow freely…
Urban house sitting has it’s privileges including – when we’re lucky – a well appointed kitchen. A recent stint on Beacon Hill in Seattle gave us an exciting opportunity to launch the New Mystique Cooking Club. NMCC emerged from a concept Harpo developed with her friend and former colleague from On the Boards, Tania.
Both Sara and Tania consider themselves improvisationally challenged in the kitchen. While we’re able to follow recipes, we’re often unsure 1) what that bay leaf is actually doing; 2) how to cut up a head of fennel; 3) what do you buy instead if the store is out of dandelion greens; 4) what do we do with that peach that is starting to turn?
Our solution: trial and error. We decided to attempt to cooking through the entirety of Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” – using appropriate vegan substitutions. We invited NKO for the occasional benefit of having a high functioning vegan chef to help drink the cooking wine. We invited Erin and Richard not only as taste-testers, but also for their intelligent conversation, wit, and good looks. Part of the fun of cooking is sharing the booty – it’s far more entertaining and rewarding than say, abstract painting.
Our first menu (all vegan):
- Peach & Balsamic Shrub Cocktail (peach, basil, sugar, vinegar with whiskey & soda), garnished with a Basil Leaf
- Barley Risotto (earth balance, olive oil, onion, garlic, dry white wine & homemade vegetable broth), finished with Lemon, Parsley, Nutritional Yeast
- Massaged Flowering Kale, Fennel, Celery, Spinach & Mizuna Salad, with Homemade Croutons, toasted Cashews & Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
- Roasted Asparagus with Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Homemade Crust