Well, it seems that my tales of teenage stoner-dom are a much bigger hit with all you lovely readers than stories about my Brazilian waxing. This week, I'll divulge a tale of psychedelic proportions that my family has yet to let me live down. You see, I used to have a torrid love affair with magic mushrooms. I had many a great trip, leaving me feeling divinely connected with the universe and all those around me. But there was one trip in particular that, well, let's just say it wasn't "all good, man".
My best friend's grandfather had just passed away, and I made the trek back to Youngstown to support her and attend the funeral. I also happened to bring with me one gigantic mushroom that I'd been saving for a special occasion. I don't know what in my sick head led me to believe that the eve of a funeral counted as such, but when you're 18, your idea of a good decision is usually clouded by negative external influence. Here's how the night played out...
My best friend and I are at my childhood home sitting on the back porch. I split the gigantic mushroom in half, and I consumed the larger part. All's going well as we sit watching the iTunes visualizer, and I decided to get up and use the bathroom. That's when it all started to go downhill. (I'm going to mention now that my entire family was home at the time. Like I said, I wasn't the best at making decisions). That's when the shrooms started to kick in. I look in the mirror, and suddenly have no idea who I am, where I am, or even the fact that I just ate mushrooms. I was a complete blank slate.
At a loss for what to do, I simply lay down on my living room floor and stare up at the ceiling. My mother walks into the room, seems me laying there all zoned out, and we have the following conversation:
Mom: "Jenn, are you okay?"
Me: "Who are you?"
Mom: "Oh my god! What are you on?!"
My mother runs out to the porch, where my best friend is tripping and having a great time.
Mom: "What the hell is wrong with Jenn? Did you take Ecstasy?!?"
Friend: "Oh, it's fine, Mrs. Shagrin. We just ate mushrooms. Everything is great!"
My mom immediately flips out, thinking I'm about to overdose. She runs back inside.
Mom: "Jenn, you're poisoned. You are going to die! I'm taking you to the hospital!"
Now, bear in mind that I'm a complete blank slate, so I believe that I'm actually going to die. I start having a panic attack. My mother drives me to the hospital, but refuses to actually take me inside because:
A) She works there, and doesn't want her co-workers to think her daughter is a druggie.
B) She knows that they'll admit me to the psychiatric ward, which is probably where I belonged at that point in my life.
We sit in the hospital parking lot for almost two hours, and as I start to come down, the mushrooms have a truth serum-like effect and I confess every single bad thing I've done in my life. To top it off, I try to convince my poor, scared-shitless mother that it truly was "all good, man", and that mushrooms were amazing.
I spent a nice 30 days in rehab following that lovely evening.
My poor best friend had to hang out with my dad and little sister while she was tripping balls all by herself, and documented her entire experience on over 50 post-it notes that we turned into a poster. I keep it on my wall to this very day.
Well, I hope that story is truly unPHOgetable. Muahaha.
with Basil Mint, Cilantro, Garlic and Lemon Pistou
- 1/8 cup Vegetable Shortening
- 1 batch of Vegan Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
- 16 cups No Chicken Broth
- 1 large Onion
- 1 Daikon, peeled and sliced
- 5 large Carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 Jicama, peeled and sliced
- 4 whole Anise Seeds
- 4 whole Cloves
- 1 Ginger Root, about 4 inches long
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 6 Whole Black Peppercorns
- About 3 TBSP of Vegetarian Fish Sauce
- 1 lb Rice Noodles, cooked very al Dente
- About 1 lb of Bean Sprouts
- Chili Paste, for serving on the side (optional)
- Vegetarian Hoisin Sauce, for serving on the side (optional)
Take the Onion and peel it completely, the carefully hollow out the center. Place the anise, ginger root, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon inside of the onion. Using tongs to hold the onion, place it directly over your stove's burner until well browned. Add to the "chicken" and stock pot. Also add the whole cloves and vegetarian fish sauce to the stock pot, then followed by the carrots and daikon.
Allow the broth to cook for about an hour, until the vegetable are softened, then taste to see if more vegetarian fish sauce is needed. Skim off any excess fat if necessary.
While the soup is simmering is the best time to cook the noodles in a separate pot.
To serve each bowl of soup, ladle in a good amount of broth and veggies, add the noodles and serve topped with bean sprouts and pistou. On the side, serve the chili sauce and vegetarian hoisin sauce.
To Make the Pistou...
- 1 small Sliced White Onion
- 3 Green Onions, roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch Fresh Cilantro
- 1 cup tightly packed Fresh Mint Leaves
- 1 cup tightly packed Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1/4 Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- Pinch of Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Using a food processor, first puree the while onion and garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food process, and puree until completely blended, scraping down the sides once during the blending process. Serve atop Pho.