Saturday, October 11, 2008

More fun with geraniums!

Since that last post was such a riproaring success, ya bakeheads, I thought I'd share this recipe with y'all.

Back in the day I knew a group of four orphan brothers who had inherited a huge estate. Money and housing taken care of for the rest of their lives, they all decided to live off the grid and go completely alternative, and so they did; the fact that they lived in the middle of an upscale suburb notwithstanding. They ripped out all the landscaping and planted corn and other *ahem* vegetation, cut off the electricity and phone lines, set up several distilling operations for things like fuel grade alcohol, booze grade alcohol and 'et cetera'...tore out the central heating and switched to wood heat and cooking, bought an old gasoline generator and used it to run their amps (they had a band!) and keep the plumbing thawed out in the winter, had honeybees, made mead, wine, vodka, brewed beer, made bread...these guys were like fricken' GODS.

One of the things they made was something they called 'keef'.

Now with a name like that you kind of already get the feeling its going to fry a few braincells, right? Well, it really wasn't keef, it was a kind of homemade cut plug made out of geraniums. They'd knock a chunk off and smoke it through a hookah. Delicious? Oh my God, it was absolutely sybaritic. I've never smoked anything as enjoyable...not only for the effects but also simply as a smoke. If you've ever smoked a fine tobacco through a hookah you have some idea of what I mean...this stuff was just WONDERFUL.

As best as I can remember, the method went something like this:

Large mature leaves, washed, separated into 'fingers', dried flat and cured (in other words, let to dry until they get kind of leathery)

Homemade dry blackberry wine...specifically, the bottom 1/4 of the fermentation with the dregs in it. (Stay with me, it doesn't end up tasting like candy at all.)

a wooden butter press with lid, (oh look it up)
1 brick,
broad, shallow baking pan
-all of this should be surgically clean, including the brick, which can be scrubbed off with bleach water and then baked for a couple of hours to sterilize it.

Method: soak the cured leaves in the thick dreg blackberry wine (how long I don't know. Presumably at least overnight.) You can up the alcohol by tipping in a little vodka. This is just to help sterilize the mixture and sharpen up the taste. The alcohol burns off.

Your butter press should be sitting in the broad, shallow baking pan. It MUST be scrupulously clean. If you're using a wood press, this will turn it purple and flavor it permanently, so be forewarned. Do NOT use an aluminum press.

Line the butter press with cheese cloth.

Take the leaves out of the wine. Let the excess drip off, then lay flat in the bottom of the butter press. Continue this process, alternating the direction of the layers, until all the leaves are used or the butter press is filled.

Place the top on the press and set the brick on top of that.

Set this all aside to a very dry, warm place with good air flow. The brothers used the top shelf of their woodstove. Cover the whole operation with another single layer of cheesecloth to keep dust and bees out.

In a couple of days, lift the 'cake' from the butter press using the cheesecloth liner. In the meantime, dump out any collected juice in the pan and wash it out. Turn the cake over and return it to the butter press. (You can now switch out and use a clean cheesecloth to line it if you're worried about it; and if the stack falls apart, just re-stack it. You don't have to, though.)

Replace the lid, the brick and the cheesecloth covering and let sit for another few days.

Once it has stopped weeping fluid you can take it out of the butter press and just let it sit in the clean, dry pan, wrapped in cheesecloth, with the brick on top. Turn the cake over every day.

This is done when you have a nasty looking black block of hard ick. it will look like old leaves that have been sitting in a pile for a few months, only drier, and it will smell like blackberries (and be kind of pliable, as I recall.) If the cheesecloth sticks you take a damp rag or clean damp sponge and dab it on the stuck places until it loosens.

To use, cut a corner off and set it on fire. I mean, please. You know.

It sounds nasty, but it smokes GREAT. I would go so far as to say it's an epicurean experience, in fact. The brothers would sometimes mix this with fine smoking tobacco, opium, honey oil or hash, and truthfully it was best with a little bit of fine tobacco.

I can't vouch for the complete accuracy of this method, although I'm 90% certain I've got it down here. The brothers always said that the method is the same as for making homemade cutplug chewing tobacco. I wasn't able to find a 'recipe' for that online but its gotta be out there. If you have the straight 411, please, don't Bogart that info, my friend! Share it with us in the comments lounge!


Hey kids! Do you have any favorite geranium recipes? Please leave them in the comments lounge! Maybe we can do a 'Flatbutt Tribal Party Cookbook'!


  1. That was a bit long and I sneezed in the middle and mussed up my screen.

    I'm mushroom hunting. Thank god the growths can't see me live.

  2. Anonymous7:23 PM

    I missed this part of the 60's completely. I think I remember people in Haight Ashbury smoking rhody leaves but the authorities did not recommend it, as it was poisonous. Really? I quit smoking when Challenger blew up but the hookah does sound soothing. R

  3. NOTE: everyone realizes that when i say 'geraniums' i mean MARIJUANA, right? ok. carry on.

    garfy: i have no idea what you just wrote there or what you meant by it, but the mushrooms seem to be working just fine. ahem.

    retro: the hookah was very civilized. bitch to clean, though.

  4. I am pretty sure keif is what you get when you knock all of the trichomes off? The happy pretty crystally bits, yeah, so then you have a bag of what looks like hairs and um like when you have some nice white widow and you shake all of the pretty snowy coating of what looks like pollen off of it. That is what keif is really but this sounds pretty dang awesome.
    So...yeah, get a box with a screen and there's yer recipe. Except it may make the weaker (like me) want to go to the hospital and cry for mommy because it hurts our brains. I am a lightweight, what. I'm not ashamed of it, being a cheap date is good.

  5. my mom used to grow her own...well until she pissed me off one day :)

    sorry it's all i could think about when reading this post...

  6. SSA: right you are! very good! I remember taking a razorblade and scraping down the inside of the packaging for the crystal. that was my secret reward for putting up with customers. probably why i burned out on dank so fast, too. no freakin lie you get toasted; id spend a week off my tits after bagging a pound and taking my 'gratuity'. everyone wanted to smoke out of my private stash!

    DAISY: you bad thing! did you smoke up mommys plants?

  7. No longer a bakehead. I did however harvest 3 grocery bags of mushrooms from my yard and toss them in the trash. Woo hoo living dangerous thats me!

  8. Anonymous9:34 AM

    the things you learn about drugs from first nations, that your mother never told you.

    while i bow to your knowledge, dang chica, i'm believing you know more than the average crack head about growing and implementing drugs. i'm betting the toilet planter in the front yard is just to keep people guessing, right?

  9. gale: millions of shroomers worldwide are gasping in outrage at what you've just done!

    pink: nope. my growing and using days are long behind me. now i just do alice fudge once a year and call it good. you got to remember too; i live on an international border and i've got several government agencies circling around overhead here. no freakin WAY i'd grow here.

  10. ok let me qualify regards to MARIJUANA, my growning and using days are far behind me. pretty much.

  11. Anonymous3:14 PM

    I've always thought "gerraniium" was such a difficult word to spell. Why don't they shorten it to, say, four letters.

  12. well I never , I am now suspicious of Ma and Pa Beasties Geranium growing activities

  13. Beast has a banana growing out of his bottom.

    Were you aware of THAT?

  14. Can you smoke a banana ???

  15. you see I thought this really was about geranianianiums - I was just about to raid the window box too.

  16. once, several years ago i had a buddy ask me if i could make him a tincture with the distilling i was doing at the time. i brought him a jar of 196 proof grappa that i had just finished. he soon there after inserted a rather large bud into the jar to soak which would provide a mild pain killing sensation when used as a topical antiseptic... well couple of weeks later a couple of his buddys thought it might be a good idea to have a shot or two....

    big mistake, alcohol at those potency levels is toxic and almost deadly had they drank any more and even though the caniboids do not bond with alcohol, they are released from the vegetable matter and stored in the alcohol until evaporation....

    needless to say the were very very very high for a short while and extremely drunk almost instantly, they spent the rest of the time trying to flush it out of their systems orally and later um.... the other direction.
    moral of the story, dont drink the shit meant to be in your medicine cabinet unless you know what the fuck it is!!!

    was that a recipe?

  17. Butter:

    Take two to four sticks of butter, depending on the amount of leaves you have available. I have used 3 sticks to one gallon zip lock baggie full (and I mean crammed full) of leaves.

    Melt the butter on low, do not let it simmer or boil or bubble, just melt to liquid. Add leaves.

    Simmer for a loooong time. Make sure you've got a good vent above your stove, this stuff reeks.

    Do not let the butter brown. Do not let it boil. Stir often. You need to keep the heat very low. The leaves will begin to get a little bit crispy, but that's ok, you're not using them much longer.

    Let the mess simmer for about 45 minutes, or longer, until the butter is the same green color as the hills of Ireland.

    Strain the whole bunch of slop through a clean cheesecloth into a bowl. (I use a four cup pyrex measuring cup.) Don't be afraid to squeeze out the cheesecloth, you don't want to leave behind any of your green butter. It is helpful to wear rubber gloves, the dishwashing kind, as this mixture will be quite warm. Hot even.

    Go ahead, sqeeze that cheesecloth again, I dare you. Get every last wonderful green drop. Discard the leaves. Wash the cheesecloth, if you can. Put the butter in the 'fridge to set up a bit and use in any recipe that calls for butter. Or put it on toast. Don't forget to lick your fingers and the spoon. 'tis good times.


    PS I like to make toll house chocolate chip cookies with this butter. Bake the cookies for about 9 minutes. They will be soft, but they will be done. You don't want crispy cookies now do you?

  18. Anonymous4:59 PM

    i think joy wins the contest for most interesting recipe for geraniums that could possibly be confused for an actual recipe.

    iv wins the contest for most amusing anecdote involving veggies.

    i'm beginning to believe i'm the only person who hasn't smoked anything.

  19. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Ohhhhhhhhh GerANiums......

  20. I have nothing to contribute.

  21. So I am thinking of baking a cake and soaking it in alcohol....vanilla or chocolate flavored. mmmmmm hick!

  22. gale! i recently went to a diner party where they did that! you are indeed correct with the "mmmm hick" response... so good!