Columns and Letters

Column: Coming soon to a Christmas stocking near you

-by Frank Macdonald

    Mom, better make that two turkeys this Christmas!
    Canada is still going through the birthing throes brought on by the legalization of cannabis earlier this year. Supply seems to be an issue. And there have been news reports that the legal trade in marijuana hasn't much damaged the illegal competition. But it is early days yet, and there are myriad forms of the recreational/medicinal drug that are on their way to an outlet somewhere near you.
    The cannabis industry, according to news reports, expects to get edibles on the shelves before Christmas, a game changer for sure.
    One of the complaints about Christmas turkey isn’t Christmas dinner, that sit-down family affair where plates are laden with turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, turnip, slabs of turkey, a half bucket of gravy, all offset by the Christmas-red presence of a mound of Grandma’s cranberry preserves.
    The problem with Christmas turkey begins the following day, when it is served again, maybe as hot turkey sandwiches, and again on the following day as cold sandwiches, then all through the following week as turkey soup. Turkey has a tiresome way of stretching itself from Christmas well into the New Year.
    Enter the edibles!
    Not every household this Christmas will begin a new tradition in which the resident chef serves dessert before dinner, passing among legally-aged family members a platter of delicious, chewy, even gooey brownies, topped with thick chocolate frosting.
    “Oh no, Joan, not before dinner,” says Aunt Edna. “It will ruin my appetite.”
    “Let me assure you, dear sister, these will not ruin your appetite.”
    An hour later, Edna is bulldozing her way through plate number three of Christmas turkey and trimmings, racing against the rest of the family who, too, have loaded up, pre-dinner, on gummy bears, licorice nuns, or chocolates shaped like Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar on fire.
    Christmas table talk will undoubted be dominated by those old enough to remember the single funniest episode of a sitcom from 1970s television, the Barney Miller show, where the police squad is presented with a tray of brownies by a grateful supporter. They were delicious and each member of the squad ate at least one. What followed was police at work in hilarious fashion. A stoned Abe Vigoda is someone’s favourite. Another person laughs herself silly over Jack Soo’s mushy-mushy eyes. A younger family member is busy trying to find that episode somewhere in the streaming universe. Others tell tales from way back when they all wore John Prine’s illegal smile. Aunt Edna admits that she still believes in Santa Claus.
    By Christmas night, it becomes clear that tomorrow’s dinner, whatever it be, will not be turkey, its skeleton, picked buzzard clean, is already laid to rest in the garbage.
    In this and future years, it won’t be necessary to wait for Christmas to enjoy a session of tea and edibles. Other opportunities present themselves.
    Following a funeral in Germany earlier this year, mourners enacted a typical custom of going to a restaurant for tea and cake. A short time later, 13 mourners, accidentally served a special cake, were treated for nausea and dizziness, and needed medical treatment. No mention if that treatment included sitting the patients in front of a rerun of Barney Miller.
    While not in the realm of legal edibles, but as a precursor to them, I recall a long ago story of a couple of gentlemen in Inverness who had been fishing at the Big River, caught a supply of trout for supper, and on their way home picked some mushrooms to fry up with the fish. Shortly after eating the trout, both were hospitalized along with their hallucinations. Among the mushrooms they picked, a few psilocybin or magic mushrooms slipped into their menu.
    By mid December, not just edibles but drinkables are expected to be available in ready-to-drink strains. A glass of this distilled cannabis may be just the thing to leave out for Santa’s snack, along with a few infused brownies, because is there a man alive who enjoys a good belly laugh more?















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