“It has a bit of a funky taste.” Joel Beauchamp is explaining high-end cheese to my dumb ass and puffing on a bowl of Bubblegum Kush. He’s explaining the cheese as I would explain the bud in my jar. He passes me the bowl, throws me the lighter and picks up his wine glass.

The Bubblegum Kush had a mellow candied taste, like the cough drops your grandmother kept with the other candy. “What the fuck are these crackers?” can be heard from the kitchen; Joe Ricchio comes into the living room holding a bottle of champagne in one hand and a box of crackers like a stray cat in the other: “These don’t taste like anything.”

Joe is a distinguished writer who’s been published by Vice and Bon Appetit among others. Joe and Joel were the faces of Food Coma TV, a regional web-series that garnered much deserved attention in its all-too short lifespan. The stylish photography, use of local music, on screen fun that didn’t take itself seriously and Joe’s penchant for quick-witted food knowledge inspired me to create The Strainger, a poorly conceived stoner version, if you will.

Joe sets the provisions on his coffee table “Can’t forget the glasses”. We went through four bottle of wine and three sets of glasses; I didn’t have the gall to admit to my general habit of drinking wine straight from the box, as I had to maintain some class.

Another bowl was packed as the cheese disappeared on large crackers that looked like salted pieces of cardboard, I assure you they did not taste that way, giving a needed crunch to the silky texture of the cheese. The bowl is puffed and the room is filled with the light blue haze of The Bubblegum Kush, relaxed and happy, this Indica dominate strain doesn’t wear you out and leaves you with a sense of euphoria and optimism, the wine could have had something to do with that last part.

We head up to Joe’s second floor office accompanied by a deck that over looks the back bay of Portland; nice place. We joke about the possible names they could have for the new business they are opening in the not so distant future; a bar/restaurant. We make our way from the deck to the office, Joe retrieves another bottle of wine from his kitchen and I pack another bowl of the B-Gum Kush.

With another puff and another glass the night descends into the gentlemen’s game of one-upping each other with white rappers’ music videos on Youtube.

Love, The Strainger

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