What’s cooking?


Barbecue season in Wisconsin begins once the top of your grill is visible above the snow drifts and ends when the snow is so high it’s impossible to find your grill out on the deck.



Take a walk around the neighborhood on a Wisconsin summer evening and you are bound to smell steak, brats, venison burgers, salmon, hamburgers, hot dogs, or lake perch smoking on planks of cedar, sugar maple, black cherry, or golden alder.



Last week after our own non-grilled dinner, I sat on the couch reading a book while my husband relaxed in the recliner working on his computer, and the grandchild conducted a physics experiment in the bathtub to discover how much sloshing was needed to saturate the bathroom rug.



The next thing I know, a sweet smell saunters into the house, sits right next to my nose, and says, “Get a load of me.” So I do, and I say to my husband, “What smells so good?”



He takes a big whiff. “Must be Ray grilling.”



The smell grows stronger and I get curiousier, so I walk outside to see what Ray is grilling in front of his garage. He isn’t. So I check out in the backyard, but he’s not on his deck either.



I look up and down the street, determined to find the source, but now I can’t smell it. I go back inside to check our oven. My husband is now as old as me and like so many people his age, forgetful. But it’s not that either. I check the basement, the back rooms, the laundry room, and the garage. I can’t catch a whiff of that pleasant smell anywhere except the living room.



That’s when I noticed my hat. Earlier in the day I had been going in and out to work in the yard and had set my hat on top of the floor lamp. When I sat down to read after dinner, I turned on the lights and started slow cooking my hat.



This method of cooking hemp hats allows the aroma to infuse the house.


Four years ago I bought that hat for my first trip to Europe and wore it the following two summers from England to France to Hungary to Russia. I have always counted on it to be on top of things, usually my head, but I counted wrong when I put it on top of the lamp.



My smoking hot hat.


The first words of the grandchild after completing the bathtub science experiment were, “What’s that good smell?”


That sweet smell, child, is my hat, my hemp hat.


Oddly a hat is also called a lid.


I ordered a new one, identical to the first, and will save my smoked version for fishing and gardening. I learned two things from my own experiment in hat cooking: one, a floor lamp does not make a good hat stand; and two, the saying “Put that in your hat and smoke it” can be as literal as it is figurative.


This hat is still raw and crunchy.

36 thoughts on “What’s cooking?

    • Two days ago, my husband left the burner on low while we went fishing. Thankfully he had moved the pan off the stove so we just heated up the house a bit. I never expected that as we aged we would tend to pyromania.

  1. Oh, I thought you were going to tell us what was in that first photo. I could almost smell that through the screen. Looks yummy. I have often considered wearing a hat, but have never found one that I liked. Now I know how to get rid of the next one if I don’t like it…..cooking it on the lamp is a very creative option!

    • Those first photos were what I expected were causing the good odor. I’ve never tried cooking a hat before, so I’m not sure if I did it right or not. I will ask Mr. Google.

  2. Hemp is a wonderful material. From ropes for sailboats to cloth for clothing and fashioned bags. Nice to smoke too… and I’ve heard it’s good for the eyes. You can be sure, yearstricken, that I’d be ready to eat your hat any time… maybe stirred into a batch of brownies.

  3. I haven’t exactly “fallen and I can’t get up” yet, but I have caught myself leaving the gas turned on by accident on the gas stove, (CO2 detector saved me), and for almost a week I left my spare house key hanging out of the lock on the back door (guardian angel must have been keeping watch).

    Thankfully, I don’t own a single hat, or I’m fairly sure it would be hemp history by now. Sure am glad yours didn’t go up in flames. Nothing worse than having an open fire and no marshmallows to roast. 🙂

    • For some reason, your comment never appeared in my list of unread comments, so I found it only when I came back to this post to check something else. So sorry.

      I’m glad you haven’t had any mishaps with fire; however, if you ever do decide to cook a hat, try hemp for its lovely odor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s