Monday, June 18

SWAMPS!

father's day came and went-
how was it?
well, i worked all day, just like every day,
and i tattooed a delightful 18 year old birthday girl
with a whole bunch of great big flowers.
yep. a full forearm of drawn-on freestyle roses.
i hung out with her and her mom, and we all had a good time.
...and that was the highlight.
i wasn't surprised, guys.
i live miles and hours away from all of my family,
and while i care for my dog like he's a realllly stupid little kid-
he's still a dog.
not a kid.
so, i wasn't exactly basking in the parental bliss of dadliness.
i was wrestling a wild and terrible terrier terrorist, and that's cool, too.
hmm?
it all unfolds the way it's supposed to, man.
being alone isn't the worst thing.
thinking about death and loss and getting bummed out isn't the worst thing.
effing up the spices on some hot-fire stir-fry might be the worst thing,
but i didn't DO that,
because i'm expert AF up in this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen, bro.
yup.
that's no joke.
with or without phone calls from kids, or a dad to buy a tie for,
i still do what i do;
and what i do is create something of substance to nourish myself
during the spans of time i cross with just crabtree to keep me company.
he ate the carrot butts, i ate everything else,
and then we went for another 'nother walk in town,
where he peed on EVERYthing, and i got eaten alive by biting black flies.
sweet.
ANYway,
i went asia-type barbecued tofu for my meal,
and hooked it up with half a head of spicy sriracha lime stir-fried cauliflower, too.
check the teleport:

SO HOTTTTT.
dudes,
i dunno what the heck i thought i was doing, but i ended up doing something awesome.
uh-huh.
like, even the avocado was fully-activated and fresh-to-death.
mmmm.
that's black pepper and sriracha flakes and pink salt sprankles on top.
expert, right?
right!
*
and that cauliflower?
c'mon, kids,
y'can't just sit around out here wasting time.
that's not cool.
i had all the florets chopped evenly,
with 2 T red onion;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 julienned carrot;
2 T lime juice;
2 T sriracha;
a ton of HOT paprika, a few crushed red pepper flakes,
a shake or three of Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,
and 1/4 cup of hot water,
all sizzlin' and simmering and bubbling away in a very hot pan with a lid on.
that softened everything up, before i added the purple cabbage,
and a lil bit of exxtra bbq sauce.
huh?
oh, well, i didn't exactly use all of it on the tofu i haven't told you anything about yet,
so i drizz'd it all over top, and let it turn the flavor up even higher-
like, off the charts, all the way to eleven, instantly.
yup.
ASIA-type sesame ginger peanut jauns are where it's AT.
and here's what's in it:
-
*
BOOMFIRE LUXURY SAUCE!
-
4 tsp sesame oil;
1 T rice vinegar;
2 T tamari;
1 T ho'sauce;
2 tsp smoked paprika;
1 T agave;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1/2 tsp ground dried mustard;
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic;
1 T black and white sesame sossamon seeds;
1/2" skin-on organic ginger, minced...
black pepper, of course, and ground coriander,
and mixed chili flakes to keep it fuego x 1k.
spicy is good for you, and if your nose isn't running, you did it wrong.
-
i had half a block of regular firm tofu sizzlin' on all sides
in sesame oil in my ceramic saute pan on superhigh heat,
gettin' crispy on the edges, with a handful of dried chinese chilis.
so HOT.
i added an off-handful of dry-roasted unsalted peanuts to the mix,
and poured most of that sauce on all of it-
which caramelized and fried and soaked in and did all the things you'd want sauce to do.
and the doo-doo was on point at the utmost in deliciousness...
here's the thing, though-
underneath all that sexxxy tofu wonderment?
grilled cabbage, bruh.
that's how you make it WORK.
no kidding.
a quarter of a head of green cabbage, blackened on two sides in a lil dollop of oil,
and spread across the bottom of that 'fu, for a fundamental foundation of dopeness.
add some red onion sprankles, and all of a sudden,
you're a superhero of suppertime celebrations.
...that's a good thing.
***********
i prefer food.
what?
ohhh, to what?
i prefer food to most things, actually.
have you ever even had food?
you have???
then you must know what i'm talking about.
food is the best.
and since i'm in charge of making it,
it's always what i want it to be.
i really like that.
a direct interface between desire and satisfaction.
what else would i even opt for?
maybe MORE time, i guess, to exercise and eat and exercise and eat again-
i do NOT look like i'm a fitness person,
but only because i'm a fat person on the inside,
staying busy, staying awake, and staying active in order to activate MORE food,
MORE often,
with fewer circumferential side-effects.
that's a thing.
i prefer food, man.
that's the truth;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, June 17

FATHERS

is there, like, a barbecue or a sports thing i'm supposed to do today or something?
i'm just gonna go to work, like i always do-
but, i mean, today is the day...
y'know, the one where we all presumably get excited about dads.
i dunno, though, man.
father's day has always seemed like the consolation prize holiday.
mother's day has flowers and brunch and cards and calls and get-togethers,
but for the father's?
on the ones,
nobody really even wears ties anymore, like the cliché from my childhood;
so i actually have NO idea what even happens.
i might get a text from my kids, maybe? we'll see.
i did get a card already, so technically they have discharged their duty,
and are off the hook for any further niceties.
i will say, with certainty, that i won't be calling my old man today-
he's not exactly accepting phone calls in his current state.
honestly, i don't think this is my day, neighbors.
-
i'm reminded of a particularly low point in my personal history:
it was six years ago.
i was verrrry busy falling apart at the seams-
uh-huh.
all the plans and preparations i'd made for a bright and shiny happy future
all took a huge sh!t right on my face,
and i was getting divorced, for the second time,
and feeling like an especially huge failure;
so, for father's day,
i drove the five hours to connecticut to see my children,
and maybe feel a little baby bit better for their presence.
afterwards, i took a ride with my own father into the city.
i don't remember what he said,
but i imagine that after a fashion, and in his own weird way,
he was trying to bond and be encouraging....
until his infinite nature took over.
we were driving up to a yellow light,
at an intersection where two police cruisers were idling,
and for whatever reason
(i can only assume he was making an effort to be cool in front of his art-nerd son)
he looked right at me, actually said OUT LOUD:
F* the PO-lice,
and ran the light, which, by then was alarmingly red.
now,
i want you to imagine the resignation and complete lack of shock i felt
when those cruisers hit their lights and pulled us over less than a block later.
now,
lemme just add a little exxxtra zest to the story-
the car we were driving was registered to me, but had been in his possession for years.
that's a whole other 'nother story.
in any other circumstance, with any other passenger,
i wouldn't have cared that he definitely had drugs in the car,
because i would've been several states away-
and yet, here we were, in "my"car,
pulled over for blatantly flaunting traffic law for absolutely no reason at all....
neat, right?
so, all we had to do now was play it cool, be respectful,
maybe turn on a little charm,
try to use a little father's day leverage to play on some sympathies...
y'know, things a normal person would do-
OR,
and here's what actually happened:
hang out of the driver's side window, and start yelling obscenities at the officers.
i know what you're thinking-
that's not real.
well, guys, i promise you, that's exactly what happened.
and if you're imagining that that approach probably won them over right away?
sadly, your optimism is misplaced.
i think it was the term 'feminazi pigs' that might've thrown them off.
oh! did i not yet mention that there were two female officers?
women AND law enforcement?
my dad's two favorite kinds of folks to show the utmost respect to?
mmmhmmmm.
meanwhile,
on the opposite side of the car, i winced at his exchange,
whilst doing my best to answer the questions i was being asked.
...and don't think i didn't mention that i was NOT enjoying my father's day,
and that i was very sorry for the old man's behavior.
the response?
'oh word, right...well, happy father's day to any of ya'll that's a father....'
ha!
honest to goodness, he yelled: the light was yellow!!! out of the window
before they ever mentioned why they had (obviously) pulled us over.
-
he got a ticket. we drove home.
i was relieved. he was enraged.
and he even said to me, 'you DO know that light was yellow, right?'
guys,
i was IN the car the whole entire time,
and he was rewriting the narrative to the only eyewitness!
right then, i saw the truth, wrapped in that lie:
the lie was the new truth, because it HAD to be.
accountability was too much to bear for him-
because he had been trying SO hard to be the person he wanted me to see him as;
not realizing, of course, that i didn't need a cartoon villain to confide in.
i saw my dad as he really was in that moment-
embarrassed and humbled, worried and wrathful, furious and helpless,
all at once.
it was awful, but it humanized him more than anything else.
the horrifying hurricane howitzer of my youth
was suddenly transformed into just a man.
he may have been pretty bad at being my dad,
but only because he was so much worse at showing vulnerability.
and in trying to be cool in front of his kid, and failing completely,
he ended up becoming something better:
i understood him, i pitied him, i hated him, and my heart broke for him.
the thing is:
that moment made me better at being a dad to my own kids.
i mean it.
instead of trying to impress them, or trying to be a caricature of fun-time dad-time,
i do my best to do what needs doing,
and to be the most expert version of myself-
honest, approachable, accountable, and invested.
essentially, being a real-life person available to my real-life people.
y'know, doing the opposite of what i grew up with.
i gotta hand it to the ol' man-
he was THE BEST example of what not to do i've ever heard of.
and it makes me miss him so much,
because sometimes, i can't actually predict what he'd have done,
so i may be making major mistakes from now on.
ha.
i'm kidding.
but not about missing him, though.

     dear the universe,
          you sure do know how to create a memory.
               ...thanks for this one.
                         love,
                              your pal,
                                      -albie

so, today is the day, again;
another 'nother home-alonely father's day,
and all i have to do to win is obey the rules of the road,
and tell the F*ing truth.
i think i'm onto something here;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, June 16

POKE MON!

it's saturday!
that might mean something to you,
but every day is my monday,
so every day is no more or less exciting than the next.
there's no working for the weekend for me, man.
there's just another day doing all the things that need doing. 
there's no difference between monday #1 and monday #7-
except that everybody wants to get tattooed on two of the days we're open 
so much more so than on all the others, 
and traffic outside the studio is a jam twice a day 
at lunchtime and dinnertime all summertime long.
yup. mondays 6 and 7 are really really busy,
and monday prime is pretty low-key,
but as for me, personally, over all? 
it's all the same-
all work, no play, every day....and eat all the food at every meal every single day-
i try to make the most of the time i'm spanning,
and the space i'm occupying.
today is the day, 
just like every day, neighbors- and pursuing a bigger, better, more expert version
of myself is what i'm doing with it. 
there's really not a moment to waste.
ANYway, 
last night, 
instead of celebrating the weekend (because wtf is a weekend) 
i celebrated being the hungriest one in the woodsly goodness.
uh-huh.
and when you're celebrating the presence of a monstrous appetite, 
the only way to party is with a massive mountain of food.
here's the thing-
i could've been a big fat sloppy mess,
but instead i was a champion of plant-based whole food hottness-
honestly, i needed something fresh, clean, new, and nourishing-
and i needed a LOT of it,
AND i wanted it to be anything other than italian food.
don't get me wrong, it was a delicious span of time up until now-
but i wanted less dough and more dopeness.
so, i went POKÈ!
yup.
a bowlful of freshie-freshness, 
to fill up and fuel the furious, ferocious furnace deep inside my F*ing soul, bro.
ha!
check the teleport:
ALLLLLLL THE THINGS!!!
dudes,
this was a good monday #5 dinner, for sure.
i mean, c'mon.
would you just look at it:
YEAH!
that's a LOT of food, dudes.
and no jokes, i took down 100% of it,
and then some.(it wouldn't all fit in one bowl...shoutouts to seconds, b)
and the all-star lineup?
tight and TILTY af, man:
-
tricolor quinoa! 
and i don't even really like quinoa!
but it did the job, and gave me all the good stuff, and plant-based protein, 
and blah blah blah, plus, it kept the whole flippin' thing gluten-free, which was cool, too.
-
purple and green cabbage shreds!
jalapeno rings for kick and punch and slaps to your palate.
crawnchy zesty radishes, to give it some bite.
cucumbers, because of nutrients, i guess?
yellow-hearted purple carrot, for off the charts toothsome fiber activation.
mixed leaf lettuce, to look cool, really.
sprouts for nutrient-dense roughage.
tomato for color.
red onion which was, frankly, a F*ing bummer- soooo sharp....
luckily(?) it's not as if i had a makeout party to attend, 
as it would have been ruined by the onion assault that lingered 
long after the thrill of pokè had passed.
AVO-F*ING-CADO! 
because, i mean, for really-real, avocado makes you more awesome, and that's a fact.
toasted two-tone sesame seed sprankles? yep.
and scallion sprankles, too? ...obvi.
too much is the right amount.
which is also why there's THREE more magical additions to the bowl, buddy.
woooooo!!!
-
olive-oil grilled sweet potato wedges
every side got given the gift of a bit of a browning, and the soft, succulent,
sweetness was welcomed with an open mouth and sharp teeth. 
...um. is that how welcoming works? i hope so.
-
smoky, spicy chick peas!
that's a cup of chickies, and a spoonful of coriander, a dash of ground dry mustard,
black pepper, olive oil, GPOP, and a scoople of smoked hot paprika,
all tossed together with a pinch of cilantro, 
and cooked on high heat just until they start to pop a little.
perfect.
they're sorta meaty, really flavor-packed, and they're roundish,
which switches up the textures so you're getting MORE awesomeness in every bite.
seriously, what kind of an A*-hole wouldn't like that?
-
and that teriyaki tofu is essential!
mmmm.
exxxtra-firm tofu, sizzled up on all sides with a spoonful of toasted sesame oil-
then drenched in a glaze of our own invention-
ok. it's actually pretty much all the stuff you'd expect-
-
*
TERI'SAUCE!
-
2 T wheat-free tamari;
2 T rice vinegar;
1 T ho'sauce;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 T agave;
2 T lime juice;
1 tsp toasted sesame oil;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
black pepper, sriracha flakes, to taste.
-
dassit!!
***********
there's nothing like an essentially guiltless cauldron of food,
y'know?
like,
no matter how much you eat, it's still super good for you in every way,
so there's no upper limit to how much you should munch up.
and if there's a ton of it, i'll eat a ton of it-
i'm like that,
and i like that, 
because i need to eat allllllll the sexxxy vegan food.
i do.
it's the brightest spot in my day.
...followed immediately by a short trip into town, 
so that crabtree and i can socialize, at arms' length, 
with the visitors and denizens of this mountain vale.
yeah.
we walk a lot.
or, more accurately, i walk, and he gets dragged, or whatever.
but you get the idea.
we're out and about, doing our thing, and peeing on stuff.
that's how we unwind after work and dinner.
every day is the same.
i don't hate it, but there needs to be something new.
not for the novelty, but by necessity.
if there's no change, there's no evolution, only refinement.
and i need to GROW outwards, not just improve inwardly.
maybe today is the day that happens?
i told you, every day is the day,
and today is one one 'em;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, June 15

PIZZA ROMEO!

dudes,
did i just have ANOTHER pizza party?
yup.
and i don't even care, like, not at all, that i'm a pizza partying piece of sh!t...
y'know why?
because pizza is the TRUTH,
and if y'all aren't ready to get into a passionate, but committed and serious relationship with pizza all the mother-effing time?
then i'm not really interested in spanning any time with you....
not while there's pizza out there waiting for me to come through and snack up on.
that's real.
pizza now, pizza later, pizza forever, man-
i'll never take it easy, and i'll never let a productive pizza opportunity get past me.
that said- last night was a change up-
i went rogue from my usual pizza party time activation,
and instead tried TWO other other 'nother jauns, just because i like to keep it interesting
here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory.
first up,
i went full blown ROMAN and hooked up the thinny-thin-thinnest-thin-crust flatbread.
and when i say thin, i'm talking about flattened out using a flippin' rolling pin, buddy.
uh-huh.
thin.
on an olive-oiled seasoned steel baking tray,
it was crispy, crusty, and crunchy in all the right ways.check the teleport:

ROMAN PESTO POTATO WOLF-MOTHER HOTTNESS!!!
yeah!!!!!
dudes, you aren't ready for this much good stuff-
y'got the semolina crust, with two-tone sesame sossamon sprankles on the edges.
y'got pesto, then daiya chee', then oven-roasted salt-n-pepper red potatoes.
caramelized onions, homemade slab-style tempeh bacon,
and radicchio ribbons for the post-bake pretty-pretty glow up.
F* yes.
look at how absolutely stunningly sexxxy this lil bihhhhh is:

c'mon, guys- if you ain't with that? you're fired.
i made two pizzas out of one batch of 50/50 semolina dough-
the recipe is just about the same as always, only, i went heavy on the olive oil,
to get MORE crust-crunch than the usual scene.
....and that did exxxactly what i wanted it to-great news, right?
it sure is, and this crackin'-crisp sheet of pizza time magic is a testament to it.
i had the leftover pesto ready to rock.
i minced up the daiya chee' so it'd melt properly, like a pro.
i caramelized a sweet onion with olive oil and a little salt;
i had those slices of lightly-oiled and salted and peppered potato
gettin' good and golden in the preheatin' oven, on parchment paper on a baking tray...
and on the stovetop, i had half a block of tempeh becoming bacon-styled
crazy-glazed goodness for my face!
-
*
SMOKY-SWEET TEMPEH!
-
in a hot pan, with highish walls, combine:
1/2 block of slab-cut tempeh, with-
a cup of water;
2 T soy sauce;
4 shakes of liquid smoke;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP and mustard powder;
2 T ho'sauce;
1 1/2 tsp smoked hot paprika; black pepper,
2 T agave nectar;
and let all the ;liquid absord and evaporate for as long as that takes on highish heat.
and when it gets all thick, add a glug of olive oil, and flip 'em all over one time.
you see how it looks up there^^?
that's when it's done, and not a second sooner. ok? ok!
*
and that wasn't all there was, either.
nope.
i'm sayin'- it was a pizza party, b.
soooo,
the other half of my dough went into a fundamental roundie pizza pie, neighbors.
what?
that's riiiight. a roundie, throwback style, for heritage and sh!t like that-
what's better than a straight-up classic napoletana margherite on the menu?
nothin'.
and i had no idea i was even gonna get that busy with it- but i did.
y'wanna know why?
because i'm a F*ing expert, man, and too much is the right amount.
check the teleport:

WOOOOOOOOOOORD.
double basil?? you know it. that's pre and post bake leaves, for twice the hottness, obvi.
i even made a whole new batch of custom tomato sauce, which was TILTY af, bro.
and that's no joke.
-
*
MARGHERITE SAUCE!
-
in a small, hot pot activated with a spoonful of olive oil,
saute:
1/4 onion, shaved;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
1 cup chopped fresh baby tomatoes;
add in a crunch of salt and pepper,
a few shakes of GPOP,
and a 14 oz. can of 'italian-style' stewed tomatoes,
pre-pulverized in your food processor for a pulse or three,
just enough to pulp 'em up so they look like sauce and not wet blarps.
how much difference did the custom sauce make?
ALL the difference, dudes.
-
and the chee'??
shoutouts to miyoko vegan mozz, kids.
no foolin', it did all the right things.
is it super good for you?
i will literally never check on that bit of info.
not if it means feeling the least bit guilty about indulging in something this F*ing awesome.
-
i baked the roman one at 450℉,
but i cranked the heat to 480℉ for the classic.
my man dylan was here, again, for pizza night, and that was cool-
he even saved the dough from a over-worked unfortunate fate, which was very helpful.
and, he ate half of each pizza, too,
so that i didn't feel like a corpulent boorish boar at the trough.
that's good news, right?
less pizza, more pizza, pizza party, pizza forever- everything pizza.
that's all you need.
***********
in real life, away from the kitchen,
i'm busy, busy, busy....but i keep falling asleep in the weirdest places.
hmm? what's that?
NO, not like in a tree....don't make fun.
like, on the stairs.
yeah. the stairs.
which isn't scary until you wake up on the stairs,
and slide down them.
it's not narcolepsy, i don't think-
maybe just exhaustion?
here's how it happens-
i'll be playing with crabby, my terrible tempestuous terrier,
and invariably, he ruins the fun with his miscreant infinite nature-
so, i wait, and wait, for him to return-
(chasing him only elevates his desire to be a little jerk)
and that's when i fall asleep-
it's shark science, man.
don't stop, or you'll die,
and like nas said: sleep is the cousin of death.
it's a not-so-fun two-parter.
where will i pass out?
and what happens when i wake up?
i will admit, the dumb dog slept on the stair above me, as close as he could get,
which is verrrry cute-
but, my whole body hurts from the step-shapes,
and the surprise slide at 3 a.m.
shoutouts to collapsing-
if you aren't actually literally falling asleep, are you really even doing it right?
maybe;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, June 14

PESTOOOO.M.G!

pasta and sauce.
like, why, man?
why are those two things SO flippin' good?
it doesn't really even matter what pasta and what sauce-
they just go together to make a whole new other 'nother next level combination
of flavors and textures and hottness for your hungry effing face.
...and that's no joke.
i have an aptitude for italian-style food.
i do.
and it's not even my favorite stuff to make-
but, i mean, should i squander a gift like that?
no way.
it's not as if there's tons of expert vegan sauce sorcery poppin' off up here,
and i can just scoople up some molto-molto-bene jauns wherever and whenever....
but i can sure-as-sh!t make a masterpiece out of thin air without a care in the world,
and share it with y'all, so we can have a lil moment together as professional 
appreciators of pasta-based excellence 
and conscientious shark-gluttony from the future.
ha!
that's real.
ANYway, i had an idea, a surplus of basil, 
and an eggplant left over from the day before-
so, when dylan the dude came over again, with MORE miyoko vegan mozz?
the semolina pasta production got fired up, and the new-new got underway.
i got that pasta in my DNA, and i'm adept at making a plate look tight af.
for really-real, i only ever want to eat beautiful food.
y'know?
and it's the one truly joyous outlet i have complete creative control over these days-
check the teleport:
PESTO IS THE BEST-O!!!
and those tortellini are stuffed with smoky roasty red pepper and eggplant boomfire,
with a touch of spiciness, and a TON of full-bodied flavor.
damn, dudes, y'all weren't ready. heck, neither was i, at first, 
but i caught up to speed as fast as my little hands could fold those pouches, y'heard?
mmmhmmm.
this has ALLLLL the best bits, 
and they all go together like sprockets and cogs in clockwork.
i love when that happens.
so, there's eggplant filling, in homemade pasta pockets-
there's from-scratch basil-spinach sunflower seed pesto-
crisp sweet potato, blackened tomatoes, 
and toasty sunflower seed sprankles,
and that bright, bright, bright lemon kiss to turn it up to eleven.
basically, 
it's an overload of awesome, and i never wanted it to end.
so,
where do we begin?
with the pesto, i guess.
-
*
BASIL-SPINACH-SUNFLOWER PESTOOOOOO!
-
brown 5 whole cloves of garlic in a genrous glug of olive oil,
and add them into your food processor, along with:
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds;
1+ cup fresh basil;
1 handful baby spinach;
1 punch of fresh parsley;
1 T scallion greens;
2 T lemon juice;
2 T nutritional yeast;
1/4 cup olive oil;
pink salt, black pepper to taste,
and a splash or two of water to emulsify te F* out of all of that.
pulse it until it's paste (that's what pesto means, bro)
and let it hang out and marry into itself so the flavor intensifies while you're pasta-ing.
word up.
*
the pasta is the same as always, which is to say: perfect.
here's that recipe, again-
1 cup semolina flour;
1 1/4 cup flour;
1 tsp salt;
3 T olive oil;
3/4 cup warm water.
kneaded fot 10, rested for 10, rolled and cut on a very well-floured surface.
that's expert.
*
the filling was so easy, i almost feel like a cheater listing the process,
but i'll do it, just because i care about you, as far as you know-
-
*
EGGPLANT-RED PEPPER SMOKY FUOCO!
-
dice up one small italian eggplant, skin-on, into 1/4" bits,
and saute it in olive oil with 
1/4 cup minced sweet onion;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
1 tsp ea. Garlic Powder Onion Powder,
pink salt, black pepper, 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes,
and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast;
add in 1/4 cup minced red pepper;
3 shakes of liquid smoke;
1 tsp tamari-
and sweat all that down to a roasty-toasty softened stuffing-
it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes on medium-high heat... 
but you know what you like, neighbors, so cook it until it's done enough for your taste.
toss in 1 T shredded scallion greens, and 2 T fresh parsley,
and you've got yourself some kind of supreme elitism, 
ready for tucking into those pasta circles, along with a spoonful of that miyoko mozz.
which, incidentally, is very authentically-cheese-tasting stuff.
y'know you wanna fold, and tuck and pinch 'em up-
and you've GOT to let 'em rest before you boil 'em.
that's a thing.
and also, the water better be hella salty, too.
these are the rules for maxxximizing positivity in your dinnertime experience.
i'm telling you- this is the way to go.
...and when you fish out all those fat, floaty 'linis with your strainery spider ladle,
be sure to toss all of them with a huge scoop of pesto, and a splash of the pasta water,
so they're completely coated, soaked, and saturated in SAUCE.
too much is the right amount when it comes to pesto, 
and everything else,
so don't go getting cheap on me now, bro.
WORD.
and then there's still all the upgrades to tell you about-
check it:
C'MON, MAN!!!
that's borderline smut, no?
like, a filthily fresh and scandal'iciously dope mountain of wizard-style conjuration,
live and direct from my kitchen to your eyeballs-
there's nothing to hate here.
baby spinach on the bottom of the plate,
a whole heap of those rich, savory, smoky, cheesy, bright, nutty, 
toothsome al-dente dollops of delight,
and then, a whole mess of exxxtras to really activate the experience,
and change the way you feel about food.
mmmmmmmmm.
crisp pan-fried sweet potato? hell yes! 
blackened tomatoes, tossed in olive oil? F* yeah!!
toasted sunflower seed spranks? wuTANG!!!
and MORE baby basil leaves, 
just to exxxplode your face off with MORE flavor?!?!
yes. yes. YES. YES. YES!
.....then, when you squeeze a little fresh lemon on top?
oh MAN-
you may as well just punch yourself in the face, 
because there's a finite number of tortellini to eat,
and once they're gone, nothing will seem to be any good for some time afterwards.
it's like one of those better-to-have-loved-and-lost kind of a thing.
you're happy you had it, but you're so sad you don't still have it.
awwwwwwww.
if you aren't making food that breaks your heart, 
you aren't making the right kind of food.
and i mean that from the bottom of my own broken pump.
***********
it's all about dinner these days.
the warm, long-lasting summer light;
the long, lambasted hours of tattzapping, always, and all the time;
the desire to be healthier, happier, and less homely;
to be more subtly nuanced, more completely nourished, 
and the most positive and forward-moving version of myself...
ALL that leads to making magnificent meals to culminate the days 
in a crescendo of creativity, progress, process, 
feasting and fulfilling the needs and the wants of a hungry mind and body at once-
i'm sustaining my little woodsly goodsly world with radical expert vegan foodstuffs,
from scratch, made with my heart, mind, and hands,
so that every day is the best day, and it always ends with a headful of ideas,
a belly full of heroic food,
and a heart packed full of promise... 
it's not always easy, but it's all really happening,
and that's really what it's about;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, June 13

MELANZANA APIZZA!

if you're pulling your own weight,
you aren't pulling hard enough.
that's been my mindset for a minute or two-
or, like, for years of carrying burdens that get heavier every day-
here's the thing-
i'm the one adding the extra sh!t every day.
uh-huh.
the idea that too much is the right amount
isn't just about the outcome, neighbors-
it's just as much a philosophically fundamental position on INPUT as well.
that's real.
y'know how the notion of the 'lion's share' means MORE than everybody else?
well, then if i'm doing my fair share,
then i feel as though the 'lion' part should be implied-
right?
like, if you know you can do more, but you don't- just to keep things equal?
then maybe you've misunderstood the whole point.
fairness is subjective,
and those who receive an advantage usually find few faults in any system
that eases their portion of participation.
that's a thing.
here's another thing: we're NOT all the same,
...and that's why if i can do more, i want to do more.
i don't know.
i feel like i'm only competing with myself-
to outdo what i've already done, and be the best version of myself-
and to get bigger and better and fresher and harder than ever before.
like i just said: too much IS the right amount.
you don't go farther by standing still,
you don't get faster by standing still,
you don't get impossible outcomes from underwhelming INput.
i want the big deluxxxe, man.
and i'm not asking for it, i'm creating it.
-
that's a lot to deal with every F*ing day, for the record-
but what else am i gonna do?
take it easy?
nope.......that ain't me, bro.
in fact,
last night, despite not really wanting to make a big deal out of dinner,
and instead of just phoning it in with some quick and easy tacos,
i went hard on the eggplant scene,
and brought the full weight of my will to bear down on some seriously epic pizza pie.
yup.
if you ca do more, you gotta, lest you fall prey to b!tchbaggery,
and that's not invited to my makeout party.
happily, this was a pizza party without any kisses on the program,
because dylan came over to experience the majesty of fried vegan-style crusty eggplant.
and you don't ever really want a two-dude eggplant party
without some clearly established guidelines.
ha!
check the teleport:

MELANZANA APIZZA FOR A-YOU EYE!!!!
wooooooo!!!!
the crust is crucial.
the toppings are tight and TILTY.
the herbs are fresh af.
and all of it is cooperating to crush every last tastebud into submission.
that's word.
look closer, man:

WOW!
eggplant is one of those things tha is either right or wrong,
and there's no in-between.
if you've got the touch (and i do) then you're a champ,
and you need to help others see the light and the truth and the glory.
or, at least, how to doo-doo that freaky sh!t correctly.
here's a glimpse:
pick small italian or graffiti eggplants.
slice 'em thin, and salt 'em and let 'em de-juice before rinsing all that bitterness away.
(funny how being salty makes eggplant less bitter, but has the opposite effect on me)
now, because we don't eff with eggs,
there needs to be a dredge that'll adhere to the outsides,
so that your herby-crusty breading will stick on there nicey-nice-
you need minutes on minutes for it to work, so plan ahead-
but, figure on these proportions:
-
*
eggplant 'egg'lessness for dipping
-
 1 cup non-dairy milk, + 4 tsp chia-flaxmeal blend, whisked in,
plus 1 T nootch, and 2 tsp lemon juice, all stirred and allowed to bloom and thicken.
tight.
-
and the dry bit:
1/4 cup flour;
3 T non-GMO organic corn starch;
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes;
1/4 cup crushed rice krispies;
1 T nootch;
GPOP, oregano, rosemary dried basil, black pepper, pink salt,
fire-roasted tomato-flakes, etc etc
-
you get the idea-
but you also need a pan with verrrrrry hot vegetable oil about 1/2" deep.
this is a shallow fry scenario, and you'll need to be careful, kids.
y'dip the eggplant, then you dredge the eggplant,
then you FRY the eggplant for like a minute or two on each side.
you're gonna want to remove them and place them on some sort of rack,
with paper towels to siphon off any extra oil.
we like 'em crisp, and soft inside, not slimy and sh!tty and full of fat.
you'll figure it out, just be careful with all that oil.
*
that's just step one.
you still need pizza dough, yo.
-
*
D'OH!
-
in your standalone standup mixer, dough hook equipped, knead together:
1 1/4 cups bread flour;
1 cup semolina flour;
1 T raw sugar;
1 tsp sea salt;
1 pkg fast-activated yeast;
3/4 cup warm water;
3 T olive oil;
2 T sourdough starter.
-
beat it up for 11 minutes straight,
and let it blow up under a towel until it's twice it's og size.
stretch it out however you want it to be-
i've been using a thin steel baking tray, seasoned with olive oil,
specially prepared for making the biggest pizza i can get from one batch of dough.
and as always the temperature is 480℉, with the baking stones in place
for thoroughly expert baking hottness.
-
here's the roster of awesomess, in order, for this pizza pie-
daiya chee' shreds, minced up exxxtra.
if you aren't chopping up your little chee' ribbons, you're an A-hole, and that's no joke.
it melts 2000% better if you do, and it looks 3000% sexxxier-
so use your knives, guys, and reap the benefits immediately.
then the eggplant, all savory and sensual and decadent-
fried sage, rubbed into slivers;
fresh rosemary;
dry-fried mushrooms. baby bellas, browned on both sides with salt and pepper, and that's it;
two shallots, sliced up lengthwise, so they're pretty in pinkish purple;
sweet baby tomatoes;
fried garlic sprankles...obvi. i mean, rules is rules.
and that miyoko cashew mozzarella to make it exxxtra-good.
and when it came out of the oven steamy and crusty and perfect?
fresh thyme and oregano and hand-torn basil for the sprankle victory.
that's a LOT for one pizza, but it was worth every exxxtra step.
i already said it twice, but i'll go all magic-number on you:
too much is the right amount.
why would you want less?
i wouldn't, i couldn't, i won't, and i don't.
***********
i love pizza.
i never get tired of it.
i also love not being a dumpy piece of sh!t,
but those two things might be at odds with each other.
so, what do i do?
there's only so many hours in the day,
so how much more active can i get to offset all the pizza i wanna eat?
i'm not sure, but at my present rate of pizza consumption,
i'm gonna need an answer ASAP.
i'm NOT tryna look like a real bummer naked.
....or at least, not any worse than what's already going on.
i'll figure something out because i've got to.
there's so much more italian-style bread-heavy big action on my menu,
so something's gotta adapt,
or else the expansion of my menu will correlate to the expansion
of my waistline.
ugh.
there's only one option that seems feasible: do MORE.
that's what i've been saying this whole time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, June 12

IN-BETWEENS!

mexican monday or taco tuesday?
i'm not sure which is invited, because i sorta spanned over into both in one meal.
sound good?
tight.
well, then, let's keep it going: how about crabtree crapcheeks?
hmm? oh, you no idea what that is??
then lemme tell you-
that's when your dog exxplodes in every direction,
for the however-manyieth time this year,
after eating something dreaded and deadly.......again....
in an attempt to take himself out of the equation permanently.
sound good?
no?
you're definitely NOT interested?
weird. i guess maybe that's just exclusively my lucky burden.
nice.
i was home early, but not early enough to prevent a barbecues butthole
from basting the dog and his surroundings in sh!t.
a serious decontamination, and a secondary wipedown, later,
and a long, soapy shower for the milky boi and myself,
and finally, dinner was ready to get underway.
surprisingly, my enthusiasm was diminished somewhat.
crazy, right?
i know.
ANYway, i still got into some things, despite my appetite being dampened
by prior doo-doo buttery doings.
ugh.
-
after a day that should've been a day OFF,
which turned into 5 hours of tattooing instead,
coming home to a disasterpiece cleanup extravaganza was lame.
however,
flatbread flap-bread tortillas gordos did kind of save the day.
check the teleport:

ALLLLLL THE PEPPERS!
that's habanero, jalapeno, poblano, serrano, and sweet baby bell,
sauteed in a glug of olive oil with sweet onion, exxxtra-firm tofu, sweet potato,
and all the right seas'nin's- GPOP, oregano, cumin, coriander seed, hot paprika,
smoked paprika, ho'sauce, cilantro stalks, and lime by the squeezeful!
one pan is all you need.
in fact, prior to all the goods, i even fried up those flattie breads, too-
flour, water, salt, olive oil, and baking soda are all it takes.
how much of each?
i dunno.
i effed it up, and has to keep adding sh!t.
ha.
i'm not perfect by a long shot, neighbors,
but i do what i can to correct my mistakes.
in the end, i had a pair of perfect thiqqq-thickies to stuff with stuff.
so, it ended up being dope, and i'm okay with that.
with shredded purple cabbage, and lots of leafy cilantro,
tomato, radish, and AVO-F*ING-cado, bro.
mmmmhmmmm.
for being a thrown together hot mess, it was also muy experte.
i'll take that, gladly.
-
y'all ever just throw it all in one place, and cross your fingers?
i'm not sad about it.
and when it works, you feel like you've got the touch.
and as far as things i touched yesterday,
those two tacoish treats were the most satisfying part.
no foolin'.
***********
today is the day.
...again.
it always is, really.
the future is nowhere,
and the past is occurring just as fast as the present is passing it,
which is instantaneous, isn't it?
so, there's just this and that's all.
nate got me thinking about it,
and now i'm wondering if the fickle and finite nature of time is totally subjective,
and the infinite nature of our selves is absolute in it's determinism of the imaginary future.
maybe i just woke up too early,
or maybe this is a pre-walk existential crisis,
or maybe i'm just fired up on irish breakfast tea?
here's where i'm at-
it's all really happening but by the time you notice, it's already happened.
which means that a storied past is the only way to know
that your present self did anything right.
i guess that means it's juggernautical berserker navigation
of the white-water of my grey matter,
as i crash across perception, interpretation, and action, all F*ing day long.
today is the day, again,
a nowhere future, a crescendo of overlapping presences in the present,
and a past that forecasts the next step in the sequence.
it's right now or never;
never quiet, never soft.....

THE START

the start of something good.
^^^that's how the morning should feel.
i feel like that's how i do it.
i'm always surprised by late risers and folks who'd rather waste time by sleeping in.
i mean,
i hear about people who press their snooze alarm ten times in a flippin' row,
and grudgingly roll out of bed into a surly slow-moving coffee-based
search-and-destroy routine that involves bleary eyes, foggy heads,
and all sorts of lollygagging and grumbling...
that ain't me, man.
nope.
i'm a morning person,
a brunchtime barbarian,
an afternoon acrobat,
an evening expert,
AND a nighttime werewolfen warior poet.
i'm an ALWAYS person,
and i'm up and at 'em from sunrise until well past the darkest hour.
that's my thing.
and when my eyes open up, before first light, i'm ready to start something good.
...and that's exactly what i do-
reading, writing, corresponding, scheduling, banking, baking, making,
exercising, and energizing-
all that happens before 9am.
...and that's when i walk the dog for a few miles through the woodsly goodness,
before i go to work all damned day long, every damned day of the week.
on the ones, neighbors, i feel like i should be doing so much MORE.
so,
who are all these lay-in-bed bummers,
and more importantly, how do they think that they're doing enough?
right?
i mean, c'mon- good enough is NOT enough,
and on top of that: too much is the right amount, man.
that's a thing.
seriously, every night i go to bed tired af,
upset with myself for investing so much time into responsible pet ownership,
and not making nearly enough time to pursue productive pasttimes after 9pm.
i could be cleaning up,
i could be crafting some kind of custom creations,
i could be crushing a few chapters of a new novel-
but, honestly, i spend a few hours unraveling the day's common and uncommon threads,
in order to detangle the events that've shaped the hours,
and weave a new narrative from what i've experienced and learned.
yuck.
that time might be better spent chopping wood for all i know.
but that's not what's happening
nope.
real-life documentarianism is hard at work in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, friends.
so, there's that to consider before sleep can be allowed.
BUT,
the start of something good is where we began,
and that's where we'll resume.
what's for breakfast?
coconut lemon coffee cake.
yup.
holy F*ing sh!t, bro.
my coffeecake game has long been on a new york grandma level,
but with the lemon, and the coconut?
it went all the way, right away, to eleven and beyond.
word.
check the teleport:

SOLID GOLD!
and that streusel?
you already know y'boi effs with some next-level streus' for sure-
but even still- y'all ain't ready for crOmbly sprankles like that, f'real.
how moist and fluffy and rich and thick is the cake?
i don;t even know how one thing can be so many things at once.
the lemon is tight, the coconut is right, and the combination had me
gong back for thirds and fourths, b.
that's no joke.
it just had such a so fresh and so clean bite, every time.
mmmmmmmmm.
y'want some?
it's over at AMPERSAND TATTOO waiting patiently for you.
oh?
that's not a trip you wanna make? that's cool, i didn't wanna see you anyway-
hmm?
oh, okay, then-
here's how to do it at home:
-
*
LEMONOCONUT COFFEECAKE!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
grease up a pan, buddy- i always use those springforms,
because i always like those springforms,
but you do whatever you want, as long as it's 9 or more inches.
(that's what she said)
-
in a medium mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick vegan butts;
1/2 tsp salt;
>1 cup raw sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 lemon's zest;
2 T lemon juice.
combine completely, and stir in:
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt.
next add;
1/2 cup medium flake shredded unsulphured coconut;
2 1/4 cups flour;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
3/4 cup non-dairy milk.
stir it up, spoon it into your pan, and level it off-
next, in the same scraped-clean bowl,
chop together:
4 T vegan butts;
1 cup quick oats;
1/4 cup oat flour;
1/4 cup powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 lemon zest;
1/4 cup shredded coconut.
fork it all until it clumps together when gently squeezed,
which is how kickass streusel is made.
kaBOOM.
that's the truth!
bake that bad baby b!tch for like, 40 or more minutes.
(the streus' seals it up, and steams it for that grammie-style crumb)
make sure it's baked through,
but also, serve yourself a slice before it cools all the way to room temp.
no, really, slightly warm coffeecake is not something you want to miss out on.
it's revelatory, kid.
you'll see.
***********
the start of something good.
that's an enticing idea.
you wake up, you do what you do,
and moreover, you do what needs doing,
and while you're doing your best at all of it, you're getting better all the time.
i like that.
ever-increasing ever-expanding inclusion is ON the menu.
so is coffeecake.
and so is MORE of ALL of it,
as it unfolds outwards into infinite options and opportunities.
that's because when you're an always person,
you're always headed forward,
because rules is rules, and always doesn't take days off;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, June 11

RAVIOLI PARTY!

long-time clients at a tattoo studio are great.
they know about your life, you know about their life-
you're close to each other, you care about each other,
and you have a trusting relationship.
that's all good stuff.
it's better for new clients to see the practiced ease and confidence
that old-timers have in a studio setting as well-
that sort of comfortable familiarity puts everybody at ease,
and brings the overall mood up a few notches,
so that we're all included and involved and working together to have a good time.
the environment is important, man.
yes, the work has to be tip-top-notch, or you're fired-
but, the experience is as important as the outcome-
which is why i was in high spirits yesterday-
good tattoos, on good dudes, and good times at AMPERSAND TATTOO
were all in F*ing full effect, and it affected me positively- 
so much so i was fully inspired to create a masterpiece pasta dinner.
uh-huh.
after zip-zapping on nothing but menfolk all day, i needed to cleanse my palate
with some freshie-fresh italiano hottness of my own design.
that's real.
while i appreciate all the time i spanned with my clients,
and i remain grateful for the opportunity to create unique 
and interesting pictures ON them as the way to earn a living,
which i recognize and acknowledge as a privilege i won't take for granted,
i still need to make things that are fully formed from my own mind, man;
word.
all y'all can get what you want from me during regular business hours- 
but when the day is done, and the door is locked, 
and i get home to crabtree the dog, 
and the test kitchen at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress
that time is MY time, and what i'm making is molto italiano, and 
magnifico like you read about.
y'feel me? well, you should- check the formuoli-type teleport:
RAVIOLI! RAVIOLI!! RAVIOOOOOOLI!!!!
dudes,
foldover flaps, pan-fried in browned vegan butter,
and tossed with white balsamic vinegar?!?
i do not ever want to have budget storebought ravs, bruh.
and after a bowl like this? i doubt i could choke those lesser jauns down at gunpoint.
real talk.
they're stuffed to the limit with sweet potato, spinach, rosemary, garlic, 
and miyoko mozzarella-
the dough is my classic semolina supersexxxiness.
and the exxxtras? 
too much is the right amount, buddy. 
there's no other way.
here's all the details for you to drool over:
C'MON!
it started with the dough-
-
*
RAVIDOUGH!
-
1 cup semolina flour;
1 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
1 tsp salt;
3 T olive oil;
>1 cup warm water.
kneaded into oblivion in an uprighteous stand-up mixer with a dough hook on it-
rested and allowed to do it's thing, 
before being rolled and cut into 3" circles on a verrry well-floured surface-
-
a big ol' pot of salty water got boilin', whilst the filling was activated on the stovetop-
-
*
SWEETPOTATOSPINACHSTUFFIN'!
-
in a small sauce pot, with aglug's worth of olive oil,
saute:
1 1/4 cups minced sweet potato, skin-on for exxxtra vitamins.
2 cloves of crushed garlic;
1/2 tsp rosemary;
1 T nutritional yeast;
1/2 tsp ea. GPOP.
let all that simmer and sizzle, then drizzle in:
4 tsp white wine vinegar;
pink salt and black pepper,
and 3 cups of shredded spinach (which cooks down to a thimbleful, it seems).
let the potato steam and soften up, then set it all aside to cool,
or your filled pouches will suck sh!t and disintegrate, which is NOT invited.
-
a pinch of that sexxxy miyoko exxxpensive cashew mozzarella,
a spoonful of the stuffin',
and a little moisture to close the semi-circles, 
with fork-crimps to assure maxxximized seal, 
is all that had to happen to make that part of the program a complete triumph.
tight.
but,
after boiling them until they were afloat,
and draining them with a spider (there were 30+ ravioli)
i dropped each and everyone of them into a big fat hot pan, 
with 3 T browned vegan earth balance butter waiting to sizzle onto their skins.
......do you have any idea how expert that is?
well, it all got turned up much much more after that.
yup.
the piping hot, buttery ravs then got flipped and turned upside-down 
and tossed around in a tablespoon or two of balsamic bianco, broski.
yup.
white balsamic-glazed turbo-hottness goes to eleven, neighbors.
trust me, or try it yourself, but either way you'll agree,
this brand new-new is the TRUTH.
mmmmmmmmmmmm.
is that all?
no way. don't be dumb.
you saw the pictures, already-
we got freshie-fresh baby basil leaves everywhere.
there's toasted walnuts, which really added some superheroic strength to the dish.
and blistered tomatoes for the ultimate winner's circle experience.
yeah.
baby tomatoes blown up in a shallow bath of boiling water.
they're soft, they're cooked, but they're also largely intact, 
so they burst and exxxplode and generally activated the ultimate in delicious dopeness.
now, is THAT all?
nope.
i told you- too much is the right amount.
and that's why there's a few cloves' worth of fried garlic sprankles.
that's how you doo-doo the freakiest sh!t...
crispy af, tight as hell, and terrifically expert.
DASSIT!
***********
there's something in the air.
i don't know what it is, exactly.
pollen? pheromones? i dunno.
but it's definitely SOMEthin', 
and it's circulating around the woodsly goodness.
wherever i go, i can feel it. 
like i'm breathing in lust and dust and hunger and hot fire all at once.
it could be summertime,
it could be unbridled and unrivaled passion pouring out of my own pores, even,
but it is for sure NOT bike week.
booooooooooo.
it's that time of year again where every single bummer of a person who owns 
a gas-powered two-wheeler shows up to suck super hard at being alive.
man,
it's awful.
loud mobs of losers wearing dead cows and goatees all waving at each other
in between stops for hamburgers.
not dope.
not one bit.
meanwhile, i'm inhaling some sort of barbarian passionfruit essence,
and these dum-dums are trying to ruin it.
i'm not gonna let 'em,
and i'm also probably not gonna tattoo 'em.
i'm booked with those repeat clients anyway,
and besides, 
i'm pretty sure we're sold out of whatever they're looking for, 
and that's no joke;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, June 10

HOMEMADE TASTES BETTER!

i will never ever ever stop eating pizza.
y'hear me?
there's nothing in this world i find nearly as rewarding
as a hot slice (or five) of homemade pizza, piping hot and fresh from out
of a raging roaring oven.
that's my simplest and greatest pleasure.
pizza is the TRUTH, neighbors, and i'm a truth-teller extraordinaire.
all the parts, all the components, all the constituent elements of a well-prepared pizza
work in harmonious unison to activate the greatest sense of well-being
that my tiny little brain can comprehend.
no, for real.
how can one food be such a triumph?
i'm sayin'- crust, sauce (or not!) chee' (or not) and stuff on top....
a crusty bread circle or rectangle or deep dish.
it doesn't matter- becausewhatever combination you employ, it's all so expert.
and that's why i love it so much.
regardless of how much you mess around with the formula,
it's still pizza, and it's still dope.
that's word.
i get into some real-time real-life really-real pizza scenarios,
and every time, i'm slightly surprised at how hard y'boi brings the noise-
that's no joke.
it's like i'm some sort of pizza genius.
ha. what? no. i'm not bragging.
it's just a thing. check the teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!!
hooray for F*ing pizza, bro.
do we have two kinds of vegan mozzarella on this bad b!tch?
yep.
weird dylan came through with a pair of tasty ones, and we used both.
y'know why?
uh-huh- because too much is the right amount.
so shoutouts to daiya shreds, minced even finer for maxxximum melt,
and to miyoko for being expensive and pretty flippin' good, too.
y'like those fresh mozz blops? so did we.
and that's homemade sauce, not just crushed tomatoes, buddy.
yeah. dylan brought the chee', and requested massive exxxtra sauce activation.
so i made some spicy fra daviolo jauns for his face,
and we used a holy heck-ton on there.
yeah, man, the sauce game was on FIRE-
-
*
SAUCE!
-
1/4 cup minced onion;
3 T finely shredded carrot;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
1 T olive oil.
sauteed until slightly browned, and hooked up with:
1 T white wine vinegar;
2 T nootch;
1 tsp ea. GPOP;
black pepper, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes.
and 1 can crushed tomatoes,
all simmered and bubbled and steeped in it's own juicy flavor until the oven was hot,
and the dough was proofed, and the truth was right there waiting for me.
-
speaking of the dough:
-
*
PIZZZZZZZAZZ!
-
stand mixer/doughhook/ low speed:
1 cup semolina;
1 1/2 cup bread flour;
1 tsp raw sugar;
1 tsp sea salt;
1 cup warm water;
3 T vegan butterish;
1 pkg superfast-actin' yeast.
beat it up forever. like 11 minutes, and let it rise for twentyish?
stretch it and stretch it, and arrange it on an oiled tray, and let it rise some more.
don't add sauce until the oven's hot, b.
otherwise you get the sogs, and those are for sh!t.
remember that, and you'll be a champ at pizza time, every time.
*
guys,
i know that life isn't all recipes and pizzas-
but if it WAS, though?
i'd be the most successful, and i might even be happy.
instead, i've just got all the best pizza, and that's something, anyway.
caramelized onion? check✔
semi-steamed seared broccoli?✔
homemade tempeh bacon bits? double check.✔✔
fried garlic sprankles?✔
c'mon. rule is rules after all.
and that tempeh bacon? all the way expert-
i had the marinade on deck, and the flavor profile turned waaay up-
ho'sauce, tamari, agave, GPOP, smoke hot paprika, black pepper, oil, and water,
to hydrate prior to caramelizing.
y'ever make that stuff?
you should-
it's pretty much an eyeballed concoction in a hot pan,
soaking into and onto all that fermented soybean sexxxiness.
i'd give it a shot if i were you.
i gave it a shot and i'm NOT you, so i'm probably telling the truth.
-
but, like, was that all there was?
no way.
there's no such thing as enough add-ons, guys.
we also had:
fresh basil, and fresh oregano, and arugula, and scallion sprankles?
F* yes.
MORE exxxtras equals MORE awesomeness,
and this one had about as much awesomeness as the pan could handle.
... i love pizza so so SO much.
every. single. time.
it never gets old.
it never lets me down.
and it never leaves me without also nourishing me.
i appreciate that.
***********
busy businessman sh!t.
that's what i'm on about.
my last day off was in mid april.
that's no joke.
it feels like forever.
the thing is: what the eff else would i do?
my purpose is to be a singularly hard-working ever-present perpetual motion machine.
down time is NOT invited.
yard work is NOT invited.
vacation is NOT invited.
what i need is bigger, better, faster, louder, harder, and MORE.
when i get far enough on the productivity spectrum that i can slow down
and still be ahead of schedule?
that's when i'll start to find pursuits that don;t pummel me down a bit more every day.
y'ever see great expectations?
i'm just assuming you didn't read the book, because i mean, c'mon,.
wait- you did, and you DID?
wow. who even are you?
well,
there's a goal-oriented validation fixation going on in that story
that i feel kindred kinship to deep in my bones.
worthiness is relative, but the sights i've set are lofty,
and the time i have to get it all in is limited.
it's all really happening, but i'm not sure i'm doing it right.
i need more minutes, i need more moments, i need to get better, be better,
and do MORE.
days off will have to wait until i've got that tangibly big fatty-boombattie gigante deluxxury
at my disposal.
good enough is not enough,
and there's nobody who's gonna give me what i want,
so i'm obliged to get after it all by my lonesome;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, June 9

COOKIEMONSTROUS!

chocolate cookies, dude.
crispy chocolate chocolate-glazed chocolate chip cookies.
yup.
a busy busy friday calls for busy busy blocks of sock-rockin' cacao cookie hottness.
yeah, man, that's real.
i've been making my cookies a little smaller- just a baby bit,
and just so i can make even MORE cookies,
because i want to eat alll the cookies.....
mmmmm.
check the teleport:

BLACKER AND CRUNCHIER AND MORE AWESOME THAN EVER!
y'want some of this sweet stuff?
you do?
come thru, b.
oh, you're not trying to see me?
ok.
but, then, would you like to make your own, instead?
yeah?
here's how:
-
*
CHOCOCHOCOCACAOCHOXXX
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
in an aesthetically-pleasing medium-sized metal mixing bowl,
cream together:
1 stick vegan butter;
>1 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla.
thoroughly mash that up, and stir in:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
1/2 cup raw sexxxy cacao;
3 T agave or maple syrup.
next, fire up the mini chocolate chips (i used 2/3 bag, however much that is....
i like chocolate chips, i like not measuring, i like cookies, i like you);
and mix in:
2 cups flour;
1/3 cup oat flour;
1.4 cup crushed unsulphured unsweetened coconut flakes.
knead it up, blend it all nicey-nice, so it's uniformly mixed,
and make little baby balls out of every last drop of that dough, yo.
i hand-flattened 'em,
since all that cacao makes them sorta stiff.
they hold their shape like champions because of it, so unless you want little nuggies
with raw centers and no sex appeal, y'gotta squish 'em a bit.
-
i got 3 dozen out of that bowl, and i baked 'em for like 15 minutes?
they are crisp, they are crunchy, they are rich af,
and they are 100% expert, neighbors.
i also activated some new-style ganache drizzlers, too.
yeah. that's a new thing.
2 T cocoa butter;
2 T cacao;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 T s'milk;
2 T powdered sugar;
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips-
that's tempered and untempered chocolate, working in unison
to make something better than either.
...tight.
oh, and nonpareil rainbow mini-dot sprankles.
YEAH!
y'can't just be a lil bihhh, and skip those cute sprankles, bro...
rules is rules, right?
that's the truth.
***********
so i made cookies.
and i ate a lot of cookies.
and i did a whole bunch of tattoos.
and i talked a whole lot of sh!t allllllll day long.
mmhmmm.
that's how i operate.
big broad strokes of big, fat, loud, fresh, hardness for your face.
y'know?
i say the things i think, i think about the things i feel, i feel like i'm onto something,
and all of it is really happening.
i'm over here sharing righteous vegan baked greats (baked goods aren't enough),
and i'm sharing my perspective with the captive but not-so captivated audience
of AMPERSAND TATTOO clients.
and i don't even feel the least bit sorry.
i mean, c'mon-
i'm ranting and raving and rambling in every direction,
but you get to munch up on some of those cookies while it all goes down.
the cookies are better than alternative viewpoints on all the things you like,
which i almost certainly dislike,
just like they're fantastic examples of how to make a cookie
that isn't an inhumanly inconsiderate piece of sh!t.
you get it.
you've got it.
you like it;
never quiet, never soft.....