Monday, July 22


semolina pasta noodles,
but they're PINK.

that's that powdered beetroot doing its thing.
homemade hottness is what i need.
even when i'm saturated by the humidity,
and a couple of burners on the stove boiling stuff
are getting it even hotter and wetter,
i'm still stayin' steady makin' meals that make me feel better.
and pasta, with an expert sauce is what reliably does the trick.
my sauce count was waaay down.
summertime marinara, man.
that's the good stuff.
fresh herbs from the garden, tomatoes everywhere, and flavor for miles.
homemade sauce is a miracle and it does wonders for my whole brain.
in a quart sized saucepot, with 1 tsp olive oil, combine and saute:
1/4 cup finely minced onion;
3 T finely minced purple carrot;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
2 T fresh chopped parsley;
1 T fresh basil;
2 large torn sage leaves;
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary;
2 tsp crushed oregano;
1 T nootch;
1/2 tsp GPOP;
stir it up, and add in:
2 tsp red wine vinegar;
1 tsp tamari;
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes.
next add 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes,
and half a cup of warm water,
plus some sea salt and black pepper,
and bubble that up to a boil-
drop it down to medium-low where it can simmer as long as you can let it-
i started my sauce before i began my pasta, so it had a lil exxxtra bubblin' time.
that is always good for you.
and the pasta is same as it ever was, neighbors-
1 cup flour;
1/3 cup semolina flour;
1 tsp sea salt;
2 tsp olive oil;
1/3 cup warm water;
1 tsp beetroot powder...
yeah yeah yeah,
kneaded, rested, rolled, cut, and boiled.
on arugula? OBVI on arugula.
that's green leaves, guy.
that's good for you.
so, homemade pasta for supper.
and how full was i afterwards?
the fullest.
it's a good feeling.
satisfied by my own efforts, the night progressed in sweat and heat and sleep;
never quiet, never soft.....


new hampshire!
that's the theme of this guy's tattoos.

this one is in the ditch of his arm bend,
and that's a really rough spot to get and to do a biggish tattoo.
but we managed, because we're motivated to do good things.
and we did.
a moose, bro.
with nature INside it.
you've probably never seen that before.
......ummmmmmm, right.
we draw all our own nature scenery, man.
so they're always individual, with varying degrees of originality.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is kind of a great place to be.
i mean it.
we're making art.
we're meeting new people.
it's an environment designed to welcome you in, and keep you comin' back.
i think it's working;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, July 21


i had convinced myself i deserved to get take-away indian food.
i was sure i wasn't gonna cook anything.
but, rules is rules,
and the first rule of righteous radical vegan active participation is:
so, i did.

that's 2:1 jasmine rice and quinoa.
so, that was tasty.
and the dal curry?
it was perfectly spicy, and surprisingly light for as hearty as i imagined it.
you wanna make it YOURself?
here's the plan, man:
in a 2 quart sauce pot, heat up 1 tsp coconut oil.
1 carrot, sliced;
1/4 cup thinly slivered red onion;
1/2 cup red and orange bell pepper, diced;
1/2 cup red lentils;
1 T cilantro stems;
1 minced red chili;
1/2" chopped jalapeno;
2 cloves sliced garlic;
1" skin-on organic ginger, chopped;
1/2 tsp cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, ground coriander seed;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1/2 tsp ea Garlic Powder Onion Powder, paprika;
2 cups water;
1 T ho'sauce;
pink salt to taste.
saute everything for five minutes, then boil it until it's thickened considerably.
before the red lentils turn to mush,
add 1 cup of chick peas, and stir it all up together.
that's IT.
and it's expert as F*!
no jokes.
i garnished it up with thin sliced jalapeno,
and lots of cilantro,
and scallion AND red onion sprankles.
neighbors, this is exxxactly what you need to have in your life.
i'm serious.
i had an acre of salad right beforehand,
to set the stage with cool crisp crunchy water leaves...
and between the leafy greens and these vibrant earth tones
my body felt way better than the weather permitted.
when it's hot, i'm way more tired.
and so is crabtree.
that's good news, really.
a tired dog is a better dog, that's my favorite kind of dog...
the whole valley is on the river, and the storefronts are a ghost town.
i s'pose that's okay.
there's a little work to do at the studio,
and there's a lot of work to do everywhere else, anyway;
never quiet, never soft.....


fresh picked wild new hampshire low bush blueberries,
courtesy of travis.
that's what i heaped in the heart of my tart.
i had the 5 am hot fire oven lovin' heatin' the kitchen up before the
rest of the day caught up to me and cooked the atmosphere into a
humid asthma attackin' airborne soup-consistency of breathable semi-liquid.
it was hot and wet and hard to endure the not-so-great outdoors yesterday.
the rustic crispy crust of a galette helped to make it bearable, though.
that's real. check it:

that means melted dark chocolate was spread out as the base of the thing.
blueberries and dark chocolate.
i added a splash of vanilla, and a squirt of non-dairy milk, too.
i like it smooth and creamier.
that makes it better.
the bloobs were tossed in powdery sugar, and mounded in the middle,
before folding up the dough and adding those braids.
i baked it at 410℉ for thirty minutes,
and the berries burst, the chocolate bubbled, and the whole thing really came together.
you want the dough recipe?
here it is:
in your food processor, combine:
2 cups king arthur all purpose flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup sugar;
1 stick + 2 T vegan butter- (10 T);
2 T vegan creamchee';
3-4 T non-dairy milk.
pulse it up until it's sticky and crumbly and holds form when pinched.
you don't want it mushy, it should be like pebbly sand.
wrap that in plastic and let it rest at least an hour, or overnight is even better.
i like a nice pastry.
i like it a LOT, really.
and when the bakin' goes well, it's a victory for my face.
there's not much else to say.
a little effort, and some free fruit, and i'm over here eating like a king;
never quiet, never soft.....


the eye of the tiger.
the thrill of the fight.
the smell of marijuana.
sometimes, people who LOOOOVE weed
forget that new hampshire isn't a fully-legal state,
and also those very same people couldn't possibly guess
that just because we're tattooers, we might not actually want to be
the stonery stone-zoners who condone or endorse that sh!t.
nobody is out here getting free tattoos, neighbors.
so i still got paid to zipzap up a tiger face,
even if AMPERSAND TATTOO had that skunky-skunk stink
for an hour after the eye of the tiger blinked and left.

not half bad, really.
that's an actual tiger that the client actually knows.
so that's cool, at least.
other highlights of the day included:
'never trust italians' said to me by a different client.
spoiler: i'm SO italian in my DNA.
y'know what made me even MORE excited?
he definitely started the conversation by saying-
'i don't even need to see what you're drawing, i trust you'
i guess i just don't have that kind of untrustworthy italian face.
also, he followed it with:
'new haven is a sketchy sh!thole full of shady people'
shoutouts to my favorite connecticut city, and big ups to the world's best pizza.
the other best part?
when a sunburnt redheaded grumplestiltskin
didn't know i was inside the studio on my way out the door,
and said:
'ummmmmm, AMPERSAND TATTOO? okaayyyyyyyyyy,
like *that's* original.
dudes, what?
i mean, for real, though- whaaaaat???
i popped out and responded:
i thought it was pretty good name but i guess i don't know what's good
so i should probably go F* myself, right?
...ever seen a red-faced redhead get even redder?
surprise, lil bihhhhhh.
she tried to play it off with some pointless conversation.
it's cool, though.
we're not for everybody.
we make better art for better people,
and not everyone is good, let alone better than that.
heck, we've got pottyheads fartin' up our space on occasion,
so who knows what's going on, really?
not me, man.
it's all really happening.
the weird conversation, the weirder people,
the epic-level environmental hot heat,
the summertime boomfire for our faces;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, July 20


beetroot powder?!
it's purple like a mutha, and it makes pasta look pretty cool.
check it out:

purple semolina tortellini pasta time was expert!
my good buddy travis came by for his yearly dinner visit,
and we got into some pasta magic pretty much right away.
let me tell you neighbors-
fresh thai basil was an unexpected addition,
but also F*ing awesome.
i HAD italian basil, but these longer leaves just hit different, and better.
and guys, rules is rules when it's pasta time- y'know?
fried garlic is always an essential element...
i went heavy on the oil,
and used the garlic-infused hottness
to blister those halved orange and red sweet baby grape tomatoes.
i don't know the last time i bought a regular tomato, bro.
the pasta dough was simple:
1 T beetroot powder;
1 1/2 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1 cup king arthur all purpose flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
2/3 cup warm water...
beat up in my upright stand mixer, with a dough hook attached,
until the whole thing was one smooth, sturdy, shiny ball-
you may need more flour, or more water, alternately, to get a real dough consistency.
humidity plays a big part in this portion, but eyeballin' is the way to go.
you can do it-
wrap and rest your dough for at least 10 minutes,
before rolling it out all thinny-thin thin on  floured surface,
and cutting a freakin' TON of  2.5" circles for pouchin' it all up.

the light was rubbish so the shots are kinda blurry,
and that's depressing as heck.
but the filling was so straightforward, but also pretty dang amazing.
there's the new-new cashew mozz.
AND lacinato kale, scallions, and finely minced red onion,
with GPOP pink salt and black pepper.
it's just so simple to drop a dollop of each thing in the centers and
twist, fold, pinch, and pack them into tiny tortellini shapes-
if y'boil those baddies up until they float, you're basically ready.
too much is the right amount.
and that's why i also made a gentle cream sauce, man,.
i did.
and it's DOPE.
that's a small saucepot, on high heat,
and 1 T olive oil;
1/4 cup soymilk;
salt, pepper, and GPOP;
1 tsp fire roasted tomato flakes;
1/4 tsp trader joe's umami powder;
1 tsp flour;
1 tsp lemon juice-
heated, stirred, and tossed with those torts, boi.
all of that on a bed of peppery, spicy, crunchy arugula?

that's how you make a meal for your friend that they can appreciate and remember.
i saw weird al in concert with breezy the other night...
and not for nothin'?
he was totally amazing.
no joke.
that's real.
we had a heck of a time, bookended by serious talking, and deep emotions.
folks, that's a LOT.
a comedy parody symphony experience?
that's wild.
i wouldn't ever do ANYthing fun if it wasn't for that woman.
like, never ever would i ever have gone alone.
but i'm glad i did it.
and i'm especially glad that we share these experiences.
i think that might be an important thing.
it feels important, anyway.
i am still exhausted from staying up extra late and getting up extra early.
i used to sleep four hours a night and be GOOD.
now, i'm just a beat-up and busted old man,
having the hardest time keeping my eyes open.
and i eff with caffeine a LOT just to not doze off during the day.
it's hard.
i don't know what's going on.
i'm just doing the best i can,
and regrettably that's just not very good-
real life can be hard, it seems;
never quiet, never soft.....


are you a girl?
do you maybe do hair?
or possibly have hair?
do you have a pinterest account?
then you DEFINITELY have a loved one's handwriting somewhere,
and you certainly want a mandala flower tattoo, asap.
hey, that's okay.
in fact,
that's great news, because i GOT you, lady:

drawn-on flowers and a little modified mandala.
i do this, a bunch, and i kind of like it, too.
i might even do it again today.
i think it's catching on....
it's a staple of girl power, and it's helping me keep my refrigerator full.
thanks for having a collective hive mind, ladies.
my mortgage thanks you monthly;
never quiet, never soft.....


one drawn-on pinterest-copycat first tattoo coming right up-

this dude got his first tattoo yesterday, drawn right on his body,
and while i looked at a picture he brought me for about a minute
but then i just made up the rest.
if you've got a phone and you'e googlin' tatts?
i'm not gonna really all-the-way do the sh!t you think.
no line-for-line tracing, neighbors.
i don't think it's fair to the actually creative people
who made the original design you wanna appropriate.
but i will reverse engineer some money-makin' movie-checkin' obvious reference...
i mean, a grand don't come for free;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 17


soft flour, bruh.
those are the ones.
for sure.
don't mind if i do.
i had the pico on deck-
that's a cup of chopped sweet tomatoes,
a half cup of diced red onion,
a punch of chopped cilantro,
salt, pepper, lime juice, and minced jalapeno.
that's expert.
i had the escabeche, too.
cider vinegar covering a batch of chopped carrots, radish, and garlic,
with a spoonful of raw sugar and a splash of pink salt.
that's expert, too.
i fired up an avocado, just because.
i love that greenish thing so much, man.
it's expert.
those soft flour jauns are really what's up.
i love a good soft taco, as you all already know,
but i'm gonna say it again, and again, and again.
i repeat myself...a lot... and i don't even give a single sh!t about it.
this is what's up:

that's half a block of tempeh,
a quarter of a red onion,
a half a cup of mixed hot and sweet pepper,
half a can of red beans,
salt, pepper, GPOP, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, guajillo, oregano,
fresh cilantro, a couple fo handfuls of baby spinach,
a squeeze of lime, a dash of salt, a shake or three of black pepper,
a shake of ho'sauce, a drizzle of tamari,
and 1/3 cup of water to fuse it all into one fresh batch of chili-ish taco crumble filling.
THAT'S the thing, neighbors.
good ol' blarpity blops of heavy duty manliness....
word up.
i mean, it's good right?

allllll the tacos.
too much is the right amount.
maybe even the only amount.
i know i'm not explaining how to make anything,
but i'm pretty sure the four people i know who can cook
already know how to make this stuff....
and everybody else is imaginary, so i'm not sweating that, either.
it's fine, buddy.
i still ate these tacos to fill up my feelings with something like fullness.
that's it;
never quiet, never soft.....


yeah, i'll eat a scone.
i miss 'em when i go to long without 'em....
it's been a minute since i last got into the scone zone,
so it's only natural that i went hard on some tasty tasty jauns.
that's real.
i went all in, and i was not disappointed.
check it out:

strawberry chocolate chip coconut magic.
you really gotta have 'em.
i mean, f'real.
if you don't chill the dough, you're a jerk.
that's how you make them do the right thing.
i'm serious.
there's plenty of fat in there, and if you let it warm up,
they aren't flaky.
and the flakiness is essential.
i have raw sugar sprankles on top for that exxxtra-exxxtra.
too much is the right amount.
and exxxtra sugar all over the top is wild as hell.
here's all y'gotta do:
preheat your oven to 400℉
2 1/2 cups flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
3 T tapioca;
1/3 cup raw sugar;
1 stick + 2 T vegan cold;
2 T vegan cream chee';
cut the fat into the flour, coarsely, then add:
1 1/2 oz freeze dried strawberries, slightly crushed;
1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips;
1/3 cup flaky unsweetened coconut;
add in 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt;
1/4 cup vanilla-coconut milk;
1 tsp vanilla...
stir until it gets a little sticky,
then fold, and turn and fold, and turn and fold,
and turn and that at least sixteen times.
it's heroic.
and that's it.
put it in the fridge, and let it cool out for twenty minutes-
press it down to about 1" thick,
add the sprankles across the top,
and just cut it into triangles, and arrange 'em on a tray, evenly spaced,
and bake them for twenty minutes.
that's it.
they're ready.
you win.
the scones are gonna get eaten and your whole life is gonna get better.
simple as that.
all the best textures, all the big flavors,
all the things that you want are all right there.
so good.
i want all the treats, but 43 is not a good age to overtreat yourself.
i gotta take it easy, but i definitely don't want to.
so i only had, like six of 'em.
moderation is my middle name;
never quiet, never soft.....


cookies are good for you.
is that real?
i'm not sure.
these cookies are good, though. i know that's true.

rock bloxxx are all i ever need to feel okay.
and i needed to feel better, so i baked up a big batch of sweet circular sexxxiness.
neighbors, there's no reason not to bake cookies.
they do good stuff to your insides and especially your brain.
that's inside your skull, and that's where the cookie activation hits hardest.
you want some of this hot ferocious sugary medicine for your face?
here's the recipe:
preheat your oven to 375℉
in a mixin' bowl, with a pasty cutter, cream up:
1 stick vegan butter ( 8 T );
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1 cup sugar.
add in, and stir up:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
2 T agave;
mix well, then add:
2 1/2 cups king arthur flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
1 cup mini vegan chocolate chips;
1/3 cup ground unsweetened coconut;
1/2 cup fresh ground oat flour.
mash all that together, and roll up some 2" balls
and arrange 'em on a baking tray or two or three.
bake 'em for 13 minutes, and get yourself in the mindset that can fully experience
the crisp-edged soft-centered superfly fresh-to-death dopeness that is a rock block.
word up.
they're just cookies, but they're also so much more.
and there's a lot of 'em, or there were anyway.
we demolished the whole heap.
that's what we do, dudes.
we eat allllll the cookies.
rules is rules.
....cookies, man. all of them.
just make 'em.
then chow down.
it's good for you, probably.
i know they make me happier.
maybe that's universal?
try it.
let's find out;
never quiet, never soft.....