Saturday, July 21

LINGUINE!

shoutouts to busy days with large tattoos on enjoyable people.
yeah!
...that sounds awesome, right?
i think so, too.
and at AMPERSAND TATTOO, that's all we really want.
although, when the day draws to a close, and this might make me seem greedy,
i also want a clear plan for an amazingly satisfying supper, too. 
i mean,
a good day is exactly that, but a good night is essential for maxxximum decompression
after all that back-bending hand-cramping finger-destroying tattblasting.
i work too much.
that's a fact.
and all i have to look forward to most evenings is dinner.
awwwww.
real talk, though, neighbors- the mealtimes are the highlight 
of my after-hours interactive participation.
which is why i spend so much time and energy thinking about dinner.
and that's why even when i want something fast, 
i just can't bring myself to take it easy.....
i wanted linguine.
man, i dunno why.
i never want linguine, except when suddenly, by surprise, i do.
so i did that.
and it was expert.
i'm not going to be the reason i have no post-work joy, boy.
that's the truth.
check the teleport:
SUMMERY ZUCCHINI IN FULL EFFECT!!
shoutouts to delightful diane for the garden veggies!!
i gave 'em the ol' oil-brushed grill-up, with some red onion, and a few tomatoes,
for all that summertime flavor packed tight for my fat F*ing face!
word.
i mean, really, zucchini, olive oil, salt, and heat?
you can't eff that up. but, don't stir it a lot, or you get mush.
and squashed squash should only apply to winter hard-skin varieties.
that's my opinion, and i'm pretty set on it.
...decreed, duders. that's it.
i have fried garlic sprankles in there, to activate it with savory sexxxiness.
and those chick peas took a tour around a hot pan for a few, 
just to let the leftover garlic-infused oil go to good use.
i love that. and i love working with purpose, and i love repurposing useful stuff.
lovely.
parsley sprankles, too?
yup, rules is rules, kids- don't intentionally make an ugly-looking plate.
c'mon.
it's all pretty straightforward.
al dente firm boiled linguine, in salty water....
and, of course, a super-deluxxxe tomato-based SAUCE!
woooooo!
-
*
SAUCE!
-
i'll be honest-
this was an amalgam of three kinds of tomato magic.
i used:
1 cup crushed fire-roasted tomatoes;
1 cup detroit-deep-dish exxtra-garlicky chunky sauce;
12 oz. onion & garlic marinated finely diced canned tomatoes-
and:
1 tsp ea GPOP; 1 T nootch; 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper;
1 T white wine vinegar;
parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil;
2 T fire-roasted tomato flakes;
simmered on medium low heat for as long as it took to bring a pot of water to a boil,
and then make the 'guine good to go.
-
the thing is, that sauce was F*ing TIGHT af.
and i added in two huge handfuls of baby spinach towards the last few minutes,
just to put some leafy nutrients into it,
and subsequently into me.
-
neighbors, 
in a way, it was just linguine- 
but, like, in all the ways i needed, it SO wasn't.
it was MORE than that.
and that was my bright spot for friday night.
not bad at all.
***********
i'll let you guys in on a little secret-
i've got pizza dough in the fridge, 
bulking slowly in anticipation of tonight's high-heat oven-lovin'.
mmmhmmm.
you already know i love pizza,
but did you also know that i love knowing that there's going to be pizza?
yeah.
today is officially good.
just. like. that.
not everyone loves pizza.
that's true.
some people are the worst, and can't hang out.
that's fine, because those people aren't invited, and that means more pizza for me.
it's saturday, it's warm outside, the sun is shining,
and tonight has pizza on the menu.
what else do we need?
i can think of maybe one or two things,
but i can wait, and let pizza tide me over in the meantime;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 20

THAI THURSDAY!

maaaaaan,
coconut curry is great.
like, really great.
i dunno if it's the cumin and the chili,
or all that garlic and ginger,
or some combination of other elements that turn what could've been
just sort of a spicy creamy soup....
i'm super psyched on coconut all the time.
and when you add a ton of vegetables?
and chick peas?
and leafy greens AND broccoli, too??
dudes,
that's what's sexxxy for supper.
look at this big ol' bowl of burliness:

WOOOOOOORD!
expert!
sticky jasmine rice is essential.
so is a garden-fresh basil garnish,
and cilantro and scallion sprankles,
and sesame seeds,
and jalapeno rings for added spice, too.
too much is the right amount, neighbors.
don't forget it.
there's a bed of baby spinach.
there's shredded purple cabbage.
and there's a whole bunch of coconut-oil fried sweet potatoes,
and that yellow curry boomfire for your tumtum and your bumbum.
woooooo!
*
it's F*ing TILTY, tight, and turnt the eff up.
-
*
YELLOW THAI CURRY!
-
y'got a larger than medium, but smaller than big pot?
i do.
it's like a gallon, maybe? i dunno.
but,
i had a teaspoon of raw coconut oil heated up in it,
and i added:
1 small red onion, roughly chopped;
1 cup rainbow sweet peppers, diced;
1/2 poblano pepper, diced;
1 large yellow carrot, bias-cut sliced;
2 stalks chopped celery;
3 cloves sliced garlic;
1/4 cup minced cilantro stems;
1 cup halved grape tomatoes;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1 tsp toasted cumin;
2 tsp turmeric;
1 tsp ground coriander seed;
1 tsp cracked black pepper;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
2 T red chili-garlic paste;
1 T wheat-free tamari;
2 T rice vinegar;
1 lime's juiciest juice....
sizzle all that for five minutes,
then add:
1 can full-fat coconut milk;
1 cup vegetable broth;
1 can drained rinsed chick peas.
bring it to a hard boil, then reduce it to a simmer and let it bubble
while you make the rice and sweet 'tatoes.
add a few cups of chopped broccoli,
and let that get softened slightly,
then serve the sh!t outta that big batch of from-scratch super-hottness for your face.
YEAH!!!
it's like half an hour of cooking?
that's pretty quick.
it might've gotten better if i'd waited longer, but i get SO hungry i just can't stand it.
ANYway,
i love food. and i love good food. and i love good spicy food.
and i love coconut in my food.
and i love good spicy coconutty food.
basically, i fell in love with dinner,
and then i devoured it.
isn't that romantic?
neighbors, good food is all i need to make any day better.
that's a fact.
add in good people, and good work to do,
and i'm psyched to barrel-A* through another 'nother juggernautical wild thrill ride of a day.
today is the day, again.
just like every day always is,
and i'm grateful for the time and the work and the food and the spaces, faces, and places
that are all overlappin' and interactin' and overreactin', and activatin' with me;
never quiet, never soft.....

SO MANY FLOURS!

potato starch.
chick pea flour.
sweet rice flour.
regular ol' rice flour.
corn starch.
tapioca flour.
almond meal.
xantham gum.
WTF.
gluten-free is flour-full.
it takes that many kinds of flour to make one flippin' cookie.
and even then,
they're good, but they're not real cookie good.
it must be difficult being glutarded, for sure.
it's difficult trying to make something expert with all those flours
stacked up against one wheaten white floury perfect batch,
but,
the things i'll do for the ones i care about are not to be dismissed.
i'll get it turnt up to eleven even if the drawing board gets revisited often.
these were closer than close to being great.
if you'd never actually had a cookie before,
you'd probably have lost your mind over how rad they were.
alas, i'm something of a snob in the cookie world,
so i have such a bias that i'm hard to please on a good day.
anyway, i got three dozen of these activated,
and with the addition of coconut and chocolate chips,
and a drizzle of icing,
the end result was worth a sh!t, and that's no joke.
check the teleport:

GLUTEN-FREE, neighbors.
an added degree of difficulty is not what i need.
but it's just What Is.
and that's actually sort of what i'm into a any rate, it seems.
maybe the harder way yields more rewarding results?
i dunno if that's 100% true, but i do know that that's the path i'm presently on.
making cookies without wheat, man.
and making them delicious.
with all those weird not-flour flours.
here's how it happened:
-
*
GLUTEN-FREE COCONUT CHOCO-CHIPS!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
in a medium mixing bowl, combine:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla.
cream that up into a uniformly pasty moosh,
and stir in:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.
next, add all the 'flours'-
1 1/2 cup almond-based mama's almond blend, whatever the eff that is;
1 1/2 cups all-purpose bob's GF baking blend;
1 cup large-flake coconut- unsweetened/unsulphured;
1 cup mini-baby vegan dark chocolate chips;
2 T cornstarch;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
1/2 tsp xantham gum;
1 tsp ea baking powder and soda.
-
it's a LOT, bruh, but that's what it takes,.
and the dough is STILL a wettish mess, after all that.
it's cool, though, because after 11 minutes, they looked good.
and they taste good. maybe a little light on the A*-end,
without a proper chain of proteins binding them together,
but, you'd swear they weren't trying as hard as they actually are
to be something more than all those effin' different powders combined.
the big coconut helps improve the softish texture a whole lot.
the chips add a little firmness that the flakes couldn't.
and in-between, the sweet sugary meltaway crumbs dissolve in your mouth.
they're weird.
they're also delicious.
that's good.
-
and,
once they'd cooled off, the powdered sugar/non-dairy milk/vanilla combio icing
turned them up another 'notch.
and that was a damned good move, too.
y'know?
too much is the right amount,
and one more thing is always invited.
***********
one woman.
yup.
that's who got me started on all the wheat-rye-spelt-barley flourless baking.
uh-huh.
because you do the thing that needs doing,
and if you have all the feels for somebody,
you go with the feeling, right?
right!
and if that means that wheat is off the list,
well,
then you make the necessary adjustments.
obvi.
trial and error and force of will multiplied by insight and instinct-
because what the F* is recipes?
no, really, i have no idea.
i write 'em,
but i don't use 'em.
that's real.
....which brings us to now.
trying to decipher the correct combination of ingredients and steps
in order to create the right thing.
it's harder than the ol' standard,
but it's, like, not THAT much harder, really.
the complications of the non-traditional process aren't exactly prohibitive,
just more involved.
and who doesn't wish they were more involved in the creation of what they want.
i mean, c'mon.
if i've gotta get into it a little deeper,
then that's where i'm going.
i don't have a recipe for any of it, but i'm also not an idiot,
i'm figuring it out.
a little bit of learning and a whole lot better every time.
that's what's really happening.
and the learning curve is steep af.
feel the feels, learn the new rules, make it more awesome.
that's it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 18

CAULI-WOBBLES!!!

fried food is maybe not good for you?
man, i dunno.
it could be that there are far more other options,
but i just sometimes wanna get fresh-to-death on some battered bug burly business, bro.
i rarely eat the fried stuff-
but when i do,
i go hard as heckfire, because it's a flippin' treat,
and treats should be the most exciting and expert jauns on the menu, man.
word up.
so,
i had a head of cauliflower, and not a lot else.
it's cool, i didn't really feel like going too crazy in the kitchen anyway.
i figured that a flash-fryin' fiesta would do the trick,
and i was right.
happily, i also had a few pints of canola oil heating up a few inches deep in a steel pan
on the stove top, with a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil infused throughout
to improve the flavor profile a hundredfold.
uh huh.
i doo-doo that custom sh!t, kids. yup. because it's good for you.
...so what did i end up with?
i ended up with a magnificent plate of delicious delights,
and it brought all the feels to my fat F*ing face instantly.
check the teleport:

BOOM!!!
sesame'd regionally-non-specific-asia-inspired fried cauliflower.
that's the hottness we needed desperately,
somehow without knowing about it ahead of time...
-
all the florets got chopped into roughly equal hunks.
that's important for even cooking.
then, they took a fat bath in a very sticky batter.
and the batter is what mattered when it was time to sexxx 'em up, neighbors.
really.
without a tight and TILTY batter situation, they'd just be soggy-bottomed bummers,
and that isn't ever what we want, is it?
EW. no way.
we only always want that good-good, exclusively.
and to have that, we gotta get the batter poppin' properly,
or else we're sucky suckers and don't deserve anything good ever.
ha.
-
*
BATTER-UP!
-
1/2 cup flour;
1/2 cup 1:1 gluten free flour;
1/4 cup chick pea flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
lots of fresh cracked black pepper;
2 T two-tone sesame seeds;
a dash of cayenne;
1 cup of warm water;
1 T rice vinegar;
1 T tamari;
1/2 tsp sesame oil.
-
that's what's up.
stir it thoroughly, and toss all the cauliflower in a big ol' bowl and coat it all up.
the stickiness, and the cauli-texture tandem tag-team the adhesion,
so you should have the best battered blops on the block.
if not, you effed up somewhere, so reasses your whole life, brother.
you're doing it wrong.
yikes.
ANYway, i didn't temperature test the oil.
but, it heated up on medium-high heat for like twenty minutes?
it was F*ing lava-vaporization hot,
and it made all those little gobi-globs get golden in minutes.
that was rad, because i was starving.
dylan came by.
that's the other set of chopsticks in the photo.
y'want a piece of good advice?
here y'go: feed your friends, it makes for better friends.
sharing a table with people makes better bonds and bigger connections.
food is what we all need, which makes it something we all have in common.
and common ground and common bonds build stronger relationships.
that's a thing.
look:

S'GOLD! S'TIGHT!!
they get a little sesame sexxx-up after they've been removed from the oil.
-
that's a T of tamari;
a T of rice vinegar;
a tsp of sesame oil;
a T of agave;
black pepper, and GPOP.
it's a glaze, guys, and it's hella good.
plus, MORE sesame sprankles, obvi.
AND thinly shredded radicchio ribbons, for color.
and so many green-oniony scallion sprankles, too.
with pea shoots underneath,
and dippin' sauce yin-yangin' all the way past ten on the scale, to eleven.
y'see the picture up top?
that sauce yin-yang?
totally coincidence.
but, still kinda cool.
-
the dippin' sauce was too simple-
1:1 tamari and rice vinegar, a splash of sesame oil, and lots of black pepper.
it doesn't seem like much, maybe,
but it makes ALL the difference.
MORE is what you want,
too much is what you need,
and exxxtra is always better.
rules is rules, man.
***********
i'm back at it all day every day all over again.
uh-huh.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is where i span most of my day, every day,
and today is no different.
there's always something to do,
and i'm always feeling compelled to do whatever it is.
yesterday was crafts and laughs,
today it's tattoos forever,
followed by another 'nother delightful dinnertime.
it's not exotic, but it sure feels good.
there's a rhythm to what i'm doing,
and it crashes down in deep subsonic bass-boosted earthquaking heartbeats
from within and without,
echoes overlapping in ghost circles and ricochets,
forming stars and flower-of-life venn diagram reverberations in perpetuity.
it's all really happening,
the spirit and memory of this Folk Life in the woodsly goodness
has got me feelin' a special kind of way;
never quiet, never soft.....

BERFDAY CAAAAAAKE!

i made two gluten-free vegan cakes.
one was almost perfect.
that's the one from ten days ago, with the disintegration problem.
also, it had oats without gf certification,
and brought on the complications of gluten-sensitivity with it.
tight.
then, i made a cake for a six-year old,
with all sorts of candy flowers and cutesy stuff on it,
which i was positve was 100% gluten-free....
and if the reports are to be believed,
it was a moisture-devoid crumbly brick of sad dryness.
bummer.
so,
i had a tasty one that actually fell apart, and wasn't even gluten-free,
and i had a totally together really-real one that was a block of crap.
that's humbling.
although, i could maybe use a recipe once in a while and figure out how it's done....
....but i won't.
that's not my flavor.
am i smarter than terrible flours that aren't from the world's best grains?
time will tell. as of right now, i'm super-dumb at it.
HOWEVER,
i do know how to make a cake that's sexxxy as heck,
using the real stuff.
word up.
i made a whole 'nother other cake,
with gluten,
for my buddy cam,
and it was expert af.
teleport:

VICTORIOUS.
a real winner, a real cake, a real rainbow homo gay'splosion for your face!!
yep.
cam is SO gay.
i only make cakes for gay people.
hmm?
well, for sure, i mean, everybody else can have a slice,
but they're all initially intended for ultimate gayness.
what?
what??
man, who cares who the cakes are for? ...that's the point.
it's F*ing cake.
if you don't believe in cake, you probably don't believe in dinosaurs,
or anything else that's cool.
so, maybe just have a slice and enjoy all the frosting and sh!t.
jeez.
y'all worry too much, neighbors
ha.
you wanna make a super-elite chocolate cake for yourself?
ok.
here's how:
-
*
CHOCO'CAKE!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
in your stand mixer, with the cake paddle on,
combine:
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
3/4 cup organic sugar;
1/2 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy soy-yogurt;
1/3 cup raw cacao powder.
-
get it all good and muddy,
then whip in:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
3 cups flour;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1 1/2 tsp bakey soda;
1/3 cup tapioca flour.
whip well,
and spoon evenly into 2 8" greased cake tins....
and bake for 35 minutes.
-
cool both pieces off on a wire rack,
so that when you frost it up, you don't eff it up with warm cake.
-
the frosting?
easy easy-
3 cups powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 stick vegan butts;
3 T vegan creamchee' (tofutti is king);
1/4 cup non-dairy milk,
whipped around in the stand mixer with the whisk in full effect,
until it's fluffed the F* up, bro.
you've seen cake. make it look like that. i believe in you.
eventually, i'll hit it just right, and make all the glutenlessness just as rad.
i know this because albie knows this,
and he's me and i'm him, and we're gonna get it together,
because that's how it is around here.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory was built for being better,
and better is all there is on the schedule, man.
pursuing greatness,
pursuing improvement,
pursuing happiness-
it's all a chase, and it's al forever out of reach,
but that's a good thing.
too much is the right amount, dudes.
whatever we've got today, we'll expand and expound upon tomorrow.
so, watch out bummer flours of the earth,
i've got you in my sights, and i'm going to take you down, for sure.
***********
all the kids.
yup.
all the kids were in this house yesterday.
...and it was good.
as far as introductory visits go, this one was molto encouraging.
it isn't my style to do things poorly,
and it isn't my interest to make small children feel poorly,
and when i'm over here trying to enrich my life,
and enliven the days of a group of littles,
what else would i do besides my damnedest to make it feel special?
right?
i mean, really,
if you know the right answer, but behave differently,
you're probably dumb, and definitely NOT invited.
always do the right thing, doctor.
that's it.
i got it.
i'm gone;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, July 17

PIZZA PARTY FOREVER!

another 'nother pizza?
yuuuuuuuup.
pizza is the best, man.
anybody who can't hang out with pizza is a real piece of sh!t,
and that's no joke.
me? i'm NOT a piece of sh!t,
and i also happen to really love pizza,
so that's kind of a good thing, for sure.
most recently, i tried a new thing.
yeah.
i put little bitty sexxy sprankles IN the dough,
and it turns out, that's an expert addition to my pizza repertoire.
mmhmm.
fire-roasted tomato flakes, dudes,
AND sossamon sesame seeds in both colorways.
heck yes, that's how you doo-doo that upgrade sh!t,
believe it.
the whole thing had a verrrry mediterranean vibe to it, too.
i mean it.
check the teleport:

WOOOOO!
c'mon.
that's some kind of wonderful, bro.
and that dough was ON POINT, too.
-
*
NEW DOUGHSKI!
-
preheat your oven to 450℉
-
in your uprighteous stand-up mixer, with the dough hook in place,
knead up:
2 cups flour;
1 1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 tsp sugar;
1 pkg regular-A* yeast (~1 T);
2/3 cup warm water,
w/ 1 tsp bread machine yeast bloomed with 1 tsp agave (5 minutes' worth of activation);
3 T vegan butter;
2 T fire-roasty 'mato flakes;
1 T sesame seeds.
-
knead it for 11 minutes and let it rise on up-
it'll likely get big quickly, for all the double yeast and warm weather around here,
it was poppin' off in record time.
we always stretch it on a steel tray, lightly oiled, and floured, as big as we can make it.
that's the only way.
smaller is stupid, and MORE is the truth.
too much is the right amount,
and that's the most true when we're discussing pizza.
really.
-
we have leeks on there.
well, like, a third of a cup of the whitest part of one leek, anyway.
and about a cup of sliced red onion, too.
there's MORE fire roasted tomato flakes,
and fresh cracked black pepper,
and fried garlic spranks, because rules is rules-
and nootch dusted on there too.
also, sliced baby grape tomatoes. why?
because we left off tomato sauce, and we left off chee',
so we added allllll the good things to keep it interesting and delicious.
the main event, however, was adding the smoky chick peas.
F* yes.
-
*
SMOKY PEEPEES!
-
toast up the following spices in a hot pan:
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1/2 tsp cumin;
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed;
black pepper;
1 tsp smoked hot paprika;
1 tsp paprika.
add a glug of olive oil,
and 1 15oz can of drained rinsed chickpeas,
and toss 'em all up until they're totally coated in spicy nicey-niceness.
that's how you turn it up, b.
real talk.
-
you add all the items to the surface of the thing, once the oven is hot enough,
and bake it for about ten minutes or so,
convection-style with all the circulation happening all over the place.
...what happened next?
next,
it got removed from the steel pan, and fired up directly on the oven stone.
the stone is so key, here, neighbors, for the best crust ever.
how long did it bake on there for?
until it was finished, man. obvi.
go get one if you don't have one....you'll thank me later.
-
......aaaaaaaand then it got the good garnish.
yeah!
cool cukes and freshie-fresh parsley!!!
that's how you keep it tasting like summer.
and then, last but not least, a little drizzle of SAUCE!

wooooooo!!!!
tahini sauce for the title fight championship bout.
yeah.
two spoonfuls of sesame paste;
1 T lemon juice;
2 T warm water;
pink salt, black pepper, GPOP, and sumac, to taste, stirred and set up,
and poured over the top,
for an over-the-top experience that can't be measured in any articulate manner.
y'all ain't ready for how good it really is.
***********
dog walking in the rain?
heck yes.
we've got a big day ahead of us,
and he needs to be exhausted for it to work the way i'd like it to.
that means an exxxtra-long trek through exxxtra-awful conditions.
crabtree is not intentionally awful.
but he IS awful.
he just wants to be included and paid attention to.
really, that's all most of us really want.
i try to keep that in mind...
y'know?
he's basically a three year old feeling left out of grow-up conversations.
it's hard, though, because he is also a whiny little b!tch-A*,
which is enormously irritating.
but, that's his thing, which in turn is my thing,
and the only thing that i can really DO about it is think differently about what i want.
it's that simple.
i want him to be asleep forever, and never need anything from me ever,
but he does need lots of love and physical contact and eye contact and ear scratches
and car rides and cuddles and sh!t.
that's NOT what today holds, at all.
so, it's tire-him-out-time, so he can interact without being absolutely awful the whole time.
here's the thing- i love him because he's always here for me.
and that's what i'm keeping in mind as i prepare us both for a big day of family togetherness.
he needs special care, and it's up to me to provide it.
all we have to do is not ruin everything.
sounds simple.
let's see if we can do it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, July 16

TICKTOCKTICKTOCK

what the eff even is having enough time?
besides probably not a real thing?
because i have no experience with enough of anything,
let alone time, which has been at an all time low level of scarcity
ever since i opened AMPERSAND TATTOO.
no foolin', i've been working more, and more often,
than all the everybodies i know, and i know some heavy-hittin' workaholics.
that's not a value judgement, it's a simple statement of allocation of available resources,
chiefly the spanning and passage of linear temporal movement.
y'know?
i put all my time into being at the tattoo studio.
why?
because i was made for that, man.
triple-threat multitasking and entertaining an audience all while training my attentions to
top-notch tattooing AND the immediate needs of my crew and clients,
and still holding court to the rogues' gallery and cast of characters
that regularly come through the doors of the shop.
that's a thing.
the catch? sometimes, there's no time to think about dinner, or to go to the grocery store,
and suddenly, out of nowhere, it's time to eat food,
and nobody knows what right the answer is to the big question:
what are we having?
neighbors,
i don't need a lot of direction-
i mean, really, i'm already well aware of the prime directive:
just be dope, or F* right off.
and i also know the number one rule:
too much is the right amount.
what else is there?
sooooooo,
if that's the motivation, and that's the plan,
as ambiguous as it might seem to those uninitiated
in the wise worldly ways of warrior poetry in motion,
the the only thing left is to do what needs doing with whatvere is on hand to do it with.
that's my specialty.
every no-grocery day is real life improvisational culinary experience.
saturday was no exception.
thanksful-giving gratitude and generosity in a big batch of baked burliness?
don't mind if i do, dudes.
check the teleport:

WORD.
that's a rice and lentil blend in that one corner-
red and green lentils, plus brown, white, and black rice-
y'just boil it up, buddy, and you've got a pretty flippin' expert little thing going on.
so that's cool.
meanwhile, i feel like i should mention what a grey rainy bummer of an evening it was.
that was where my inspiration came from.
it felt like autumn.
dark and dismal and dour and dreary-
that sort of atmosphere begs for root vegetables and comfort.
and since i had that, i made that, because that's the right answer.
two red potatoes, chopped into chunks, olive oiled, salted, and baked on parchment
until golden was where i got started-
the oven was cranking a 400℉.
i knew that the ricey stuff was gonna take half an hour at least,
so that was what i based all my bake times on.
you do that? tight. we're pretty cool, aren't we? well, maybe you are.
i'm  really just hungry all the time.
so, while the lentil jauns were soaking up hot liquid,
and the 'tatoes were getting all kinds of good, i also had that hearty vegetable blend
poppin' off  in the oven as well.
wu-TANG, kids. i want all that hottness for my face, all the time-
that's a head of cauliflower, chopped uniformly;
two carrots, one purple, one orange;
two stalks of celery, chopped;
one small red onion, in hunks;
two cups of homemade sourdough, cut into fat cubes;
parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, GPOP, nootch, and black pepper;
and 1 cup of veggie broth, poured over the top of all of it,
and tossed uncovered into the oven to roast until everything was all ready all at once/.
y'know how good it feels when everything is ready at the same time?
it feels like you just won a prize, guys.
and really, you kinda did, because all that good stuff is there just for you.
mmmmmmmm.
yeah, i also tossed some baby kale in there.
i like green things.
they're good for you.
-
the real superhero of the meal though?
homemade expert sexxxy vegan gravy.
yeah!!!
-
2 T flour;
2 tsp bouillon;
1/2 tsp ea Garlic Powder Onion Powder;
2 T nootch;
2 T olive oil;
heated to make a thick roux, just enough to toast the spices
and remove the rawness from the flour,
before adding 1 1/2 cups water, and letting it all thicken up on high heat,
stirring to prevent lumps, until it's the best smelling and tasting thing
in the whole wide world.
i'm just sayin', if you're already going hard on the roots,
y'might as well fire up allllll the gravy too.
that's the right answer, man.
***********
and now, after days and days and days in a row of tattzapping and dog walking
and sleepless nights drenched in sweat,
and sleepless nights drenched in happiness,
and sleepless nights drenched in distress,
i'm taking tomorrow OFF.
that's right.
i've got prior engagements that demand my attention at it's fullest.
that's what has to happen,
so that's what's happening.
i've got my sights set on a whole new world's worth of responsible adulthood,
and i'm so ready i can't even stand it.
it's all a matter of time,
it's all a matter of what matters, and while it all matters,
tomorrow matters the most;
never quiet, never soft.....

BELATED...

i had alllll the gluten-free stuff on friday.
i did.
also,
i had NONE of the good ideas for food on friday,
so i just took all the things i had in the house and threw them,
forcefully, onto a skillet to get all hot and bothered.
look:

that's a pretty random heap, huh?
i know,
i had habanero ho'sauce all over brussies and chickpeas, with red onions wilted all around 'em.
y'wanna know the recipe?
put habanero hot sauce all over vrussies and chick peas, and add red onions, and let it all cook.
tight, right?
yeah.
there's tempeh, rehydrated in broth, and fried in a touch of oil
with smoked paprika and GPOP, and agave and black pepper,
all just glugged and shaken and cracked all over it.
i had two pretty big hunks of red and green cabbage, so i charred those F*ers up, too.
that's the best.
a lil baby drizzle of olive oil, and high heat,
and basically ignoring them until they're kinda blackened, then flippin' 'em
and re-ignoring them.
that's pretty easy, no? yep.
i had tomato halves and purple carrots in that same pan, getting just slightly blistery
and maybe a little burnt on the edges.
that's nice.
there's sprouts and shoots and cukes and radishes for coolwater crawnch,
and fresh flavor and exxxtra nutrients and all that sort of sh!t....
man, listen, i needed to eat. i had the hunger hate coursing through my veins,
and i had no focus for foodstuff fanciness-
i mean, c'mon, there's rice noodles and AVO-F*ING-CADO and radicchio ribbons, too.
i had no clue what was supposed to be happening,
i just know for sure that all of it really was going to go together
and get inside my fat face as fast as possible....
that happens sometimes.
it wasn't a plan, but it was delicious, and sometimes, that's the happy ending we need
when everything seems like it doesn't go together, and it's all just a mess.
if it ends up dope? you win.
and i won.
*
so, there's this other thing happening.
i'm getting a giant dumpster, and performing a massive tactical surgical exorcism
of all these old ghosts that haunt my heart and my home.
that's no joke.
all the big bye-byes from days past have left huge parcels of property behind,
taking up space in all the long-neglected corners of my physical domain,
and also, lingering at the periphery of my attention.
that's bad for you, like shrapnel in an old wound-
the good news?
i'm cutting it loose, and letting the future unfurl to it's fullest potential.
....which starts with a massive purge, with hot fire and lightning,
and a huge rubbish receptacle to bin all the bummers and boxes that crowd out
the new hottness, so that an intertwined fresh start can flourish in brighter, freer,
clear and expert interactive participatory present.
i'm feeling more than motivated to make the moves that make the magic happen.
now, the real question is: where the holy F* did that come from?
it's the direct result of open, honest, introspective self-awareness, man.
if you can tell the truth to yourself, and you can tell the truth to anybody.
 and truth tellers should never stop.
i want the big deluxxxe big family togetherness, neighbors.
and that means i have to do the things that need doing to make that dream a reality.
so, adios, everything taking up space but not paying rent,
and hello artistry-in-residence paying back dividends in joy.
that's a thing.
letting Folk Life & Liberty navigate the course and create a Fortress thrice as full,
tenfold as fresh, and forcefully fulfilled with all the best things that aren't even things.
real life continues apace, only somehow a little bit more real and surreal at the same time;
never quiet, never soft.....

BREAD!!

good bread makes better people.
that's a fact.
and i'm on some heavy wheat activation here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and it's a revelation every time the oven gets fired up.
natural fermentation is really cool.
the F*ing air makes flour and water come alive!
and then it eats all the exxxtra flour,
then, after about a day, a big fluffy living organism, yeast and salt and water and flour,
makes a loaf of dough....the oven turns that into alchemical excellence,
with crust and crumb and all those pentosans, like a pro, bro.
you want a whole lotta pictures of bread?
ok.
i'll just leave this here for you:

.

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.

.

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uniformly, these are all expert examples of wild, natural science at work.
...with a little bit on beauty by way of the banneton baskets they bloom in.
i like to share what i do in the early a.m. with y'all.
i mean, i bake a lot of bread, and i eat a lot of bread, and i give away a lot of bread.
it's sort of a community building exercise for me and my people.
breaking bread is an age-old form of connectivity with others.
and my table is set up for sharing with everybody.
i take a picture of every lovely loaf i've ever made, tha's just a thing that happens.
and every so often, i share all of that with you.
hope you liked it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 13

LUCKY?!

it's friday the thirteenth.
that's cool.
i mean, it's not NOT cool anyway.
but y'know what's cooler than a hockey-masky kind of camp-counsellor-killing day?
yeah.
pizza.
OBVI.
pizza is the coolest.
and pizza is the best.
and pizza is the TRUTH.
also,
all throughout july, i hadn't even had a homemade super-sexxxy one yet.
until now.
i mean, c'mon.
pizza is what we want, and need, and love, so piozza is what's happening.
and not just any pizza, either-
nope.
a turbo-deluxxxe detroit rock city deep dish square is where we took pizza night.
and it went straight to eleven, man.
no joke.
check the teleport:

HOLY SH!T, neighbors.
i sometimes still even surprise myself with how expert these jauns get.
the sauce in chunky as F*.
the crust is buttery and fluffy and firm and soft-centered and perfect.
the cheesy pull? elite.
and the filling is on point, as if it was time to rock a funky joint...
that's real.
did i bake it in a brownie pan? you bet your A* i did.
guys,
i don't think i can accurately explain how much this pizza was appreciated.
that crust! that sauce! that sausage!
vegan pizza is usually pretty good.
this vegan pizza is totally amazing.
lemme start with the da-long cold-proofed dough-
-
*
DEEP-D-TROIT!
-
in your stand mixer, as always, combine:
1 cup bread flour;
1 cup semolina flour;
1 pkg regular-A*-actin' yeast;
1 tsp salt;
 T vegan butter;
3+ T cornmeal;
3/4 cup warm water w/ 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp bread machine yeast bloomed.
beat it up for eleven minutes, on low speed,
and then cover it and put it right in the fridge all damned day long.
that's it.
when you get home, take it out, and preheat your oven to 475℉.
add even MORE vegan butts to your rectangular brownie-style cake pan,
and press the dough all the way to the edges, so it can bulk a bit before baking.
that's key.
the in-situ rise up makes for a substantially more excellent experience.
-
meanwhile,
dylan (surprised?) sauteed some onions to a perfect caramel brown softness;
and he sauteed all the peppers, too-
red orange and yellow jauns, all cooked precisely right.
i fried up a LOT of garlic,
and browned the last four thin-sliced red lentil seitan sausages,
and made some pretty powerful chunkin' tomato sauciness, as well.
-
*
CHAWNKY SAUCE!
-
20 oz fire roasted tomatoes;
1/4 red onion;
1/2 purple carrot;
2 cloves fresh garlic-
food processed enough to get rid of anything enormous,
but not smashed up enough to be smooth.
brought up to a hard bubblin' boil in a saucepot,
and then simmered with salt, black pepper, and GPOP,
while the oven heats and the veggies sizzle, and so on and so forth.
-
y'like that? you should, because it's great.
like, SO much flavor everywhere.
and that's how it is s'posed to be, guys.
too much is the right amount.
f'r'instance-
the minced daiya mozzarella quantity?
BURLY.
one layer on the bottom of the crust.
then a heavy handful of arugula and all the onions;
more daiya over that-
and then the sausages and the peppers;
followed by even MORE daiya.
yup.
it's deep dish, not b!tch-pie, bro.
then alllllll that rich, thick, succulent tomato sauce,
with a shake of nootch over the top, to cheese it up and put B-vitamins all up in there, too.
then, there's fried garlic sprankles.
OBVI, bro.
rules is rules,
and pizza parties around here don't ever start until the spranks show up.
you bake this baddie for twenty minutes, turning once, at the halfway point,
to ensure maxxximum evenly-distrubuted delights are activated on all sides.
yeah.
the there's garden-fresh basil on top.
y'know?
because this is a mutha-effing MASTERPIECE,
and that final flourish is a crescendo of flavor that ties it all together.
LOOK AT THIS:

c'mon, kids.
that's what you need.
.....
i LOVE PIZZA.
full stop.
that's all.
*
this weekend is yet another 'nother full one.
i've got stuff to do,
i've got work pouring out of my eyes,
i've got dog responsibilities and dinner desires
and an exercise regimen that shouldn't be neglected,
especially if i'm going to choose to dominate pizzas like this.
it's ALL really happening, and i wonder why i'm like this?
always doing something,
never taking a minute to breathe,
falling asleep standing up,
and running around back and forth in a loop over and over and over.
that's only going to get me so far.
it keeps me elbows deep in pizza, for sure,
but there may actually be a little baby bit more to life than that.
we'll see how true that is in the next few months.
i'm clearing out the two back rooms of my house, guys.
making space for sharing a better life.
i can't believe it either, but that's what's up.
it's a twenty-step process, and most of them have to happen simultaneously,
so the routine i'm running around inside currently is about to come to a crashing cease,
and a whole new and different bigger better burlier scene is unfolding
right in front of my F*ing face.
i'm braced for whatever comes next,
and i'm moving SO much stuff beforehand;
never quiet, never soft.....

DUMP HEAP!

hey guys,
do y'all know about me and dumplings?
like, how i love 'em, and when i make 'em, i make a LOT of 'em?
do you know about how i gotta have two separate sauces?
or how i prefer two-tone sassy sesame sossamon seeds IN the wrappers?
do you know about tamari-glazed wilted bok choy?
^^that's not dumpling-specific, but if you're an expert,
you'll add it to the meal anyway.
real talk.
dumpling night, kinda potsticky and sorta gyoza-y,
and tight and TILTY and fresh to death....
that's what's up.
ok. maybe you already know, or maybe you're new to the scene.
either way, you get to see it right now, via teleport:

DUMPS ON YOUR FACE!!!
man, that's a F*ing epic heap of 'em, innit?
i knowwwwwwww. and me and dylan, my frequent foodie compatriot,
devoured each and every last one of 'em with the quickness.
savoring dumplings is NOT what they're designed for.
no way.
they're flavor grenades, neighbors.
y'feel me?
bit off one end, spoon some slippery sauce in there to set the charge,
dunk it in the boomfire sauce, toss the whole pouch into your face,
and let the taste exxxplosions shock and awe your dumb tongue into ecstasy.
....it's the only way to do it.
and it's muh-fuh'n rewarding every single time you eat one,
which, in instances like this, is a lot of times.
too much is the right amount.
and too many dumplings is NOT even a real thing.
-
here's a little sumthin'-sumthin' you might find interesting:
i don't think i've ever made the same filling twice for these lil jauns.
honestly, i don't know why not,
other than maybe an obsessive pursuit of the new hottness?
could be.
the stuffin' in these would certainly be invited back, though,
if i were the type who was capable of a do-over.
-
*
DUMP STUFF!
-
in a medium pan, with a tablespoon of hot sesame oil,
saute:
1 bunch diced scallions;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 finely minced carrot;
2 cups shredded cabbage (purple and green)
1/2 block crOmbled exxxtra-firm tofu;
GPOP, ground ginger, fresh-cracked black pepper;
and a splash each of tamari and rice wine vinegar.
cook it down until the veg is softened,
which is a fast process with such small bits of everything.
let that cool,
and get your dummp-dough going...
-
*
 DUMPWRAPZ
-
in your trusty stand mixer, in all it's indefatigably dutiful dopeness ,
combine:
2 cups all purpose flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 T two-tone sossamon sesame seeds;
3/4 cup warm water.
beat all that up for ten minutes, and let it rest for another 'nother ten.
roll it out hella thin on a well-floured surface,
and cut some 3" circles out, over and over, re-rolling the trim,
until you've got, like, forty of those bad boys.
can you guess what comes next?
yeah.
stuffing 'em.
a spoonful of filling in the center of every flap,
folded in half, pinched shut, and crimped simply to seal it.
over and over and over again.
when they're all packed with the goods,
heat up a great big pan with a glug of sesame oil,
and get it plenty hot.
arrange all the dumps (you may need to do two batches if you don't have a great great big pan)
in a fan, or however you deem the best tetris arrangement,
and let 'em sizzle for no more than two minutes,
before you add 3 T water, and lid the whole whole thing
for maxxximum steamy dreamy hot-fiery high-heat cook-up activation.
it's real.
when the liquid has disappeared into the floury shells,
turn each one onto the long side, and let that brow up a bit, too.
the second side sear is key, kids.
rules is rules, and single sear is for suckers.
don't be a sucker, be a deluxxxe dump-trucker and do it right.
i'm just sayin', you might not think it matters.....ut you're wrong.
look:

SEE??!!?
that's how it's s'posed to be, b.
word up.
y'see that sexxxy sauce?
you need it.
you really do.
-
*
SSSSEXXXY SAUCE!
-
2 T tamari;
1 T rice wine vinegar;
1 tsp sesame oil;
1/2 tsp toasted sesame sprankles;
1 pinch of minced fresh green onion (scallion, whatever);
2 cloves crushed garlic;
dash of GPOP;
1/2 tsp sugar.
^ DASSIT, duder.
perfection.
-
but, that's not all.
no way.
we don't bring the weak sh!t up in here.
only super-bummery bums would stop at this point.
there's a whole other 'nother sauce, too.
yup. a spicy one.
-

SPICY SAUCE!
-
4 tsp sriracha;
1 tsp texas pete ho'sauce;
1/2 tsp sesame oil;
2 shakes liquid smoke;
1/2 tsp tamari;
toasted sesame seeds;
black pepper.
HOT, in a good way, and not so hot that it sucks the joy out of the room.
this is an outside sauce.
like, on the surface.
whereas the other one is slippery, and slides around in the filling by design.
you'll see. don't listen to me, find out on your own.
that's what i'd do, too, if i thought i wasn't a sauce savant (which btw i am)
-
raw pea tendrils for protein and chlorphyll and nutrients an' that-
actually they just look pretty sweet, but whatever, man.
and then there's that bok choy-
which is seriously a whole head of chopped choy, a splash of tamari, and heat.
like, a minute of doing something gets you all that awesomeness.
i'm with that, bro.
forever.
on the ones:
DUMPLINGS are F*ing terrific.
that's all there is left to say.
***********
work?
don't mind if i do.
play?
not so much.
i've got Folk Life & Liberty Fortress amendments that desperately need making.
there's years' of hermit-style living that have to be corrected,
in order to make room for more of everything good, and soon at that.
for far too long i've been living all alone, ignoring the improvements and upgrades
that glaringly scream out for attention from almost every room upstairs.
yikes.
and when i say living all alone, that's been true even when i had cohabitants
constantly creepin' around.
i guess i just needed the proper motivation?
or the right combination of circumstances and characteristics?
what do i know?
i know that the haunted house i live in needs an immediate overhaul.
that's for sure.
i've got the whole horizon aglow with sunshiny brightness,
and it's lit a fuse for Folk explosions in the woodsly goodness.
it's all happening.
fast;
never quiet, never soft.....