Wednesday, December 7


it's just so dark out all the time.
it's not news, really.
every single year, time come and goes a little faster,
and the dark, while consistently deep, and uniformly unwelcome,
seems longer.
maybe because, as time races away,
it shows up sooner than expected, despite the schedule being constant.
i dunno.
but, i do know that it makes me want to bury myself in hot, hearty food.
y'know the term fat and happy?
well, i think the best i can achieve is half of that.
how will i go about thickeing my middle up?
how about black rice ramen noodles on that organic tip?
all the veggies,
and twice the hottness?
heck yes.
greens and sprouts,
both hot and cold?
you know it, neighbors.
what's the haps at suppertime in the woodsly goodness?
i think it's noodz, bro.
sending noodz to my bellyhole,
and taking dumps on my face!!
check the teleport:

shredded fresh dark purple cabbage on the bottom,
black noodoo jauns on top.
with pea tendrils, cucumber spears,
and sesame-oil and soy-glazed carrots, onions, and purple brussies,
braised in seitan broth!!
not to mention red and green chili peppers, crispy and molto hot.
with soy-and-sesame-seeded seared cauliflower,
and mixed red microgreens!!!
y'know what stole the show, though, guys?
those agave-tinged tempeh medallions!
soaked all day in a seitan-broth and rice wine, soy, and liquid smoke marinade,
and pan fried until perfect on both sides?
you need that.
i used GPOP, ground mustard, crushed coriander seed, fresh garlic, and agave,
and let 'em soak in it from morning until night.
what a victory for my mouth to enjoy.
cilantro and scallion sprankles, too?
rules is rules, buddy.
you know what's up.
that's a big bowl of goodness.
it's actually a double serving of the ramen, and a ton of everything else....
too much is the right amount,
and that meant i also had to activate a whole panful of DUMPLINGS!!!!
wordimus prime.
50/50 wheat and brown rice dump skins,
with whole toasted flax seeds for added awesome,
full to bursting with the tempeh trimmings, cabbage, carrot, onion and garlic.
i make 'plings pretty often these days, so i'll spare you all the repetitive deets,
but suffice to say-
they ruled, the sauces were bosslike and in charge of being dope,
and i overstuffed them, and they overstuffed me.
together me and my dumps took the evening's repast
straightaway to a loud, fresh, hard eleven.
sugar, ho'sauce, sesame oil, tamari, rice wine vinegar, GPOP,
scallions, ginger, and a dash of water.
that's the sauce.
no precision, just drips and drops
until it looked like something i'd drizzle into a dumplin'.
if i can do it, you can do it.
so, do it.
today is my dad's berfday.
and he's old, now.
for real, even.
i s'pose i'll call the dude,
and wish him a happy happy.
it's just slightly more tha the literal least i could do.
today is pearl harbor day.
as a twofer,
maybe i'll torpedo him,
kamikaze myself down into connecticut,
and then declare war from the wreckage of my vehicle?
i've got too much dog walking looming over me,
in the driving snow,
to spend time any exxxtra time driving my car.
there's plenty of divine wind whipping these flakes,
awaiting my face out in the woodsly goodsly unsafe spaces, anyway,
so i guess, even without a surprise attack,.
i'm still sinking before the day is done.
hard styles and bitter cold-
heavy on the bitter, it seems.
today is that day, and that's What Is;
never quiet, never soft.....


all that krampusing had me feelin' pretty good,
and got my inner cravings creepin' on that austro-bavarian sweetness.
that's a thing.
events flow fast and full along a linear progression of spirit and memory,
and they add up to something special.
.....this is one of those times.
what'd i do about it?
i made linzertorte.
because site-specifically, that's the go-to treat for times like these,
and also, as you'll already know if you've ever had some-
linzertorte is SO DOPE.
no foolin'.
it's got a whole mess of good flavors,
and textures,
and when it's baking?
the whole house smells like christmas miracles.
i think i did a good job,
for approximating a recipe from recollected reminiscences.
check the mutha-flippin' linzer-type teleport:

raspberries, lemons, almonds, sugar, spice,
and all the hottness you could ever hope to have inside your head.
this is IT.
the crust is straightforward, but it's also straight-up fire for your face.
and it goes a little somethin' like this-
almost 1 cup raw sugar (take it easy on the sugar, this thing is serious)
1 cup a.p. flour
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup cooked almonds
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick plus 4 T butts
3 T creamchee'
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cloves
1/2 lemon's zest
all of that, all at once, into the food processor,
with a squeeze of lemon juice if it seems to dry-
the almond meal should make it sticky quickly, tho.
when it holds together when squezzed, it's ready.
pack it up in plastoc wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
that's half of the thing already practicaly ready already.
that filling is good, neighbors.
it's thick, it's tart, it's sweet,
basically, it's pretty much totally lovely,
and as such, i love it!
it needs to cool a bit before it goes in there,
so make it while the dough is resting-
do it this way, if you'd like-
12 oz frozen raspberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 T seedless raspberry jammie-jam
3 T lemon juice
2 T lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
^ simmered until the berries begin to soften,
remove 1/4 cup of the liquid,
and prepare a starch slurry to firm the whole F*ing thing up.
i used cornstarch,
but you can use arrowroot or agar. i don't care.
1:1 ratio of wet and dry, whisked into a light pink chalky shake,
and added in whilst the heat is turned up....
that'll have the whole thing ready in a flash.
let that cool, and the dough take it easy,
and heat your oven up to 375F at the same time.
do you have a tart pan?
now you know what to ask santa for, right?
the dough was rolled to about 1/4 ", and cut out to fit the bottom,
while the sides were trimmed and pressed in by hand, for thicker walls, ya'll.
the cool raspberry hottness took its turn getting dumped in,
and all of that got lemon zest sprankles on top.
the stars made their appearance, as ornamental magic took shape across the surface.
the sexxxy food is the best food,
especially, and specifically when it comes to treats.
real talk.
that's why the whole thing got fancy decorative sparkly sugar sprankles as well-
too much is the right amount, man.
believe it.
i baked that sweet baby it for about 35 minutes, until the edges started to goldify,
and i confess i ate that slice while it was still just a little warm.
i couldn't help myself.
i'm just sayin',
everywhere i went, in and around the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
that almond lemon berry aromatic activation had me going crazy!!!
the smell alone is worth the effort.
i ate A LOT of that tart myself.
and i shared it.
i'm not a A*-hole.
it's my day off, duders.
it is snowing.
XI-mas shopping needs to be done with much more intensity
than the underenthusiastic effort i've managed thus far.
i mean it-
i have done a fair bit of present-gettin' so far;
and while i know the season is about a whole bunch of sentiment,
and possibly family togetherness,
and warm cocoa and chestnuts or whatever.....
i think it's about gifts.
sorry, bro.
i'm an expert gift-giver not a thought-that-countser.
i think that without a tasty companion to impress,
my motivation to muster up holiday cheer has taken a decided turn downwards.
forty years old and flying solo at the pinnacle of presents and presentation?
it's sort of a nightmare scenario for someone such as i, guys.
yes, on the bright side,
my children will reap the rewards of my undivided focus this year,
but me?
i can count on having a pretty bleak morning, afternoon, and night,
on the eve, the X, and the XI-mas.
i'll bet it only gets even better as the new year,
and another 'nother bullsh!t berfday creep right up behind the big day.
back to back to back,
and blacker and blacker and blacker than black.
i hope y'all are the type to just look at the pictures,
because this christmas card got pretty sh!tty at the end.
the thing of it is,
it's all really happening.
that's the biggest problem with telling true stories-
they hurt;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, December 6


the sourdough is dope,
but it doesn't bubble up around the edges of the crust,
like the regular dough.
i mean, it's not the end of the world-
i'll certainly live through the lack of big bubs,
i do miss 'em a little tiny bit.
no way, i'm not referring to bread-
i've got impossible oven spring and irregular crumb for miles....
i'm talking about pizza.
the crust is crisp, even with the welcome addition of commercial yeast,
to coordinate a concerted bulk, 
and a very rich, righteous, ripe, cold ferment in the fridge.
the dough seems to stretch a bit better with the tandem twosome in there.
i always add just a pinch more gluten than the semolina already has.
look, dudes,
i do it like this-
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
1-2 T wheat gluten
1 pkg commercial yeast
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 T salt
2 tsp sugar
1-1 1/2 cups warm water, added in one cup, 
plus more as the initial mix develops-
i give it two big rises and punch-downs, 
then put it in the fridge for 12 hours-
then i divvy it up into 4 individual pizza portions,
and i'm ready to 'za the F* out whenever.
and i doo-doo that wedge-shaped sh!t often.
this most recent foray into freakin it off had me feelin' very excited.
a whole other 'nother new realm of pizza-related hottness was achieved,
and i'm happy to report i will be venturing down this pah again.
check the curry-in-a-hurry-type teleport:
we got cashew-garlic-tofu custom underchee' laid down heavy on the bottom,
with daiya mozzarella gettin' hella sexxxy over that,
and a parsley-cilantro leafy layer dumped over all that chee'.
that's the bedrock foundation of a burly bomb batch 
of bigger business than i might've originally envisioned-
too much is the right amount,
and i forged ahead with my plan to produce a plentifully flavorful 
batch of heavy HEAVY duty doo-doin' on a baked breadsly plate!!!
cornstarch, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, soy sauce, GPOP,
black pepper, crushed coriander seed, and cayenne all combined by the spoonful
to make a coating for cube after cube of super-duper-firm baked tofu cubes.
while the oven preheated,
on parchment, i had the 'fu pitying fools,
and that cauliflower doing it's best impression of a yellow-bellied baby b!tch.
cumin, turmeric, Garlic Powder & Onion Powder, black pepper, sumac, 
cilantro, paprika, and aleppo pepper, all tossed together in a little 
 coconut oil,
made that cauliflower explode with awesomeness.
i let the oven take care of the increasing heat, and well before it was
prepped for pizza, the tofu was ready, and not long after, the 'flower followed suit.
plus, there's asparagus, simply because i like asparaugus,
barely braised before being tossed on top,
and naturally,
because rules is rules, and onions are where all the flavor lives,
carmies are strewn about as well.
that's a lotta topping time for one person's bellyhole-
but, that wasn't even it!
no way.
i'm committed to tuning up a TON of vegan pizza sorcery in every single serving-
and that's precisely what i did, too.
tomatoes for color,
and slices of fried garlic to turn the overall gastric gurgle factor up to eleven!!!
that's it, right?
no way, buddy-
i mean just look at it-
there's also sriracha drizzles to sizzle any weakness off of your tongue.
if you aren't prepared to wage war on your stomach's maximum capacity
with slice after slice of maxxximum hottness,
i'd hope you'll have the wherewithal and poise to refuse 
any invitation to attend an overall shark-glutton feeding frenzy 
at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i'm only interested in overdoing it.
and i'm only looking for encouragers and supporters.
if you wanna be the voice of reason,
or worse,
portion control,
go F* yourself.
you don;t have to do that,
but still,
don't come around here with that weak sauce, bro.
MORE PIZZA is all there ever needs to be.
that's a thing,
and it is a good thing;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, December 5


today is the day,
or more accurately,
tonight is the night.
if you've been naughty, you're sure to get a thrashin',
...and if you've been very naughty,
you may just get carried off to HELL.
those germanic jauns rep a hard style, for sure-
and while the rest of the us worry about coal instead of cool stuff in our stockings.
the deutsche-speaking world knows that well in advance of Xmas,
the really realness gets poppin' tonight.
it's KRAMPUSNACHT, neighbors!!
word up.
santa's hairy hellspawn, tasked with spanking the baddies,
and also reportedly the son of hel, lady of the underworld,
and the monstrous grandson of loki,
from the oldschool norse pantheon
of powerhouse lightning-striking vengeful viking deities,
he managed to survive christianiies purge of all things pagan,
and somehow still bring the savage stormswept capricorn-faun-satyr severity
down on all the bad little boys and little girls!!
the horned skunk-ape was pope-proof,
and he's still revered and feared to this very day.
if you don't get down with krampus,
you're probably an A*-hole.
it's been decreed.
as for me?
i might've been requested to come out of retirement,
and produce an effigy of our dear sweet demonic duder.
you want some krampus?
i got you, b.
check the krampusnacht-type teleport:

if you're recalcitrant and naughty,
your butt belongs to him;
and you may even get carried off to hell for a year.
and that's after a whippin', a thrashin', and a pretty epic beatin'.,
be good, for goodness' sake.

it's been a verrrrry long time.
a prolonged absence;
an estranged strangeness that's too long been left to languish;
a space i didn't even know needed filling,
but DAMN if i don't feel a whole heck of a lot better now that it's full-
y'know what i mean?
that's okay,
it's been seven years since the last time,
and that was waaaaay before y'all started tuning in for all this food.
back in the days when art makery surpassed cake bakery
as the prime ingredient of this open-letter to all interested parties.
here's what you might not know-
i didn't forget how to get fresh.
that's important,
and i'm pretty happy to have proven that time and distance
have only made my approach a whole bunch better than before,
as previously unapplied skills have been practiced, and implemented,
to the benefit of the bigger picture-
after all this time,
the new-new hottness is substantially more expert than the old hottness.
...which was pretty hot for it's time, in my biased and unhumble opinion.
the thing is,
this right here makes me very psyched:

and i mean,
the cloven hoof, and the humanoid foot, because that's what he has,
on goatlike legs?

that's some sh!t.
the shackles are a borrowed technique from my foam-crafting costume skills-
the rest, well, oversized fleece-lined camp socks,
and a whole lotta wire, glue, paint, pins, faux hair,
and some little bitty tricky tricks make for a more effective effect.
the nail polish on the eyes and teeth to make them shinier and wetter-looking.
i'm pretty psyched to return to something i really loved doing,
and i'm feeling very lucky that somebody out there remembered me for it.
i'm grateful for the time i've been given, guys,
and i'm a little bit proud of this doll, too.
i did this.
from the sculpted polymer clay,
to the painted high-and-low lights,
the armature in the tail, and the foam-and fleece ears,
this is it-
merry krampusnacht,
and remember,
santa sent this mutha-effer,
so take it up with him;
never quiet, never soft.....


y'know what's really delicious?
and i'm not sayin' that the addition of coconut makes everything better,
i'd hope that there's a shared sentiment between us
about how the flavor is so elite,
and the texture, when appropriately applied,
in dry unsweetened flakes and shreds,
is flippin' tremendous.
that means no gummy white easter-grass bag mix coconut, bro.
don't do it.
i believe it's the numero uno reason folks with an underdeveloped sense
of adventurous food sampling habits HATE coconut.
it must be because that stringy sh!t is the WORST.
also, bag mix coconut?
that's what poor people do.
and there's no excuse to eat poorly,
even when you aren't financially wealthy.
it's bad for you...
coconut in cake is expert,
and coconut in cranberry cake?
well, that's a whole other 'nother new frontier of explosive hottness for your mouth.
real talk.
i made a thing, and i wanna show it to you.
check the teleport:

dried cranberries and flaked coconut,
ground coconut and vegan sour cream,
brown sugar and all the intentional intensity i could summon-
this cake makes me have a FEELING, man.
you wanna make it?
you should.
it's dope.
if you're up for it, do this:
preheat the oven to 360F
grease and flour a 9" springform pan,
and in a large and in charge mixing bowl,
1 cup light brown sugar;
1 stick vegan butts;
+ 3 T coconut oil;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
when thoroughly mixed-
whip in 1 cup vegan sour cream
add 2 cups flour ( i used a 1/2 cup of spelt in the mix,
just because i'm a nerd like that )
1/2 cup freshly ground dry coconut
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 tsp bakey powpow
1 tsp bakey soda
1 cup non-dairy milk ( i use coconut, because, i mean, c'mon)
1+ cup dried cranberries
whisked and whipped and thoroughly mixed,
and added into that springing-format circle,
it only needed one more thing before baking.
the cake itself would be so nicey-nice,
but too much is the right amount,
and i couldn't stand the thought of not activating
my custom cranberry compote again.
i layered one and half cups or so of my SAUCE right on top.
sauce recipe is as follows:
1 pkg. berries
1 cup cider
1 T vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 T lemon
1/4 cup syrup
that's it. cooked until the berries burst, and the combined pectin
of the juice and the pulp make a perfect compote.
get after it, it's good for you.
get into it, but let it cool first, and you WILL have exxxtra.
i baked that big baby for somethinng like 40 minutes.
the wet top, and the buttery bottom need a little time to set up in the center,
or you'll ge a sunken crater that will taste good, but look bad.
so be patient.
i might've spritzed the top with a few coconut sprankles, too.
i mean,
i DO like a fancy little bit of work, friends.
when it was all set, and cooled off, and lookin' like it wanted to get dressed for a party-
that's when i whipped out the coconut frosting,
and really turned up the sugary sexxiness to eleven.
1 1/2 cups kapowdered sugar
4 T butts
2 T coconut oil
1/4 cup fresh finely ground coconut
and vanilla coconut creamer, spoonful by spoonful, to freak it off a little,
until the whisking of the mixer makes it fluffed the eff out.
snowflakey swirls?
i doo doo that 6-pointed starbright white frosty sh!t.
this cake is REALLY good.
i ate more than is advisable in one shot,
that's my style.
the crumb is so moist, and so deep,
and it's got that buttery melt in every mouthful.
the sauce is tart, but not so much so that it's bitter.
just a little sass to keep you interested.
and that's a good look.
maybe you want some,
maybe you'll make some,
maybe this is the start of a new culinary reality in your household.
only time will tell, if you're able to tell time to take it easy
and let the cake reign over a hour or so.
work and work and work.
that's the plan.
there's much, so much, oh-so much to do,
and it all needs to be attended to.
so i guess i'm tenderly tending to the tasks,
until the jobs are done,
the dog is walked,
the dinner is cooked,
and the night is deeply underway.
it all happens so fast.
...i mean,
it's already light out,
that means the day is well underway already.
it's all really happening-
so much,
too much,
just right;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, December 4


when the weather outside is an A*-hole,
and the wind is whipping some sort of dust-speck spit,
made of noncommittal snowflake F*ery at your face,
and the dog won't just take a poop and go back in the warm(ish) house
because the wind makes the trees look like burglars?
that's a reminder that nature wins, but she plays like a real jerk.
that's just dumb.
what if there was something hearty and homemade heating up on the hearth?
wouldn't THAT be nice?
yes. i think it would be lovely.
in fact,
i'd be inclined to say it was expert.
so, what are we gonna put in our little heat-up homestyle dinner?
i'm gonna go ahead and say black beans!
they're good.
and sweet potato!
that's good, too.
let's put 'em together, and let 'em get to know each other a bit better-
before too long, things'll heat up,
and get all kinds of delicious.
i know this to be true, i believe it, i've seen it,
and more importantly,
i've tasted the reality of the situation in a bowlful of teamwork.
on the ones,
i like when good stuff turns into great stuff because of cooperation.
check the teleport:

with sweet potato!!!
i made, no joke, enough for just that one bowl.
like, for real.
i knowwwwwwwww.
too much IS the right amount.
in my defense,
i used 100% of the beans and sweet potato i had on hand,
that just happened to create one small pot of sopa de frijoles negro!
soup for one is just about the loneliest thing i've ever made.
no foolin',
there was genuinely one big bowlful's worth.
i couldn't have shared any if i wanted to.
(it's ok, i really didn't want to)
y'wanna make some spicy soup of sadness at home?
here's the process:
1/4 onion, diced,
two cloves of crushed garlic;
one stalk of celery, sliced;
one small carrot, chopped;
3 T sweet pepper chopped;
one half of a medium sized sweet potato, cubed.
and a cup of black beans...
sauteed in olive oil, and added in each about a minute apart,
i dropped in some aromatic herbs:
a shake or two of basil;
a spoonful of oregano;
a little dust-up of smoked paprika;
toasted cumin had to get in there;
coriander, cayenne, and a couple baby bay leaves were included too.
i mean,
it's SOPA, and it's gotta be DOPA, or else F*ing right off is the next step.
rules is rules.
to that, i added 2T tamari;
2 cups of broth;
two big spoonfuls of GPOP;
a punch of nootch,
a splash of texas/louisiana-style red hot sauce;
and then i let that pot simmer for a good long while.
a little jalapeno, some fresh cilantro,
and an immersion blender took the texture where it needed to go.
bumpy, but creamy, but smooth, and very luscious.
that's right.
you could put it in a blender i guess.
that'll work, too.
ganished with sweet pepper rings,
and cilantro,
and scallion sprankles,
this made for a very rewarding single-serving experience.
word up.
....and those oven-baked oil-brushed flour tortilla triangular thicknesses??!!
crumbled in there, soaking up all the sauce,
dipped down to scoople those peppers,
crunched on in between spoonfuls,
that's what the F* is UP.
flour tortillas, cut into 6ths, brushed with oil,
baked until browned a bit in the oven, (let's say 350F?)
do it.
do it right now.
you won't regret it.
you just wanna eat food and take it easy.
i always do the former,
and i never ever do the latter.
i take it personally way before i allow easy to enter into the equation.
i guess repping a hard style all the time makes relaxing a little difficult.
in fact,
these days, i honestly have had no memories of when i've fallen asleep.
i just pas the eff out eventually,
and wake up in random spots in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
only the first four or five times.
it's more of an adventure in low-light obstacle course navigation.
i play with crabtree in, around, under, and between all the curiosities of my house,
and i also apparently pass out pretty hard wherever the action lulls for too long.
to his credit, he's usually snuggling up to me when i wake up,
which is impossibly endearing,
especially considering what a freakin' jerk he is most of the rest of every dang day.
me and my little dude still end up being buddies at day's end.
i take comfort in that,
and also,
in a hot bowl of black bean sweet potato soup;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, December 3


cinnamon rolls are rad.
that's real.
i like to get into some of that cinnamon sugary gooey goodness
for breakfast, and maybe again for lunch,
and if, somehow, somethin' is left over?
i bet i'll be read to wreck those jauns before supper, too.
i think cinnamon rolls are the big action.
i don't always want the old standby standard, y'feel me?
i mean it.
i get an urge to freak it off,
and turn it up,
and get expert on some of that new-new.
i made some of the new hottness,
and i'm very happy to report that it was the biggest action i've baked in a bit.
check the choco-p.b-type teleport:

word up.
standard cinnamon activation was in full effect-
that's 3 cups of flour;
a pinch of gluten;
1/4 cup of sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 cup non-dairy milk + half a stick of butts, warmed and melted together;
1 pkg regular yeast;
2 tsp fast bread-machine yeast;
kneaded for five and rested for ten,
then rolled flat into a rectangle.
awaiting the gooey glops of great taste and terrific texture headed towards your face.
you spread organic gritty smooth peanut butter down on the dough,
you flesh it out with a cinnamon-sugary regular-A* middle mixture
that's this:
a cup of brown sugar;
a big blast of cinnamon;
and dashes of nutmeg and ginger;
plus 4-5 T butts;
and a drizz' of vanilla.
creamed together and spread heavy.
i happened to have half a pastry bag of very rich chocolate frosting,
so i put three triple width stripes evenly across in lengthwise sections.
it all got rolled up,
and imprtantly, it also got refrigerated for ten minutes
before being cut up into a dozen spirals of pure sexxxiness.
all of those went in a square pan, lightly greased and gently floured,
in a 375F oven, for 25 minutes.
what went in was wonderful,
but what came out was the TRUTH!!!!
did i double glaze 'em?
oh, c'mon.
is too much the right amount?
is rules rules?
is one glaze enough?
dont be foolish.
of course i brought the two-tone triumph to the top.
vanilla icing,
aaaaaand cocoa-peanut-buttery glaze!!!!
that's almost 1/2 cup kapowdered sugar;
1 T peanut butts;
2 T cocoa;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
and drops of soymilk or whatever,
until it's squeezable spreadable out of the corner of a plastic baggie.
there it is.
you need this in your life,
lest your life look like sh!t, and your mouth taste like sh!t,
and your sh!ts not be composed of the cinnamony peanuy buttery
chocoluscious confection affection that you just witnessed.
get after it, guys.
time is a-wastin',
and these buns are for the tastin';
never quiet, never soft.....


chocolate cake!
chocolate CAKE!!
how much chocolate is enough?
that's a trick question.
first of all- chocolate is good for you.
i think that's a science thing.
secondly- too much is the right amount.
and i know THAT'S no joke.
when it's chocolate cake time at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
we gotta get into that cocoa-loco lusciousness as hard as we can.
i mean,
rules is rules,
and besides,
it's not just doing it that counts for something around here-
it's OVERdoing it.
that's our style, and that's what's up.
check the chocolate-cake-type teleport:

when it's time to brown out in these parts,
it's time to really brown the F* out, buddy.
two tiers of chocolate cake.
frosting in the center.
ganache all over the top, drippin' off of and down the sides,
shaved dark chocolate truff' sprankles grated all over that,
and then MORE frosting for your effing face,
just to make sure you can tell that the deepest darkness
goes all the way to eleven on a 1-10 scale.
that's right.
the cake was simple simple-
two greased and lightly floured 9" round pans
the oven preheated to 350F
and a stand mixer at the ready, for this:
1 1/4 cup sugar (1 cup light brown, 1/4 cup organic granulated)
1 stick butts
3 T creamchee'
3/4 tsp salt
1 T vanilla
^^as always, mash all that up, and add:
1 cup vegan sourcream
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
1/4 cup tapioca
1 cup non-dairy milk
2 tsp bakey kapowder
1 tsp bakey soda
^^^whipped into a fluffy battery bowlful of rich brown goodness,
and baked for at least 30 minutes, or until a toofpick comes out clean.
...cake. done.
the frosting was no real huge labor, either.
6 T vegan butts
2 T creamchee
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups kapowdered sugs
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
and drips and drops of nondairy milky emulsification,
until that chalky cocoa monster was tamed and turned into smooth, airy awesomeness.
- frosting glued the two cakes together,
totally-activated melted chocolate dark ganache sealed in the sexxxiness,
and also seeped down the sides, making everything groovy and gooey for a minute.
the chocolate truffle i shaved up?
it was rich and creamy and dreamy,
and the spranks reflect that, neighbors.
and then, to really give it that hottness,
i triple ringed the rim with frosting.
how does it taste?
oh, C'MON.
you know it's the BIG BROWN BOTTOM-B!TCH!!!
wordimus prime.
i mean, come ON now,
what are you?
an A*-hole?
...don't be dumb.
it's delicioso.
for real, that much chocolate couldn't lead you astray.
go make a cake.
it's a skill that makes you a better you.
everybody can NOT make a cake,
that's no big deal at all.
and almost anybody can rep a box mix jaun.
the thing about that is-
box mix is for jerks.
that is a factual truth from heaven, homies.
part of that statement is false.
despite there not being a heaven,
it's a hell of a weak-sauce showing is you run that just-add-oil-and-water-sh!t.
don't be a turd.
get out the measuring cups,
and get fresh with some gosh-danged cake, dudes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, December 2


buttercup squash.
y'wanna know what i think of it?
NOT my favorite.
it looks so cool,
i guess should've known i'd be disappointed.
that's pessimistic, but, it's also a provably reliable perspective.
on the ones-
if i'm attracted to the weird good looks of somethin' or someone,
it's gonna take a hot sh!t right on my chin, guaranteed.
i mean,
that's sort of been my move, both in and out of the kitchen-
hey, neighbors, i rolled the dice anyway,
and i snake-eyed another 'nother sexxxy meal!
too bad that it just wasn't what i wanted.
check the teleport:

isn't she pretty??
i bet you'd like it, especially if you're a winter-squash-head.
i like a lot of things, but this buttercup was kind of a bust out.
the bowl-style bump-up presentation had it poppin',
but damn, duders-
it tasted like a pithy, hot cantaloupe.
no thanks.
even with sea salt and olive oil, and a pre-bake,
before a caramel-creating broil, it just didn't tickle my fancy,
despite lookin' fancy.
it has about two cups of sourdough crusty stuffin',
with a quarter of an onion, half a carrot, one huge stalk of celery,
half a sweet potato, and half a cup of black beans in there, too.
everything sauteed and seasoned,
coated in half a cup of broth,
tossed, tucked away in a tin, and baked for a bit, at 375F, along with the squash,
and those potatoes in the bottom right corner, which we'll talk about in a minute.
after 20 minutes of soaking and baking and generally being aromatically awesome,
which, incidentally, was close to 15 minutes after the squash went in the oven,
i put the one inside the other, and out the combo back in the oven,
on a much higher, broily browning blast for another 'nother 15 minutes.
it looked like i wanted to like it so much more than i did:

homemade gravy is key.
butter and flour, 1:1 browned, with a cup of broth, and GPOP, and nootch,
and maybe a little bit more flour, if you're in a hurry to thicken it quicker-
the gravy saved some of the day,
as did those very smoky tempeh bacon sprankles.
i took it there.
mixin' in the texture of that curly kale was a bonus as well.
that squash, though, man.
i'm just not feelin' it.
that sausage and potato and broccoli rapini jaun, however....
that sh!t was THE sh!t.
homemade vegan sausages get made in big batches, b!tches-
and none of 'em ever go to waste.
bias cut, and browned with circles of shallot makes the my mouth get psyched.
roasted yellow-flesh blue-skinned potatoes aren't too shabby on their own-
so when they get olive oiled, and tossed in with the sausages?
holy smokes, the world is expanding, the universe is collapsing,
and the overlap of tastes creates infinity on your tongue!
maybe just a little bit.
not when you factor in that blanched and braised broccoli rabe, bro!
the side order stole the show, yo.
ad i'm glad it did, or i'd have pouted out loud,
and made a whole new dinner, too.
i'm not about to be bummed out all night,
when all i've had to look forward to all day is dinnertime.
it's cool.
those 'tatoes did the trick.
i'm cool.
we're cool.
it's cool.
december, man.
is my car ready yet?
am i worried?
not exactly.
the thing is-
i've got a silver rental car.
and i don't think i'm a silver car person.
maybe part of the reason that november sucked the hardest balls
was that i was living the life of a silver-carred man,
instead of the more exceptional metal-flaky charcoal/graphite
grey-and-black jammer i know myself to be.
i think that's a thing.
also, the other reason november sucked hard balls is because
november is a F*ing A*-hole.
that's no joke.
i'm excited to have what's mine returned to me.
i'm also excited to rock out with crabtree in the co-pilot seat,
and cruise the woodsly goodness with that little dude.
i've missed it, and he's missed it,
and we HATE missing out,
almost as much as we hate missing you.
awwwwwwwwww, sh!t.
but, we do, and we are, and we do,
and it's ALL really happening,
so i s'pose this silver subaru has got to go, so we can all get back on track;
never quiet, never soft.....


it's just so easy japanesey!
i'm talking about sushi.
vegan sushi, obvi.
just plants and rice in flat ocean paper....
and i LOVE it.
here's the thing-
i don't want basic baby-b!tch rolls, though.
i want the big action;
the jam-packed turbo-charged super-loveliness;
i want expert vegan give-a-F*ery in full flippin' effect.
and since it's just me and the dog,
and he's unlikely to ever be much help,
it's up to me to stop dreaming it,
and start being it.
and the good news is that i doo-doo that ill-na-nori-style sh!t.
you want the big action, you must create the big action.
check the don't-ig-nori-me-type teleport:

two burly big baddie rolls,
and a little side activation to spice things up.
i baked some sweet potato, and some tofu strips,
to keep the sexxxy times poppin' inside that sooosh-
and while i had all that in the oven, at 375F, getting firm and crisp,
and also soft and sweet?
i put a 3/4" thickness of butternut squash neck,
lathered in soy and sesame oil, right in there too.
that was some future-perfect progressive hottness, no doubt.
i've been baking on parchment exclusively for the last few days,
and what it wastes in sexy paper,
it saves tenfold in cleanup.
...which means more time for more recipes,
which is darned good news for people who like that sort of stuff. you and i.
i also had a little scallion and apple and pea tendril garnish,
and some tamari-horseradish-agave dippin' sauce.
because i like my jauns to be exxxtra-special,
and i like them to be elite,
beyond the standard tastes and textures we already know and love.
anybody can have some as-good-as action,
but we worthy warrior poets want that way-better-than flavor.
too much is the right amount, man.
you should know that by now.
the rolls themselves had huge levels of delicious barely contained inside 'em.
and dredged in dried spicy mustard, cayenne, ground sesame seeds
then cornstarch-coated for crawnchy skin-on savory superiority,
those baked tofu pieces are the TRUTH.
with pan-seared asparagus, cucumber, carrot, pea tendrils,
and finished with sesame seed sprankles?!
and the other other ones?
those got baked sweet potato, tofu, apple, scallion, avocado, and cukes.
word up.
i'm on it.
i'm about it.
and all of it is really happening.
the food portion of the program is no problem at all.
super-official radical vegan bombardment of nutrients
will always be on the move upwards.
...and everything else?
that's altogether a whole other 'nother series of obstacles.
let's focus on the food for now,
and let the sweet potatoes and the cucumbers fill in the blanks for us.
a sushi mat;
good short-grain sushi rice;
seasoned rice wine vinegar;
dead ocean papers, a.k.a seaweed, a,k,a, necessary but so close to gross;
that's what you should have on hand.
i mean,
y'never know when the sushi craving will strike.
you can't be expected to miss out because your larder
or your cupboard
or your pantry
or your whatever you call it doesn't have the appropriate sh!t in it.
i even back up my back-ups.
rules is rules,
and MORE is the correct quantity.
i'm just sayin',
it doesn;t hurt to have it on hand,
but it sure as sh!t sucks butts when you're missing out because you've run out.
go get the stuff, guys,
we'll get it poppin' the next time i come over.
if you know why that's funny,
then you also know i'll be waiting for you here the next time we see each other.
don't worry,
i've got all the stuff to make sushi;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, December 1


F* you, november!
today is the day.
the new debut of the last month of the year.
the final page in the calendar,
the first day of the grand finale-
yes, YES, y'all-
it's december, finally.
the deepest, darkest, doo-doo butteriest month-long mess
of make-believe merriment and holiday sentiments for all the boys and girls.
the whole month of december is like the last day of a vacation.
you wanna make it special,
and you don't want the looming doom and gloom
of really real life to intrude on the well-wishing wonders
of the obligatory big funtimes,
that's never the way it goes, bros.
no joke.
there's dead-ends and deadlines that loom overhead,
self-imposed plans that have been delayed
and allowed to stray from the linear timelines of start-to-finishing
by circumstances beyond my control,
but well within the limits of predictable probability.
if it always goes off with naught but hitches,
maybe preparing for the worst case, at all times,
is the most reasonable move to make?
bleak? maybe.
defeated? never
in fact,
i awoke to the whinging whines and complaints of crabtree,
instead of scolding his incessant mewling,
i laid out a spell of hopeful hop-hopping,
and spit it from my curse-filled scarred lips like my future depended on it.
...and it just might.
so, there.
i said the magic words to cultivate coincidence and foster good fortune,
because rules is rules.
and then what happened?
it never does.
but, saying it out loud is a good way to keep positive.
it's when we stop saying it that we accept it won't get any better.
rabbit! rabbit! 
the words were spoken,
the tradition continues regardless,
and yet i feel sorta like i did as a ne'er-do-well younger man,
on the night before a big project was due.
it's a mad dash to the finish,
pretending that i wasn't effing off and fooling around until the urgency of
an emergency last-ditch effort,
pressed and pressured to pull out of a nosedive tailspin of laziness.....
only, this time, all i did was what needed doing,
and there just wasn't enough time to accommodate needs AND ambitions,
labors of obligation and labors of love don't follow the same schedule
up here in the woodsly goodness.
what a weird sensation-
doing what i'm supposed to be doing,
and still feeling as if it's nowhere near enough by half.
that's a real bummer,
y'know what's NOT?
the bread situation here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
believe it,
when all else fails, as all else is prone to doing,
the crust and crumb seem to step it up by an order of magnitude.
take a look at this:

no, i mean, for real, though:

i've been inspired by some of the dreamy steam slit slices i've seen lately,
and i've been immitating, as a very sincere form of flattery:

i really reallllly like bread.
a whole lot.
and this exxxtra-crusty freeform,
straight on the stone,
steam-injected sexxxiness?
it has a caramelized crust,
huge oven spring,
and all the damned bubbles within those perfect gluten chains
that wild yeast and time could conjure up together.
for realsies,
if it takes a year of garbage to make solid gold bread?
i guess that's what we get.
that's a hard style, sure,
good bread makes better people.
maybe this p!sshole year has just been a preparation
for a whole other 'nother new adventure,
up, over, and beyond the nearest horizon!
that bread?
4 cups of white flour
1 cup of starter
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp wheat gluten
1 T salt.
yeah, i know,
that sugar is a dirty trick,
the crust gets so much darker and doper with it in there.
kneaded and bulked up on the countertop,
for a solid twelve hours,
with stretch and fold aeration happening at random intervals throughout.
a final shaping, and another quick bulk, maybe two hours,
in a banneton, covered, and allowed to form that sexxxy skin around it,
before a decent 10 hour cold proof, and another hourlong rise in the a.m.
as the oven heats to 455F.
i baked it directly on the stones for 25 minutes
before i added scalding water-
at least a quarter cup's worth, to the oven surface directly.
that's when i turn on the convection function,
and allow for steamy swirling to activate all those pentosans.
another 20 minutes, and we've got what you see here;
which is to say- the new hottness is in F*ing full effect.
word up.
and it's not just one loaf.
check the crust on this guy:

ground oat flour,
and fast-actin' oat flakes made this one a hearty party for my mouth.
i propose a toast, with vegan butter, and a cup of irish breakfast tea.
Tea 'N' Toast goes to eleven with this bread on hand.
that's a thing.
...and even when the dough is very wet,
perhaps more than i may have intended, actually.
and the proof is shortened,
because sometimes i need more bread right NOW,
i'm still pretty psyched on the results:

this one is a chia/sprouted whole wheat jaun.
it's damned good, too.
that's the big protein powerhouse loaf.
how'd it toast?
like a champ.
what am i?
an A*-hole?
i'm a home baker and home wrecker,
but never at the expense of others.
it's the last minute.
no sense in scurrying and hurrying now, though, y'know?
you'll only end up disappointed and exhausted.
i'm just sayin'-
there's only one month left to make this year not a total piece of sh!t.
a whole year down to about four and a half weeks' worth of work.
i can promise you the bread will be ready.
everything else might not;
never quiet, never soft.....