Friday, November 15

BLOCKS

chocolate cookies,
with vegan caramel chips,
and chocolate drizzle?
i did that.
and there's a lot of 'em, and you should have one.
i can't eat 'em all, y'all.
so help me:

PLEASE!
melted chocolate ganache all over the tops,
with autumnal mini-sprankles, just to make 'em nicey-nice.
cookies are simple, and they get the job done every time.
-
*
BLOXXX!
-
preheat the oven to 375℉
-
in a medium mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick vegan butter;
1/2 cup sugar;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
3 T cocoa;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla.
mash it thoroughly-
then stir in:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
add:
2 cups king arthur flour;
1/3 cup ground unsweetened flake coconut;
1/3 cup coarse oat flour;
1 tsp baking powder and soda;
1 pkg, 1o oz. caramel chips.
-
make those little golf balls, about three dozen,
and bake 'em for 12 minutes.....
-
that's it...
just eat some cookies.
they won't solve any problems.
they won't make you taller.
you won't get smarter.
but they might help your day taste better.
sometimes that's all you get;
never quiet, never soft.....

OATSSSS

oatmeal is F*ing great.
and when i'm basically just freezing myself to death every F*ing minute,
i need some rib-sticking hot heartiness to help me not actually die.
and what's thicker than oatmeal?
mud?
i'm not eating that, even if it's hot.
so, oats it is.
a blend of thick-cut rolled ones and scottish steel-cut chunks.
check the teleport:

WOOOOOOOOORD.
simmered up in coconut-almond milk,
with a fat pat of vegan butter,
a dash of salt,
a little scoop of brown sugar,
and a splash of vanilla-
topped up with unsweetened coconut yogurt,
AND toasted walnuts,
AND agave-glazed cinnamon sunflower and pumpkin seeds,
AND mini vegan dark chocolate mini chips,
AND chilly sugared raspberries,
AND toasted coconut,
AND mooooore brown sugar.
so simple, so burly, so MANLY, even when it's pretty for a picture.
what else is there to even say?
oatmeal is the best.
i love wheat, but if i'm gonna get busy with some straight-up great grain goodness
in the morning?
it's gotta be oats.
they're better than all the competitors for best a.m. grain.
grits are cool, but this is the NORTH, bro.
we're up here with that highland hot fire.
i'm channeling the soul of some claymore swordplayin'
tartan skirt wearing warrior poetry,
in the hopes of maybe getting a little more heat resistant.
so far, it hasn't taken hold.
i must need another hundred thousand bowls;
never quiet, never soft.....

THAT SAME SAME

i should get a new oven.
i mean, for the amount that i use it, a faster, more effective, more efficient piece
of equipment would only make my life better while i'm
baking better bits and pieces of radical vegan hottness.
but i don't have one yet,
so i waited FOREVER for a superhot oven situation so i could crisp
up a supersexxxy pizza pie...
that's unfortunate and fortunate.
the pizza was still dope, the timeframe was a real suspense builder.
look:

DAMN,
that's a lotta stuff on that thiccc one, y'feel me?
tomatoes.
spinach.
little mincey pepper spranks.
jalapenos.
caramelized onions.
red onions.
fried garlic sprankles....because rules is rules.
...and minced daiya mozzarella, speaking of rules.
the sauce is cooked.
marinara from-scratch with that hearty italiano flavor exxxplosivity.
mmmmmmmmmm.
and then, to turn it up to eleven?
fried from-scratch slabs of seitan,
with GPOP, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and hot paprika.
YO, that's what's up.
you've had pizza, but you haven't had take a hundred years
and have a hundred things on top homemade ordeal pizza.
it's okay.
i was glad the oven was helping heat up my cold af Fortress.
i'll take a little warmth here and there.
*
it's the coldest ever.
like, as a matter of record, even.
so that's pretty neat.
we win for worst in real time.
is that the title you would shoot for?
not me, bro.
i'd take the warmest one in history any day.
and these weirdies up here who are so excited to do cold weather sh!t?
i like the way the mountains LOOK,
but i hate the way the air feels,
and i hate fun so much,
that skiing, snowmobiling, four-wheel atv-ing, ice fishing, or whatever other
arctic freezy jauns are like alien science experiments on how to waste a perfectly good
day for staying in and getting cuddly by being sweaty
inside some water-resistant balloon clothes while snow sticks to your face
and boogers drip freely out of your head.
dudes,
stop it.
or don't. i'm not gonna be there with you, so do whatever.
i'm forever gonna NOT do that stuff though.
not when i could take too long to make a pizza.
at least i'm warm, and i get to eat pizza.
that's way better;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 13

BIG B

tofu scrambo.
reg toast.
avocado toast.
roasty, toasty, smoky, spicy homeboyfries.
blackened tomatoes.
y'know what that's  called?
yup.
the big B.
i needed it before i could begin to brave the bad weather and worse vibes of
a mountain valley early winter snowstormy day.
yup.
a snow day.
but also, an ice day.
and also, a darrrrrrrrrrk day.
with added wind for added discomfort.
expert?
nah, man. that ain't it.
anyway, my guts were prepared more than my skeleton body.
look:

WOOOOOOORD.
that's sourdough, from-scratch, toasted up-with raspberry jam,vegan butter,
and some slab-style sriracha-and-sesame sprankled AVOCADO jauns.
wu-TANG!
that's straight up boomfire for your face.
the tomatoes are just fried with a splash of olive oil,
because they're dope all on their own.
the scrambo?
well, that's some other other sh!t.
black beans, onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper,
cilantro, and scallions,
plus exxxtra firm 'fu, with turmeric and GPOP and smoked paprika
and black salt and pepper....
if you measure spices for tofu scram', you're a genuine bummer.
i stand by that statement.
-
and those skin-on red new roasted homeboy potatoes??
maaaaaaan,
that's 3 bad spuds, cubed,
and tossed with olive oil, cayenne, smoked paprika, GPOP, black pepper,
and a lil' baby bit of ground coriander,
all roasted on a parchment lined tray at 375℉, until they were crisp and golden.
did i pan fry them just a bit before i added the cilantro and scallions?
i did.
did that make them better?
it did.
did i eat all the food with my big dumb face?
i DID.
and is that an expert way to begin a real bummer of a day?
it IS.
ha!
i love good food.
i may not make as much superfancy unnecessary magic anymore,
but when i do, i really remember how F*ing awesome it feels to enjoy
a real whole-food home-cooked intentional and inventive vegan meal.
i had a moment in the morning.
and i liked it;
never quiet, never soft.....

COLD FOREVER

today has not started by going to eleven.
nope.
in fact,
it's only 10℉.
....and it's windy as hell, which makes the lack of degrees feel even worse.
hmm?
oh, i know, i'm always cold,
but right now, it's actually well below freezing everywhere.
and that wind, bro.
seriously, i hate it.
maybe if i was a sailor, i'd be psyched, but since i'm landbound
and in the woods, it sucks the hardest.
it's so cold that this damned dog is taking it easy indoors,
instead of being a real bastardhole about being outside misbehaving.
and when we DO go outside?
he's got a snowbaby outfit to help his chilly short-haired dumb head.

awwwww, s'kyoooot.
i can't wait to get outside and freeze my face off while he poops on some snow.
it's so cold i kept extra sleeping clothes on, under extra blankets.
mmhmm.
i run cold, man.
i already told you that.
i just don't think you really get it.
i'm arctic on the inside, and it only gets colder every day,
and so do i.
do i wanna be hot?
no.
i wanna be warm.
that's all.
and it takes a billion degrees to get me there.
i'm about to get mummified in a hundred layers,
and move even stiffer than i already feel.
is that cool?
it does't look cool.
i'll accept that.
i fell asleep super early, both from the deepest dark and all the blankets,
but naturally i woke up in the dead center of the night for hours.
and when i finally got up outta bed, in the same deep dark,
i navigated by candlelight.
no.
not for ambiance.
huh?
no, the power was still on.
for added warmth.
ten candles throw more heat than a lightbulb, buddy.
i'm not even kidding.
i'm F*ing freezing.
i wanted to have a full moon fire outside.
instead, i had a full linen closet of blankets on my body.
ha.
i'm just not enough person to hold onto any heat, or anything else for that matter.
so,
i'm cold.
colder than cold.
the coldest.
and it's only mid-november!!
man, life is a real wild ride, and i'd better summon up some savage
stormswept viking tolerances to this weather,
or i'm gonna get frozen solid mid-complaint.
i s'pose today is as good a day as any other to start;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 12

SNOWBABY

and now there's snow everywhere.
i mean, i live in the northern mountains,
so it's not a huge surprise that it's extra cold and busted outside already.
did i rake any leaves before they got buried under that frosty waterblanket?
nope.
i didn't even mow my lawn before that.
nope.
i don't play outside, man.
and i don't worry much about curb appeal.
for real, my house has needed to be painted for a decade.
y'know why it hasn't been?
because a nice lawn or a sweet paint job don't feel important to me at all.
not one little teeny tiny bit.
even though in the long run, it has to have some positive effects.
i can't see that far into the future anymore.
and that's lame as hell, neighbors.
i mean it- i had plans on plans and plans,
and now i'm blurry-headed about tomorrow,
nevermind the equity that comes from the maintenance of a well-manicured property.
sh!t-
i didn't even get a F*ing snowblower yet.
...and it's snowing, bro.
yup.
it's a snow day, and anything could happen.....
but the main thing that absolutely has to?
snow removal, man.
yep.
i have to get it today, even though it's SO awful to even think about.
i wait and i wait and i wait, and events keep progressing without me.
that's the effect the last year has had on me.
the fear of doing it wrong keeps me from doing anything,
and that's also wrong, for sure.
so, i'll go get the wrong snowblower-
i'm woefully underinformed about machinery-
and blow snow and leaves and tall grass across
the expanse of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
since i have all of that debris in abundance all over the yard.
-
it's weird to work hard on dinner,
which disappears in a shark-gluttonous feeding frenzy,
but to avoid the labor associated with yard work.
i just HATE it so much, and i always have.
i need all the money, to hire all the workers, to do all the things i never ever wanna do.
and when all the money shows up, i'll need it to also generate time,
and with that time,
i'll do anything besides tattooing and driving and being all alone.
i don't have a megamillion dollar idea,
and the skills i have are great for being a multi-thousandaire,
but not much more than that.
so, instead, snowblowin' feels like a mission to colonize mars.
and work seems like the best job ever for not-quite-as-much-as-i'd like.
am i complaining?
probably.
am i improving?
i dunno;
neverquietneversoft.....

ENCHILADA BE KIDDING ME

soft flour tortillas, two sauces,
all sorts of tasty bits on the inside,
and a side of beans and rice?
neighbors-
i was up early, and i was busy busy from before dawn.
i couldn't sleep well.
maybe that's because i fall asleep way too early,
because it's SO freaking dark all the damned time.
probably.
ANYway, i was up and at 'em,
making homemade seitan in a big ol'  pot.
and,
i was deep into some expert enchilada sauce, too.
slow simmered prior to pureeing.
yeah.
i did something especially awesome,
in honor of the day being eleven eleven.
y'feel me?
look:

so much homemade hottness.
it's been a looong time since i wasted that much time making one meal.
-
now, lemme just say this:
too much is the right amount.
also,
MORE sprankles is way better.
and there's a whole lotta those, bros.
i'm sayin', just on top, there's:
red onion.
cilantro.
sweet baby tomatoes.
black olives.
pickled jalapenos.
thin-sliced radishes.
and AVO-F*ING-CADO.
that's pretty much a meal in itself.

-
the interior excellence was no joke, either.
refried beans-
with red sweet pepper, jalapenos, white onion, nootch, ho'sauce, and GPOP,
plus mashed up pink beans....
and 
cashew chee'-
1 cup raw cashews;
salt;
1 cup boiling water;
1 T lemon juice;
1 T nootch;
3 T tapioca starch;
1 tsp ea Garlic Powder and Onion Powder
cooked up in a small pot until it thickened up...
and
poblano pepper strips
and
diced white onion
and
cilantro
and
minced daiya mozarella.
(rules is rules)
and simmered homemade seitan.
the seitan recipe is here.
the oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, and GPOP stirred up with it,
and a dash of lime juice, to fully-flavorize.
that's a ton of tastiness,
and all of it is wrapped in tortillas.

...
and then there's the gravy.
if you ain't using gravy on your enchiladas?
you are weak and sad and i feel pity for your face.
word.
the gravy is GOOOOOOOD.
and all it is is 3 T flour;
3 T vegan butter, toasted to a nutty scent and a golden color....
plus 1 cup seitan broth,
1/2 cup water;
1 T nootch;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP.
that's that good-good, guys.
poured into each gap between the arranged wraps?
perfection.
duders, the oven's gotta be 350℉.
and these tubes of tightness need to be laid over a greased 9" x 11" pan,
and then covered in enchilada SAUUUUUCE!!!!!!
mmhmm.
-
*
SAUCE!
-
in a 1 quart sauce pot, melt 1 T vegan butter,
and saute:
1/3 cup sweet onion;
1/3 cup minced sweet pepper;
1 minced jalapeno;
1/2 chopped poblano pepper;
2 cloves garlic;
2 bay leaves;
1/4 cup minced cilantro stems;
cooked until the onions are translucent,
then combined with:
1 tsp oregano;
1 tsp cumin;
1 tsp ground coriander seed;
1 tsp hot smoked paprika;
1/2 tsp black pepper;
1 tsp ea GPOP;
salt;
2 T fire-roasted tomato flakes;
2 T tomato paste;
1/3 cup sliced small baby grape tomatoes;
1 1/2 cups vegan broth;
simmered and simmered and simmered on low-low,
just to make sure it's fully cooked up-
now, after an hour or more,
add all that and 2 T flour, to a food processor or ninja blender or whatever,
and pulse it into a thiccc boi.
now, simmer it up for another 'nother thirty-forty minutes, man.
DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN.
it's too freakin' good.

-
and then there's yellow rice.
that's 1/2 cup jasmine rice,
and 1/2 tsp turmeric,
and 2 tsp enchilada sauce,
and 1 T lime juice with 1 1/4 cups of water....
and then, in the last five minutes of the simmerin',
i added:
scallions, cilantro, tomato, red bell pepper, jalapeno, black pepper,
black beans, poblano pepper, and white onion all together,
to heat it up and make it rainbow magical.
that's a lot of F*ing food.
but that's what happens when the day is over before it starts and the weather is
a heap of crap,
and it's cold as heck and mexican monday and veterans' day
and eleven eleven.
tight.
-
i should've gotten a snowblower.
i should've had a walk-in pickup-trucker in boots
who needed a half sleeve of silhouetted trees with a deer in it,
but instead, i just had enchiladas,
and sometimes, that's all you get.
-
i also have a hole in my leg, and it looks like a small-arms gunshot wound.
i have NOT been fired upon to my knowledge,
so that's troublesome.
imagine if i lost a leg to some mystery overnight injury?
that's be some kind of weak sauce for sure.
unlike my enchilada sauce, which is perfect;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, November 10

BLUEBERRY DISTRACTION

cake.
because nothing makes sense, but ovens and ingredients make cake.
yup.
if i can't communicate well,
or at all,
i can express myself with edible excellence.
nobody is listening, but my guts are soothed by the sweetness,
and that isn't worthless by any means.
check it:

FLUTED PANS, MAN!
a greased high-wall tart tin is a good idea.
and an oven roaring at 350℉ is a better one.
what's the plan for this tasty bit?
it's like this:
-
*
BLOOBCAKE!
-
cream together:
1 stick vegan butter (8 T);
3 T vegan creamchee';
1/2 tsp salt;
2 T tapioca flour;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 cup brown sugar;
2 tsp cinnamon....
mix well, then stir in:
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt.
sift in:
2 1/4 cups king arthur all purpose flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
3/4 cup non-dairy milk-
stir it all together and add the completely well-mixed batter to the tin.
-
next up, in that same now-empty bowl, stir up:
1 cup blueberries;
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T brown sugar;
2 T powdered sugar;
1/2 tsp cinnamon;
2 T vegan creamchee';
1/4 cup unsweetened flake coconut;
add that all over the top of the batter,
and bake it up for 40 minutes or more, until the center isn't a wet jiggly mess.
word?
word.
delicious, soft, fruity, hearty, warm, comforting.
mmmmmhmmmmm.
there's darkness all damned day lately.
it was twenty freaking fahrenheit degrees during my dog walk yesterday...
that's F*ing laaaaaame.
it's barely a third of the way into november and now we're just frozen?
WHACK.
***********
y'know what i want?
i wanna LIVE.
i'm not really doin' that as much as other stuff.
i'm working.
i'm surviving.
i'm most definitely enduring.
but,
i'm not improving and i'm not thriving and i think that's some genuine bullsh!t.
there's more to do than i can wrap my head around,
and all of it feels so overwhelmingly unrewarding that my motivation is less than zero.
broken house, broken back, broken heart, broken path.....
it's mosaic puzzlement with no picture on the box to decipher it with.
i guess i'm making up the answers as i go,
with full knowledge that they can't possibly be correct.
...and also, eating heroic cake.
the cake is proportionately good to the inverse that is everything else;
neverquietneversoft.....

BODYSHOP

i redid a real bummer of a tattoo yesterday.
like, it came in like a bad news buffet,
but we did what we could to undo the doo-doo.
and after a while, it started to look like something much better.
check it:

i think it started as old tony c flash?
it definitely began the day as a genuine failure of execution.
i dug in and got down and zapped it up as per my client's request.
and at the end of it, i think we fixed it up pretty well.
is it the world's best tattoo?
it is not.
but it's a damn sight better than it was before,
and sometimes, that's the best you can hope for.
blown-out outlines that sorta looked like shading,
and some body parts that weren't ever found in anatomy ever before?
we don't want that, man.
so, now we're here.
and i think we can both live with that.
if it'd been a fresh start, without the blackened and blurry past putting pressure on us
maybe it's be a genuine all-original masterpiece....
that's literally what's wrong with every minute of my life-
there's tainted history underpainting all my pictures.
damn.
that's real talk.
it won't be as bad as it was, but i may never be fresh and clean.
great;
neverquietneversoft.....

Saturday, November 9

PRETZ

these weren't even that good.

bummer.
i didn't use a recipe.
i didn't measure sh!t.
i DID toast the sesame seed sprankles.
those were good at least.
i boiled 'em in baking soda and salt laced water,
i baked them at 420 degrees.
i did the right things, but i did them wrong somehow.
that's a recurring theme.
not great pretzels make the morning kind of effed up.
for real- i reallllllly like pretzels, so thinking i had it nailed,
and totally NOT getting 'em right sort of derailed my morning.
no, it's fine.
that's what you get.
y'know?
you don't wanna use a recipe or measure anything and it doesn't work?
that's. what. you. get.
you wanna be a vegan A*-hole about holidays and nobody is happy with you?
that's. what. you. get.
guys,
i'm not a victim.
i'm just getting what i deserve.
be however you wanna be.
do whatever you wanna do.
but when the consequences come through, understand one thing:
THAT'S. WHAT. YOU. GET.
...at least it also snowed yesterday.
that's awesome.
did i get a snowblower yet?
i didn't.
did i sign up for snowplowing like i used to?
also, NO.
those muh-fuh'rs didn't do a good job even one time,
or a even a timely bad job, either.
late and terrible?
who do they think they are?
me?
hahaha.
awwwwwww.
but mid-november snow?
c'mon, duders.
is that lame?
F* yes.
look- if it isn't a hard style or the wrenchiest choice available,
i just ain't with it.
so it's fine.
i'm freezing anyway,
why not add some ice to the mix?
that's fun.
at least i also ate a whole bunch of subpar pretzels.
so that's cool, too;
neverquietneversoft.....

DAG

what do i do about this ten-thousand pound albatross around my neck?
y'all know about the albatross?
y'all know about the ancient mariner?
y'all know anything about that?
no?
well, it's been some time since anybody needed to know about those things-
least of all on dry land in the mountains away from the seas.
but, still, if you DO know about the bad luck that comes from killing an albatross,
or from keeping a shark-bullet battle-beast,
then you know that my pain-in-the-neck is kind of  a real thing.
crabtree is not literally an albatross.
however, he's the anchor weighing my days down,
and the bad luck curse of my optimism come to pass.
huh?
no.
that's real.
he's just a dog.
and he's more than that.
he's my constant companion, but he's not a good one.
he's the persistent nuisance that demands my time be split and divided
and the distraction that offers less solace than stress.
but, he's just a little dog.
and a willful, needy, greedy, recalcitrant, obstinate, deaf and dumb dumdum.
honestly,
i came into the care of this young milkyboi under the impression that
there would be help.
believe me, the bitter reflection of how that mirrors the rest of my life
is NOT lost on me at all.
i'm shattered by the limitless amount of attention he wants,
and his complete inability to amuse himself with any activity 
that isn't suicidal,
or destructive to his innards or my property.
and that's with literal hours of time spent invested in this little monster.
sure, he's sweet, sorta.
but i'm soured on the lack of adaptability and the total absence of resilience
in this incorrigible animal.
and every minute he needs from me is a minute i miss with everybody else.
and don't think there's not a counter keeping tabs on every one of those minutes, man.
there's actually a couple of tallies running concurrent.
i'm keeping track, and each minute is one off of my life.
i'm serious.
the stress of split-up worlds tears me up every day.
and i'm sure this whiny baby of a dog 
is so used to his routine of incarceration and repeat offenses 
that he wouldn't know what to do with a full day of my undivided attention.
-
....and he's not good enough to pawn off on someone else.
i mean, he's terrible at being around other dogs.
he gets bitten for his bad manners,
and while he isn't aggressive, he's annoying enough to elicit viciousness
in every other animal......and he NEVER learns from it.
plus he's half deaf.
that's a problem, bull terriers listen half the time.
removing half his hearing gives him half of THAT.
essentially, you're leashing a cannonball and hanging on for the ride.
and moreover, i don't want the burden, but it's mine to bear.
otherwise i'm one of those abandoners.
and if you can do it to a dog, you can for sure do it to people.
and i don't want to be the one to do that sort of sh!t him or them.
he's not a person.
he's not an asset.
he's not even a comfort.
in point of fact, crabtree is a handsome dog with a challenging personality,
and little regard for much beyond his own hunger and limitless energy.
the main differences between he and i?
i'm not handsome and i barely have any energy anymore.
-
at least he causes problems with all my relationships, too.
-
i was prepared to put him to sleep.
euthanize him.
pay to have him killed, really.
he was SO hurt, and SO pathetic, and SO out-of-sorts, i assumed the worst.
and the worst thing about me?
i knew that'd free up MONTHS worth of time every year.
overnights in alton?
no prob.
vacations? not only not a problem, but available with no notice.
mornings and evenings without running around forever and ever
and rushing home to let this little lemming poop, pee, ea, and run through the house.
happily, he's MORE than fine.
unhappily, i'm still tethered to this preexisting condition.
i hate that i love him.
i hate that i hate him.
i love that he's ok, 
but i'm sad for my time and for the people who want more out of me.
huh? 
sorry, vegans and pet maniacs.... 
i am more likely to skip thanksgiving 
because i might actually puke from looking at a turkey carcass
than i am to fake a spiritual connection to this little man.
he's cared for, and we walk for miles and miles, and he sleeps IN the bed 
at the expense of my own rest 
(the whining and freaking out and general cruelty of having a dog who is crated 
during the day AND night is more than my conscience can bear)
-
so,
i have a dog and it F*ing sucks,
but getting rid of him will generate enough self-loathing to ruin whatever 
obligation-free travelling i could then manage.
luckily, 
that causes that heavyweight megatonnage of strained human interconnectedness
to also crush me alive every minute of every day.
basically,
it's all the worst.
cool?
totally;
neverquietneversoft.....