Sunday, February 18


it was sort of warm outside yesterday,
but today it's a snow day.
that means that the drop in temperature really just created opportunities.
man, c'mon,
rules is rules- and on a snow day anything can happen.
so i'll add another layer of clothes to my bendy bandy body when i dress for success,
and then i'll forge a new path into the future with the realm of possibilty open before me.
and all because of a little wintry precipitation.
i'm cool with that.
i've got dudes on dudes to tattoo, with trucks and cover-ups;
and lovely vacation lady walk-ins to turn away all day while i'm working on those XYs,
with that accent heavy on the whY...
(because movie checks, bro. a grand don't come for free)
today is that day,
and i feel good about it.
i even went to bed early.
i did.
i was asleep by 11, neighbors; which does not GO to eleven, btw.
sure i still was awake way before sunrise, but that's sort of my thing.
there's no point in stockpiling sleep, you don't have much to show when you're done.
before i head out into the freshly fallen and gently driven powder
covering the whole of the woodsly goodness,
i'd like to say a little something about compulsion, obligation, and determination.
sometimes, i couldn't give any less of a sh!t about cooking.
that's right.
i just don't F*ing feel like it.
except, i still do it.
y'get it?
like, i have to.
i've mentioned this many times, but i don't think it's possible to overstate it,
anymore than it's possible to circumnavigate the urge to make things.
if only my obsessive infinite nature wasn't the overriding determining factor
in all of my daily routine, i could've maybe skipped a day somewhere.
it's been a loooooong time since i didn't have something delicious to show
for every. single. flippin'. day.
i didn't do much in the way of cooking in the morning-
though i did bake a couple of loaves of sourdough, but that's different.
so, by nightfall, after an excruciating day of tedious, tiresome tattooing,
while tired and downtrodden,
i came home with no intention of doing anything.
it was a free day. the first break in the cycle. the first step in taking it easy on myself.
...and then i started cooking.
awwwww man.
check the teleport:

it's sort of gumbo, but without fish, obvi.
and it's sort of jambalaya, but without the rice.
the seasoning is on point;
the mirepoix is deluxxxe;
the sausagishes are tight;
the tofu was a wild card, but it worked.
i mean, it's not exactly going to overpower anything, y'feel me?
word up.
and the sourdough dippin' slices?
fresh baked in the morning, and soft, supple, and super-spongy in the evening?
c'mon, kids-
good bread makes better people,
and great bread is what you dip in your chili.
that's no joke.
i'll give you the rundown, and you decide where to take it from there:
in a big saucepot (the shallow kind)
saute in 3 T olive oil:
1 sweet onion;
1/4 cup scallion midsections (the thick greenish whitish part);
1 diced green bell pepper;
2 stalks chopped celery;
1 bias-cut and halved carrot;
3 cloves crushed garlic.
when they soften somewhat,
add in:
GPOP; 1 tsp oregano; 1 tsp thyme; 1/2 tsp rubbed sage; 2 bay leaves; 1/2 tsp ground mustard;
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper; pink salt and black pepper, heavy on the fresh-crack'd black peps;
1 tsp red pepper flakes;
allow those to fully bloom, then drip in:
3 T green sriracha;
1 T red wine vinegar;
3 shakes liquid smoke;
1 cup chopped baby sweet grape tomatoes;
1 can (15 oz.) small red/colorado beans.
let that all marry for a moment,
then pour in 1 cup vegetable broth;
1 handful of minced parsley;
1 small punch of cilantro;
1 punch of scallion;
1/4 cup rainbow sweet baby bell pepper;
2 T pickled jalapeno;
one large handful baby spinach.
that'll boil for five-ten minutes, then simmer while you sear your tofu and sausagishes.
one homemade vegan seitan sausage, slivered,
and one quarter block of cubed tofu, sizzled on all sides in olive oil,
and tossed on top with plenty more scallions,
and a few slices of that expert AF bread.
just like that,
you're the hero of the evening.
if you're me, you've just averted the anxiety attack of incompletion.
damn, dudes, i make it out of self-imposed obligations to my infinite self,
but damn damn damn, dudes, i never regret it when it hits my palate.
this sh!t is DOPE.
it's crazy how much pressure dissipates into nothing
as soon as the finished product hits my tongue, and that rich deliciousness activates
the reward receptors everywhere in my brain, and my mouth, and my guts.
it's never not worth the effort once the effort is over.
there's something to that, and i'm sticking with it.
there will never be a good enough reason to take the easy way,
even with something as unlucrative as the daily documentation of my culinary creations
that may seem stupid to the self-care means-doing-nothing-sometimes crowd-
but too much is the right amount.
and nobody ever got more awesome by doing nothing.
if y'all ain't making anything, you're kind of  a bummer.
today is not just a snow day.
it's bigger than that.
it's better than that.
it's a homecoming, and if things go well,
it'll be one heck of a reuniting and igniting of the hot fire,
with heart-shaped hugs and kisses, x's and a LOT of o's...
unless another 'nother bullsh!t last-minute plan-change occurs,
today is the day that kayla returns to the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
after being absent, and farther and further across the country in increasing increments
for all of february thus far,
(....which, for the record, without her company, seemed like a long, lonely year,
rather than the first half of the shortest month)
she's coming home to the snowy, wet woodsly goodness.
strangely enough,
weeks and weeks' worth of a return to my solo hermitage,
with only crabtree accompanying/hindering my efforts,
was so damned familiar, if unwelcome,
that i easily assimilated back into my old mode.
really, there's always so much to do that there wasn't enough time to dwell on the
lonely aspects of living singly in a haunted mansion.
i still had a shop to run, a dog to walk, cakes to bake, paintings to brush up on,
books to read, words to write, stories to tell,
and epic efforts in all aspects of every day's active participatory really real life
that demanded and commanded and commandeered my attentions-
my affections remained with my insightful and delightful,
funny, endearing, engaging, enraging adorable doll of a partner.
i have hours and hours to wait, yet.
and a whole exxxtra other 'nother half a day of surprise plan-changes popped up
to further postpone the reunion.
(is it still considered a surprise if it happens often?)
unless this snow day really takes a plot-twisting off-script ad libitum lunge towards
effing up my sh!t with even MORE layovers and delays.....
the warm embrace and beauteous face of my compañera will brighten my night,
and we'll be together like we're s'posed to be.
i'm hopeful,
but i have a healthy respect for the unpredictability of both a snow day
and the secret universal untranslatable diagrammatical blueprints.
it's ALL really happening.
we just might need a little distance to gain advantageous vantage,
a little elevation to improve perspective,.
and some time to decipher what we're looking at.
i'm ready to see somethin', and i'm on the lookout for the big arrival;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, February 17


tax season is upon us.
everybody who got an early return,
which is to say most of the local populace, who otherwise live paycheck to paycheck,
have been reimbursed, with their own money,
are currently strong in the wallet,
so they are doing everything they can to change that as quickly as possible.
i can totally help with that.
because if there's one thing i like,
it's making those sweet moolah movie checks.
so, i'm busy busy, and that's good news.
i'm tattooing almost exclusively dudes with very dudelike ideas for the next week.
if there's anybody out there who doesn't have male genitals,
and also wants a cool tattoo,
i'd love to hear from you.
just sayin': i'm grateful for what i'm getting, but it's not all i want to have.
tax season.
i haven't gotten a return in forever, so i like to think of theirs as partially mine.
i give 'em the zipzaps, and those help me pay my fair share.
last night was cold and windy, and that's always a bummer.
wind ranks least among weather for y'boi,
and i can't hang out with gusts and gales for anything.
so, it was a night IN, with crabtree,
and we made some serious dinner jauns,
in honor of the year of the dog.
he got carrot, and banana, and calcium-rich yogurt for his face,
and i got dumps all over mine.
check the teleport:

sesame sossamon tofu, with broccoli, in garlic sauce!!!
and those boomfire dumplestiltskins, too!
what a satisfying supper.
the tofu was thin-cut.
like, one half block, in thirds and quarters, to make twelve triangles.
seared on each side i sesame oil, and covered in toasted sesame seeds
to really activate the flavor of the thing.
there's grilled cabbage, and broccoli, with just a little oil,
and a clove of sliced garlic,
covered in some serious sauce-
4 T soy sauce;
4 T rice wine vinegar;
1 T agave;
1 tsp sugar;
1 tsp GPOP;
1/4 tsp ground mustard;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
1/4 tsp ground black pepper;
1/4 tsp ground sichuan peppercorn;
4 dried red chilis;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
1 T non-GNO organic cornstarch.
could that be simpler?
with some rice,
and some scallions, and cilantro sprankles, too??
i know what's good, and i know what's not.
this is that good-good.
for realsies.
really, though, it's all about the dumplings.
dumps are the TRUTH,
and red oil is the FIRE .
in a mixing bowl, combine:
1 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
1/3 cup + 1 T warm water.
knead it for five full minutes, and rest it for fifteen.
the sequence is as foolows:
roll it cut it, fill it crimp it, fold it, rest it, and boil them until they float.
-remove them with a spider, and coat them in that luscious red oil.
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1/4 tsp sichaun pepper;
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes;
1/4 tsp hot paprika;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
1 clove crushed garlic;
1 tsp sesame oil;
2 T garlic oil;
1/2 tsp paprika.
stir it well, and get ready to fall in love with flavor, neighbors.
in a hot pan, with 2 tsp sesame oil,
saute 1/4 minced sweet onion, and 1 bunch green onion bottoms;
3 cloves chopped garlic;
2 tsp minced skin-on organic ginger;
1 1/2 cups homemade seitan, shredded.
add a splash of soy, black pepper, and a dash of rice vinegar,
and when it's all browned,
add the scallion green in and let it all cool.
hot filling totally F*sup dumplings, dudes.
that's no joke.
but cool filling is the hottness, so be advised, and act accordingly-
i'm ready for a long day of burly up-north bearded barbarians.
i've got a whole day of guys who do especially manly stuff alllllll the time.
we'll have lots to talk about, i'm sure.
the thing is,
they're great clients.
for real.
it's just harder to get excited for ultra-woodsman day on zero sleep.
i'm tired af after a loooong night wondering and worrying
and generally being both suspicious and angry in alternating tsunami waves
of incredible disappointment in myself.
...and we all know that after a few hours of that,
there's no turning back.
y'ever get mad about something you know you can't do anything about?
at least, not in that moment, but you still just can't let it go?
so instead you dwell, and steep, and stew in discontent, resentment, and vitriol,
until you're so bitter, and sour, and pressurized with pent-up frustration
and powerlessness that might just burst a seam,
and spew your rotten, twisted guts out all over the floor,
where they'll writhe and roil and boil and sizzle and dissolve down into the earth
as if they're alive with snakes of pure acid?
damn, dudes- you diiiiiiid?
jeez, that's probably pretty bad for you.
don't do that.
seriously, what are you?
that's not healthy, buddy.
i mean, i'm not saying that wasn't me,
i'm just saying i'd hoped i was alone in that,
since it feels so flipping awful i'd hate to have that experience in common with anybody else.
the specifics are almost never important.
the symptoms always stem form the same cause-
knowing better but not doing better which means not getting any better-
and that's a waste of time..
ok, so in the future, how do we avoid that?
besides just being all alone always?
well, man, i don't know either.
but if you get any inside info, pass it along.
i'll be sure to do the same;
never quiet, never soft.....


it's the year of the dog.
although, this and every other morning seems to be all about the dog, anyway.
this time, it's official.
now, every year on the lunar flip-up-and-over
i wanna make some sort of vaguely asian treat for the big day.
and, every year, i do that.
they're getting better, slowly but surely-
it's just that once a yearly practice hardly makes for perfection.
at any rate,
to celebrate the new moon, and lunar new year, i made some cookies,
and a nother 'nother resolution.
P.M.A. is a great focus to strive for in for 2018.
i mean, c'mon-
a Positive Mental Attitude should, if properly applied,
lift you up out of whatever bummer situation you're in.
it doesn't fix it.
but, proactive affirmative motion is progress,
and progress moves forward,
and as forward momentum builds, those bummers get left behind.
that's why we got that P.M.A. ...ALL DAY.
but it's not enough.
just to reinforce my mantra:
too much is the right amount,
i'm also adding a whole exxxtra element to my perpetual quest for self-improvement.
you have any idea how tough it gets trying to keep my composure?
for real.
can i take it to eleven all the time, and not get lost in the sauce?
can i state an informed opinion calmly from start to finish? (probably not)
can i feel things deeply and not let them upend and upset the delicate
and finely-calibrated balance between thoughts and actions?
i don'y knowwwwwwwww.
but, i've got to try to keep my composure.
runaway train was a terrible soul asylum song,
a cliché movie premise,
and an apt description of my emotional acceleration from initial idea
to stormswept cyclone somewhere around the second spoken sentence.
it's not an ideal model for socializing.
composure, man.
in the face of those few things that actually matter,
and in the midst of all the things that actually don't.
i think it's going to be hard, but i also think it'll be worth a lot more than the effort.
i also made some cookies,
which were such a bummer at first that i had to mess with the recipe a LOT
just to make something any good at the end.
....i hope that's not some kind of a harbinger.
then again, i stuck with it, and made it happen.
shoutouts to that P.M.A. right now, and for the rest of this dog year, too.
y'wanna see 'em?
i wanna show you.

we got coin-ish ones,
we got medallions with powdered sugar dog symbols,
and we got iced ingots with sossamon sprankles!
that's what's up, bro.
i'm not even going to get into the recipe-
i effed with it so much that i doubt i could even estimate what's what
or how much of it there was.
there is rice flour, and peanut butter, and tons sesame seeds,
coconut oil, vegan butter, sugar, agave, non-dairy milk, white flour, xantham gum,
salt, and sadness.
they tasted fantastic,
but they took forever to finally become something i could work with.
i hate when that happens,
but i looooved these cookies.
figures the tastiest sesame treats so far are the most mysterious, too.
i s'pose next year, i'll be starting from scratch again.
year of the dog, dudes.
the year of the flippin' dog.
and that's no joke.
i have a sneaky suspicion that crabtree and i
are going to spend even more time together as this year progresses.
he may be a deaf, dumb, self-destructive cannonball shark-bullet battle-beast,
but he's pretty reliable, and dependable,
so long as you're depending on him to be sort of a distraction.
the thing of it is,
he's always a distraction in the exact same ways.
so, that's pretty staid and steady, and predictability isn't a bad trait,
because we can anticipate the likely outcome every time....
that works for people too.
creatures of (bad)habits can be relied on to be unreliable.
i'm completely unimpressed by most people more often than not.

and while he's a whiny little side-eyed instigator,
i'm also pretty sure that that counts as communication, inasmuch as he's interested
and capable of such interpersonal interaction.
he's not sayin' anything i wanna discuss, but he's not NOT telling me what he wants.
stating your needs is kind of in the top five topics for being satisfied in any relationship, right?
so shoutouts to crabtree for being better at hanging out than most of us.
it's the year of the dog, neighbors.
and dogs do what dogs do-
their infinite nature is pretty open and up front.
if he sees or even smells a roadside mud-clot half-eaten sandwich?
he's gonna go for it.
nature wins,
and he can't help himself from helping himself to a helping of hurt.
literally, he is incapable of choosing otherwise.
even though the consequences are considerable, and long-lasting.
he cannot reason, and therefore he cannot be trusted.
sort of like some other folks i know.
ohhhhhhhhhh sh!t!
is that passive aggressive?
but, and i'll say it again, this isn't actually a food blog-
it's a real life documentarian dissertation of true stories of woodsly goodness.
moving on,
it's the year of the dog, not the year of the lil b!tch,
and thus i am unsure what to what level the limits of tolerance there should be
for those who are capable of comprehension and still choose to be a real bummer.
i mean, it stands to reason that if we can reason,
then there's no reason for it.
not for doing it,
and there's even less of a reason to accept it.
if you're no better than a dog, but also, like, not any better than a dog,
but also, NOT a dog-
i have to ask?
what. the. F*. is wrong. with. you?
is it a cynic's life you're living?
like, the old-school greek-style jauns?
i doubt that, although that was a tight dog reference, for the two people who get it.
it's the year of the dog.
it's an eleven year.
and it's all really happening.
so, where my dogs at?
and what's up with faithful friends?
what's poppin' with loyal companions?
where's the trust?
where's the communication?
and how does it get so tough, so quickly?
i love my people,
and i love my baby bully boy,
but in an instant-
in one decision, one choice, one action,
it flips to something else so HARD i hardly recognize myself.
keeping one's composure starts there, and starts now;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, February 16


2018 is already an eleven year.
yeah, that's a thing.
2+0+1+8= 11.
y'get it?
c'mon- y'got it.
today is also THE day,
and now, with a new moon blackout keeping the skies dark,
it's also officially the year of the DOG (again)!
so shoutouts to DarkMan X, a.k.a. the dog; also known as earl simmons,
for providing the soundtrack to the workday, for sure.
it's happening.
the TÊT, bro.
lunar new year.
the new hottness.
and today is when it pops off.
what's good?
i've got a whole mess of sesame seeds toasted up,
and i've got a whole lotta fresh from-scratch seitan ready for red oil,
and i've also, and this one is key here, got a F*ing DOG.
as far as i'm concerned, today is crabtree appreciation day.
and very proud we all always are of that terrible terrorizing milky boi.
it's the year of the dog, dudes.
rules is rules.
meanwhile, independent of any celestial timekeeping,
i burned an embarrassing mountain of hoarded paper bags last night.
i did.
i looked into a long-forgotten pantry, and discovered a whole world of
weird sh!t i must've stashed in there years ago.
but, the days of stockpiling stupid stuff are over,
and the nights of burning it all to ash have just begun.
i think it might've all the chick peas pumping me full of raw berserker power?
is that something that happens?
i dunno.
it might be.
i was all hopped-up on curry,
and spicy chicky peepee might've pushed me over the edge.
check the teleport:

shouts to chana saag, son!
what's in it?
i'll tell you: chickpeas (chana) and spinach (saag).
more specifically?
i mean, that's pretty specific, man.
you wanna know how to make it on your own....
it's like this:
in a big ol' pan, warm up 3 T vegan earth balance butter,
and saute, on medium high heat-
1/2 diced onion;
3 cloves garlic;
when the onion gets a little translucent, add:
1/2 cup chopped tomato;
2 tsp minced skin-on organic ginger;
1 tsp turmeric;
1/4 tsp black pepper; cinnamon; hot paprika; cardamon;
1/2 tsp coriander seed; cumin; cayenne; mustard seed;
next, stir in:
1 can 15oz rinsed chick peas;
drizzle in:
2 T hotsauce;
1 habanero;
1 jalapeno;
1/2 cup water.
lid it, and let it absorb all that liquid,
then add a sh!t ton of chopped spinach.
i rep the baby-leaf stuff because it's already bite-sized,
but big-big real spinach is totally just as good.
have you ever made rice?
ok. well, do that, too.
but, leave room for some roti-style flatbread, neighbors.
a scoopie scooper of bread is tight at all times,
and i recommend it highly-
1/2 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
1/2 tsp bakey powpow;
2 tsp non-dairy yogurt;
1 tsp melted butterish;
2 T warm water.
knead it, rest it, shape it, and give it a good, thorough pan fry on a HOT skillet, pan, griddle, or whatever.
just be sure to toast both sides.
the next step is setting yourself up for suppertime success.
jalapeno, cilantro, lime, scallion sprankles, and coolwater cukes for crunch!!!!
that's expert.
but when you add a dollop of unsweetened cashew yogurt to the mix?
that's that eleven-year sh!t i mentioned earlier for sure.
yeah, i ate a whole heap of it.
yeah, i had seconds.
yeah, i was very happy with the results of my decisions.
too much is the right amount, buddy.
don't forget that.
and now it's the other other new year.
looks like it's time to take a few dumps on my face.
i think that's more than fair.
after all,
i bombarded all y'all with heart-shaped cake for weeks,
and here i am,
all by my lonesome,
ready and willing to dump 'em out,
for freelookfriday,
and there's no damned dirty doggies to dig in with.
except crabtree, but the i'd have to make it gluten/onion/garlic/soy free.
these upscale luxury purebreed dudes come with a lot of complications.
i'm not saying i mind,
i'm saying i don't have a dumpling team assembled for this evening.
i'll live.
after all,
it's still crabtree appreciation day, even if he and i are having separate meals.
TÊT is here, and it's all really happening...
another dark night rises,
and i guess the temperature is set to drop over forty fahrenheit degrees, too.
nature wins, and dogs do what dogs do.
i guess that's the theme for today;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, February 15


i had dennis, dylan, AND ian,
plus my new homie marcus,
a few consultations,
a client with a looong tattoo appointment, and her friends,
all hanging out all day at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
and y'know what?
it was F*ing awesome.
the warm-hearted avocado-hued fresh-to-death just-be-dope-imbued hotspot
for competent and capable creation, communication, and cooperation
really seemed to be firing on all cylinders, whatever that means.
it was good.
and i was grateful.
valentine's day with people i care about is a decent silver medal, i s'pose.
although, you still won't catch me giving any sh!ts about the olympics.
that's not my area, kids.
do y'wanna know what IS my boomfire specialty though?
go ahead- guess....
did you just say pizza?
damn, dudes, you really DO know me pretty well.
i saiiiiiiiiid: PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!
and there ain't no party like a vegan pizza party,
because a vegan pizza party, in a drug-free household,
with only my buddy ian, and crabtree the dog around,
is basically no party,
but rather a heroic, platonic, hetero-shark-gluttonous feeding-frenzy.
i still went hard on the cute sh!t, because valentine's day is good for you.

that's my semi-semolina standard,
upgraded and activated with half a cup of very active sourdough starter,
and really proofed like the troof from the floor to the roof.
wordimus prime.
it rose like a phoenix in the hot oven, bro.
thickness is key to good sourdough pizza crust.
it gets crackery if it's too thin.
lucky for me,
i enjoy crawnch as much as the next guy,
so that circle pizza was doing just fine.
i'll take an exxxtra pie for my face anytime.
i think you're not fully aware about the exxxcitement that is required right now-

...because obviously i heart pizza.
and even the fresh from-scratch-made sausageronis were cut into hearts.
that's what you DO, if you're a hopeless romantic,
and a mandatory celebrant of sentimentality.
my absentee affectionada, kayla, was sorely missed,
and also, she sorta seems to have missed out.
but then again,
i'm in an icy arctic winterscape,
and she's F*ing around in sunny southern california.
(if you'd had a slice of this, though, i think you'd have agreed
that i actually am doing pretty great, all things considered)
the thing of it is,
i made that heart pretty big.
and the sausages, in order to be cut into hearts, were also pretty big.
so, it was a large pizza.
of course, that's NOT a problem.
too much is the right amount,
which is never more true than when referring to radical expert vegan pizza.
real talk.
there's crushed tomatoes, followed by slow-cooked thin-sliced caramelized onions,
daiya mozzarella chee', baby bella mushroom slices,
and that elite 'roni....
naturally, there are fried garlic sprankles all over it.
i mean. c'mon, kiddo-
rules IS rules.
tell you what-
the dough recipe, which can be found here, when improved with the sourdough starter,
has a depth of flavor i appreciated to my core,
and then enoyed more and more with every slice.
the mushrooms were subtle, 0% slimy, 100% rich in flavor,
and totally invigorating my nutrient receptors.
that last part is an assumption.
the onions are forever the best. carmies have the pizza essence dialed in,
and anyone who says otherwise is misinformed, and very likely a F*ing sociopath.
avoid them at all costs.
i've said it before, but i believe in reinforcement through repetition:
chop up your daiya chee' shreds. i'm not playin'. do it.
you'll be so grateful when the ooey gooey meltiness is increased by mathematical margins.
the arugula was a good call, y'all.
just sayin', it looks like the sexxxiness, and it tastes like the sexxxiness,
and pizza with the sexxed-up presentation counts for double-points...
and then i freaked it off on this classic jaun:

and also baby sweet tomatoes and arugula and fried garlic spranksies,
plus crushed tomatoes and that mincey little daiya...
all the sausage pieces around the heart cut-outs were crumbled, fried, and spread around this
littler thinny-thin-thin skin of sourdough circularity.
the brussels sprouts were braised in broth,
and seared in a skillet, and they always melt in your mouth after a 480℉ convection cycle.
the tomatoes get soft, but not mushy, whereas the onions get almost ethereal in the oven.
i LOVE pizza, and i could eat it every single day.
heck, who knows, i may just call an audible on the field,
and declare sometime soon a pizza week.
don't think for a second that's out of the realm of possibilities.
when it comes to pizza partying: what-what say-what-say-what?
ANYthing could happen.
and that's no joke.
now that valentine's day has come and gone,
the rest of this month is basically bullsh!t.
its still cold, and will be for some time.
it's getting lighter, but not enough to do nighttime things that are any good.
school vacations begin tomorrow,
so this whole area is about to get flooded with A*bags and d!ckturds from away,
who'll clog and congest and infest every restaurant gas station coffee shop
and grocery store for the next couple of weeks.
just in time to continue this februarian tradition of hard styles.
i'm doing two and half weeks without my sweetheart,
and i'll do two more with bitter buttfaces taking up all the peace and quiet.
it's a study in extremes,
and i'm extremely unimpressed;
never quiet, never soft.....

BIG B!!!!

i made myself the big B,
just because i love being the chief chopper and show-stopper
in my Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory.
i was up early, trying to squeeze every last drop of valentiney goodness
out of the whole damned day.
i had dough whirling on the imbedded hook of
my stooped and bowed brokeback stand mixer.
i had batter resting in the fridge.
i had spices sifted and stirred, awaiting seitanification.
i was up and at 'em,
and i was on'n'on'n'ON it with alert alacrity from the moment i opened my eyes.
and with those same good-lookin' amber-colored maple-syrup-tinted orbs,
i spied an opportunity to turn my solo span in my expansive manse into something
a little MORE expert.
when you see a chance, y'gotta seize it, right?
i said to myself: "self, you deserve a beautiful romantic breakfast.
you're a lover, and a fighter, a writer, a righter, a wright, and usually right.
go for that beautiful big action all by your lonesome.
don't let solitude dictate the day."
and the  i was all like: "damn, man. y'all all kinds of WISE like a guru and sh!t."
and then i made breakfast.
check the teleport:

* chocolate chip oatmeal coconut panniecakes??
with strawberries, AND coconut sprankles???
word up!
this ain't where the weak-sauce watery diaperbaby buttholes wimp out.
this is where the worth-a-sh!t sorcerers of superfancy loud, hard,
fresh-to-deathliness doo-doo that freaky sh!t, holmes., like, recognize.
* heart-shaped exxxtra-crispy soft-centered salty hashbrownzzz??
F* yeah!
* fresh homemade spicy seitan brekkie sausages??
c'mon, i'm ON it, kid.
rules is rules, fools,
and y'need the sexxxiness if it's valentine time, right?
* tofu scramborghini, with blackened baby sweetie tomatoes?
that's exxxactly what those are.
ummmm, are those chocolate covered strawberries, too?
what are you?
an A*-hole??!
of COURSE they are.
don't be dumb.
too much is the right amount,
and besides, valentine's day is s'posed to be cute like that, man.
you want recipes?
do you?
you DO?
sounds good.
here they come:
in a mixing bowl,
1/2 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
1/4 cup fresh-ground unsweetened coconut from flakes into meal;
1/4 cup oatmeal prepared the same way (spice grinders are a must-have, y'feel?);
1 tsp bakey soda & bakey powder;
2 T vegan sour cream OR non-dairy yogurt.
2-3 T melted vegan butterish;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1 tsp vanilla.
combine gently, and refrigerate at least an hour.
you may need to add a little scoochie droplet more milkiness to thin it,
but i believe in you.
are you adding chocolate chips to yours?
you ARE?! nice. put 'em on the unflipped side, so they don't burn and turn to charred turds.
that's right.
then, the flip will goldenize the surface, and only barely soften your cakes.
a nearly high-heat pan, and some butts or spray,
to keep the sticking at bay, help when you;re using shapes, btw.
that's the way to do it.

in a colander,
salt up:
1 small shredded carrot;
1/4 paper-thin sliced sweet onion;
1 large skin-on sredded red potato.
let that sit for fifteen minutes, and squeeze all that gros starchy water away.
give it eleven MORE mnutes, and do it again.
press all of that firmly into a heart-shaped metal form,
or a circle, of just do it sloppy if you;re lazy and lame.
but fry it in a hot oily pan, until the first side is very crispy,
then flip it and remove the form.
you wouldn't wanna have it fall to pieces, would ya?
no way.
salt and pep it while it cooks to, so it's got that nicey nice.
i ate mine with sliced of that AVOCADO.
i'll tell you, that was the right call.
soft smooth vs crisp crunch and the winner was my face.
yay for victual victories, an' that.
a little onion; a little firm or exxxta-firm tofu, undrained;
a little olive oil; a LOT of GPOP; and some nootch;
turmeric and black peps to activate it; pink or better yet, black salt;
all of that, sizzlin' away, will get you what you need, nerds.
i added hemp hearts at the end.
also, i freak mine off with a little pinch of smoked paprika.
you don't need it, but you kinda need it. y'know? mmmmmmhmmmm.
oil-fried tomatoes, barely blackened also seem to be essential.
i'm not telling you what to do, i'm just insinuating that my way is better.
the sausages were tight and TILTY.
seitan/tofu/onion. garlic jauns,
with allllll the spices and a lot of spiciness, too.
the recipe is on here in a bunch of places.
find it, i guess, if that's your thing.
they were molto dope, tho, for realsies.
and of course,
that's real new hampshire maple syrup.
that's non-negotiable.
if you're using that b!tchsap corn sauce,
you're fired.
and then there had to be coconut sprankles.
and some slightly-trimmed-to-be-even-MORE-heartlike slices of strawberry.
AND then those chocolate-dipped romantic blops, too.
i don't even pretend i'm not all about that stuff.
if it isn't adorable, it's probably not invited.
i can't help myself: i'm sweet even when my girl is gone.
i guess that's my infinite nature-
and since it's the truth that nature wins,
we just have to use the momentum of eternity
to slingshot our finite selves towards a worthy ending, man.
that way, the echoes that rebound and resound throughout time and space
will ricochet with a resonance that reforms into a clearer being next time.
oh, stop.
it's inevitable that we go, bro.
but how we span the time until then is a matter of navigation.
take your worst traits and harness them.
it's all hot fire in between all the cold emptiness of the secret universal plan.
that's what i'm spitting, that's what's coursing in my veins,
that's the spark that keeps burning in the nothingness.
where'd you go?
i though ya'll were with me.
oh well.
moving on, what do you do with all that hot fire?
you forge a steely resolve from the raw iron ore of your core.
we're big black smiths, and we're hammering out a bass-boosted backbeat heartbeat,
with that ring and recoil of every minute.
every impact shapes the sword, neighbors.
over time, you're beaten down.
that's true.
beaten into what, though?
or into a mutha-F*ing +ULFBERH+T?
i'm not saying that a big B on valentine's day gave me this kind of P.M.A.
i'm not saying it didn't contribute.
and then,
this happened:

HOLY SH!!!!!!!!T!!
cherry red enamel for my cherry red heart....
isn't she pretttty????
damn, damn, DAMN!
my stepparents, patti and dennis, came THROUGH big time
with the valentine generosity.
i am so very grateful for my holiday-colored large and in charge new hottness.
i'm about to take my bread game to eleven.
who has the best people?
i think it's me.
and honestly, i'm driven to be worthy of their attentions and affections.
no days off,
no rest,
no time to waste.
there is no down time.
i've got to earn this Folk Life, and be of value the people who populate it;
never quiet, never soft.....


it was valentine's day.
and it was not the worst one i've ever had.
somewhat surprisingly,
even without the close quarters company of a certain special someone,
and without the only-slightly-less close-quarters
constant communication with my coworker,
i STILL managed to be surrounded by positive people,
with positive vibes,
and that Positive Mental Attitude.
lucky lucky.
i think it must've been the cake, honestly.
everybody who is any good likes cake.
i wish it was because i was well-dressed for success,
but i'm convinced it was all the cake's doing, and not the fresh threads.
i was decked out from head to toe in a seasonally-appropriate situationally-suited
site-specific red, white, and pink fit of valentine finery,
complete with bow tie, OBVI,
because i am both romantic and dapper, and also NOT an A*-hole.
rules is rules.
you dress nice on valentine's day, duders.
show a little sentimental softness for one day.
i had a chocolate brownie doing it's best impersonation of a cake,
and it was covered in chocolate ganache,
and it had sprankles all over it.
you know what i'm about,
and now i know what brings all of y'all to the studio.
(nobody was getting tattooed, just spanning time and eating cake, but still....)
check it:

i just loooooove to celebrate stuff.
and i love love.
and i love cake.
so this is pretty much a convergence of the expert elements.
y'see that frosting?
that's the messy whirlwind of wand mixer prepared swirls.
whatever, man. it worked, barely, and it looks good, so that must mean it IS good.
is that how that works?
i think that's a thing.
you guys want to know how to make some of this for yourselves?
well, i'm just gonna list the process for you,
and if you wanna, you can follow along at home-
in a small saucepot,
warm  up, all together:
1 stick vegan butter equivalent(i think the earth balance stuff is numero uno for this);
1 cup dark brown sugar;
1/2 cup chocolate chips;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1 tsp vanilla.
while that's melting, slowly, over low heat,
fire your oven right on up to 375℉.
grease and flour a cake pan, more specifically a heart one, bro.
in a medium mixing bowl,
toss together:
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch/whatever you call it;
1/3 cup cocoa;
2 cups flour;
1 tsp ea. bakey powpow and soda;
1/2 tsp salt;
add the wet to the dry, and pour it into the pan and put the pan into the oven.
that's where you're going to bake it for 35-45 minutes,
and then, y'gotta let it cool out of it's pan for long enough
to keep the ganache from getting too runny and slipping off.
that's a thing.
and the ganache?
damn, duders. that's actually too easy:
1/2 cup chocolate chips;
3 T non-dairy milk;
3 T powdered sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 non-stick pan on low heat, and lots of stirring.
instant supersexxxy luscious frosty boomfire.
y'like those valentiney dots on dots, a.k.a. spranks?
you dooooo?
tight. i do too.
and of course, when it was actually cooled enough to manhandle,
that double frosty frosting flavor was mandatory:
too much is the right amount;
and besides understating things is a great way to be misunderstood.
i repeat myself a lot.
i want to make sure you know what i mean, man.
not everybody is terrible.
that's something it took me years to discover,
and i'm glad i finally stopped being completely closed-off long enough
to let a few people in.
my valentine's crew was a surprising set of folks who are all really frickin' good ones.
i know i'm lucky.
not everybody is terrible.
everybody is when they're drinking alcohol.
unpopular that opinion may be, but it's not any less true.
even just a little bit diminishes your ability to uncover your best self.
that's real.
and while i guess i get why it happens-
not everyone thinks they can be accepted for their inner infinite nature-
which is true, but also pretty much totally fine.
i mean it.
not everybody has to like you.
and not everyone can find a path towards resolution of their problems,
so they seek escape 'em rather than repair or reroute or reflect.
i don't remember...does that solve anything?
oh, doesn't.
personally, i believe we get a choice.
and the choice is between what is easy, and what is dope.
the harder way, every day, kids, is the path to strong bodies and minds.
i choose to be the person i want to be.
or, at the barest minimum, to clear-headedly soul-searchingly strive
to become that worthy warrior poetic ideal.
why the F* would i want anything less?
i know, i repeat myself a lot.
i know, most of you could give a sh!t.
i know i'm not changing many minds.
i know, it has nothing to do with cake.
but, well,
it's MY blog, brothers and sisters,
and this is what i had on my mind.
truth tellers can never stop,
and moreover, they mustn't.
it's ALL really happening,
and i'm pursuing that hard-headed open-minded heavy-handed strongarm
sojourn for true stories told truly.
this is it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, February 13


to answer the pressing question burning the brains of everybody here-
q. IS black bean spaghetti delicious?
a. not especially.
sure, it's not THAT disgusting.
in fact, it's pretty flippin' bland.
but, it's got that gluten-free bummer texture.
sorta gritty, kinda plastic, kinda not as dope as wheat.
yeah, yeah, it's healthy, maybe.
that's cool.
i'm not sayin' i didn't eat a ton of it,
i'm just sayin' it looks a lot cooler than it is.
sorta like the opposite of me.
no. wait. i look as uncool as i am.
the pasta bowl, though, that punctuated my evening was tiiiiiiight.
nate and i did name tattoos on some in-love lovelies.
i know what you're thinking- big deal.
people do that all the time and it is almos always ill-advised.
to that i say:
'maaaaaaaaaan, don't ruin it'.
theyare in love probably, and that was nice to see.
the gesture, in the moment is always so optimistic,
and that's the sort of P.M.A. i wish i had.
the guy makes italian food.
and you KNOW i like to talk about food.
so, we did, and i got psyched.
so much so that instead of skipping dinner,
i went RBG and molto italiano at the same time.
check the teleport:

what's the secret to good broccoli rabe?
boil it for exxxactly two minutes in salted water!
when i learned that, it changed my actual life.
until that point, i'd bee resigned to hating the stuff, because it was so flippin' bitter,
it made even ME seem sugary sweet by comparison.
vegan sausages are good, because sausages taste good.
when they aren't made of d!cks stuffed into A*-holes made to look like d!cks,
and instead are just vaguely phallic veggie blops, they're actualy much much better.
just sayin'.
i got some from-the-store ones, and i'm not even ashamed about it at all.
fried garlic, and shallots, and blackened burst baby tomatoes all added a lot to the composition.
i cooked those dumb noodles like it said to, and that was alright.
no big deal.
but, to freak it off, turn it up,
and bring the entire flavor profile up to eleven,
i toasted and crushed some almond slices, neighbors.
expert activation ensued.
simple, but sexxxy.
sort of the opposite of y'boi.
i'm a convoluted and complicated head-on attacker,
but i am NOT the sexxxy sexbob-omb, broski.
maybe if i eat enough of this stuff, it'll infuse my body with that tasty man-peach karate?
i have my doubts,
but i had one heck of a satisfying supper.
word up.
i need a new bathroom.
actually, i need something of a new portion, or a repair, or a patch, or a problem solved
in ALL the bathrooms in my house.
that's real.
it would seem that i'm in the market for a builder-type, who does that sort of thing.
do you know a guy?
because i need one.
just sayin';
never quiet, never soft.....


strawberry pastry creme.
you know about it?
well, you're going to.
i'm going to give you the recipe,
so that you can make something neat-o with it.
or, you can alternately ignore it,
and do nothing.
that's cool with me, because i have a strawberry pastry creme tart already,
so i'm not sweating it, neighbors.
in fact,
i went all-in and over-the-top with the little cookies,
and the big action.
wanna see?
check the teleport:

i have detailed at length the steps to make graham crackery cookie crumble crusts
over and over and over in the years and years of writing this diary of dwindling returns.
so, here's what i'm gonna do.
i'll skip all the cookie details,
after i mention this: you CANNOT overdo it.
too much is the right amount.
that's a fact, and that's how i'm livin'.
nothing else interests me.
not at all.
so go for it, and go hard, and then go farther, further, more ferociously,
and freak it off with frosting or sprankles or what-the-F*-ever...
make sure your pastry creme is TIGHT AF first.
real talk- without a solid base to build on,
you're just messin' about, and this is serious sh!t, son.
here's the secret to the thing-
you'll need a saucepot, and a blender to make this happen.
over high heat, warm up 1 cup non-dairy milk and 1 tsp vanilla;
in a blender, combine:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
3 T flour;
3 T powdered sugar;
2 T cornstarch;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon extract;
3 T powdered freeze dried strawberries;
1 T seedless strawberry jam.
pulse the blender to slurry all the stuff,
and pour it into the hot pot with the other cuppa wetness-
still on high heat,
stir it like you'll die if you stop.
it's gonna thicken quickly into a bubbling pudding.
stop stirring, remove it from the heat,
and pour it into your choice of receptacle.
mine was that crumb tart shell;
you do what you do, dude.
it's going to set quickly,
so have your add-ons ready already, or you'll eff it up in the home stretch.
i used a wand mixer to make frosting.
it was:
ill-suited to the task.
........but it got the job done, eventually.
and that's good news for people who like that sort of thing.
it made me sad about my poor poor standy man, y'know?
the kitchen-aid stand-up is down to his single-purpose dough-hook derailment,
and it doesn't look good for any sort of recovery.
i get attached to things.
hell, you should see me with people.
wand mixer whisks are NOT what i'd recommend as a substitute,
unless you're lookin' to make the immediate area a sticky mess in a hurry.
ummmmm, yea.
that's what happens, but that's not cool.
tomorrow is the big day.
one of the best.
definitely in the big three.
and i'm ready, if lonely, for a celebration.
i've got tattoos to do,
i've got treats to eat,
and i've got a hot, steamy date, too, kids.
i'm about to make out and go down on a real saucy piece.
oh, c'mon.
don't be dumb.
it's valentine's day, bro.
i'm not about to miss out on romantic hottness just because i'm going solo.
no way.
it's a predestined full-on grope-session with one exxxxtra-large pizza pie.
nobody ever accused me of not knowing how to get freaky-diki,
and i'm gonna stuff that crust full of love.
or daiya vegan chee'.
whichever is on hand.
(just sayin', i made sure to get the chee')
it's all happening.
unexpected but predictable turns of events,
and turns of phrase,
and turns of coats.
the days progress, and time marches forward,
while i do the same sh!t throughout all of it.
i've got a job to do, and this is IT;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, February 12


y'all remember the adventures of pete and pete?
i do.
i was a little old to be watching it;
except, it was a F*ing awesome show,
and avoiding experiences because i'm too old for them is NOT really my thing.
i'm going to remain young at heart, young at work, young til i die, etc etc.....
but, getting back to those two petes-
i have always remembered one episode,where pink eye eats fig newlies.
most (some) of us have had fig newtons,
but the casual mention, with no preamble, of fig newlies,
always struck me as genius.
i have been saying it for literal decades since.
yesterday, whilst cleaning up a bit,
i found a bag of sun-dried figs,
and voila!
fig newlies were being broadcast from my brain immediately.
i rolled some pastry dough,
i rolled some cocoa into some of it,
some dried strawberry into some more of it,
and i popped open a small jar of vanilla chestnut cream.
pureed cooked chestnut paste, with vanilla bean.
what was the result?
one really rockin'-good galette,
as it will be rememered hereabouts-

so simple, but so good.
the oven was already super-hot from fresh bread baking.
therefore, it was just a matter of assembly.
i had plenty of pastry dough,
and the other bits were basically already ready.
chestnut cream on the bottom,
sliced fried figs on top,
and twenty something minutes in the oven at 410℉.
that's no joke all it took.
and it tastes fabulous.
for realsies.
it was a giant confidence builder, honestly.
like, there's so little going on, for something that wholly has got it going on-
and even though it's looking sexxxy as hell,
if we're telling the truth,
there's just a bunch of brown blops inside of it.
the days are flying by, despite being packed ot the brim with activity.
that's good news.
the nights, tho.
those jauns are dragginnnnnnnng.
it turns out, while i'm not a social creature by design,
i need the comfort and companionship of a capable communicator by my side.
soon enough, but not soon enough,
the woodsly goodness will have the woman i like most
back in the wintry embrace of this mountainous vale.
until then,
it's tarts instead of tarts,
and noods instead of nudes.
i'll take all i can until i get what i want.
that's the only option i can live with,
so i'm living without, until we're reunited.
another 'nother night will pass, and another, and so on,
until eventually,
the preferable routine is set aright.
it's happening, slowly,
but times is moving forward regardless;
never quiet, never soft.....


the center of a radish is probably called it's heart, right?
i mean, grocery stores sell palm hearts, artichoke hearts, celery hearts-
radishes must have 'em, too.
maybe not.
i don't actually think that matters, if i'm being completely honest,
especially if you're making hearts out of radishes.
any radish part should work, i'm thinking.
the watermelon radish i used got pinker and better, albeit much spicier,
as i sliced up towards the top half,
and it was just perfect for my dinner plans.
i am into that sort of thing.
yeah, i am.
i like all that february lovey-dovin' heart-attack sh!t,
even if it's just a cutesy accent to my hot hot hot fire noodle soup bowl..
...and while i'm talking about that-
i also happen to really love noodles.
i don't know about you,
but for as much i'm into pasta pretty hard, and i am into pasta pretty flippin' hard-
i still seem to steer towards asian-inspired noodles far more often.
maybe it's because i like a combination of fresh veg crunch,
and sharp vinegar,
and sweet and salty and that ooooh-mommy umami for my face?
i dunno why exactly, i just know for sure that i got fresh as F*
on some mushroom mirchi broth, with dried red chilis,
and charred cabbage, carrot, celery, and onion,
plus a whole buttload of fresh minced ginger and garlic!
THAT'S what's poppin',
but that's only half of it.
some sam raimi noodles, some homemade seitan strips,
crisp veggies and sprouts, sprankles,
and totally rad radish hearts.
check the teleport:

there's serious excavation work to be performed
when you're munching up a big bowl of hottness like this.
i'm tellin' you.
AVO-F*ING-CADO with black pepper?
that's tight.
pea shoots and cilantro purple cabbage and purple carrots and mung sprouts?
woooooooooord up. that's crawnchy!
and those grilled brussies?
c'mon, bro. we call that expert around here.
the seitan was a good call. i had some left, and i seared it with GPOP,
and splashed it with soy, and called it ready.
it's an exxxtra step towards being awesome, and i loooooved it.
ramens are pretty straighhtforward.
y'boil 'em for three minutes. DAS IT.
the broth, though, was straight-up fire, and it had liquid lava and molten magma
ready to rock my socks right off.
in a larger small saucepot (y'know the one), heat a tablespoon of sesame oil,
and toss in:
1 cup chopped cabbage;
1/2 diced small onion;
1 cut-up carrot;
2 stalks minced celery;
now, you could first cook a whole mess of mushrooms in the oil,
before you add the cabbage an' that,
but, then they get kinda bummery and gross, and that's not cool.
bite the bullet and dirty another pan
(i also grilled the brussies and seared the seitan in the same second pan)
and thoroughly brown a cup of quartered mushrooms.
i don't care what kind, you shouldn't either;
add those well-done caps, and a teaspoon of mirchi powder-
or make your own, it's a combo of all of this:
paprika, all the crushed dried chilis you've got around,
cumin, cardamom, anise, black peps, cinnamon, Garlic Powder Onion Powder,
dried ginger, and crushed red pepper.
or you could go get some- it doesn't make you a bad person, i'll allow it this once.
2 cloves of sliced garlic, a tablespoon of skin-on organic ginger, macerated,
that mirchi, a dash of ground mustard, pink salt,
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar;
2 tablespoons of soy sauce;
and 1 1/2 cups warm water.
boil it, reduce the heat, simmer it until it looks murky and smells magical,
and then get ready to exxxplode with flavors, dudes.
serve it up however you'd like.
i go for prettiness every time, but that's just me.
the cookie-cut radish hearts were actually not the mos delicious thing about this meal,
but they were far and away the most adorable.
that's a fair trade.
dinner tastes great, but it feels like a bummer when you're eating all alone.
it's funny in a not-ha-ha way that a year of almost always munching my meals by my lonesome
was no big deal,
but a week of going solo after months of good company and conversation seems like
an actual age of man has passed.
like, we're using bronze, and not hunting mammoths with flint spears anymore.
valentine's day is coming right up.
i still love it so much,
even if this one wants to be a real mutherF* of a bummer.
i won't let it get me down, though.
i'll be wearing red,
and buying flowers,
and eating chocolates,
and i might even get crabtree a lil cupid arrow,
and shoot him right in his dumb face with it.
the times are tough around here this month,
the nights are implausibly long and the days re impossibly packed.
it's ALL really happening,
and it's starting to catch up with me.
that will NOT stop me from rocking out on the big day,
or doing little bits beforehand to get ready, either.
i'm choosing to keep a Positive Mental Attitude.
if i could get through the drunken garter tattoo i did yesterday,
i can mos likely get through almost anything.
hours of movie-check grinding had to happen,
and now,
movie-check spending can commence.
it's a trade. somewhat unfair, but the only free-market i'm welcome in.
time for time for dollars for sense, cents, and scents.
this is it,
and it's all leading up to cupcakes and lace and sh!t;
never quiet, never soft.....