Monday, July 16

BELATED...

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

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

BREAD!!

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

Friday, July 13

LUCKY?!

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

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

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

DUMP HEAP!

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 12

PEANUTS!

i don't give a sh!t, bruh.
nope.
not one.
i know i shouldn't, because it's probably not a great idea,
but,
i want to eat alllll the F*ing cookies.
yup.
no doubt about it.
one is nowhere near enough.
and besides, if there's gonna be cookies, they're gonna be homemade,
and if i'm making 'em, you'd best believe they're gonna be rock bloxxx.
that's no joke.
every other cookie is basically only kind of pretending to be cool;
meanwhile, the signature sexxxiness of a perfectly prepared peanut buttery oatmeal
chocolate chip coconut supertreat cannot be measured in units of cool,
nor in units of distance, magnitude, or majesty.
that's real.
dudes,
check the teleport:

COME ON, MAN.
that's the way cookies are supposed to be.
and what's more? they're GLUTEN-F*ING-FREE.
yeah.
i don't have any interest in any weak-A* waterbabyish weakness.
y'feel me?
i want the big deluxxxe.
i want ALL the flavors.
i want chocolate peanut butter icing, neighbors.
i want cookies that are registering off-the-charts with elite expert awesomeness.
and that's exxxatly what i've got over here right now.
three dozen chances to be the fattest.
...and i'm gonna take all those chances.
mmmmmm.
you wanna kow what's poppin' in the oven over here?
y'wanna know HOW you too can make a big ol' burly batch of brown sugary sweetness?
you DO?
oh.
okay.
-
*
GLUTEN-FREEBIE ROCKY BLOCKIES!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together all the usual suspects:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 stick (8T) vegan butter.
mix well, and stir in:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.
2/3 cup natural unsweetened smooth peanut butter.
next, add all the dry stuff:
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 tsp baking ka-powder;
1 1/2 cup fresh-milled oat flour;
1/2 cup ground unsweetened unsulphured natural coconut;
1 cup bob's red mill gluten-free 1:1 baking four.
(i love bob, and you should too)
1/2 cup miniature baby-sized vegan chocolate chips.
-
mix it all up, and you'll have a slightly-sticky, sorta-soft, greasy af dough.
that's good.
that's what you want.
and then, you're going to make three dozen circles, and flatten 'em all slightly,
and arrange 'em evenly, and bake 'em for 13 minutes, man.
-
you'll be surprised at how F*ing expert these are.
and then, you'll be psyched,
and then you'll be super fat, because these go down too easy.
luckily for all of us, too much is the right amount,
so a rock block of rock bloxxx is exactly what we need.
-
also,
that icing is TIIIIGHT.
a spoonful of peanut butter, a tablespoon of cocoa,
half a cup of powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla,
and a drop or two of non-dairy milk....
yeah man, it's dope.
-
cookies.
without gluten, but with peanut butter.
i can hang out with that.
also, they were perfect.
also also, they stayed together, and tasted great,
and were much more of a success than that cake the other day.
damn.
i'll take my victories where i can get 'em.
and this one was a win, for sure.
***********
i'm falling behind.
fast.
i've got too many irons in the fire,
and not enough arms to hold onto all these hard-to-handle handles...
i'm not scared, i'm not pushed, and i'm not worried.
but,
i'm only half half as fast as i was yesterday.....
another day of tattoos all day,
another night of responsible pet-ownership and routine dinnertime decadence.
another 'nother impending exxxplosion of activities and investments.
all of it is all really happening,
and i'm not sure which things are extraneous to effective, efficient operation
of Folk Life & liberated worthy warrior poetry.
what do i ease up on, an what do i add more of?
i just don't know yet, kids.
i mean,
i'm learning how to live on two hours of sleep,
but the nights are already SO full....
i'm going to trust that events unfold along the creases we've created
in the blueprints of secret universal ochestrated architecture,
and it'll all work out the way it's supposed to.
it has to.
so, it will;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 11

BAD AT IT.

maaaaan,
i'm just over here trying new things;
baking new cakes;
doing berfday-A* sh!t.
yeah.
that's right.
i did a whole new thing,
for an old friend,
in a whole new way,
to celebrate a whole new dimension to our relationship.
y'know?
yeah, i think y'DO know.
it's like this;
gluten-free baking is not exactly my field of expertise.
i use flour, bro.
it works every time.
it tastes great.
it does what i know it will, and it does what i want it to-
really, i've got an intuitive grasp of wheat and it's properties,
so i can navigate the ins, outs, ups, downs, and quirks of a regular-floury cake with ease.
HOWever,
the berfday girl can't (or won't) hang out with that,
and berfdays are for celebrating, and for cake, and that's no joke,
SO, i felt compelled to create a treat site-specifically and situationaly-appropriate
to the dietary needs of the celebrant and her self-diagnosed celiac attack.
never let 'em tell you i'm inconsiderate, kids.
it's not true.
so, i made up a recipe, and it only sort of worked,
and i'd love to tell you that i was an instant success,
but that'd be a lie, and truth-tellers don't eff with that noise, boys.
ha.
at one point, it did look good as F*, though.
teleport:

C'MON, man.
that's pretty flippin' tiiiiiiight, right?
well don't be fooled. the little bastard broke into about a billion bits and pieces,
and looked like earthquake rubble by the time it was time to light the candles.
awwwwwwww.
that was embarrassing.
no, for real. presenting a pile of crumbled-apart cake?
...not expert.
even if did taste amazing.
what'd i do wrong?
neighbors, i don't know.
i'll assume it was lack of binding agents?
maybe?
i'll not bother you with the specifics of the recipe, since it didn't work out.
but, it was a vanilla bean and oatmeal/almond flour brown-sugar sexxx bomb,
and the flavor was there. heck, it was moist and rich and delicious and dope,
but, apparently, without the right connections, it's also a delicate little baby b!tch.
damn.
i even used tapioca, AND egg replacer, AND non-GMO organic cornstarch,
but, alas, it lacked xantham gum (although i totally do have it)
and maybe was a bit heavy on the butterish, which seemed to derail the whole thing.
hmmm?
well, yeah, it looked tasty as hell at first.
and that vegan creamchee' frosting wasn't hurting it, at all.
no, for really real, on the ones, that part was SO fresh.
and those silver sugar sparkle-magic sprankles?
yeah, man.
that's that sexxxy-sexxx, for sure.
a little pinch of activated coconut charcoal had the greys poppin' in the frosting,
and the dual-tones had me felling flushed with victory over my first attempt.
in fact, until i got home to the destroyed  debris of the thing,
i was amped up and totally psyched on what a savant i must be....
reality checked me in my face, bruh, but that's okay.
...
so i'm not always proficient. good to know.
i am, however, always sweet.
and i did make a cake, sans recipe, from scratch and off-the-cuff,
especially for the most special one.
that's somethin'.
and anyway,
if we can keep ourselves connected until the next reason to celebrate somethin',
i'll be sure to make a way bigger, way better, even more delicious,
and preferably still-intact cakey bake-up for this sweet honey baby bihhhh.
***********
if you aren't gonna do the nice for somebody,
then they aren't your somebody.
that's a thing.
y'gotta be ready to go farther,
think faster,
hold tighter,
laugh louder,
love harder,
and generally be willing and able to turn up the volume on all the good things to eleven,
and simultaneously mute all the lame-A* bummerisms while you're at it.
that's not as easy as your imbecile heart
and it's oxytocin intoxication may have you believing.
optimism is great,
but a deeply-dedicated work ethic will always win in the end.
it isn't actually easy, but it's still gotta happen.
staying in the moment, planning for the future,
those're the key ingredients to all the feels.
harder and softer, louder and quieter-
it's not enough to do one without the other;
but it's the right amount if you can just make sure you've got too much of all the best parts.
i mean it.
i may eff up a weird cake,
but i will not eff up this weird new thing with a dear weird old friend.
do the nice, or do yourself a favor and get outta here.
that's what's required at the moment,
so that's what i'm doing;
never quiet, never soft.....

ENCORE!!

alright, man.....
i'll do one more sandwich, for sandwich week.
y'know, because too much is the right amount.
ok?
ok!
that's my reasoning, and that's the way i operate,
so, i did the thing, because that's what i DO, dudes.
check it:

GRILLED VEG?!!
yeah.
AND seitan.
dudes,
it isn't always the biggest and the most beautifullest that wins.
i know- that's crazy talk, but it's also real talk.
because the objective here is MORE.
MORE is the real mvp, bruh.
like, fresh-baked, from-scratch sprouted wheat sourdough.
that's somethin'.
but, now imagine it's literally flame-grilled for that charring championship taste.
yup.
dope.
good bread makes better people,
and the naturally-leavened lusciousness of my loaves
leaves nothing to be desired in the realms of taste, texture, crust, and crumb.
that's the truth.
so, there's bread.
then, there's those FAT slabs of portobello mushroom,
slowly cooked down to a massively meaty consistency,
with just salt and olive oil and heat working in unison to activate the least slimy,
but most tender no-so-mushy-room magic.
that's somethin', too.
and grilled zukes?? yeah. i mean, c'mon
zucchini is a staple for the grill-top,
because that's what you DO when it's summer;
and when it's summer, we've no time for bummers, bruh.
those are facts, and facts aren't to be faked.
so that's also somethin'.
- a little lettuce, for crawnch,
and radicchio ribbons for that barely-bitter crisp accentuation
of all the umami depths in the vegan mayo and muchroom and zukey slabs-
it works, those fresh leaves doing wonders for the flavor and texture.
you gotta get into it, or you'll never get enough out of it, man.
rules is rules,
and investing yourself in these simple things is just one step in the process.
the thing of it is:
an extra sandwich is a really truly great idea if you really truly love sandwiches.
the objective is MORE, neighbors, i already told you.
as for me?
i really do so enjoy a great sarnie, and i'll not let much interfere
with such an easily-activated upgrade to ordinary dinnertimes.
honestly, if you can turn it up to eleven,
why would you ever settle for even a perfect ten?
-
huh?
oh, right, we were talking about this sandwich.
there's also some seitan steaks,
the last of the big batch i brewed up at the beginning of sandwich week.
yeah.
dunked in chick pea flour, and cornstarch, together with a lil baby pinch of salt,
a shake or three of GPOP, and a ton of cracked black pepper...
the coating can totally transform something already expert into something
incomprehensibly elite.
don't believe me?
that's fine.
but sear up a butt-naked batch of seitan,
and simultaneously fry yourself a little of the breaded jauns,
and the tell me you're not eating two completely different worlds,
like you're galactus on a binge.
try it. you'll see.
MORE, man.
that's what it's all about.
taking it too far, or going on too long, or just piling on way too much.
a.k.a the right amount.
you don't have to do it, but you're missing out on a whole lotta hottness if you're not.
oh, and there's also grilled sweet onions.
because i just told you how it's gotta be.
***********
and now we're here...
the middle of july.
and it's a full-swing summertime exxxplosion of awesomeness.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is bumpin'.
dinners at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress are bumpin'.
this F*ing dog, crabtree, is definitely bumpin'.
basically, it's a bumpin' grind all day every day,
and a bump 'n' grind most nights, too.
i'll freely admit that i fear the jinx, and don't wanna overly illustrate all the high points,
but i'll just as readily confess to being supremely grateful for the time i've been given,
and the places and spaces and faces that comprise
my little pocket dimension in the great white mountainous north.
it's ALL really happening, and it's happening fast.
i'm looking around a the evolving environment surrounding me,
and i'm thinking that i like what i see;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, July 9

FINALE!!

sandwich week is over and out.
yeah, man, and i'm sad to see it go.
that's the truth.
i just F*ing love sandwiches.
and also,
i love good homemade bread.
i love it so much, i made all the buns and stuff from-scratch all week long,
and the last ones were some of the best ones, too.
italian-style no-knead high-rise sfties are key,
when you're making something with tomato-based sauce on top.
it just makes sense to go hard on the bread, bro.
better sandwiches start with better bread.
that's a thing.
and with a bomb-A* loaf on the table, the filling had to be expert, for sure.
luckily,
even though i had berfday obligations to fulfill for a friend,
i STILL made myself some new hottness that went straight past ten on the charts,
and rested comfortably at eleven on the deliciousness scale.
i mean it,
check the teleport:

that's how you end it on a high note, neighbors.
with a big fat sarnie, positively packed to the top with all the best straightforward flavors.
yup.
i needed that.
a fond farewell to the best eight days on the calendar.
huh?
are those plump, juicy red lentil seitan sausage slices?
yeah they are!
and i semi-soaked 'em in a custom marinade that was oh-so-tight.
that's right.
the perfect bite of homemade custom spiced hottness,
even MORE awesome through further activation of their natural greatness.
the o.g. recipe is here.
but, once they were made, i gave 'em a little olive oil brown-up,
and then gave them a little baby bath to get 'em all super-soaked in sexxxiness.
ha!
that's 1/4 cup of water, and a teaspoon of smoked paprika,
GPOP, tamari, and liquid smoke, with black pepper added in at the end.
those fatties soak it up quickle, and it adds a whole 'nother other depth to their flavor.
i suggest you do it to it, and then i dare you to try to tell me i'm wrong.
it's called confidence, and when it comes to radial vegan eats, i've got it by the buttload.
ha.
anyway,
this sandwich was almost sort of an afterthought.
i'm busy, kids.
like, too busy, and there's waaaay more to do than i can possibly fit
into even a wakeful 22 hours of up-and-at-'em active participation.
but,
i knew i needed it,
and i knew i wanted something with sauce.
i just crushed up some fire-roasted tomatoes and heated 'em up.
so simple, but so good. the flame-grilledness really activates the whole sandwich.
look:

YUMYUMYUM.
loo at those broccolini florets.
i mean, just LOOK at 'em.
yeah, boi-
oven roasted in a shallow oven-safe pan,
with a little baby bit of olive oil and pink salt,
at 350℉, until they're jussssst this side of softened...
easy.
and grilled sweet potatoes, browned on both sides in the griddle?
TILTY like you read about.
and those blacked leeks?
all the power of onion, all the subtlety of shallot-
only, cooler in shape and firmer in texture....
that's really pretty linear.
foods that are what they are, all together,
with those spicy sausages to tie it all up in a bow.
that's loud, fresh, hardness, on soft bread, for your face.
***********
and now it's all done until the next first sunday.
that means no more sandwiches for a little minute.
i don;t even have time to feel sad, tho-
i'm overbooked at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
i'm overwhelmed at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i'm overwrought with emotion, likely because i'm overtired;
and all of it is all-at-once really happening, all crazy, crazy, crazy, all the time in my face.
there's no room for errors,
there's no room for sleeping,
there's no room for taking a deep breath-
today is the day,
and i'm careening into it, like a daredevil acrobat,
attacking every available angle of geometric physical performance,
all so i can come home, make a little supper, and go to sleep.
i'll earn the oblivion i'm headed towards,
and then, after a few short hours, all of this will all get underway all over again.
that's how it works in the woodsly goodness in the summer.
MORE of all of what's already underway,
and no time for anything else;
never quiet, never soft.....
*apologies for any incoherence. i'm basically asleep on my feet today

PASTRAMI MOMMY?!

what?
a crazily busy saturday at AMPERSAND TATTOO
sometimes puts us in a weird position, in regards to time.
yeah, yeah,
there's never enough of it,
and we're always losing it,
and the prioritization of certain preferred procedures has us at a disadvantage.
for example,
i've not gotten myself a morning coffee since wednesday morning.
that's a big break in routine for y'boi.
also,
it's F*ing sandwich week wherein instead of allllll the treats and cakes,
i've focused exclusively on bread and buns and big barbaric batches
of burly, beautiful, bountiful badassery for my bellyhole...
it's a lot, neighbors.
so, time's running out, every day. that's real.
and time is getting distorted every night. that's also true.
so, somewhere in between the launch into daylight,
and the gradual summertime descent into darkness,
there's got to be MORE of everything.
guys, too much is the right amount, and that's a fact.
...even when there's nowhere near enough time to do it all.
in all honesty, three nights a week i sleep less than three hours.
it's brutal, it's ill-advised, it's physically and psychologically draining-
but it's all really happening, man.
there's no way to fit MORE into every day without being MORE awake to do it.
and that's the double-edge, y'know?
i'm actually slightly less awake just for far longer.
and at some point after work, with my groggy noggin' numb and dumb,
and the promise of sleep lingering along the periphery,
i STILL had to make a sandwich.
word up.
rules is rules.
it should come as no surprise that dylan was around.
he's been great about really getting involved in the celebration.
in fact, he's been the best sandwich companion and active partiicpant
i've had around here in years.
no joke.
so, when we sorta started brainstorming ideas for a late-in-the-day late-in-the-game
seitan something or other, it was actually kinda nice to know that he was genuinely
invested in the spirit of the thing.
that's tight.
we ended up with something resembling a reuben, almost.
what it was, absolutely, was expert AF.
seriously, check the teleport:

WOW, right?
yeah, bruh....i know!
a rainbow of highly-saturated color and flavor,
all on buttery pan-toasted sprouted-wheat from-scratch sourdough.
yup.
after all, good bread makes better people.
that's no joke.
and another 'nother non-laughing matter is how flippin' tight the homemade seitan game is
here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory.
uh-huh.
five slabs of my custom proprietary seitan hottness, sliced into strips,
and sauteed with a few glugs of olive oil, vegan worcestershire sauce, tamari,
and liquid smoke, along with a LOT of fresh cracked black pepper,
and a lil GPOP, to freak it off...
i mean, it's not science, is it? it's ad-lib improv, based on prior experience.
extrapolation? maybe.
i dunno what the right word is, but it boils down to a by-eye estimation of expertism,
and it browned up that wheat meat just right.
mmmmm.
y'know what i did to that seitan?
i tossed it with a punch of parsley, and a shaved carrot's worth of orange ribbons.
check the teleport:

YES.
so,
there's the bread, and it's great.
there's that smoky, peppery seitan, and THAT'S great.
there's pickles....those are always great.
there's pickled red onions, homemade, of course; all briny and slippery and sharp.
i love a good pickled O, dudes. so i make 'em.
these were exxxtra simple-
cider vinegar, pink salt, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds,
with half a big red onion barely covered, and brought to a boil,
before simmering until the pink overpowers the vinegar.
that's all you need.
BUT, that's not all there was to it!
nope.
obvi, i'm on that overload jauns, so i overloaded the whole scene between the bread.
and that charred purple and green cabbage!?!
first off, that's so F*ing good.
also, the char adds a complexity to those simple-A* leaves that can't be compared, kids.
if you can't leave a few wedges in a pan to blacken up in a squirt of oil,
and flip 'em once to guarantee maxxximum grill flavor?
you are weak, and you don't deserve to celebrate sandwich week.
that's a fact.
-
lastly, and most importantly,
that SAUCE is F*ing righteous.
turmeric, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and vegan mayo.
like, a dash of cayenne, a crack'em'up twist of fresh black peps,
a spoonful of yellow magic, and a shake or three of the smoky red sorcery,
in a fat scoop of vegenaise.
if you need to know what heroism tastes like, this is your spread.
seriously, it tastes likes high-speed search-and-rescue.
i dunno know what that means, since i'm probably in a sleep-deprivation hallucination,
but i DO know that it tasted fabulous.
*
sandwiches are analagous to my life, neighbors.
the outside is golden, and shaped by hand, with carefully crafted and prepared presentation.
the insides, while full of essentials, are a whole lot messier,
and more diversely dispersed, with seemingly incongruous ingredients
forming one essential whole that'd be total bullsh!t without any one of those disjointed
but interconnected  jauns interwoven within.
y'know?
i need all the big action,
and i need all the superfancy complications that come with it.
that's just how it is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, July 7

FALAFEL FRIDAY!!

y'feelin' awful?
awwww.
that's no good.
y'know what'd probably make you feel awesome??
a sandwich.
but, not just some random between-bread bummer, bro.
no way,.
that's what a lame-A* loser would do, 
and that ain't us, is it duders??
nope.
we're on the victorious victual gravy-train to valhalla over here'
so the sort of quittery cop-out that isn't going off the charts to eleven
is NOT invited to my makeout parties...
y'feel me?
we need something expert.
we need something special.
we need the fiery fuego of freshness for our faces.
we need FALAFEL.
word.
check the teleport:
kaBOOOOOOOOM!!!!
homemade pita? yeah!
all those leafy fixin's?? yeah!!
from-scratch falafel burgers? yeah!!!
neighbors,
i wasn't even gonna go hard.
seriously.
i had a nearly-meatish impossible vegan burger, 
from the weird wicked fresh gourmet burger spot in town,
delivered by my continual dinner companion, dylan, for lunch.
so, i was feeling greasily glutted with bread and beetroot blops.....
but, rules is rules
and when it's sandwich week we make sandwiches;
and also, we eat sandwiches, and in between we document the journey from 
concept to creation,
and the detail the process for you.
that's just how it is.
so that's just what's going to keep happening.
six days of sammies, and i'm still feeling good, too.
DUDES!
that custom pita flapper was pretty flippin' tiiiight, too.
really, it was the perfect balance of firm and pliable, 
plus it held it's own in the flavor department, 
and held all it's contents like it was s'posed to.
that's an A+.
-
*
PITAS!
-
in my stand mixer, with the dough hooker working overtime, combine:
2 T vegan sour cream;
1/2 tsp sugar;
dash of salt;
1 1/4 cups flour + 1-3 T as necessary;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1/3 cup warm water.
...SO SIMPLE, but SO DOPE.
kneaded for like, ten minutes, and rested for another 'nother ten, 
before being divided in half, 
and flattened out on a floured surface into two big ol' discs...
that's when you lightly oil a great big very hot skillet,
and fire up each of 'em for a minute or two on each side.
yep.
y'can't eff it up...but if you do? then there's no sandwiches for you. 
c'mon.
don't ruin everything, man.
-
the there's those falafel patties, guys.
y'all don't even know, but you're boutta learn-
-
*
FALAFZZZ!
-
you'll want to utilize a food processor for this part.
-
2-3 cloves of sauteed garlic;
1/4 cup red onion;
1/3 cup chopped parsley;
1/3 cup cilantro (i used stems, it's fine)
12 oz drained chick peas;
1 T jalapeno;
1/4 cup chick pea flour;
2 T lemon juice;
2 T olive oil;
cumin, ground coriander seed, thyme, GPOP, smoked paprika, 
black pepper, and sumac (if you're cool like that and you've got some), 
all to taste.
pulse it all together, until it forms a chunky paste that you can form into burgery shapes.
i opted for that approach, because i'm already eating an acre of bread every F*ing day,
so adding deep-fried anything else is ust gonna make me feel worse about myself...
huh?
yeah, man. 
i'm in love with sandwiches, 
but i'm also in love with feeling positive about my health-conscious earth-friendly
proactive plant-based choices.
......so pan-fried fatties was the only choice i could live with.
5 patties, coated in chickpea flour, and sizzled up for a few minutes on each side 
in a glug of olive oil....
that's all you need. they get brown on the edges, they get cooked all the way through, 
and all those flavors get blasted into your mouth like you just won a prize, guys.
that's no joke.
*
...and then there's everything ELSE to consider...
yeah, man.
when it comes to falafel, too much is the right amount.
really.
we got baby spinach and sprouts.
there's halved baby grape tomatoes.
shaved red onion, sharp af, and crisp, too.
pickles? mandatory, once you have 'em on your falafel, there's no going back.
pickled jalapenos? yuuuuuup. they've got heat, and tang, 
and a shiny bright briny flavor that's TILTY on a 'guini.
pepperoncinis?  Wu-TANG! 
really, they're just even more of what you want.
how about that lemon-kissed salad, kids?
parsley and cilantro shaken-up and tossed in there, 
just to further explode the freshie-freshness of the overall big picture.
expert is a way of life, kid. 
and i don't just say it, i doo-do that freaky sh!t, like, every minute.
-
tahini sauce?
*ahem*
TAHINI SAUCE!
man, that's what's really good in the woods.
you need it. and you can have it.
here, lemme tell you how to hold somethin'...
-
sesame paste, lemon juice, GPOP, warm water, and black pepper.
2 tsp tahini: 1 T lemon: 1/4 tsp ea Garlic Powder Onion Powder: 
1 T warm water: coupla craxx black peps....
just a few stirs, and we're livin' in the future and the past 
and making something better than both that goes on top of a sandwich.
weird.
and lastly, sriracha. yeah yeah. sriracha. a little ho'sauce goes a long way towards
tying all the things up red hot slippery chili fire.
it's good for you.
trust me, or don't, but it'll still be true anyway.
***********
soooooo,
i'm moving fast-forward ferociously, with focus not frenzy, 
into a future where everything that has ever happened will need to be referenced,
cross-referenced, analyzed, interpreted and utilized with epic insight and efficiency,  
because it's all about to be totally different.
like, i'm talking about my F*ing day to day life,
and while i should only speak in non-specifics at the moment, 
as half the story isn't mine to tell,
tomorrow is rushing at me with violent velocity.
could it be forced consciousness expansion? 
maybe.
that's how it works, right?
you know the rules: buy the ticket, take the ride....
and just because you're in over your head doesn't mean you can't rise up 
a whole helluva lot higher than where you're at at the moment.
is that encouragingly vague enough?
i hope so.
personal growth opportunities come from endings becoming beginnings, 
and tentative baby steps towards big ideas, gaining momentum into bold leaps and bounds 
and long-legged leaps up and over the ordinary obstacles that would otherwise 
impede extraordinary circumstances evolving into epic extremes of fruitful, 
favorable, fortunate Folk Life & Liberty.
holy sh!t, that's a lot, huh?  
hard styles and hard choices and huge changes are all on the menu,
and while real life is ALWAYS happening,
it feels like these days are going by faster than my feet can keep up, 
and i'm getting carried away by the fast-track unfolding of purpose and possibility.
i dunno, bro.
i'm all hyped up on sandwiches and no sleep and incredibly busy days and 
all of the things that are all really happening.
i'm ready, and i'm willing;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 6

CLOUDBURST!

it's raining.
and that's F*ing awesome.
an immediate cool-off of all this superheated woodsly goodness
is exxxactly what i'm getting excited about right now.
the sound of the big fat drops shattering and pattering on the metal roof;
the softer, heavier sound of the leaves getting pummeled by the downpouring;
the ambient static of everything echoing
with the splashes spread out from the opened skies....
i like that, because it just reminds me that nature wins,
and while she can't be tamed, nor reasoned or bargained with,
she can sometimes come through in the clutch with her charms and gifts.
like rain, man.
maybe that's symbolic?
just when it looks like things are getting too hot to handle,
here's a solution falling right out of thin air.
wouldn't that be cool?
yeah.
well,
i'm not counting on a second benevolent boon to drop into my lap;
so i'll spend another second being grateful for circumstance,
and get back to work.
yeah.
and what i'm working on
besides the acres on acres of skin i've been scraping at the studio,
is sandwich week.
obviously.
because sandwiches are the TRUTH, and truth telling is what i do best.
what's the best one?
i dunno what you like, so i won't speak for you,
but i will say that the next three days are gonna be hard pressed
to improve upon the perfect sarnie, bruh.
uh-huh.
because when it comes to sandwiches, there's only one that i absolutely HAVE to have.
that's right.
the big activated deluxxxe and luxxxurious dopeness that has ALLL the things in it.
y'know?
yeah you do.
it's super fresh, it's molto hot, it's crazily complex for being mostly simple,
and it's my personal fave, neighbors.
check the teleport:

SUPER-BON-BON BANH MI-OH-MY GOODNESS!!!
wooooooooooooord.
legit, there is nothin' as good as a banh mi.
and THIS one is a real superstar, for sure.
the bread?
expert.
the crumb and crust and fluff and taste and texture all go to eleven.
that's no joke.
and if you don't have good bread, you can't have a good sandwich.
rules is rules.
so obvi, y'gotta get your loaves right first.
here's how i did what i did, so you can do what you do, dudes:
-
*
BANH!
-
in your stand mixer (just buy one, man) with the dough hook attached,
combine:
1 cup bread flour;
1 cup a.p. flour;
1 tsp sugar;
1 T coconut oil;
1 1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
3/4 cup warm water, w/ 1 pkg regular-A* yeast, and 1 tsp agave, bloomed 10 minutes-
knead it like you need to, for ten-ish minutes,
or until it's a smooth ball of the best dough ever.
cover it and let it rise for half an hour,
punch it down, divide it into three loaves and shape it up.
let 'em rise for thirty minutes, arranged together side by side,
and bake 'em at 350℉, convection-style, for twenty minutes.
...y'all ain't ready, man...
*
dudes, check the teleport:

C'MON!
it's got everything elite all at once, and it's always a crowd pleaser.
i was pleased, anyway;
and dylan, my constant sandwich companion,
had his very first experience with the best one of the bunch....
he was not disappointed either.
guys,
it's got pickles on the bottom,
followed by alfalfa sprouts, and shaved red onion strips.
on top of that?
coconut-oil crisped thin-sliced sweet potato chips!
yup.
a few minutes of fried-up high intensity heat on each side had us feasting on gently browned, softened crispy-edged expertism dressed in orange hues.
tight.
and then there's AVO-F*ING-CADO, holmes.
uh-huh.
y'gotta get that squish, especially since it acts as glue.
the avocado was so perfectly ripe i almost thought it was kidding.
like, how do you get such lucky good fortune in the center of such a fabulous 'guini?
who cares!! just enjoy it. it's good,
and that's all you need to know when it's sandwich week.
the pickled radish and carrot? TILTY like you read about.
that's a thing.
rice vinegar, and a little water, and shredded carrot and radish,
marinated long enough to get a vaguely sulfury stank to it.
(relax, it tastes amazing).
that's mandatory banh mi accessory activation.
really.
and it's worth it.
*
then there's the coconut fired tofu.
i do that a LOT, because it's always amazing.
this was true to form, and reliably rewarding.
make sure you put it on there, or your banh mi is gonna only be mostly-dope,
and that's not enough, kiddo.
nope.
too much is the right amount.
THAT's why there's so many mutha-effin' sprankles:
basil! mint! cilantro! scallion! jalapeno!
5x the spranks, 2000% more dope.
wordimus prime.
AND there's still that vegan mayo on that soft sexxxy bread to consider,
AND sriracha for the WIN.
yes.
victorious, glorious, uproarious, notorious.
the banh mi scene at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is legendary,
and it's the ONLY sammie i have to have every time.
because it's the best one,
and that's no joke.
***********
as usual, we're outta time.
i'm too busy for life.
i'm too hurried to hang out.
i'll make time for what's most important,
and i'll take time, by force, if needs be.
but right now,
i'm looking up at clearing skies,
and saying thanks to ma nature for that little interlude.
it's all really happening,
and it all unfolds the way it's supposed to.
that's Positive Mental Attitude working in concert with determined interactive
participatory warrior poetry,
and well-kept composure in the face of a raging, savage stormswept gypsy heart.
all there is is what we do, and what we do is be dope, right?
right.
otherwise we F* right off, and that's not invited;
never quiet, never soft.....