Friday, August 17

LITTLE TREATS!!

they're here!
harvest and maple, my children, are in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
the place feels full, and so does my heart.
it's been longer than any of us would like, but now, today, it's all really happening.
family togetherness, and all the jokes and talks and shared information and ideas.
all of it.
me and my two terrific teens, spanning time, and occupying space as a team.
it's my favorite.
and it's the best.
and it's exactly the sort of thing that revitalizes all my energy,
and activates more powerful positivity, both mentally and emotionally,
for bigger, better days with these dudes...
plus, in anticipation of their arrival, i was up early,
rolling around about a billion thoughts in my brain,
so i di the thing i do to calm my mind-
that's right neighbors, i baked some treats.
that's my move.
and when i bake some treats, i use that process to put all my thoughts in order,
and come up with a solution at right about the same time
as i come up with a delicious finished product.....
(if that doesn't work, i just bake a whole other 'nother treat, man- we'll get there eventually)
so i did a thing, and i think it was a good thing-
check the teleport:
COCONUT CARAMEL CHIP COOKIES!!!

these little F*ers are expert as hell, kids.
but before we get into the specifics,
lemme throw a few shoutouts to king david for his kosher vegan blops, bro.
and a few more shoutouts to king arthur for his fresh-to-death flour.
guys,
i dunked each buttery ball into exxxtra coocnut flakes, which toasted to perfection in the oven.
i love when little things interconnect like that.
i do.
y'wanna know how you to can make a few of these orderly awesomes?
you do?
ok.
do this:
-
*
CARAMEL COCONUT JAUNS!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
in a medium metal (aesthetic) mixing bowl, smoosh together:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick (8T) vegan butts;
2 tsp vanilla-
thoroughly combine those bits into a blarpity blob,
then add:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
2/3 cup coarse oat flour;
1 cup unsweetened unsulphured medium flake coconut;
1 tsp ea. bakey soda and ka-powder;
2 cups flour;
1 pkg. caramel chips.
knead 'em in, and all of it up into a dough,
and make lil 2" balls for all y'all-
i dipped 'em in the coconut, like i said, and it was dope.
i got 40 cookies out of this mixture-
and i baked 'em for 13 minutes, to perfection,
and honestly, they didn't need a single extra thing-
just as is, they went straightaway to eleven.
i love when that happens.
*
and now, powered by caramel cookies and family fun,
this day is destined to be as delightful as we can manage, and then some-
by this evening, we may very well be exhausted, but that's alright.
there's so much to do, and we've gotta pack it all in before we fall asleep.
i've gotta work, which is lame,
but rules is rules, and these kids don;t live cheap, bro.
just sayin', there are times to relax and times to work-
today is a workday, and i'm gonna work at it for all it's worth.
there's gettin' to get gotten, and imma git it.
then,
we';re gonna go hard in the trio of triumph category,
with extra points for maximum crabtree inclusion.
yup.
for this moment, there are just us-
the future holds a whole lot more than that,
but right now,
we're spanning time as a small squad.
and that's just right for a friday in august.
i'm grateful for this time, with these people,
and i'm lucky as heck, and fortunate as F* that they're the good and kind kids
i knew they would be;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 16

MEDITERRANEOUS!!

flaky pizza crust?
holy smokes, it's the NEW new hottness.
man, listen, it's some other other business.
look at what i made, then i'll tell you what's poppin'-
teleport:

C'MON, MAN!!
the crust is the best-
the toppings are tight and TILTY af, too.
and when you squeeze those lemon wedges on top?
dude, that's the TRUTH.
we got kalamata olives on there! expert.
we got tomatoes on there!! expert.
shredded spinach? you bet!
and i got red onions and scallions for a double onion exxxplosion!!!
plus, instead of sauce, i spread on a fat shmear of hummus,
and that's dope as heck, bro.
real talk, it's F*ing delightful.
and there are fried garlic sprankles, too, naturally-
rules is rules, even when it's only barely pizza...
true story.
hmmm?
oh, you see that? well, yes, neighbors, thosa are mutha-funkin' GRAPES!!
yeah!
on the ones, grapes DO go on sh!t like this, and they turn it up to eleven.
...but it's that crust that does the trick-
quick-fas, and in-a-hurry, i had myself a very fresh-to-death new thing.
here's the rundown:
-
*
FLAKIN' PIZZADOUGH!
-
in your stand mixer, always equipped with the dough hook, combine:
2 cups a.p. flour;
2 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
1/4 cup olive oil;
1 pkg fast-rise rapid yeast;
2/3 cup warm water;
2 T two-tone toasted sesame seeds;
2 T fire-roasted tomato flakes.
knead it for five to ten minutes, adding a little baby bit of exxxtra oil, too-
yeah, i actually drizzled some on top while it rose on the counter, as well.
that's real.
too much is the right amount, and that's no joke.
it rose for forty five minutes, covered;
then i stretched it out into that sexxxy circle.
then, while i waited for dylan to deliver the olives,
it rose a little bit more on the steel pan, man.
that's all there is to it.
it's crispy, it's flaky, it's rich, it's smooth (except for all the sprankles)
and it's reallllllly delicious, obvi-
with that much fat floating inside of it, it'd better be, y'know?
yeah, you do.
-
baked at 475℉, with a few turns to evenly activate the convection currents,
and a few minutes directly on the baking stones,
what you get is what you need,
and what you need is full-blown full-frontal full-steam-ahead hot fire fresh from the oven.
we got that.
and it is good.
***********
harvest and maple will be here later.
that's the best news news, ever.
i spend most of my time missing them the most.
today is the day, however.
the one where we span time as a team,
and immerse ourselves in family togetherness like a trio of terrific and terrible,
triumphant and tempestuous truth-telling teetotalers....
and that's my favorite way to be.
i am excited.
i am MORE than excited.
it's all really happening, and it makes the round-trip to massachusetts,
before a late-day appointment or three at work, totally worth it.
i've got cookies baking,
and moves making,
and trips to start taking,
and all of it is unfolding along a well-creased fold in the secret universal blueprint
for me and all my people.
the circle is getting bigger, and the overlaps are getting better,
and spirit and memory and gratitude and generosity are all here,
weaving this fantastic woodsly goodsly Folk Life together all at once.
this is it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 15

SCRAMBLER

tacoooooooooooooo tuesssssssssssdaaaaaaaaayy!!!!!
yup.
soft flour circles, toasted to a crisp- 
so they crackle on one side when you fold them into flipped flaps,
and embrace all the extra-spicy hottness in the middle.
yeah, neighbors, you really should know by now that i'm a big fan.
i mean, c'mon- vegan tacos are pretty flippin' expert-
even if they're just beans and salsa, you're winning-
and when they're MORE than that?
like, fancy-pantsy make-you-wanna-dance-y jauns?
well, victorious victuals are kind of my thing, y'know?
mmhmm.
and this most recent installment was another 'nother big win for my face-
check the tofu-taco-type teleport:
SCRAMBLERO RANCHEROS!!!
uh-huh! uh-HUH! UNGGGHHHH-HUUUUNGHHH!!!
word up.
all the veggies, and all the spices, in a super straight-up smooshed tofu scamble.
¿perfecto? 
¡claro!
guys, it was such a joy to sizzle up and saute all the stuff-
and it was a one pan meal for a change 
(two, i guess, actually, since i toasted the tortillas, too)
-
but the scrambo was elite, and easy, and FULL of all the best things-
no, f'really real tho:
-
*
SCAMBORGHINI RANCHO-DELUXXXO!
-
in a hot, oiled pan, saute-
1/2 red onion;
1/3 cup chopped scallion;
1/2 diced poblano;
1/2 minced jalapeno;
1/3 cup chopped baby grape tomatoes;
fresh cilantro and garden fresh oregano;
1/2 cup sweet baby bell peppers;
1 clove crushed garlic;
3/4 block firm, squeezed but not fully-depressed, crumbled tofu 
that's right, regular firmness is what's going on here.
oh, i know you know that exxxtra firm is my favorite, normally, 
but NOT for a scram-
i keep both on hand for just such occasions as this.
and i spiced things up with pink salt, and black pepper, 
turmeric, GPOP, a punch of nootch, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
stirred once in a while, over medium-high heat, 
until the bottom-most layer gets a little brown....
boom.
just like *that*, the scramburglar magic is ready for action.
-
and there's lettuce, and pea shoots, and chopped shishito peppers,
and pickled jalapenos, AND AVO-F*ING-CADO, 
aaaaand fire-roasted tomato salsa, as well.
whatcha know about doo-dooin' all the best sh!t,
and then squeezin' limes over the top?
that's how it's done, and that's how i did it.
*
sleepless, set-upon, and beset with strife,
rained-out, beat up, and worn down.
...that was how yesterday progressed.
in-between a whole lot of caustic conversation, 
i did a F*ing TON of tattoos.
that's the hardest, part, realy- 
sitting down and talking about some dude's day, and how their summer's been,
and what is likely to happen this autumn....
all while simmering in acid and exhaustion, 
with the conversational pace paused in fits and starts... 
and then there's all those hand-numbing, back-splitting tattzapps 
back to back to back to back to back,
just to perpetually beat up my already beleaguered body with all the worst kinds of bending,
and my shoulders hunched up in knots upon knots....
that's cool.
no. hold on, there's another little puzzle piece 'd like to add:
i also discovered a whole new leaky broken old house element,
whilst moving all the art and arstist's supplies from one end of the house 
to a whole other 'nother spot, from where it'll eventually need moving again, 
and that will likely be sooner than later.
i think they call that character?
yeah, man, MORE problems are what i was hoping for,
and MORE problems was what i found, without even looking that hard.
some days are less encouraging than others; 
but, and i do NOT mean this flippantly, that P.M.A. keeps me moving forward.
it could always be worse, and it probably will be.
which is good news, because that's how we get stronger and better.
i think that means i'm getting stronger and better almost every single minute?
i don't hate the sound of that.
...and i still made the nicey-nice for dinner.
yup.
if nothing else, there's always that.
-
i made two of the suckiest, ugliest loaves of bread this morning.
i did.
i fell asleep half on the floor, and lay there for far too long, it seems.
while i was in that coma, i also forgot to cold-prove the sourdough...
so it sat on the counter gettin' terrible and more terribler still, 
for hours and hours all flippin' night long.
ugh.
two of the sloppiest overbulked bummers just came out of the oven.
the bummeriest ones in a verrrry long time, actually.
and while they're probably still delicious, 
they sure are unattractive.
sorta like me, right? word.
shoutouts to failure, and to staying ugly, but staying dope anyway...
it's all really happening all morning long;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 14

MAGIC TIME!!

dudes,
travis, and dylan were here, comin' correct with the active participation,
and all working together to help make a monstrous vegan meal for hungry dudes
who loooooove to cook.
yup.
maybe righteous plant-based culinary adventures in sexxxy food aren't for everyone,
and that's cool i guess.
but these guys were on board, tickets in hand,
and ready to ride the the prep-train to elite dinnersville,
decked out in total delicious delightful dopeness like a couple of experts
that's no joke.
food is a serious part of every day here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
the number one question i ask every day is:
am i so impossibly unlikable as a person that inevitably i'll die all alone?
awwwww.
but, then the second question, and the one i ask myself far more often, is:
what the effing eff am i making for dinner??
last night,
it was an @vegan_magic_time tag teamn exxxplosion,
and it as tight and TILTY as heck, neighbors.
really.
y'wanna see what we came up with?
alright, check the tahini-and-tzatziki-type teleport:

FAAAAA-LAAAAAA-FELLLLLLLLLLL!!!
hey-A, hey-A, that's what's good in the woods.
right off the hop, there's a mixed pickle tray.
that's so expert, and so mandatory for  positive falafel times.
y'all KNOW me and my dudes love falafels, right?
they're on the podium for best foods,
hotly contesting a silver/bronze place finish with tacos.....
well, falafels without pickles are also know by another name: bullsh!t.
because that's what they are when they don;t have the right stuff.
word up.
jalapenos, pepperoncinis, classic dill cucumber jauns, lemon,
mint, fresh thyme, and shishito hunks, all right there for dressing up the place.
that's right, we doo-doo that freaky sh!t for sure.
y'see the rice in the bottom right corner?
that's lemon and cilantro and parsley in it-
mmhmmm.
lots of zest and juice had it feeling most positively mediterranean, man.
i like that, and you might too-
we were having FALAFEL BOWLS, with the rice on the bottom.
what? why??
well, because breezy, our guest of honor,
is the gluten-freedom-fighter i've been baking for these past few months.
and y'wanna know what else's F*ing crazy? she didn't even have any falafel.
true story.
and those falafel were exeptional, kids.
look:

THAT'S HOW YOU DO THE THING!
and when you're doing the thing correctly, it looks like that.
uh-huh.
here's what i did, not that you've gotta do it like that:
-
*
FALAFEL BALLZ!
-
in your hugely appreciated food processor, pulse together:
1 fat punch of parsley;
1 equally obese blast of cilantro leaves;
a handful of scallion greens;
four cloves of roasted garlic;
1/4 red onion;
1-2 tsp cumin;
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander;
1 tsp ea. GPOP;
1 T sumac;
2 tsp thyme;
1 T egg replacer powder;
3 glugs of good olive oil;
pink salt, black pepper-
when that's sorta chopped up,
add 2 15oz cans of drained chick peas;
and 1/3 cup chick pea flour;
plus, 3 T tapioca starch.
add more olive oil if necessary, to emulsify the whole mixture,
and pulse it until it's combined, and still chunky...
yup.
i made a TON of 1 1/2 inch mini patties, and i rolled each one in a mixture of
chick pea flour and tapioca starch, with salt and GPOP added in....
then, dylan fried 'em up in a hot pan with a heavy dose of sizzlin' oil inside.
for how long? util they were finished, man.
i dunno the minute count-
those pans were really flippin' crowded, and we had two going at once,
because too much is the right amount,
and MORE falafel is all you ever want to have.
suffice to say, the three menfolk terrorized a horrifying amount of this meal.
*
and there's two sauces, too-
three if you count sriracha, which i do, and you should, too.
travis made some expert tzatziki.
i'm sure he'll list the recipe somewhere soon-
it was fantastic,
truly.
-
and there was sesame-seeded lemon-tahini dressing, too-
3 T lemon juice;
4 tsp tahini paste;
1 tsp sossamon sesame seeds;
1/2 tsp ea Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
2 T warm water;
fresh cracked black pepper, and a healthy shake of sumac, stirred and rested for a spell.
TIIIIIIIIIGHT!
*
the veggies were crisp:
cukes, red onion slivers, sliced sweet baby grape tomatoes,
MORE mint, MORE thyme, MORE lemon-
all the things you'd need to satisfy a true falafel poet's connoisseurship.
and lemon-drenched super-sexxxy salad.
mmhmm.
purple cabbage shreds, parsley, cilantro, and scallion, with alllll the lemon juice,
tossed and allowed to marinate-
the cabbage gets that unearthly glow, bro, when the acid starts to tenderize it.
it's dope.
try it again from another 'nother angle, friends:

RIGHT!?!
i knowwwwww.
it's what we needed, and it's what we had.
regrettably, we lost the light in our epic undertaking, so we were standing on chairs
underneath the artificial jauns for the first time this season.
yup.
it's getting darker sooner, and the overcast rain-blast wasn't helping a damned thing-
yeah, i mean, we made it work, but i would've loved a little more natural glow, yo.
it was all awesome.
truly.
i have very few people i care about, so i really love it when there's overlaps of activation,
invention, creation, and a communion of ideas and abilities.
i do.
it's great.
it's usually about food- it's the oldest and best way to express appreciation,
and i do that as hard as i can.
it's all really happening, and i am grateful for the time i have been given
to create something that nourishes me, and my people,
and does no harm to anything or anyone else.
this was a lucky convergence of compatible companions,
and i count myself as fortunate to have been the one with the stove where it all unfolded;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 13

CLOUDY AND GREY!

the sun did NOT come out at all yesterday-
and while it was lugubrious as heck out there in the grey, wet, disappointment
of atmospheric interference,
it was the perfect temperature for the number one attitude adjuster
that comes out fresh and hot from my oven....
yep.
i'm talking about pizza.
again.
pizza forever, man.
pizza all the effin' time.
when do i want pizza? always, always, always, like, right now even.
yeah!
how much pizza do i want?
dudes, i want ALL the pizza. i want MORE pizza. also, i want some pizza, please.
ok.
so, it was another 'nother pizza party.
but what was poppin' on my plate THIS time?
take a look:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!
woooooooooooooooord!
it's been well established that potatoes on pizza is a good idea.
the first time i had 'em was at a roadside pizza spot outside venice, italy,
something like twenty years ago.
since then, the little spudlets have been perpetually invited to attend my pizza parties.
they're really good.
so,
while my oven was preheating to 480 convection-activated circulatory fahrenheit degrees,
i had three small, red, skin-on potatoes halved and sliced into the wedges you see above,
oiled, pink salted, black peppered, GPOP'd, and smoked paprika sprankled,
to roast in the climbing temperatures until they were golden, but only slightly.
(they still had to bake ON the pie, guys, y'know?)
mmmmmmm.
i grilled up a bunch of leek ringlets, with a glug of oil,
until they had a respectable level of char on 'em.
i'm kind of an onion-head, kids. that's real.
and all the onions and their relatives are welcome in my kitchen and on my plate.
so, in addition to the leeks, i had raw red onion strips and scallion greens, too.
that's how i like it- an overabundance of excellence-
too much is the right amount, right?
...heck yes it is.
saturday night's tomato sauce was expert- across the board it rocked all the socks.
and then sunday's upgrade took it to eleven,
and then up and out into a whole new dimension of taste and texture, too-
the leftovers were cooked in all of the reserved tomato juice,
but with another cup and a half of sliced grape tomatoes reduced down
to the thiccckest thickness,
and then pureed to a super smooth consistency-
like, really, how many of you need a recipe for success?
i laid it out, now forge your own path, buddy. you can do it, for sure.
also, i decided something- cooked sauce is acceptable on pizza.
i know, i know, purists will say that crushed san marzano tomatoes are the only way.
i've just eaten several pizzas that say otherwise, so i can't agree completely.
that's a thing.
-
and when i added a whole head of chopped broccoli, seared in oil,
and slightly steamed with a splash of warm water prior to the big bake?
damn, duders- pizza at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is an epic event, each and every time.
that's no joke.
i even had regular-A* pizza crust for the first time in a few minutes-
uh-huh.
-
*
REGZ!
-
in my trusted assistant, the stand-upright mixer's big bowl, i combined:
2 cups a.p. flour;
2 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
1 pkg regular-ol' slow-actin' yeast;
3/4 cup warm water;
1 tsp fast actin' bread yeast.
that's it.
kneaded up for ten minutes, covered and proofed alll day-
it was a crisp thin-crust dough, and it did the trick, quickly.
i've got no complaints about THAT.
-
stretched and laid out on the seasoned, lightly oiled steel pan, the dough was dope
before it ever hit the hot stone.
expert is as expert does,
and i'm on that pizzaiolo jaun with all i've got to give.
-
double the daiya chee'? yes.
cheddar AND mozz, for that potato and broccoli and pizza blend.
anything else?
why, yes, as a matter of fact, because rules is rules,
there's fried garlic sprankles on there to keep the muh-fuhhhh'r really real.
yes, yes, and also, YES.
pizza is the brightest spot in a dark day.
every single time there's pizza, every single thing seems a bit better for it's presence.
righteous, elite, awesome radical vegan pizza is the thing i'm into the most.
and luckily, it's also the thing i have the know-how, wherewithal,
and ingredients to create the most often-
so i'm doing ok, bro.
it's all okay.
***********
...and i've got the fullest day ahead.
and i've got a head full of to-do's and other assorted doo-doo, to do, too.
yeah.
first things first, i need to get groceries, and the right time to do that is right when
the grocery store opens....
nobody is there besides one cashier and two old people, and me (so, three old people?)
without more fresh veggies, every day is bullsh!t, and i'm not trying to live like that.
i've got places to go, and things to find places for,
and places where things need to go full of things that need to go....
it's all really happening, all of it;
every last little excrementable item, is underway
in real-time 1080HD 360° surround-sound space-and-time occupying pressure
in between all the other other bits of my day that need doing.
gross grocery getting, grosser dog walks, slightly-less-gross tattzapps all day long,
delightful dinnertime, gross dog walk, and somewhere, maybe a little other exercise,
and whole lotta packing up, which really just means sorting and organizing,
in between bouts of removal of a decade's worth of history, comedy, and tragedy.
that's real life, isn't it?
some combination of all of the above?
yep.
so, there you have it.
today is a day full of real life;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 12

SATURDAY SOLOS!

pizza party time is anytime i want, man.
that's a fact.
i'm in charge.
i'm the boss.
it's all my decision, dudes.
and whenever i'm allowed to indulge in my deepest-rooted darkest desires?
yeah, it turns out, i'm molto boring, bro.
uh-huh.
it's ALWAYS pizza.
haha! .....but i'm serious, though.
last night, saturday night, all-the-way-lively,
i was home alone making pizza like a F*ing champion.
yuuuup! that's riiiiight.
i want all the pizza,
and then i want a little bit MORE,
and then, another slice or two for my face-
because on the ones, too much is the right amount.
i'm a pizza man, neighbors, right down to my core.
and the pizza i'm making is expert af.
check the pee-eye-zee-zee-ayy-type teleport:

YEAH, BOIIIIII!!!
that crust? elite!
the sauce? homemade, chunky, magical garden-fresh hottness!
the toppings? FAN-F*ING-TASTIC!
yup.
radical from-scratch freshness, with all the fixin's is where it's at.
...
and here's how it happened-
-

SAUCE!!!
-
that's five halved tomatoes, blackened on a hot pan for a good long while,
with olive oil and salt, and refrigerated overnight.
i drained off the excess liquid, and processed the 'matoes to a pulp,
with a quarter of a red onion, and a whole carrot-
it's chunky as heck, and i cooked the whole thing while the oven was preheating,
and the dough was proofing-
mmhmm.
i added olive oil, and garlic to the pot, first,
and then added a splash of white wine vinegar,
a glug or two of soy sauce,
and a punch of fresh-plucked basil.
when it was bubbling away, i dropped in a pinch of sugar,
and a spoonful of nootch, too.
...then, once it was all cooked through and gettin' thick,
i strained off the excess liquid, and let it cool so it would ruin the dough, bro.
smart!
*
that dough?
magnificent.
f'really real-
-
*
DOUGH!
-
1 cup flour;
3/4 cup bread flour;
1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
1 T cracked black pepper;
3 T olive oil;
1 T yeast;
>1 tsp wheat gluten;
3/4 cup warm water, + 1 tsp bread machine flour, +1 tsp agave, bloomed.
all that gets kneaded in a stand mixer for ten minutes in a row,
until the dough is a stiff little ball-
cover it and let it rise, in the fridge allll damned day,
before preheating the oven to 480℉,
on that convection setting  if you got it like that,
and stretching the dough out on an oiled tray or pan, neighbors.
here's my move-
i freak it off first, over the baking stone, ON a seasoned steel pan-
then i transfer it to the stone directly for the last few minutes-
it makes everything better, and that's gotta happen.
who wants not-better pizza?
losers, that's who.
-
soy-glazed brussels sprouts? yep.
y'boi has the touch when it comes to those jauns.
really-
first, i browned up some chunky garlic sprankles in oil in the pan-
rules is rules, and it's well-known those are mandatory around here-
and i moved those to the special fired garlic container,
but threw all my slivered sprouts into the infused oil.
good idea, right? yep. i know.
and i added a splash of water to cook 'em up,
and then doused 'em in tamari to turn up the tastiness to eleven.
they should be softened, but not mushy. that's gross.
and they're going in that hot  af oven right after, remember?
yeah.
-
shredded spinach over that chunky sauce?
smart!
caramelized sweet onions over two fat handfuls of minced daiya mozzarella-style chee'?
really smart.
brown-on-purpose kumato baby grape tomatoes?
genius.
and how about MORE of those sprankles?
man, you KNOW that's the TRUTH!
...
with the freshest basil right from outside the door on top?
good pizza makes for great times.
that's a fact.
-
your saturday may have been amazing.
and really, i hope it was.
but,
up here in the overcast and slightly chilly woodsly goodness,
mine was exactly, specifically, custom-tailored to my personal tastes,
and it was perfect,
is there even anything else to say?
oh, right;
never quiet, never soft.....

OATS!

oats are gluten-free.
but, gluten-free oats are not the same thing.
we know this, and this is an established thing.
so, when you wanna make oatmeal things for gluten-freebies,
y'gotta go get a whole other 'nother special batch of those jauns......or else.
now, i'll mention that i do have gluten-free oats that are also gluten-free-
and the good news is that i got half as many for four times the regular price
of just plain ol' naturally but not *environmentally* gluten-free oats.
my point is, i got 'em, so i could get into some things.
if that's what has to happen then that is exactly what happens, y'feel me?
neighbors, i LOVE oats.
the most.
my favorite non-wheat grain, no question, is the oat.
and y'know what goes great with oats?
yup.
that's right: coconut.
here's the question, though-
what if the coconut was processed in a factory that at one time
had, like, a sheaf of wheat nearby, once when it opened or whatever?
i dunno.
but, i guess we're gonna find out-
because i made some gluten-free treats again,
and i might've used coconut that possibly walked by a speck of flour at some point....
yup.
i'm livin' dangerously, dudes.
check the teleport:

OATMEAL-COCONUT BARS!!!
they taste great.
they feel great.
they've got raw cacao nib sprankles for crawnch,
and dark-chocolaty ganche drizzlers for exxxtra sexxxinesss, too.
so, they don't suck, that's for sure.
and also, i remembe how to make them, so i'll just go ahead and share that with y'all:
-
*
GF COCON'OATMEALTIME!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
in a medium-sized metal mixing bowl... or ceramic, or plastic, or whatever,
combine:
3/4 cup sugar;
1 stick vegan butter;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
cream well, and fully,
and add:
1 cup freshly-ground unsweetened unsulphured coarse coconut meal, milled from flakes;
1 cup quick-actin' rolled gf oats;
1 cup mama's almond flour blend;
1 cup garbanzo-based bob's gf ap flour;
3 T tapioca;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp xantham gum;
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
stir and stir and stir until that's all one solid, semi-spongy batter,
and spread it out evenly in a 9 x 12 rectangular greased, lightly g-f-floured non-stick pan.
bake it for 30 minutes,
and let it cool completely before icing.
-
the icing is easy-
1/4 cup dark chocolate vegan chips;
melted on low heat with 1 T non-dairy milk
and 2 tsp raw cacao butter.
that's it.
stir it up until it's allllll smooth, and pipe it out through a plastic baggie
with one corner tip slightly clipped to form a lil bitty baby hole-
-
then blast it with those nibs, nerds.
as many as you'd like, or as many as you have, even.
just hook it up, b. and when you see how expert these are,
you'll be excited that you made the effort.
trying hard is good for you.
***********
can o' worms, man.
can o' frickin' worms.
y'ever live alone for years, and then look around and realize you're weird as F*?
it's not unique to me, i'm sure, but man, oh man, does it sure seem
like super-weirdie weirdness snuck up on me outta nowhere.
i keep finding MORE sh!t i have to eff with within
this nook'd and crannied Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and it makes me anxious.
hmm?
no. not in a bad way. jeez. take it easy-
it makes me anxious, because it's time to exorcise and amputate and eliminate
some of these trappings that've trapped me for a little while now-
y'know?
i'm doing something every day, and every thing is time consuming in proportion to
how long i've neglected paying attention to it...
that's a debt i aim to repay in full, and the cost of this time is well worth
the intentionally oblivious half a decade i took up ignoring all this stuff.
so, it's waves of bye bye and hello all at once,
and both of my hands are frantically flapping back and forth
whenever they're not sorting or carrying something to somewhere else.
it's all really happening, because it's past time and overdue.
i'm anxious with anticipation;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 10

THURSDAYS!

thai is for thursdays!
yeah!
check it out:

ALLLLL THE VEGETABLES!
coconut rice!
coconut-oil-fried crispy tofu!!
AVO-F*ING-CADO!
dudes,
thai thursday is pretty flippin' expert around here-
and this piled-high plateful of pretty rainbow hottness goes right up to eleven
without even breaking a sweat...
for sure.
jasmine rice, with coconut flakes, formed the foundation.
that high-heat coconut oil sizzle does right by the exxxtra-firm tofu,
and gets it good and golden on all sides, for maxxximum crispiness.
with black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to accentuate it,
and infuse into the oil's ambiance, y'get the very best bits of those beans, buddy.
that's real.
avocado is always invited.
mmhmmm.
rules is rules, and if you got 'em, use 'em, no matter what.
(and i always have 'em, so there's that going for me)
we got lettuce, purple carrots, radishes, pea shoots, sweet red baby bell peppers,
hunks of shishito peppers, cilantro sprankles,
and two-tone sossamon sesame seed shots, too.
but that's not all, y'all.
no way.
there's purple cabbage shreds, and fresh plucked basil as well.
too much is the right amount, neighbors.
don't use any less than all you've got.
hmmm?
but, what about all that stir-fry?
oh, don't worry, we're getting to that-
broccolini is dope.
i guess it's more like a mustard plant?
i read that somewhere, but it doesn't affect this meal in the slightest.
i had coconut oil hot as heckfire in a pan,
and i tossed in all the broccolini, like, a whole bunch chopped loosely into thirds-
and added half a rough chopped red onion,
and a whole poblano pepper in strips, and chunks of jalapeno,
and an orange carrot, sliced into fat slivers....
all of that was just sizzlin' on it's own,
and then i added one bunch of scallion bottoms,
and half a cup of shredded green cabbage,
and all the cilantro stems, minced up-
.....plus a really righteous SAUCE.
mmmhmmm.
IT SOMETIMES BE'S LIKE THAT:
5 tsp sriracha;
1 T rice wine vinegar;
1 T wheat-free soy sauce;
2 T agave;
1 tsp sesame oil;
1 tsp ground coriander;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
black pepper;
1/2 tsp ea. GPOP;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
2 T lime juice.
-
that just steams and stews and otherwise accentuates all the goodness
of all those green things for just a little minute,
and then everything is ready already, and you're about to serve up those fat stacks
of fiery fresh flavors.
the combination of every single one of those elements works harmoniously, homies.
that's no joke.
y'all haven't been livin' if you haven't effed around with tight sauces
and crisp veggies,
and raw greens,
and hot tofu.
i mean it.
it's like you're suddenly a hero.
which doesn't even make sense, because all you did was have dinner.
still, that's a good feeling.
also,
you get to have a beautiful rainbow of vitamins and sh!t for your face.
that's good for you, too.
thai thursday is usually sorta simple, even though it's also epic.
there's always a lot of all of it, but nothing is ever too complicated.
that's the move.
and it makes my day.
***********
i have more art making materials than i have house to hold 'em.
that's a real F*ing problem, as there's decreasing space for my things,
and as i need more room to move, i need to assess and address and activate
whole vast sections of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
in a damned domino-effect of diagnosis and direct action and demolition,
all leading up to less room, and less time, and only slightly more space.
i'm rapidly approaching the 'F* this, burn it all' phase of my invested attentions.
there are finite and well-established limits to how much i want to move
and replace and tidy up.....
and i'm close to the point of pyres and pagan sacrifices and that.
ha.
that's funny to me, but i'm NOT joking.
it's all really happening,
and it's about to heat up about a billion BTU's worth;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 9

STRICTLY FOR MY 'OLIS!

damn neighbors-
the formuoli was top-secret, even from me!
ha.
that's real.
i had no clue what was for dinner last night, right up until i had all the pans sizzlin',
and my temper temporarily stopped fuming through the steamy, sweaty,
muggy mess my kitchen had become in the absolute filthy humidity of august
here in the woodsly goodness.
it turns out that no sleep and the fullest days, for weeks in a row,
will take my mood to unexpected tiers of impatience and irritability.
weird, right?
don't misunderstand:
my clients and i all had big ol' globs of fun together-
it's not my first day at tattooing by a long shot,
and a little baby bit of being completely annihilated by physical and metal depletion
isn't gonna be what does me in-
no way! not today or tomorrow or ever, bro.
and even though i supplemented my alertness with just a single shot
of real caffeinated espresso in my decaf, i was maginally more awake,
but it also activated my hair-trigger testiness,
which in turn had me even MORE tired from reining in the high-performance
spoken-word runaway trainwreck that physiological stimulation causes.
hahaaa!
man,
it's not easy.
working all day on no sleep,
and looking at each tattoo like it's everest needing to be climbed barefoot.
it's fine; i'm a pro; and i handled all of it with precision and poise,
if with a few added invectives...
of course, the whole time, i was ALSO wondering what was on the menu for dinner.
that's important (to me), and i knew it'd have to be expert af
in order to improve my mean mood.
that's real.
i held back all the attacks all day, which was doubly exhausting,
only to enter my kitchen and immediately turn the heat right the eff up to eleven,
and melt away the last vestiges of my composure...
that's a hard style, friends,
especially when keeping it together has been my priority action item for an age.
so, instead i opted to NOT talk at all for a little minute,
and instead focused on what would make my night better.
sleep, for sure, but first, a magnificent meal worthy of celebration.
y'wanna see, after all those words?
ok.
check the teleport:

RAVIOLI, RAVIOLI, GIVE ME THE MUH-FUGG'N FORMUOLI!!!
wow!
from out of nowhere, a triumph!
the filling was so elite.
the sauce was so fresh.
the pasta was surprisingly hearty.
the whole of it was better from the first to the last of it
than any individual bit could've been, and every individual bite was a great big blessing
for my whole famished face.
word up.
the pasta was a surprise! i wasn't even trying to exxxplode my mind and my tastebuds...
but that's what happened-
check it:
-
*
RAVIOLI DOUGH!
-
in your standing-up mixer, with the dough hook in place,
combine:
1 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
1 tsp salt;
2 T dried fire-roasted tomato sprankles;
3 T olive oil;
11 craxxx black pepper;
2/3 cup warm water.
beat it up until it's a stiff shiny ball of dough, cover it,
and let it rest while you deal with everything else-
eventually, you're gonna wanna roll it out pretty thinly on a well-floured surface,
and cut out all the ravioli tops and bottoms, in the shape and size of your choosing.
we made twenty eight two inch jauns, which comprised fifty six circles in all.
that's a LOT. and they get bigger when boiled, so get ready to get full.
-
the filling was really dynamite, duders.
almonds? weird right?
but, with spinach and nutritional yeast, and daiya mozzarella chee', too??
daaaaaaaaaamn, together it's all a F*ing miracle.
f'real.
-
*
SPINACH-ALMOND MAGIC!
-
in a medium pan, on high heat, with tablespoon of olive oil, saute:
half an onion, minced;
one very finely-chopped carrot;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
three huge handfuls of chopped baby spinach;
a punch of nutritional yeast;
black pepper, GPOP, and pink salt.
after the onions are softened, and the spinach is wilted,
add 3 T crushed almonds,
and 3 T coarse almond meal,
AND a handful of minced daiya mozzarella, man.
y'all ain't ready for this much hottness.
it's almost too good,
but then again, too much is the right amount.
so it'll all be ok.
-
you'll need a big pot of hot, salty, boiling water.
and those cut-out circles, and a spoon and a fork.
that's the whole filling process in a nutshell, y'know?
a scoop on one flap, another flap on top, a few perfectly-placed presses,
and a squeeze or two to seal it shut,
then the fork to crimp the edges, (aesthetic and functional)
and voila, you've got ravioli.
let 'em set on the counter for a few minutes.
nobody likes gummy pasta, so give 'em time to firm up.
then, jus boil those baddies until they float.
....
but here's the thing:
then drop into a hot oiled pan!
yeah,
we're gonna sear 'em after the fact, and then toss 'em with a dash of nootch,
and a little dustin' on GPOP,
and a slap of fresh parsley,
AND then lather them in SAUCE!!!
that's the move combo for maxxximum exxxtra points!
sauce is tight on it's own, but with all that sizzliness??
c'mon.
look:

YEAH!!!!!
there's raw baby spinach,
and toasted almond slivers, which are tiiiiiight,
and those dry-fried mushrooms, just to give it a little sumthin' more.
there's also fresh picked basil and oregano and parsley sprankles, too.
yup.
who wants A*-hole macaroni when you can have expert ravioli,
am i right?
.....usually.
and that sauce???
bro, the sauce was a flippin' dark horse victory.
-
*
TOMATO SAUUUUUCE!
-
in a medium sauce pot,
saute 3 cloves crushed garlic with lots of black pepper-
meanwhile, in your trusty food processor, positively puree:
1/2 onion;
1 carrot;
5 fat garden-fresh exxxtra-huge special-delivery tomatoes.
mmhmm.
add that wet mess to the oil in the pan,
along with:
1 tsp sugar;
2 T white wine vinegar;
1/4 cup nootch;
1 T ground flax/chia seeds;
a dash of salt;
GPOP, obvi.
-
now, all that has to cook forever.
y'might even wanna start it first.
and stir it so the solids and the liquids can cooperate.
i bet i had it bubbling for close to forty minutes?
and i also added fresh shredded basil and oregano, too.
i mean, y'don't want BORING sauce, do you?
me neither.
it was still a little wet, but that helped the ravioli in the hot pan, anyway.
it just so happened to be perfect for what i was doing,
and that was totally by accident.
MORE sauce on top?
definitely!
MORE little garnishy goobieblops?
absolutely!
MORE of it, next time, so i can get all-the-way fat af?
there's no other option i will consider.
....and it ALL was SO good, too.
i wasn't sure at first-
for being regular flour only in the dough,
and juicy tomatoes in the sauce,
and a filling totally improvised on the spot,
and all of that with sleep and sweat and soreness dripping, dropping,
and drooping from every inch of my body?
that's how i know for sure that i was doing it right.
it all worked together, undiminished, to turn my night up a whole bunch of levels.
i am grateful that i can't take it easy.
otherwise, i might miss out,
and nobody likes that, man.
y'wouldn't wanna not have ravioli, would you?
that's my point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 8

TWO-TIMES TUESDAY!

man, if i'm personally gonna eat tacos,
i'm definitely going hard.
huh?
no, not hard shells-
...ew.
that ain't me, dawg.
no way.
but i am gonna go hard on all the soft flour flaps forever and ever.
that's just a personal thing.
it IS a thing, though-
and while i now have hard shells in my house,
i'm still not gonna be the dude who eats 'em.
no way.
me and my soft ones were definitely reppin' the day, though.
mmhmm.
a tremendous taco tuesday two-fer,
for me and my dude dylan to devour with all the fixin's and twice the variety.
guys,
check the double-trouble-type teleport:

THAT'S HOW YOU DO AUGUST TACO HOTTNESS!
my nootch-boosted veg-blasted ho'sauce activated refrieds are the TRUTH.
that's a F*ing fact, homeboy, and if you test it yourself, you'll see it and believe it.
all of these have a blarpity blop of those beans as the base-
-
about a pound of fat-free vegetarian refrieds-
with, 3 T minced red onion, and 1/4 cup mixed diced peppers (hot and sweet),
plus 2 T nutritional yeast, 2 T ho'sauce (shoutouts to texas pete, boi),
and a heavy shake of Garlic Powder AND Onion Powder and black pepper.
if you can't simmer those into the sloppiest paste on the planet,
then maybe get off the planet, b.
really.
-
there's all the green and red leafies, of course, and a smattering of pea shoots, too,
for exxxtra fiber and vitamins and chlorophyll an' that-
but, then they diverge in different directions, both of which are pure fiiiiiiiire!
***********
four of one, four of the other, two of each for the two of us,
and it all started with an orange tuber.
i mean it.
check the teleport:

SPICY SWEET POTATOES!!!
yeah!
that's one whole sweet potato, in 1/2" cubes, sizzled away in olive oil,
with pink salt, and black pepper, plus eyeballed shakes of  GPOP, cumin,
coriander, cayenne, and oregano.
but, then it's also turned up with a handful of red onion,
and about 1 T coriander stems, finely minced.
really, y'just stir it once in a while, until it's all soft.
easy, but so tight, neighbors.
-
there's jalapeno ho'sauce on there.
nate gave me that, because he's a good dude, and he's right-
it IS a righteous accent sauce for tacos. he knows his sauce, for sure.
-
AVO-F*ING-CADO is very necessary, always.
i love that about the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress feast agenda.
avocados everywhere always.
good fats, broski. good fats.
-
and that salsa fresca?
guys,
it's got a cup of chopped baby sweet brown tomatoes,
and a handful of cilantro,
and a punch of green onions,
and half a lime's worth of juice,
and a spoonful of minced jalapeno,
and a lil salt and black pepper, stirred and marinated for twenty minutes prior to serving.
how expert was it?
what's the upper limit? just saking, because this stuff surpassed it, by a lot, for sure.
ha.
***********
and that fresh sweet corn hash blast?
c'mon, man,.
you know i don't play around with tacos-
check it:

WORD!
that's an ear of shaved-off -the-cob sweet corn,
and green onion, and red onion, and poblano, and jalapeno,
and sweet baby bell peppers,at about a handful of each-
with hot paprika, and smoked paprika, and fresh oregano...
and lime juice and GPOP, and a little olive oil,
and a lot of chili-garlic ho'sauce (shouts to cholula for coming correct in the clutch)
plus, a cup of cubed zucchini, all allowed to char a little on a very HOT pan-
make sure the zukes are in contact with the cooking surface,
or you'll get soft, sucky, slimy sh!tty squashed squash, and that's what losers do.
be a winner, and blacken it one one side, buddy.
it tastes better.
-
the avocado is there, cilantro leaves are there,
and the big upgrade?
well, besides MORE chili-garlic ho'sauce,
there's also lime-zested, lime-pjuiced vegan sour cream.
yup.
it's so smooth, and that citrus sexxxiness really takes it to eleven.
dudes,
it's just vegan sour cream (homemade cashew stuff, storebought whatever),
plus zest and juice, as in: literally what it's described as.
perfect.
*
two kinds of tacos, two totally awesome experiences,
too much is the right amount.
no sleep?
no problem.
no time?
nothing new there.
high-humidity and ugly skies?
for sure for sure.
fresh-baked bread?
got it.
fresh tomatoes for SAUCE?
man, it's wednesday.
that's for pasta, probably.
i'm mentally ready for today, even if i'm physically unprepared.
i cleaned the hell out of a closet, and later, i'll refill the F* out of it again, too.
room needs to be made in room after room,
and i'm ruminating on how best to attack each item on my to-do list.
that's all bookending all these tattoos on the schedule,
and that's lookin' full af for the new little minute.
i'm so excited to never have a minute to breathe,
and i'm even more excited to never have a minute to write....
it's been forever since i slacked in the pace of this largely underappreciated diary,
so,
i guess i'm looking forward to prioritizing new things.
we'll see how it goes soon enough;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 7

BROWNIES!!

gluten-free baking is still not fun,
but,
the results are improving substantially with each effort.
i'm encouraged that the treats are not totally disappointing.
there are a couple cheat codes i've discovered recently, by accident,
and they seem to be working in my favor-
y'got chocolate? that helps.
it really does.
chocolate is good for you.
that's true.
maybe not in a science way, but in a well-nourished soulful way, neighbors.
and if you've got a lot of chocolate?
like, ALL the chocolate? then you're doing way better than average, for sure.
i have all the chocolate, and none of the gluten, and a whole lotta brownies...
look:

SO MUCH FUDGE!!!
dudes, these mutha-effers are the TRUTH!
y'wanna make some?
okay,
but you better have a whole bunch of different flours,
and not one of 'em can be wheat.
alright? alriiiight-
it's like THIS:
-
*
CHOCOFUUUUDGEBROWNIES!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
in am medium mixing bowl, with the use of a pastry cutter, cream together:
1 stick vegan butter;
3 T vegan creamchee';
1 cup brown sugar;
1/3 cup cocoa;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt.
add:
1 cup almond flour blend ( i use mama's brand, only because i have some)
it's got potato starch and tapioca and brown rice in it, too-
1 cup bob's all purpose gf flour-
that's chick pea and fava bean and sorghum and whatever else;
1 tsp xantham gum;
1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips;
3 T tapioca starch;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or equivalent.
stir it well, so that all that dumb, sticky flour is fully blended together.
line a 10" pan with parchment, and spoon the mixture in there, spread evenly.
bake it for about 35 minutes-
or until a knife or tester comes away clean from the center.
now, be careful, because this mix is still SOFT af after baking.
it'll hold together, but it will also squish into a heap of sh!t if you manhandle it,
so don't be a brute, and finesse that parchment out of the pan, man.
on it's own, this particular freestyle fresh-baked brownie bomb is expert.
but with exxxtras to take it to eleven?
it's a gosh danged revelation, man.
word up.
-
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted with 2 T almond milk, and a splash of vanilla?
that's ganache-style chocolate sauce, bro.
you need that.
drizzled from the snipped corner of a plastic baggy, a.k.a. 'pastry bag',
it does what needs doing, and makes the whole experience way better.
MORE chocolate is key, here.
that's the whole point.
-
hmm?
a little whipped dark chocolate frosting, too?
heck yes, m'man.
too much is the right amount.
and that's no joke.
y'ever make just a little baby bit of frosting?
it's harder than making a lot, actually.
f'really real, that's the truth.
i added sugar, then more s'milk, then more chocolate,
all in a row, just to realize i might've eyeballed more vegan butts than i needed-
eventually, i had more forsting than i wanted, but with alllllll the flavor and sugary firmness
that was required to make sure my brownies were basically stiff batter with decoration on it.
hahaaaa!
i bet you could bake them a while longer, and they'd be less fudged the F* out,
but i don't wanna tell you how to live your life, kids.
just sayin', you're in charge of your own brownies.
i liked these the way i made 'em, which was entirely off-book and without a recipe.
that's my thing.
i'll figure it out on my own, and share the successes, AND the failures with y'all.
true stories, told truly, are all i've got to offer you.
well, that and a brownie or two, i guess.
ha.
***********
why are books SO heavy?
i have thousands,
and while i've read them all,
i've not reread a great many that are now mostly just taking up space-
i thought i'd have this amazing nerd library, full of all the dungeons and the dragons,
the swords and sorcery, the wizards and the warriors;
but really, i just sorta have a hoarder's virgin-in-mom's-basement paperback heap
piled high in the way back bedrooms of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
that's no longer viable,
and there's better usage of the space scheduled for the immediate future.
sorry, previous me, but current me is looking to move forward into tomorrow
with slightly fewer encumberance rules to limit movement in melee.
(that's a D&D joke, guys)
ANYway,
i'm headed headlong into home improvements, and that's a daunting prospect,
but it's all really happening,
and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....