Sunday, January 22


you know i don't just sit idle and lazy-A* my way through every day.
i get up early and i get busy right away-  
yesterday, at the break'a-break'a,
i made some stuff i had laying around into some other better stuff.
i wish there was a better way to describe it....
actually, there IS.
i had about 1/3 cup of buttery, sweet, chocolate graham piecrust crumbles 
left over in the fridge,
a quick scan of the countertop revealed i had scrappy little remainders 
of a whole bunch of other other stuff, too.
i noticed i had 1/3 cup of chocolate granola,
and a handful of chocolate-covered coconut strips,
and a little bitty bottom-of-the-bagful of mini chocolate chips.
when you've got bits and bobs and leavin's,
you shouldn't squander them.
that's not cool.
but what is cool is turning those scraps into solid gold
and that's how it all began.
what i ended up with was something absolutely deep, dark, and decadent-
with a crazy complex texture.
the chocolate bits got melty, 
the granola stayed crunchy, 
the coconut got chewy,
and the piecrumbs disappeared into the cocoa-laced lusciousness of the cake batter.
it tastes like a brownie, 
it looks like a cake, 
it feels like a win.
y'wanna see what it is i'm talking about?
word up.
i thought you'd never ask.
check the brown-on-brown-on-brown-on-brown-type teleport:
it's THICK.
and it's rich, 
but it isn't dense.
i don't really know what happened-
i was essentially taking all the ingredients i could find,
and tossing them into the mixer to see what'd happen next.
that's the secret, i s'pose.
i don't really worry about what comes next in the kitchen.
it's not confidence so much as it's curiosity.
i'm genuinely delighted to experiment,
and i'm excited rather than concerned when there's new food to create.
i save all my impressive anxiety for all the other aspects of my life-
and that's on the public, private, and professional levels.
the worst thing about new treats?
i never know how long to bake them for.
this tall chocolate plug took upwards of 40something minutes, 
steaming away at 350F,
and it still sunk 1/4" in the center when a toothpick came out clean.
the insides had all the exxxtras, so the outsides got the thickest, richest 
chocolate frosting florets all around the rim,
and that's all.
if you wanna start out with the basics, and add your own cup of weird crap,
i think you should, and i hope you do.
the foundation is as follows:
1 cup sugar;
1 stick vegan butters;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/3 cup cocoa;
^cream that all together, 
and whisk in
3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt;
when that's all one uniform consistency,
add 2 cups all purpose flour;
2 tsp bakin' kapow;
1 tsp bakin' soda;
1/4 cup tapioca;
1 cup of random sh!t (maybe not marbles or thumbtacks)
1 cup non dairy milk.
when it's all combined, turn up your speed,
and whisk as much air in there as it can handle.
those chocolaty shrapnel scraps will try to thwart your efforts.
don't let them.
pop it in a greased and floured cake pan.
or two shallow cake pans, 
i guess, if that's what you've got.
i bet that'd only take 30 minutes to bake, actually.
it's cake, at first glance.
that's simple.
it didn't behave like cake,
and that's surprising.
a whole heck of a lot of what i make is similar at the fundamental level,
but it's all the activation that sets each treat apart.
i like that.
i caught a COLD.
that worries me.
...not in a hypochondriac way.
i'm not that guy.
i used to have a sort of smarter immune system.
i'm not really joking.
it was as if my antibodies were too smart to succumb 
to the up-here dumb-dumb germs.
nowadays, though, 
i catch just as many of these icky 'itises that circulate through
the woodsly goodness as anybody else.
that's not exactly a cause for celebration.
we might infer that never sleeping isn't super healthy,
or that stress has lowered my resistance to these minor inconveniences,
maybe it isn't exhaustion,
i've just exhausted my defenses against these 'necktard nerve agents,
and now i'm just as susceptible to suckery as the locals.
that's sooo budget.
i mean, 
i'm over here eating ALLLLL the magical vegan nutrients,
and i'm sniffling just the same as the energy-drink-chuggin' fast-food F*ers.
i'm not about to defect to the dark side,
i just miss feeling smug in my safe and secure good health.
oh, well.
i guess everything ends eventually.
luckily that goes for colds, too.
i'm sore in spots i never consider, 
i'm drippin' and coughing and sneezing,
and i'm about to spread the cheer to all my clients today.
that's how it goes, bros.
i'm giving back to the community, 
and i'm crossing my fingers for a fast-acting development of immunity
to this ear, nose, and throat congestion.
it's warmish during the day, comparatively,
but i'm coldish whenever i'm not feverish, 
and despite regulating the temperature of every indoor area i occupy,
i'm riding a roller coaster of chills and sweats.
i'm gonna try to impose my will on my white blood cells,
and pep talk them into doing their job a little better.
...being inconvenienced by a minor illness is pretty much bullsh!t.
it's all really happening, 
and it seems we can either make the most of it,
or we can make a mess of it.
i know what side i'm on;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, January 21


molto molto cayenne!!!
i served up some super spicy fire.
i did.
and i liked it,
a lot.
i've never had real nashville-style hot chicken.
i mean. c'mon.
that's unlikely to be something i'd be all that psyched on, right?
chicken hasn't passed my lips in over twenty years.
i'm old, man.
take it easy.
even though i'm not about that life,
i have seen more than one YouTube video about it.
that's real.
c'mon, now-
you know you've found yourself letting the autoselect next-video feature
lead you to new places before.
i do it, too.
i got to thinking about all that pepper.
and then that thinking led to tinkering in the test kitchen,
and before i realized what was happening,
i had a raging conflagration of capsaicin on my hands.
spicy seitan hotness hottness!!
chili oil, (i believe it's canola with crushed red pepper infused in there)
heated with a 1/4 tsp of cayenne?
that's fire,
...and that's the second helping of heat.
i don't ever want to half-A* what i'm on,
especially when i'm on some other other sh!t.
check the nashville-boom-boom-flame-on-type teleport:

daaaamn, neighbors!
that soft and strong loaf of olive-oily awesome came through a second time.
toasted just a touch, and hooked the heck up with a squirt or three of
turmeric-touched smoky paprika activated mildly-cayenne'd vegan mayo!!!
that stuff is too good to ignore.
so, i pay special attention to it, and allow those flavors to flourish
under the careful creation of my dinnertime inventions.
lettuce is crunchy, and it added a nice cool element to this crispy magma magic.
pickles are a must.
that's a thing.
the nashville style dictates it. and rules is rules.
i personally love a little sweetness nearby to my savory,
so there are a whole bunch of shredded caramelized swet onions on top.
that's my own personal take on the meal,
but it works wonders on the taste, and i sure can appreciate an onion, man.
they're delicious.
i'm suspicious of onion-haters.
i think they may be deficient in character,
and they're not to be trusted.
not with important tasks, secret missions, or the nuclear codes.
that said,
i also hit these jauns up with ho'sauce.
louisiana-style drips and drops.
that's that vinegar tang for everybody who knows what's up.
that leaves the seitan.
are you ready?
it's a ton of black pepper;
smoked paprika;
upwards of a teaspoon!! of cayenne pepper;
hungarian hot paprika;
mortared red pepper flakes;
a pinch of brown sugar;
and a little arrowroot to help it all stick.
dredge the seitan slabs in that red rocketfuel,
and in a hot skillet, melt a combo of butterish and oil,
about 2 T each,
until it's hot but the butts are not browned-
drop your seitan in that, and watch the crust caramelize quickly
and the whites of your eyes turn red from the vaporized spice.
when those are cripsy,
remove them,
and add that chili oil, with the added cayenne,
and when it's HOT,
baste those baby-b!tches with the exxxtra big action boomfuego you've just created.
it's so good.
the bread, and the lettuce, and the sweet onions mitigate the bite,
but it's got all the right notes, in the right order,
and for what it's worth, it's a smash hit in my mouth for sure.
solid gold.
i'll admit to not giving much thought to my strawberry salad.
i'm not sorry.
a little coolwater cuke, some pea shoots, and those sweet off-season berries
all did their job admirably,
but compared to those two sandwiches,
their shine wasn't all that bright.
the crisp-edged fried kale, however,
with that potato fritter on top?
yes. yes.YES.
i love it when i've got that new new in the lineup.
i'm most prob'ly gonna play this one a lot in the rotation.
they're too dope to leave on the bench.
make some.
the recipe is a few posts back.
you'll see,
and then you'll be thanking me.
am i a late bloomer?
i wonder.
if not,
then i'm simply a sh!tty seed that may never germinate.
it took forever for me to decide to get serious about cooking.
picky eaters will stifle the spirit of any adventurous epicurean.
that's true of most things, actually.
one gnarly naysayer can F* up the whole plan.
i know it all too well.
most times, i'm the gnarliest sayer of nays.
not when it comes to food.
i love it too much.
the thing is, it has taken me more time to achieve the lowly level
of self-taught vegan nerdism that i'm at.
in most other thingsm
that same isolated, insulated hard-style hermitage
makes the learning curve more and more of an interminable climb.
time is of the essence,
but the essentials are all elusive.
i'm in a hurry, but my skillset development is NOT.
in work, at play, in love, and in war, the tools i use are makeshift,
and the techniques are all improvised.
wild flowers bloom in crap conditions, surely,
but man, i kind of  wish i had a bit more cultivation.
garden varieties seem less exotic, but they sure are more reliable.
here i am,
wondering what's gonna sprout.
i've got food covered for the moment,
and now i've got to find the right combination of encouragements
to blossom all the rest of these kernels of warrior poetry, too.
it's all really happening,
or is it;
never quiet, never soft.....


nature cake.
i dunno what else to call it.
it's like granola, kinda.
it's practically healthy.
i can tell you don't know what i'm speaking on.
hold on.
let me rewind.
i made a cake with as many nicey-nice natural bits as i had on hand.
pecans, dried cranberries, and raisins.
that's nature, man.
sure, it's got sugar in there.
i don't want it to be terrible.
and yeah, there is frosting, AND icing-
but the crumb has nutrients and all that right in there.
i mean it.
you guys eff around with toasted wheat germ?
apparently, as of now, i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
on the real-
it looks sexy, it tastes kind of nutty,
and it made my nature cake expert.
check the teleport:

it's chunky. full of all the good stuff,
and it even has sprouted white whole wheat flour.
that's some futuristic nature magic.
i think i just like calling it 'nature'.
it tastes great.
and it's got a lot of toothsome texture, too.
you wanna give a little nature a go?
here's the recipe:
1 stick of butts;
>1 cup of raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
as always, we cream all that together,
and then add half the wetness:
3/4 cup vanilla vegan yogurt.
stir it all up.
hand blending this is more than adequate.
we want it rough and rugged, kids.
it's nature, after all.
when that's become all one thing,
you throw in the dry stuff-
1 1/2 cup flour;
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour;
1/2+ cup toasted wheat germ (be careful when you hit it w/ the heat, it burns fast);
2 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 cup chopped pecans;
1/2 dried cranberries;
1/2 cup raisins;
finish the batter by stirring in 1 cup of non-dairy milk.
make it nice. make sure it's all mixed.
make yourself a cup of tea.
i dunno.
you've gotta grease cake pan.
i used a 9" springform.
that's my favorite.
spread with butterish, dusted with flour,
and filled with that chunky lump-up,
and baked,
at 350F, for 40 minutes.
check that middle for doneness, man.
for realsies.
you don''t want sinking suck in the center.
well, yeah.
i put those radially radiant pecan halves on top.
i don't want to voluntarily accept ugly food.
if i can make it pretty, i'm probably gonna.
so, you may have noticed that i didn't put any cinnamon in the batter.
i think that would've been a misstep.
that wheat germ has a great flavor, but it's delicate.
to keep it at the expert level,
and make sure we didn't miss out on any flavors,
i mixed a little kapowdered sugar and cinnamon with vanilla and soymilk,
for a simple icing, and splatted some in the middle.
just enough to give it that accentuated excellence,
but keep all the rest of that delightful dopeness intact.
i might overthink this stuff.
and also overdo it a bit.
those toasted pecan sprankles dipped in there.
MORE nuts?
of course.
too much is the right amount.
there's even coconut frosting around the edges.
yes, that's what's up.
i wouldn't want to miss out.
so, i keep adding more and more.
rules is rules,
and nature cake abides, man.
the schedule at the studio is so effed up.
i've got dudes on top of dudes on top of dudes,
stacked back to back to back for days on end.
now, don't get me wrong, here-
i appreciate the continued patronage of menfolk,
as they generally get bigger and better tattoos in this region of the world.
i mean that site-specifically, and not as a gender bias.
the thing is-
i STILL have a hard time talking to men.
i just don't care about the sh!t they're saying.
like, not one little teeny tiny bit.
no thank you.
i'd rather talk about a colonoscopy.
ugh. never have i ever, nor will i ever give any effs about that.
F*ing hell. i can barely drive a subaru
(which is apparently a vehicle just for lesbians, and me,
at least, according to the hard-working workbooted bros of the north)
well, now.
i DO love girls.
but, not the ones they're taking about.
zero percent interested, one hundred percent of the time.
it's NOT every guy,
but, it's most of the ones i'm tattooing the longest sessions on,
the most frequently.....
i surmise that the motormouthing monologue i've mastered
is more of a defense mechanism than a performance piece.
the more i put up a solid wall of sound,
with a solid urban breakbeat backdrop,
the less the chances of an errant interjection about venison chili
showing up to make sure i'm reminded of how much we're NOT alike.
i'm just complaining a little, kids.
i like to.
i've got nonstop testosteroni ponies for the following five days,
and i'm just psyching myself up to get into the spirit of the sausagefest.
it's all really happening.
i'm spoiled enough to be salty about earning my money this week,
but i'm smart enough to know that they're the ones who're gonna pay;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, January 20


homemade focaccia bread?!?!
a.k.a. the new hottness;
a.k.a. that greaze;
a.k.a. perfect sandwich bread.
that's real.
when you hear a sandwich man talk about what bread he uses,
you should probably listen.
a word of wisdom from the wisest of men is only as valuable as
the listener is able to understand it.
i listened, bruh, and i GOT it.
focaccia is soft, but structured.
firm, but not tough.
it's got an ocean of olive oil in it, so it's also impossibly delicious,
and that's a bonus in any scenario.
once you've got the right dough, and in turn, it has turned into the right bread,
you're on the right track to a tremendous sandwich.
...and you naughty nerds know i LOVE a good sandwich.
word up.
let's get right into it, shall we?
check the focaccia-forever-type teleport:

i'm on some other other sh!t now, neighbors.
pickle spears.
frisee and tomato salad, with agave-glazed toasted pepitas,
and white balsamic dressing.
rainbow slaw, with purple cabbage, spinach, carrots and pea tendrils,
black pepper, salt, and vegan mayo.
the side order game is on point.
sandwiches need that.
not because they're lacking something on their own.
jeez. don't be dumb.
i only ever want a sandwich that's a meal in and of itself.
that's not it.
the sides are essential if you know the prime directive
of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress's shark-gluttony clause.
it's in our contract.
rules is rules, man.
if the 'guini is a full course between bread,
the you need MORE stuff outside the bun,
because too much is the right amount.
so, three sides got activated. no big deal.
the sandwich is what's really 'hood in these streets.
buttered, toasted 'caccia!
(like it needed more grease)
with stacker-style slab pickles o the bottom,
and red onion rings on top of that.
the main source of hearty biteable big burly masculine munch-up majesty?
potato fritters.
these jauns are game changers for me.
1 large potato, and half an onion, boiled in salty water-
drained, mashed, and activated with about 1/4 cup garbanzo flour,
a few T of arrowroot,
a dash of soy sauce,
a splash of ho'sauce,
GPOP, black pepper,
a clove of chopped fried garlic,
olive oil, and LOVE, my dudes.
pan-fried patties of that stuff are F*ING AWESOME.
real talk, no foolin', my word is bond, etc. etc.
over that?
slaw is dope.
and over that?
homemade chick-pea black-pepper-crusted vegan roast!!!
i had leftover sausage mixture, and i added in a few spicy spices:
thyme, sage, coriander, smoked sea salt,
and rolled it in fresh cracked black peps.
the normal foil-wrap-and-steam production was in place,
i also olive oiled the outsides, first.
have i not covered vegan sausage in recent memory?
oh. bummer.
i promise i'll get to that again sooner than later.
but for now, let me say that a hot skillet fry-up,
in the leavin's and drippin's of the 'tato oil
took those discs of roasty toastiness
to eleven and beyond.
in fact,
when it comes to sandwiches,
this mutha-effer right here got full marks, flying colors, and top notch accolades.
plus, i got to eat it.
that was pretty cool, too.
and as if the 'guini scene wasn't stacked enough,
i finished it off with another 'nother handful of slaw,
and a spread of malt-vinegar-laced vegenaise.
how dope is that?
the dopest.
no joke.
are you eve paying attention?
go make yourself a sandwich man.
just because it's not sandwich week
doesn't mean we can't rep some strong bread
with stronger fixin's,
to strengthen ourselves for the coming days.
i looked at few recipes,
and then i largely ignored them.
i do that often.
in this instance,
it did not have an negative repercussions at all.
check it out:

one firm, fluffy, shiny, oil-crusty super-elite pan of power for your face!
and it was simple enough to do again, and again.
what's my recipe?
i guess it's like this:
3 cups flour;
2 tsp salt;
1/3 cup olive oil;
2 T vegan butts.
that's the base.
1 cup warm water;
1 T active yeast;
1 T sugar.
stand mixers are the best.
because this sloppy oilbomb needs a kneading
and hey, look,
maybe it needs a little more flour,
or maybe it needs a little more water-
look at it and decide.
it should be stickyish, but not wet.
knead it by hand a few times,
and let it hang out for about an hour.
it should get up to about double the size you started with.
when you're there,
get yourself a brownie pan,
and grease it up.
i used 1 T butterish, and 2 T olive oil.
i know, right?
it's not light on the fats, but it's so light once it's baked.
you'll see.
press the dough to edges, and put some pokey holes in there.
that's what those dimples are, duders.
finger-points, pushed straight through at regular intervals.
it makes it sexy. i dunno what else it does,
but i think it's important.
if you thought too much was the right amount before?
get read, because we are gonna finish this off with even MORE olive oil.
it's necessary.
do it, and you'll be happy you did.
a little brushed on top does wonders.
while your oven is preheating to 425F,
let that rise again, until it's a great big puffy rectangle,
and hook it up with some big coarse salt sprankles.
that's the stuff.
it gets 25 minutes in the oven, until it's golden.
bread in your oven.
bread from scratch.
bread for your head. got it,
so go get it,
it's good for you-
and when it's cooled a bit,
and you're terrorizing half a pan right away?
that's when you're the champion.
you could be a little turd,
and just buy it.
you could be a raging gypsy food warlord,
and put red onion and rosemary on top.
i'm not going to tell you how to live your life.
but i'll leave you with this to consider-
you get a choice.
if you want to be a wet-nappy b!tchbaby diaperhole,
nobody can stop you.
if you want to be an expert,
and an active participant,
and a worthy warrior poet,
the exact same thing is true.
there are a billion reasons not to just be dope,
but none of them excuse you;
never quiet, never soft.....


it turns out that i'm kind of all about figs right now.
and at this very moment,
piles and heaps of dried calamyrna jauns are available at my favorite store.
(it's not a grocery store)
the specialty foods section of my spot has what i need, more often than not,
and also has what i didn't even know i wanted until i saw it.
that's how you know it's the spot, neighbors.
it's accidentally anticipating, and subtly steering,
some of my latest culinary adventures.
and my banana bread breakfast squares benefited from the interjection.
that's real.
figs and bananas go well together.
i just found that out as i munched up on these treats in the morning.
i figured they would, and i'm glad i was right,
or i'd be eating a dozen dour doses of doo-doo butter all by myself.
instead, i can share 'em, and spread the good word and good cheer
and good taste that i've uncovered.
how about you go ahead and check the teleport:

the only real downside is that as they baked,
the topmost ornamental figs sank in jusssst deep enough
to vaguely look a little like buttholes.
you see it too, now that i say it, right?
i hope so.
i mean, really,
i don't want to be the one who sees buttholes where there aren't any.
that's possibly the lamest conspiracy theorist stuff there is, y'know?
even if it looks a bit like a rectangular wrinkle dot,
they taste like the utmost in spongy soft burly barbarian banana breakfast business.
that's no joke.
they're delicious.
you wanna give 'em a shot?
here's all you've gotta do to make that happen:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 vanilla bean, scraped;
1/2 tsp salt;
^moosh that up until it's all one thing,
mash in 3 riiiiiipe bananas;
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
stir it up until it's a slippery sauce,
and add:
2 cups flour (i used 1/5 cup oatflour 1 1/2 white flour... i love oats)
2 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakin' soda;
1 cup chopped fig bits,
plus fig halves for buttholification on top...
all of that becomes a spongy, wet, thick batter,
which is enough for at least a dozen muffins,
or squares, but, you're definitely gonna wanna grease 'em up first.
the trickiest thing about buhnaynayuunuus is that they eff with baking times
pretty flippin' hard.
at 350F,
these might take 25 minutes.
they might take 40.
bananas are delicious,
but they are tricky little A*holes in an oven.
the point is-
i'd check check them regularly after 20,
and when they look done?
c'mon, man...
that's when you do the right thing, doctor.
baking keeps me busy.
i'm already pretty F*ing busy all the damned time.
baking is something i choose to do because it's rewarding.
you already know this.
in the mornings,
before sun-up,
i'm stirring around with my dog.
he eats the same thing every day,
and he seems pretty excited about it.
me on the other hand, i need a little bit MORE than that to feel fulfilled.
so, i make it myself.
i mean, who else is going to?
i doubt the dog has the knowledge,
attention span, willpower, inclination,
or opposable thumbs to create a vegan muffin or whatever.
...which means it's all up to me.
why do i keep trying so hard to make new and better and different stuff?
because, man-
too much is the right amount.
and also,
enough of my day is a monotone meld of menial chores and responsibilities.
i do what i've gotta do for hours and hours,
so in the moments where there's options available?
yeah, neighbors,
i am obliged to make the most out of that.
i've got butthole figs and bananas, yeah,
but more importantly, i've got ideas.
that's right.
i'm certainly no genius.
i might even be kind of an idiot, really.
but i'm determined to keep doing what i do,
bigger and better and harder and faster and all that sort of stuff.
it's all really happening,
and i'd be a real jerk if i didn't utilize the time i've got
to do something that's worth a fig.
real talk;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, January 19


i still hate hard shell tacos.
i do.
i probably always will.
i can't help but hold animosity for anything
that customarily comes equipped with box-mix seasoning,
to dumb-down and eff up those real real home cookin' jauns.
i'm all about the custom spices,
without the secret suckiness of extra salts
and preservatives and anti-caking agents.
those in-house DIY blends are the way to go.
oh, yeah, i know;
i'm so totally one of those people.
you know the ones-
the never-buy-chili-powder people;
the WTF-is-premade-poultry-seasoning people;
the don't mess-around-with-curry-powder people;
i do it myself.
i freak off the combos to my specific personal preferences,
and i doo-doo that freaky sh!t every time i cook something.
on the ones, you know what i think?
box mix is for jerks,
and i'm not that.
if it comes with sauce packets,
or pre-blended spices in a prophylactic-lookin' foil?
grab that little satchel of suck and throw it away, bruh.
save the hobby-kits for the just-add-water crowd.
what the heck was i talking about?
oh, right- hard shell tacos.
hate 'em.
i can't hang out with that nonsense.
i'd rather have nachos if i need that crispiness.
now, now,
i'm sure lots of you dudes love 'em...
and you should follow your heart.
i'm sayin',
if that's your bliss, that's your bliss, man.
that's what poor people do,
and that's not cool behavior when you're in
the active-participation-palace i call home,
and that i also call the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
around here,
rules is rules,
and crunchy tacos can go get F*ed.
i took it even one step over and above my normal routine.
for the record:
i'm a soft flour tortilla man, usually.
i'm not completely stuck in my ways,
and i can adapt and adopt new varieties of hottness
if they're relevant and applicable.
to that end,
i made homemade grilled masa corn tortillas for my supper!!
check the teleport:

i beat up two each of tacos three ways,
and all of 'em on the freshest wraps around.
that's expert as heck.
how freakin' easy were those tortillas?
they were pretty freaking easy.
1 cup of masa harina precooked crushed corn flour;
3/4 cup hot water;
2 T vegan butter;
1/4 tsp salt;
cracked black pepper;
2 T lime juice.
combine all of that,
and knead it until it's smooth.
i turned it out onto my regular wheat-floured countertop,
and gave it a good hand-kneading before wrapping it in plastic,
and letting it chill out for a little minute.
(i had other stuff to prepare, so i did that in the interim.)
after about 30 minutes (ok, maybe 15)
i pulled off golf-ball-sized chunks, and pressed them,
by hand,
between sheets of waxed paper until i had level, even, lovely circles,
roughly 5ish inches across.
a piping-hot skillet, and about a minute of fire on each side
is all you need to make the magic happen.
i got seven gorda guapas from this premier trial batch.
i ate one all alone, right away, and the rest are up there lookin' sexxxy.
those tacos though!!
if you're gonna make fire tortillas,
you can't fill 'em with bullsh!t.
no way.
and all three varieties were DOPE.
wanna know what's up in there?
there's homemade seitan asada, fajota style, piping hot with peppers and onions,
seasoned with oregano, cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika,
GPOP, black pepper, and lime juice.
i might have hit it with a little soy sauce,
and i perhaps added just a little zip of cilantro, and a zap of ho'sauce-
no flavor packets, just intentional activation and a quick taste here and there.
that's on top of de-stemmed frisee lettuce, with jalapeno, and fresh pico de gallo,
and a little scoople of vegan sour cream,
damn, that's a nice bite.
i got those curried chick peas poppin' off, too!
a tablespoon of onion, in olive oil, with about 8oz of chick peas sauteed
with turmeric, cumin, coriander, basil, ground mustard, aleppo pepper,
black pepper, hungarian hot paprika, and Garlic Powder and Onion Powder, obvi.
that accentuated some lime-marinated salty purple cabbage,
with the very bright tightness of fresh cilantro, coolwater cucumber slices,
and then a reactivated resurgence of righteousness with a strip of sriracha sauce!
everything fit in place, and every bite was a victory.
last but not least, i went easy on myself,
and hooked up some avocado and jasmine rice jauns.
with rainbow heirloom tomatoes, shredded baby spinach, a touch of cilantro,
agave-glazed butter-toasted pepitas, for an unreal upgrade in flavor and texture,
a few drops of vegan sour cream,
and cracked-sriracha-flake sprankles.
holy sh!t.
if you aren't feelin' it, you might have had a stroke.
no, really.
go get checked out.
i'm worried about you.
six fat tacos, on six fat tortillas, for just one guy.
i eat beautiful food in gross amounts.
that's the only way to go.
yesterday was also a snow day.
that meant anything could've happened.
it didn't. at all. not by a damned sight.
it was a great reason to stay home, and take it somewhat easy.
like, i only baked three things,
and i only had two dinners,
and i might've only started three sourdoughs,
and so on and on and so forth and further.
doing nothing for me means not doing everything.
it's hard enough feeling like i never do enough,
so, doing less is basically a punishment.
the object, the objective, the objection,
all of it, always, is MORE.
it's all really happening,
and i'd like to find out ho to squeeze a little exxxtra in there;
never quiet, never soft.....


silken tofu is pretty good,
because it's basically soybean pudding.
it's so wet and soft and smooth!
and as the base of my custom chocolate coconut creme pie,
it's the ideal filling.
i made another 'nother one.
i'm good for a few a year,
and every single time, i'm always very excited to munch it up.
i mean, chocolate AND coconut?
that's a winner.
and when i'm winning?
i really like for it to be a rout, a landslide, and an overwhelming blowout.
that's why i OVERdo it whenever i do it to it-
too much is the right amount.
that's the way i prefer to interact with my sugary desserts.
word up.
what does that hold in store, then,
when silken tofu is so bland tasting and smooth-feeling when it's on it's own?
a whole helluva lot of chocolate and a whole heck-ton of coconut, too.
check the teleport:

you need a slice or three of this.
i had a slice or three, and i need a few more.
something is different this time around,
and i mean that in the best way.
here's how to recreate it, if you're so inclined:
1 1/2 pkg graham crax;
2 T sugar;
3 T cocoa;
^crushed coarsely in a food processor (or by hand if that's your thing)
3 T melted vegan butter (or coconut oil or whatever);
1 tsp vanilla;
non-dairy milk, T after T,
until the whole of it sticks when pressed together lightly.
that's the crust.
push it, poke it, form it around a pie pan,
and then bake it for 11 minutes at 350F.
the filling is pretty straightforward, too.
1/2 cup coconut (the good stuff, unsulfured, unsweetened)
1 pkg pressed and drained silken tofu;
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T arrowroot
all of that gets pureed together,
and then whipped into a dream of dopeness by adding in:
1 pkg chocolate chips (12oz)melted with 2 T non-dairy milk and 1 tsp vanilla.
drop it in your semi-cooled crust, and let it all sort of just gel at room temp.
from there, you gotta hook it up, for sure-
ugly food can't come over to our house.
serve it cold, like revenge, but decorate it at a tepid temp,
so the chocolate gets all ooey-gooey at the edges.
this one has a whole bunch of exxxtras.
 if we're being honest, i can't really resist adding 'em.
check it-
i got coconut sprankles. obvi.
i got the HOTTNESS!!
oh, in the form of chocolate-covered toasted coconut chips!!
every time i find 'em, i buy 100%.
y'gotta have back-ups of big business that blazin', bro.
real talk.
and i got the coconut frosting fringe along the edges,
accented with cocoa dust!
if you aren't activating levels and layers of taste?
and if you haven't got complex cooperatives of texture?
you're doing it wrong,
and i suggest you straighten yourself out.
crushed up coconut within,
all sorts of coconut throughout,
and chocolate assisting along every step of the way.
that's expert.
i'm home all alone again, again.
my dog and i are sharing the space as best we can,
he is so delighted to have company that he gets depressed when they're gone.
i'm serious.
crabtree can sleep all day and night,
knowing that there's somebody here to keep me occupied.
the sound of two voices is a lullaby,
the silence of me staying home alone is a stimulant.
his terrible terrier brain turns up the terrorism the instant it's juts he and i.
what a total A*-hole.
i s'pose that's what i love about him.
he is forcing me to adapt and become adept at navigating distractions.
it's working, sort of, and we're getting along, mostly,
and in-between we're walking, and cruising,
and hanging out as a couple of aggressively emotional beings.
we feel everything too much,
and we act on everything too often,
and we overreact to everything all the time;
there's spans of silence, followed by the loudest, freshest, hardest styles.
that's what we do without you.
and if you're one of the yous who knows it's true?
we miss you.
but, not enough to chase you.....
unless you're a tennis ball,
in which case, crabtree is up for it, for sure.'s all really happening,
and he and i are fighting through it. and each other,
all morning, and all night.
what else is there?
i can see my future;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, January 17


when my main man is about to bounce,
one last time;
and this time, it may be for the very last time-
i can't have him sent off like a sucka.
no way.
the spirit and memory of worthy warrior poetry,
of gratitude and generosity,
of the past and the present,
and of the virtuous viking values that i espouse in my house
demand that i feast my friend before the farewell flight
from the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
rules is rules.
and what better way to activate some next-level bye bye boomfire
than to really overindulge in an epic shark-gluttonous
burly barbarian brouhaha of savage, stormswept,
super-expert vegan sushi??
word the F* up.
what happens when there's basically two of me?
two times too much is twice the right amount!!!
check the gargantuan-goodbye-type teleport:

HOLY SH!!!!!!!T!!!!!
you think you eff with sushi heavy in these streets?
what are you?
quit playin' around and get your head into the game, son!
me and my bestest friend PUT IT DOWN for dinner.
that's no joke.
the cucch is NOT a diaperbaby,
and, on the real,
i'm sorta something of a superior shark-glutton myself.
and when we were done?
we were ALL DONE, SON!
the only thing left were the empty edamame pods.
that's right.
we powered down those poppin' beans,
and moved on to the sesame-sossamon-scallion cucumber snap pea salad.
side orders are essential,
especially if you're sending a message to to your stomach.
that's no joke.
a little exxxtra lets that bellyhole know this is the real deal,
and not snacktime playtime.
did i go back to beet-dyed rice?
i sure did.
you know why?
because that's dope. duh.
we freaked it off with inside outties,
and then took it to eleven with some of that new-new.
what do you know about fennel, blood orange, and carrot rolls?
here's all the info you need:
damn, that was a good one.
the more traditional jauns were good, too.
*i mean,
we had avocado, cucumber, carrot and cilantro, in that beet-pink rice.
that one was elite
*there was baked tofu, radish, carrot, and pea tendrils.
no weak sauce in there, not even one little teeny tiny little bit.
*beet-ricey tofu, roasted beet chips, radishes, and frisee lettuce,
with radish wedges to top 'em,
AND a dollop of the fresh custom turmeric-smoked paprika mayo!!!
that sh!t is the TRUTH!!

*avocado, carrot, cucumber inside-outside sossamon-sprankled
sexxxiness is good,
but that SAUCE makes it experte'!
*and speaking of inside-outsies;
the tofu, carrot, cucumber, and pea tendril jauns
were definitely elevated to a whole other other 'nother level
with a liberal application of fire-roasted tomato sprankles!!!
*beetroot cuteness is certainly the stuff,
but sriracha mayo makes it even better-
asparagus, tofu, and carrot? that's pretty good, but,
it needs the sauce.
*asparagus, cucumber, carrot, and shredded snow pea?!?!
that's already got the crawnchy stuff,
but, then when you add the sauce?
it's also got the spice!.
check it:

is that cool?
i thought so.
after a couple of hours making sushi,
i couldn't tell my A*-hole from my sashimi,
if you know what i mean.
if you know what i mean, could you tell me?
i'm feeling the full effects of a soy sauce overload on my system.
we ate every last bite,
AND we had dessert.
we don't bring no weak sh!t to our goodbyes, bruhbruh.
and the fullest of bellies may give us a slight escape
from the big empty space left behind when we part ways.
we ate too much.
we ate like victorious kings.
we ate it together,
we made it together,
we spanned time as a tandem tag-team.
a big feast was the right move.
that's quality time.
we had nothing but north atlanta trap as the soundtrack,
but that only made the whole scene so much more awesome.
i am always grateful for the time i have been given.
you get what you get,
and you shouldn't get upset.
it's all really happening,
and the best parts are happening right now;
never quiet, never soft.....


all work and no treats makes every day the worst day.
all treats and no work makes every day the poorest day.
all work and all treats makes every day my kind of day.
that's right, guys.
i want all of it, all the time.
i'm not scared to get my hands dirty, or the dishes dirty,
or the strong language dirty, or the thoughts dirty......
i'm a working person, and i put in work, and work with purpose,
and while i was working on making some treats the other day,
i couldn't help but come back to one notion, time and again:
......this needs MORE chocolate.
that's the thought that recurred,
over and over and over again,
as i added in ingredients to a big bowl of potential.
if one chocolate is good, then two is better;
and if two is a lot,
then five sounds more along the lines of what i'm aiming for.
real talk,
too much is the right amount,
and if i start out on a peanut butter cookie trajectory,
there's no telling what we'll have by the time they're in your mouth.
peanut butter?
i thought we were speaking on chocolate?
THAT'S what i'm sayin'.
i wanted peanut buttery flat fatties,
but i ventured deep behind the borders of simple and straightforward,
and emerged on the other side with five times the chocolate.
take a look, and then i'll tell you a little bit more about it:

stands to reason that if i'm making treats to share with MY best friend,
i'd wanna make something representative.
word up.
but, seriously,
there is five times the chocolate,
and also twice the peanut butter,
than your average everyday cookie.
you want some of this?
at your house, i mean?
it goes a little something like this:
preheat that ovenpiece to 375F.
in a medium bowl, cream together:
1 cup sugar;
1 stick vegan butter;
dash of salt;
2 tsp vanilla...
when that's all become one greasy sweet thing,
stir in 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce;
3/4 cup peanut butter;
1/3 cup cocoa...
^big black blarpity blops are what you'll have on hand at this stage.
don't stop now.
add in:
2 cups a.p. flour;
1/3 cup oat flour;
1/4 cup ground unsweetened coconut;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 1/2 tsp bakey kapowder;
1-1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips.
this is the big action.
mix it with a spatula until it's all joining forces,
and finish it off with your hands.
i got two and a half dozen golfball-sized rich and thick
burly brown bombers form this batch, which i flattened down prior to baking,
without the fork lines associated with pb cookies in the regular world.
13 minutes of baking,
30+ minutes of cooling on a rack,
and then,
we got to work on some molto molto activation,
because a sexy cookie is good,
but a total overkill cookie is vastly superior.
chocolate peanut butter frosting?
piped out in that ziggly-zaggle on one side!
that's 4 T butters, 2 cups of powdered sugar, 3 T peanut butter,
a teaspoon of vanilla, and shot after shot of soymilk,
like, maybe 3 T? to emulsify it all as it whisks up
and expands into the aerated excellence we expect .
that's dope.
there's also chocolate ganache dipped down on the other other side.
it's mandatory to take it to the far flung reaches of decadence and overindulgence.
i'm just sayin',
i wouldn't want to quit in sight of the finish line, y'feel me?
that's also why i added one more chocolate to the fracas.
i did.
microplaned chocolate truffle sprankles.
...and that's expert.
i wasn't kidding.
i kept thinking: more chocolate.
and then, i kept adding more chocolate.
the treats practically design themselves, duders.
and on the ones,
they went down soooo smoothly.
nobody could stop themselves from tuning up a few,
and then sneaking back for just one more.
that's the sort of thing that sure feels like a compliment,
even if everybody has a mouth too full to say so.
we're about to go back to being a pair of bachelor battle beasts.
i mean crabtree and me.
cucch is outta here.
off to experience the broader horizons and brighter futures of wyoming.
we all wish him nothing but overwhelming success,
and a prosperous and happy next step-
with increases in love, and family, and wealth,
all looming ahead on a straightaway path to being awesome.
i'll miss him.
i always do.
i'm glad we had this time together,.
and i'm always grateful for his friendship.
there aren't many worth-a-sh!t people out there,
but he's at the top of that very short list.
whatever comes after this,
i hope for nothing but the very best for him and his;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, January 16


sourdough bread.
what can i say that hasn't been said?
it's been around long enough to have been explored so thoroughly
that all of the science, and all of the poetry, and all of the artistry
are all already well documented.
what else is there?
there's the bread itself, for starters.
every loaf is different, even when it's the same.
for serious, man.
that's because it's not just ingredients that define the dough.
it's environment, as well.
time, temperature, humidity, acidity, salinity, everything.
nature wins in the end, every time,
if you're measuring along a long enough span,
nurture sure does seem to want to have an equal say in how things turn out, too.
the wild yeast, floating around, site-specific and unique to every area,
will devour themselves to death if left to their own devices.
we've got to tend to and temper their tendencies, lest their feast become folly.
if you summon the spirit,
you've got to nourish it once it arrives, neighbors.
that's the best and worst thing about that tangy bowl of bitter batter on the counter-
nature nested in there,
and now she demands devotions-
that's attention and tribute:
a tithe of grain, and a sacrament of water, each and every day.
and in return,
we get bread, or at least, the beginnings thereof.
it's called starter for a reason.
we still have to finish it ourselves.
essentially, it's the most real religion, with the most believable rituals,
and the most tangible results.
the first church of the Folk Life oven is open for worship, man.
and on the real real,
i've been baking up some seriously sexxxy stuff these days.
i mean it.
i won't bore you to death with the details,
i measure all by eye, and let my hands feel the details.
if you start there, it's all in good hands, and all in good faith.
check the good-bread-makes-better-people-type teleport:

all the attention i lavish on these loaves is really paying off.
i'm happy to report that while i made the switch to an-all white starter,
from my original whole wheat third-world warrior mix,
i've kept it true to these wanton, woodsly, wildling microorganismsm,
and let them run the jewels like the savages they are.
sorry whole wheat,
but i want those BIG bubbles in my morning toast,
and what better way than to pillage all that whiteness?

fold and stretch, aerate and activate,
wait around for more slow-going yeasty beasts to blow it out their A,
and puff up the heavyweight wheat and water into shape:

load after loaf of loaves and loaves and loaves.
i like that oatmeal boule the best.
i make that the most often.
the cracked rye and the spelt,
the sprouted whole wheat, the white whole wheat,
the buckwheat,
that's all fine and good. in fact, it's finer than that, and it's better than good,
but the oats are where it's AT:


of course.
i want ALL the good grains in my home,
in my hearth,
in my heart,
and most of all in my mouth.
the double bake days are my favorites-
too much is the right amount an' that-
the weekend interim bake gets it's share of the new hottness, for sure.
pictures of bread.
that's what's headed your way, man.
these ones are .
and how's the crumb turning out these days?



oh, c'mon.
you know what's up.
the holes are directly proportionate to the white flour content in each.
the top is 100%.
the middle is 80%
and the bottom is 70%
i know what i like, and i know what i want, so i do what i do.
but, wait,
there's more:


on crust

on crust.
it's all relative,
water content determines the oven spring.
low to high, top to bottom,
that's what happens when the dough is and isn't juicy.
so, i bake a lot.
and once in a while i like to show you what's up.
-here's the thing:
it's 1 cup of sourdough starter, hungry.
meaning, it's been almost 24 hours since the last feeding,
and there are bubbles all over that starving wet mess.
it can't wait to devour some flour.
and what about that?
it's 4 cups of flour, give or take, at least half all purpose.
no way do i weigh, i'm not making commercial quantities,
so the math for my own personal use products is non-existent.
a cup and half of warm water,
a tablespoon or more of salt,
and maybe a tablespoon of wheat gluten
if some portion of those four cupfuls of flour is NOT wheat.
light rye, cracked rye, dark rye, the oats (of course) spelt, brown rice, buckwheat-
all of that gets a little help.
and if it's very cold outside,
then this old house is usually pretty cold inside, too.
in that case, a teaspoon of sugar gets involved,
to help keep my yeast in the game.
performance enhancing substances?
heck yes.
trust me, they still always die at then end of the game.
that's the other other thing about what happens when nature wins.
no quarter is ever given.
every hour for roughly five hours after the initial stand-mixer 5 minute knead,
i stretch and fold and tuck the dough to ensure maximum development.
and after another 'nother 6-7 hour bulk ferment,
i shape the dough, let it rest an hour,
and cold-prove it in the fridge until the next day.
that's where all the sour flavor comes from.
the longer it hangs out, the more that tangy zing comes through.
i bake my loaves in a 460F oven, oncovered, on a stone, or in a cast-iron pan,
for 25 minutes,
i toss a half a cup of scalding water on the stones,
turn on the convection function to circulate the steam,
and give 'em another 'nother 20-25 minutes to turn it up to eleven.
six months of obsessing over the minutiae has it's rewards, man.

and lastly, at least for now,
this baby boo-boo, too:

good bread really does make better people,
and praying to the power of flour is way more provably productive,
than praying to any other invisibles,
or worse,
those imaginary magicians of heaven and earth.
nature wins,
and so do we.
the trick is to align and ally and assist with the victory.
get involved, man.
make it yourself,
make it from scratch,
make yourself a better version, through effort and intention.
that's the ticket to paradise,
and paradise is fresh-baked bread;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, January 15


strawberry tarts.
strawberry tarts.
strawberry tarts.
that's three times i wrote it.
because i want to make sure you're paying attention.
i do ever so like a nice little treat-
and a treat with berries and chocolate is nothing to scoff at.
it's a classic pairing,
and it's one of the best.
i made myself some chee'cake style strawberry tarts,
and i'm going to share a bit a bout them.
but first,
check the teleport:

little tartlet pannie-pans, packed with graham flour cookie crust.
i was worried that my experimental crust attempt would sh!t the bed,
but oven magic prevailed,
and turned what i thought would be a flop into a win.
lucky lucky.
what's in it?
1 cup of graham flour;
1/2 cup a.p. flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
4 T melted earth balance butters-
non-dairy milk added in spooful by spoonful,
until the flours stick together nicely when pressed.
^ yup.
it's crumbly.
the downside to not using graham crackers is that flour is much much finer,
so you get a weirder texture to begin with.
i guess that's ok,
but only because the heat from the oven (350F) fuses it all into something good
after about 10 minutes.
and once the crusts are pressed in, and baked up,
y'gotta fill these little effers up.
how do we doo-doo that freaky sh!t?
that's easy, too!
1 tub 8 oz vegan creamchee';
2 T arrowroot;
3 T kapowdered sugs;
2 T lemon juice;
1/4 tsp lemon exxxtract;
1 tsp vanilla;
2-3 T powdered freeze-dried strawberries;
it sets up cold, bros.
how rad is that?
all of that in a food processor, spooned into the centers,
and chilled the heck out.
even though that's some seriously tasty stuff,
i didn't stop there.
i never do.
i mean, c'mon-
too much is the right amount.
so there's also fresh sliced strawberries,
and a drizzle of dark chocolate ganache.
melted chocolate chips and soymilk and vanilla and powdered sugar and heat.
i don't know about you guys,
but i like it a whole bunch when heat does it's thing,
and that alchemy turns some things into something!
and then i took it one step further...
shaving off a few curls of chocolate truffle,
and tossing 'em on top as sexxy sprankles.
tarts, man.
strawberries and chocolate and sugar and little fluted cookie crumbled crusts.
all of that.
it's NOT crazy complicated,
but it looks like some specialty sh!t.
that's expert.
it's really flippin' windy.
and that's the worst.
wind is a total A*-hole.
and when i'm out walking crabtree,
we're BOTH pretty miserable.
the thing of it is-
rules is rules.
he needs it, i need it...
and therefore, we do it.
but, man, it sucks sh!t.
that brisk bite is not cool.
and when you get the runny nose activation,
and the ice-beard rime?
you look as terrible as you feel.
it's just not as easy like sunday morning as i would like.
pulling and pushing and yanking and struggling,
that's how it goes,
and that's how it's going.
the obligation is real,
and the responsibility is fulfilled,
and it's all really happening.
wind is all i think about whenever it's blowing around.
i just think it's a real F*ing jerk.
i'll still be out there;
never quiet, never soft.....