Sunday, February 19


spicy noodz.
straight-cut flat rice noodles.
you know the ones-
the thai-ai-ai-style drunken noodles.
and y'know somethin'?
i hate that name.
it's only a name, and not a requirement.
and the only thing gettin' sauced around here are those ricey-nicey-nices.
i made a pretty big, pretty lookin' bowl of dinnertime rainbow magic,
and i think i did ok for somebody not really feelin' the flow
from the font of vegan wellspring inspiration.
that's not an excuse, neighbors.
that's just the truth.
take a look and tell me what you think:

and of course, the noods were coated in some seriously spicy, severely sexxxy
sriracha-style basil and cilantro chili garlic sweet and sour and salty SAUCE.
it's pretty effin' good.
without a good sauce, you're just wasting time, man.
and that's NOT allowed in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
what's IN this version?
it goes like this:
3 T sriracha;
2 T rice vinegar;
1 T chili-garlic paste;
2 T mae ploy sugary spicy thai blops;
1 tsp thai basil;
1 T tamari sauce;
1 tsp cilantro;
2 tsp lime juice;
1 tsp agave nectar;
black pepper;
get it whisked up, and allow it to marry all together,
so you can activate the hottness when the time comes.
a quick boiling noodoo bath, with a chilly water rinse,
and the noodles are ready to get hooked up.
but first,
i had to get some mix-ins ready.
that's important.
in a tablespoon of sesame oil, i sizzled up a half cup of sliced leeks,
thin carrot strips,
and minced jalapeno, util it all got browned up.
i tossed in a red sweet pepper and a clove of crushed garlic for the last minute.
and set that aside for later.
once the noodles were ready, in that same hot pan,
i dropped all that super-sober drunken sauce and the noodles in together,
gave 'em a minute to sizzle, and tossed all that veg right back in there.
on it's own, that'd be a fresh-to-death dinner,
but that's never been the way we do it, has it?
too much is the right amount, friends-
i had my handy mandolin slicer at the ready,
and i shaved up some radishes, and some cucumbers, and some red cabbage.
i mean,
the main body of the bowl is noodles with the sauce and those sauteed veggies,
but all around the rim,
there are super-elite extras to add awesomeness to every individual bite
that's pretty sweet.
braised broccoli made an appearance.
so did the last of my microgreens.
i had spring onion and cilantro sprankles,
because rules is rules,
and those spritzled sprigs are mandatory around here.
lastly, i wanted something hearty to chop down on,
added in among all that ribbony, crunchy stuff.
the solution?
agave-soy-glazed tempeh medallions.
boiled discs of tempeh, sizzlin' on a coconut-oiled skillet,
splashed with soy to brown up quickly,
and dusted with GPOP, for added flavor, as well as sriracha flakes,
for a little zingo zap....
then, when they are almost too brown, a little agave, and a splash of water,
and the heat reduced to medium, form the usual full-blast i always start with-
and those golden goodies will transcend traditional tastes
for something much more sophisticated.
i really do like that sort of thing.
i'm doing my damnedest to still get rad in the kitchen.
nobody is forcing me.
in fact, nobody is even around.
it's just me.
and i think that's the most important aspect.
holding fast to the principles and standards that determine the kind of man you are-
especially when it's just you on your own.
nobody would know if i phoned it in.
i'd know.
that's the thing, neighbors-
it's not what others think, feel, or expect about/from me.
it's being the version o myself that i give a sh!t about.
and not for nothin',
real-life documentarian active-participatory warrior poets
CAN'T hang out with anything but the truth.
no jokes.
i gotta eat,
and i can't eat ugly.
so, here we are:
drunken noodz and vegetable temperance.
there's work to do.
there's food to make.
there's tempeh scraps form those circles i cut that needs a purpose.
it's all really happening,
and the only way to do it,
is just to do it;
never quiet, never soft.....


oval pies?!
i got these neat new pie pans,
and i've been molto eager to activate them in the pursuit
of new and better treats.
i did not break any new ground.
i reluctantly report that i only made my favorite even more favorable.
so, not new, but definitely better.
i can live with that.
oval pans, tho.
they're bigger than i'd describe as a single-serving.
i mean,
i'll eat two alone in one shot,
but that's just me, and not the standard serving size.
i'm sayin'-
i have a prodigious appetite, hence my prolific treat production.
when i'm making food for me, which is always the case,
then the rules all apply.
especially the one that says too much is the right amount.
and who doesn't want MORE pie?
A*-holes, that's who.
and now oval pies are happening.
i employed my signature ornamentation,
and i'm pleased with the results.
check the apple-pie-for-your-eye-type teleport:

look at that!
braids and swirls and snowflakes!!!!
if you have the choice, kids-
don't eat ugly food.
my standard, very reliable, exxxtra-crisp, buttery, flaky, golden pastry dough
was made, rested, and rolled for this upgrade in portion control.
you remember the recipe?
i'm disappointed.
here it is, again:
1 stick + 3-4 T earth balance vegan butter;
(other fats will do in an emergency piecrust crisis situation,
but they're not first choice)
3 T vegan creamchee' (tofutti brand is the prince of tofu, it says so on the tub);
2 T sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 mounded cups of white flour;
all added into a food processor,
with non-dairy milk, splashed in a few tablespoonfuls at a time,
and pulsed until it clumps together like moist sand.
that's only a few tablespoons' worth, guys.
don't make it wet.
-wrap it up, and rest it for at least an hour.
it helps the fats set, so the flakies are all kinds of sexxxy.
i still rest mine for a day. i like to work with firm dough,
because i'm usually gonna manhandle the hell out of it.
just like i did this time.
i got six bottom piecrusts, six braids, twelve snowflakes,
and a cinnamon roll that produced thirty swirls for  one batch of dough.
that's pretty good, huh?
the filling was very straightforward.
apple pie usually is.
3 gala apples, four granny smiths, peeled, cored,
and sliced into 1 1/2" fat slabs,
cooked up on medium low heat with:
2 T lemon juice;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla;
a dash of salt;
4 T molasses;
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves-
(make it taste the way you like it, bruh.);
plus a scoop of powdered sugar (just to use up the end of a bag);
and a handful of thick old fashioned rolled oats,
to soak up all the sugary apple juice and prevent the piecrusts from turning to slop.
c'mon, how simple is that?
i baked them for twenty five minutes at 420F,
and they came out one hundred percent expert.
i think they're the perfect size for sharing with someone you like.
i mean it.
half of a sweet little oval apple boat seems like it's just about the cutest thing.
if i liked anybody, i'd eat one and a half with them.
on the ones, i'll split one, but i'm not missing on a whole one, either.
real talk.
i LOVE apple pie,
and i love eating a lot of it.
i'm psyched on those braids, bros.
i can't believe i'd never braided anything ever until this year.
like, not either of my daughters' locks, not even once.
and really, besides that,
even i had long hair for the longest time.
in fact,
if i still had a healthy head of it,
i'd still have those tantalizing tresses,
instead of the sh!t-hot mess i'm suffering under these days.
so, shoutouts to all the dads who don't do hairdo's, i guess.
i'm braiding now,
and i'm adding adorable accents,
and you can rest assured i can't go back to a cinnamon swirl-less top.
once the upgrades are there, they become the standards.
rules is rules.
i'm still feeling all cooked-out,
but i'm muscling through meals with all the mustered magnificent and massive
hunger of our favorite ferocious werewolfen fenrisulfr.
i can't quit at active participation just because i'm not feeling it.
that's weak diapery sodapants baby sh!t,
and that's not invited into my home, homie...
when the scene gets hard, you just gotta try harder.
i chose to be a radical vegan home cook and baker,
and that means that that's what i DO.
at least i'm always ravenous,
so i'm much more motivated to frequently produce something edible.
from there, it's just a matter of staying on message, man:
just be dope, or F* right off.
here's the thing-
and when it comes right down to it,
i have nowhere to go.
so i guess the decision is already made.
which means now i just have to make breakfast;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, February 18


i had a lame homecoming last night.
thanks, but no thanks, to the dog, of course.
crabtree is the most indiscriminate shark(bullet) glutton in my life.
he'll bite-and-swallow any and all tasty tidbits if they're in his path.
and while he pays for his indiscretions with discomfort,
i pay for them too-
in load after load of laundered bedding,
gloved-up poople-scoople gag-and-wince aftermathematics,
vinegar-and-baking-soda stain-removal,
and olfactory odium....
and all thanks to my little buddy,
who just so happens to be my metaphysical animal familiar, for sure.
i sure do appreciate all the (literal and figurative) sh!t he puts me through.
in a way,
i s'pose i deserve it.
i mean,
i totally had a dog-free life of ease and comfort,
but here's the thing:
i genuinely believed i needed to add an nth degree of difficulty
to my mornings, days, and nights...
and that was back when i had a partner committed to helping bear the burden
of this burly barrel-chested battle-beast.
aw, MAN!
i might be secretly dumb in all the lamest ways.
that's not gonna stop me from doing my damnedest to dominate dinner.
i mean,
rules is rules.
i've been feeling a little lost in the kitchen.
i've said it before,
and i'll reiterate it because i mean it-
i want that new-new.
i want the big deluxxxe.
i want the best stuff, made by my own two hands.
and sometimes,
i'm just not feelin' it.
i'm not 'bout to be a little diaperb!tch about it.
oh for sure, i'll boo-hoo for a heartbeat or two
after a doo-doo buttery bout of dissing bowels from my baby boy-
the it's time to get back to work...
after a severe hand-washing,
and lighting several scented candles,
and generally composing myself after composting a quart of manure.
when the times are tough and the styles are hard,
it's SO much better to just get right deep into it.
it's not going to be easy either way,
so waiting around to begin just makes it suck longer.
...and who has that kind of time?
on the reals, neighbors-
there's no reasonable reason not to bring the noise,
and the heat,
and the thunder and lightning to whatever needs doing.
in this case, it was dinner.
and i needed a win, bro.
no foolin'.
i went with a standard staple of this Folk Life,
and then i veered off the path,
and made it molto molto expert.
word up.
shout outs to the moat mountain smokehouse for the inspiration,
and shout outs to pizza for always being there for me.
check the pee-eye-zee-zee-ayy-type teleport:

this was the last of the sourdough crusts i had slooooooooowly proofing in the fridge.
for the whole effing week.
the flavor was outstanding.
the crispness was immeasurable.
the pliability?
well, it was better than average,
especially considering that if you're not using a bigger quantity of dough,
i.e. non-sourdough = 4 pizzas; but sourdough yields only 3, for similar results-
if you're serious about that pizza life, you still rep four pies,
and use those pizzaiolo skills to keep those thinner, tighter crusts lookin' dope.
OBviously, you know i'm not some chumpleberry taking the easy road.
and thus, the last dough, still stayin' rad, was especially encouraging.
so, what's on it?
everything i needed to have a good meal, and a better night.
chili-garlic peanut SAUCE!
1/2 cup smooth, organic, unsweetened peanut butter;
2 T thai-style chili-garlic paste;
2 T rice vinegar;
1 T sriracha;
2 T agave.
patty and dennis came through for a second time in the same week
after i totally effed up and forgot pink salt and agave nectar at the supermarket.
i was lamenting aloud at my folly,
and they popped back by with both ingredients later the same day.
word up.
i am grateful for the folks who truly care.
i don't for a single second take that for granted.)
...moving on-
all of that, combined over low heat, until it's thickened,
and the succulent aroma rises up to tantalize you brainwaves an' that.
that's the bottom layer of the pie, guys.
over that, there are snipped pea tendrils;
and orange and yellow sweet baby-sized pepper rings;
diced red onion;
thinly-sliced jalapeno discs.

then there's those small cubes of seared exxxtra-firm spicy tofu.
that's a big yum for your tum, y'bum.
coconut oil, all hot and melty, and those 'fu cubes,
dusted with GPOP,
dashed with coriander seed,
spritzed up with crushed sriracha pepper flakes, fresh out of the grinder;
and glazed at the last moment with some of that agave!
that's the sort of stuff that gets me excited, man.
fried garlic sprankles made their mandatory appearance.
i don't play around when it comes to my garli'spranx, kids.
they make pizza taste better, every single time.
a fourgy of spoonfuls of sweet-and sour chili sauce,
(it's gotta be that mae ploy for your boy)
drizzled over all of that,
plus a few flaky sriracha sprankles along the crust,
to take that sourdough tang into the far-flung reaches of the future,
and wu-TNAG!
this sweet baby was ready to get baked up.
490F, 13 minutes, on a hearth stone.
hot ovens are sexy, bruh.
that's real talk.
that's it?
no way.
too much is the right amount,
and besides,
there are flavors that still needed activating.
garnished with more pea tendril snippets,
green onion slivers,
and big sprigs of fresh cilantro leaf.
expert as F*, right?
and since i usually eat it alone, i just cut it into quarters,
which is why there are four lime wedges waiting to juice it up.
THAI PIZZA MAGIC BOOMFIRE  all the way off the charts-
that's delicious to eleven.

for somebody who's feeling kind of cooked-out,
i'm definitely not eating poorly.
how about that?
maybe i just need to go OUT to eat for once?
could be.
i dunno what the issue is,
but i'm ready to get super-inspired and fired up all over again.
it's all really happening.
maybe that's the problem.
for every minute i'm thinking about food,
there are ten i'm trekking around with my turdblasting terrier
through terrible terrain,
and twenty more that i'm taking snow from one place,
and moving it to another.
and in between meals,
i'm wondering what the holy heck i'm even doing with my life.
all of it, really, unfurling on the winds of war and change.
i may be more distracted than usual.
i mean,
have i ever mentioned how i feel about both literal and metaphorical wind?
there are answers blowing in, i'll wager,
but they're like as not to bring more bad weather with them;
never quiet, never soft.....


chocolate granola is pretty great.
a few years back,
when my buddy beau was livin' especially mobile-homelessly,
he put me on to the stuff.
ever since then,
whenever i think back to his stripped-bare interior-less car,
i make sure i indulge in a bag of the stuff.
and naturally, i eat it in the comfort of the  Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and not in a vehicle with a removed dashboard and no seats.
it's a study in relative luxury, comparative desires,
and the commonalities that tie us all together...
i want MORE house, and MORE stuff, and MORE time-
whereas he was determined to have no house,
and somehow even less car,
despite the fact that his vehicle was his imminent domain every night.
y'like that one?
despite the prince-and-pauper dissimilarities,
we could both agree that chocolate granola is great.
and i like to think that we were both enjoying a bag of that tasty business,
under the same sky, just one in squalor and the other in splendor,
both by choice and by design.
chocolate granola, man.
it's that good.
in fact,
it's SO good i had to make myself some turbo hippie-style jauns,
and i am sure glad i did just that, because they hit the spot.
i'm not likely to socks-and-sandals my way to any music festivals this summer,
i am sure as heck gonna enjoy some crunchy granola cookies.
there's a well-defined line i'm standing on one side of-
and on the other side, there are a lot of man-buns and tie-dyes and incense.
check the teleport:

granola inside, granola topside.
that's the way to doo-doo that happy hippie sh!t.
for real.
a good cookie is a blessing.
these guys followmy favorite cookie format,
only with MORE big chunks than ever before.
you want some?
make some.
chocolate granola hottness is not just for hikers and djembe-players.
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
1 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
and whisked with 3/4 cup applesauce.
2 cups a.p. flour;
1/2 cup oat flour;
1/4 cup coarse ground coconut;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powpow;
1 1/2 cups chocolate granola.
(make your own, if you're a serious treehugger.
i used some back to nature chocolate with chocolate chunks stuff that is awesome)
1/2 cup chocolate chunxxx.
that's right, kids.
exxxtra chunxxx.
oh, you already know-
too much is the right amount.
start forming up some golf-ball-sized blops, (a few dozen or more)
and give those balls of doughy dopeness a squish into even MORE granola,
that way you get those knobbly tops,
and those get baked at 375F,
for 13 minutes per baking sheet.
that's all there is to it, neighbors.
you're all set.
i'm still feeling cooked-out.
and that's not a good feeling, either.
i DID receive some FOOD&WINE magazines from my friends,
and i have to confess something to you guys-
i LOVE looking at sexxxy pictures of food.
i know it's called food porn for a reason,
but, damn, a sensual shot of a well-spread table can get me more excited
than the most scandalous text messages.
that's the truth, too.
i spent a few minutes ogling ravioli centerfolds and such,
and while i feel more inspired than i did,
i wouldn't say i'm poised to conquer any new territory at dinner tonight.
for real, though.
it's awfully hard to rise up to a mega-terrific mealtime
after yet another 'nother installement of excrementably effluential
crabtree crap-treats.
it's horrible.
i knew it was gonna be a charnel chamber of fecal torture because
i could smell hot heaps of terrier turds before i even got in the door!
i know you'e jealous of my dog's delicate digestive tract,
what. the. actual. mother. F*. bro?
he got into a big heap of apple peels.
this after i gifted him a single wedge as a special reward
for being especially gentle and obedient the past few days,
which only whetted his appetite for self-destruction,
and pushed his will past the point of good behavior.
no good deed goes unpunished around here,
and no kindness i've ever given has failed to repay me with pure sh!t.
maybe i'm not cooked-out,
maybe i'm just sh!tted-up.
either way,
it's an added degree of difficulty, and while i'm not giving in,
i'm certainly struggling more than i was.
i guess the harder way IS really forever my way.
the good news is that my car still has an interior,
and i have plenty of granola.
the huldufolk of old could not comfortably hang out around here;
never quiet, never soft.

Friday, February 17


winter is a foreseeable interruption of ease and comfort.
every year,
in february,
the woodsly goodness gets a giant arctic sh!t taken all over it.
but, there are preventative measures we've all adapted to instituting
to lessen the troubles that weather loves to cause...
that said,
the special parking spot i've carved out for myself,
to allow my piss-poor-caliber every-day-worsening plow guy
to actually get access to the driveway and do his damned job,
let me down harder than the aforementioned plow guy....
my car got trapped in the snow yesterday.
i parked my hot vehicle on cold snow
and it sunk into some soft-serve drifty business,
where the warm tires melted four perfect ruts into the path,
which froze, of course,
and turned into four training-roller-style in-place traps
for all four all-wheel drive wheels.
imagine my surprise and delight,
after removing the town plowed three-foot driveway blockade,
to discover that my car was immobilized,
and therefore essentially just a giant warm radio i could sit inside.
what's that?
did i shovel and ice-melt and sand and chip and push and pull and punch things
and spin in place, drenched in sweat and berserker fury for over an hour and a half?
heck yes i did.
and while i was rendered impotent by the wintry ramifications of poor plowing,
the culprit blew through,
and cut a swath of the WORST snow removal i've ever seen.
i mean it.
he only plowed a path as wide as the plow blade,
so there's nowhere to open the car door into-
you're just stuck in a walled-in ditch, with five foot banks on either side-
oh, don't worry.
there's also so much snow still IN the path
that it's almost impossible to get enough traction
to even get up far enough to even BE trapped.
i'm weirdly impressed,
i'm just sayin'-
it's an i-give-not-even-any-sh!ts-level of execution.
performed directly before my very eyes.
you have to majestically not care at all
to go ahead and suck balls that hard in front of an audience.
it was so bad, as a matter of fact,
that i won't be using these guys again next year, or any other, ever again.
well, yeah,
the post-storm sunshine dropped another metric tonne of snow
off of the roof, down the mountains in front of my door,
and i came home to another 'nother frozen barrier to my home sweet home.
awesome, right?
i mean,
nature wins,
and she realllly likes to drive that point home
especially whenever i think i'm already at the nadir of inconvenience and aggravation.
(too much is the right amount)
i believe it's called adding insult to injury.
i kind of like it.
no, really.
i do.
without the bitter, the sweet's not as sweet,
and without these extremes, i'd be a very boring storyteller.
speaking of the sweetest sweets....
despite the extra hour on either side of the workday where i got more
shoveling practice and sweaty spans of exercise,
i also had just about the cutest treats i've made in a little minute.
that's the truth.
just because winter intrudes on our calm,
and snow interferes with my schedule,
and the forest realm is beset and besieged on all sides by winter's wrath,
that doesn't mean i can't have something F*ing delicious for breakfast-
check the tiny-tart-type teleport:

you know it, you like it, you want it-
jeez louise, you can't stand to be without it!
raspberries and lemon and almond, in fluted cutie-patootie pans,
with hearts and hearts and also hearts all over the place!
the crust is DOPE.
the berries are sweet and tart.
the whole thing is just about as expert as i've ever made.
real talk.
when the hottness comes through,
it cancels out all the sh!t-salad my driveway can throw at me.
one bag of frozen raspberries (that's like, 12 oz. i think)
in a sauce pot, on medium-low heat,
with 1/4 cup powdered sugar;
3 T lemon juice;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon extract;
1/2 lemon zest;
and once that's past neing defrosted, and has warmed up a bit,
and the berries are mooshing down, and it smells fantastic....
that's when you take 3 T of arrowroot, and drain off that raspberry juice,
make a slurry, recombine them, and let it thicken quickly.
allow that to cool, because if it's hot, it'll ruin the crust.
10 T vegan butter;
3 T vegan creamchee';
1 cup sugar;
1 1/4 cup flour;
1 1/4 cup almond meal;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp each lemon and almond extracts.
lemon zest;
cut, creamed, smashed together, and chilled at least an hour.
rolled out, pressed flat,
filled with that room-temperature berry magic,
and then sexxxed up with that lovely lattice,
and those cookie-cutaways.
word up.
and with lust a little lemon juice to moisten the tops,
so that those big glittery sugar sparkle sprankles could stick and shine?
...we've got ourselves something worth talking about.
baked at 375 for twenty-two minutes-
you ca see the golden greatness that resulted.
it's sultry, man.
for real.
no level of effing up my travel times-
no degree of burly roadside assistant scorn-
no sort of suckery and sh!t-saladism could derail the enjoyment
these linzertorte tiny tartlet treats brought to my face.
if i had to pay for it with some sort of secret universal balance sheet,
where the roads and the pavement are hidden under ice and awfulness?
so be it.
you need these unbelievably buttery,
righteously rich,
deservedly decadent wonders in your mouth.
i only warn you of one thing:
once you've had one, there can be no going back.
level eleven hottness is what's on the menu.
try it out, you'll be forced to concede the point.
truth tellers can never stop.
and these jauns are 100% honest expertism in real life;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, February 16


another 'nother foot plus of snow,
another 'nother perilously poor performance by my plow guys,
another 'nother morning of treacherous icy dog walking,
followed by even more treacherous, and far more costly,
slippery road trip to the tax preparer's office,
to find out just how deeply i'm indebted to my uncle samuel.
that's a frosty awakening.
heck, if we're being honest,
the extra six or so inches on the ground,
after i shoveled out the walkway trench,
just so crabtree could make a three a.m. peepee in relative peace,
that i awoke to THIS morning was just as frosty,
if not a tiny baby bit even more so.
all this shoveling,
all this slipping and sliding,
all this trudging through waist-deep snow,
with my bully baby boy sharking his way beneath the surface,
has me working up one heroic appetite.
that's no joke.
and when it's time to really get serious about nourishing a depleted body?
that's when i'm big mutha-'ucking ben, neighbors.
okay. not actually-
big ben is the bell inside the giant clock,
still somewhat applicably,
i'm definitely gonna rock the bells whenever i rock the stove for all it's worth.
word up.
this time around, i put a somewhat southern touch to my meal-
i mean, c'mon.
there's no harm in conjuring images of warmer climes as i look out my windows,
directly into a F*ing snow bank.
anyway, i got it poppin';
and it gave me the strength to endure a little bit longer,
and tolerate a little bit more of this wild wintertime woe and despair.
check the gravy-baby-type teleport:

this spread stuck to my ribs,
and spread to my toes.
everything expert was everything that i wanted,
and that's exxxactly what i made.
a simple slaw: two cabbages, carrots, salt first, and vegan mayo second,
chilled out in the fridge for the freshest crunch i could capture.
arugula and shaved cucumber, tomato, pea tendrils,and microgreens,
with a semi-sweet lemon-white-wine-olive oil vinaigrette-
1 T lemon juice'
1 T white wine vinegar;
1 T lady madonna-style olive oil (you get it);
black pepper, basil, and a pinch of sugar.
easy, easy. just enough to sexxx that bitter leafy love up all nicey-nicely.
seared collard greens, with olive oil and a dash of salt,
topped with cornmeal-crusted black-peppery fried superfirm tofu steaks,
topped with homemade gravy and lots of ho'sauce.
gravy is easy, kids;
melt 3 T butterish with 3 T flour,
let that get golden brown.
add 2 cups of light broth,
GPOP, nootch, and any herbs you'd like to see featured,
on high heat, while you stir for all you're worth,
until it's thick as heck.
homeboy homefry fritters?
one smaller potato, boiled with half of a smaller onion,
mashed up with 1/4 cup arrowroot,
paprika, smoked paprika, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder, and nutritional yeast.
a dash of liquid smoke, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of soy sauce,
and voila!
make your medallions, and fry them in vegan butter,
on high-ish heat, so the outsides get crispy,
and the insides don't moosh out!
i put parsley sprankles on mine,
just because i wanted them to look prettier.
feel free to use cilantro, or scallions, or whatever....
yeah there's ho'sauce on top.
they're homeboy homefries, man.
keep up.
and what about that hash?!?!
hell yeah, kids.
sweet corn, pan-toasted with poblano,
and a chipotle chili powder blend-
oregano, smoked paprika, chipotle, cumin, coriander, and sugar....
it's F*ing barbecue-flavored, bro.
with red,
onions tossed in just in time to soften up just a scooch,
and retain enough texture to turn  this meal into a triumph.
c'mon, friends.
that's some good stuff up on that plate.
you know you want some.
i ate it all.
just sayin', i'm a verrrrrry hungry man, man.
what's up, though?
i KNOW you're looking at those exxxxtra-luscious flaky, buttery,
vegan buttermilk biscuits!
wordimus prime!!!
those jauns are the tenfold TRUTH !
you want some?
do this:
preheat your oven to 450F.
make a cup of vegan buttemilk
that's 1 cup of non-dairy milk, and 1 T lemon juice.
let that hang out and curdle while you pastry-cut 5 T ice-cold butts
into 2 cups of flour,
sifted with with 1/2-3/4 tsp salt,
1 T bakey powder,
and 1 tsp bakey soda,
when you've got that mixed, so the butter bits are there,
but the consistency is that of a somewhat-combined crumbliness-
add in the buttermilk,
and stir it up gently.
don't beat up the dough, yo.
fold it in on itself a few times, until it's layered and mixed,
and press it out about 3/4" thick, by hand,
and cut out a bunch of 3" circles.
you have a set of multi-sized circle-cutters, right?
i  hope so.
i mean, get into the game, guys.
if not,
you probably have an empty can or a glass or something.
figure it out.
cut 'em out,
i got nine, 7-8 is good too.
lay 'em on a baking sheet, touching.
(that's key for proper rising)
and poke a dent in the center of each.
if you don't dent 'em, they dome, and that tastes the same,
but looks less like real biscuits and more like your a chump.
melted earth blance on top of each one is important too.
it gives 'em that golden good-good.
you wouldn't want to miss out on that, would you?
for realsies-
what are you?
some kind of an A-hole?
use the butts, and thank me afterwards.
bake those b!tches for 15 minutes,
and then feast your slathering salivating face on those flaky delights-
everything expert.
like i said.
i've got another 'nother acre of snow and ice to relocate,
before i go and tattzap my life away in the studio.
in between, crabtree and i are gonna climb up some snowbanks,
and get in our daily cardio together.
there's a routine in place over here.
somehow, i've managed to get the same amount done each day,
even with the added degree of difficulty that snow removal has placed on each hour.
i must've been wasting that time before.
stands to reason that if i'm doing a whole exxxta hour's work,
i must've had that to spare.
that, OR,
maybe i'm just not sleeping at all anymore.
i'll let you wonder about which it is,
i've got miles to go before i go to work;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, February 15


when i have a spare moment,
usually in between appointments,
or during a gap where a cancellation has freed up a few hours,
i make some art just for me.
and you can be sure that when there's a site-specific season to make art for,
i'm gonna do just that.
i had just enough of a sporadically spaced-out spare-time schedule
at the studio to get into some valentine's day hearts,
in the flavor and spirit of my own dorky, dungeony, dragon-type style.
i've been working on painting faster, and looser,
and while i'm still only going to use the cheapest paints,
and recyclable scrap papers,
and these infuriatingly unreliable bags of bargain brushes,
i think that i still came up with something worth a sh!t
for all of that i tried to make it harder on myself with poor tools
and only snippets of snatched time.
that's not any kind of excuse, just sort of an artist's statement.
all my hearts are broken,
all my beauty is in the form of heart-shaped beholders,
and all of it is represented in pretty-colored pinks.
check the teleport:

that heart shape is cute to me.
here, have another one:

one big beholder, with a sloppy wet tongue.
and again,
here's a crossboney monstrous orcish one:

i dunno what else i could do to these guys,
besides maybe get better at painting.
at any rate,
i had one last little fella:

valentine hearts and hurts for nobody at all.
i do that sort of stuff.
making and making out of sheer compulsion.
i don't feel good when i make this stuff,
i feel sick if i DON'T.
a sort of poison control,
art-outlet dialysis,
or acrylic-based bloodletting-
whatever it is, i do what i do because i have to.
y'know what else i have to do?
that's riiiiiiiiiiight.
i have to eat more pizza.
word up.
check the all-by-myself-as-usual-type teleport:

so kyooooooooooooooooooooooot!!!!
i mean, on the ones,
that's kind of adorable, even just for me,
all by my home alonesome.
caramelized onions with the cutaway vegan sausagey crumble trimmings,
and daiya mozzarella, with crushed tomatoes,
on a semi-semolina, super-sourdough crunchy exxxtra-long proofed crust.
that stuff gets so much better by the end of the week.
real talk.
those sour notes turn the hottness up through the roof.
and in the festive spirit,
those heart-shaped pepperonis are accompanied by halved cherry tomatoes
and red pepper rings,
for a color-coordinated pie for my eye.
anything else to add to that?
care to hazard a guess?
rules is rule, remember....
oh! good call.
i'm proud of you neighbors.
there ARE fried garlic sprankles on there, too.
nicely done.
and all of that, in one place, for my face?
yes, indeed;
never quiet, never soft


heart cake.
heart cake?
but, heart cake
like, for real, though-
check out the valentine's day hottness i baked up for your face:

it's just like i said-
ultra-romantic super-sexxxy ultimate lovely-love-style HEART CAKE!!!
that's right.
and it's got vegan white chocolate in the cake part!
white cake, with white chocolate.
a nod to the infinite snowy weather that february has forsaken us to.
and i made my own white chocolate,
since i wasn't really sure where to find it in a vegan incarnation.
it wasn't that hard, either.
1/2 cup of raw cocoa butter, which i grated up to melt faster-
and 1/4 cup of sugar, tossed into a pot,
with roughly 4 tablespoons of coconut oil,
and a heavy-handed splash of vanilla...
over low heat,
or better yet in a a double boiler, for those of you more cautious than i am,
until it's all melted together,
and voila! now you've got the goods.
i let it cool just a bit, so that the molten mass didn't eff up my cake batter,
i creamed that stuff up, in the mixer,
with 1 stick of butter;
1 cup+ of sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
and 3/4 cup of vanilla soy yogurt.
from there, as per usual,
i added in 2 1/4 cups of flour;
1/4 cup of tapioca flour;
2 tsp bakey kapowder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
and  >1 cup non-dairy milk.
whisked and whipped into an airy dose of dopeness,
and spread evenly between two heart shaped, greased and floured pans.
i want that nicey-nice, you nerds,
and nobody is going to keep me from it!
those were baked for more than thirty, but less than forty minutes,
at 350F,
and allowed to cool completely before the decorations were activated.
and holy sh!tballs, neighbors.
you see that cake?
it tastes every bit as sexxxy as it looks,
and it looks SO sexxxy.
and that was without a valentine to call my own.
i can't help but get psyched on romance, kids.
i like that stuff.
fluffy vanilla frosting in the middle,
and thick on top, with colormatch glittery sparklesugar sprankles on top.
so kyoooooooooot!!!
and then, with the foundation applied,
our solid frosty footing allowed for some expert flavor elevation got poppin'.
and from there, what could i even do?
oh. right-
dark chocolate ganache drizzled around the edges and down the sides.
a cascading black icicle edge-up,
taking that white chocolate cake into deeper, darker territory,
like hemmingway on safari-
dangerous, but weirdly kind of dope, in a torturously indulgent kind of way.
is that it?
obvioulsy not, man.
pay attention.
we got ourselves into some powdered raspberry mix-in magic,
and that tingly tart berry business immediately brought
the turn-on-turn-up touch up to eleven.
for serious......and then, cocoa added into THAT?
you'd better recognize.
i do not play around with valentine's day.
i know how the story goes-
too much is the right amount-
so there's ALSO shaved german chocolate on the edges.
if you can't hang out with that much hottness,
i forgive you, only just barely...
i s'pose i can't expect everybody to be super-elite all the time,
i hope you at least wore some filthy lingerie or somethin'.
those roses are from valentine's past.
well, yeah-
i save 'em.
i already told you-
i'm like that.
the one red one is from somebody who is actually deceased,
gifted to me years ago,
on my last lonely heart's valentine's...
and those others?
i don't know the precise whereabouts of their giver,
but for all practical purposes, that sucka is dead, too. least, to me, anyway.
i rep a hard style, but i'm also selectively sentimental.
and those mummified flowers remind me of just how hard this style really is.
here's the thing-
two of my best clients,
both of whom i absolutely consider my friends,
and who happen to be kind and generous and thoughtful people,
brought me some real live roses,
in a gesture that turned my evening around,
all the way until i got home to four feet of frozen roof-fall ice in front of my door.
oh, yes.
i was barred from opening my door by a brutal barricade of arctic awfulness...
as i shoveled and chipped and picked at the evil avalanche
that blocked my entry into the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
i still had a smile on my sweaty, ice-rimed face,
because of these jauns right here:

dennis and patty are damned good folks,
and they did a heck of  nice thing...
i am grateful to have people in my life who give a sh!t.
an evening outside with crabtree,
shoveling away at the mountains of snow,
in anticipation of an equal or greater onslaught this afternoon?
it was much easier to endure
knowing that somebody out there was thinking about me.
.....and then, of course, there was pizza.
rules is rules,
and when you can't have a good time,
you can always make pizza time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, February 14


one and a half feet of snow in one shot is a lot.
when it's also below freezing,
for the umpteenth day in a row,
and, of course, just to reeaallly turn up the volume on the suck,
it's also F*ing windy.....
that's when we take a snow day,
and we turn it into a soup day.
what's better than hot soup for your chilly fingers?
i mean,
really, neighbors,
the comfort of a big bowl of burly broth and beans an' that
is better than most things on the spectrum of counterpoints
to the cold snowy blustery wintry februarian fury of ma nature.
that's real.
in the theme of st. valentine, and the loveliest of lovely sentiments,
which is of course to say: love;
i brewed up a big hot pot of hearty heartfelt heat.
check the teleport:

it's too flippin' good,
and i ate too flippin' much,
so you can be sure that i know what's up,
and i follow my heart, and the rules:
too much is the right amount.
and this stuff right here is the cure for cold weather,
tired limbs from tossing shovelfuls of snow in every direction,
sore legs from hiking across the breadth of the woodsly goodness,
in waist-high drifts, and over plowed-road rifts....
for really real,
i did something especially good this time around,
and i ate three bowls before i realized i was full from the first one.
no kidding-
when it's this tasty and delicious?
being full is not a good enough reason not to tune up a little (or a lot) MORE.
you're gonna make some?
here's the rough guidelines:
1 medium onion, diced;
1 smaller-medium carrot, 'cubed';
1 big stalk celery, minced;
all of that, sauteed in olive oil,
with 1/4 cup red lentils, until the onions are softened-
now add in:
oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil, ground mustard,
GPOP, bay leaf, black pepper,
and the tiniest suggestive hint of cumin;
2 T nutritional yeast;
and let that activate for three minutes or so;
splash in 3 T red wine vinegar;
2 cups of soaked green lentils;
2 cups of petite diced canned tomato;
4 cups of broth;
and that will cook itself silly on mediumish heat until your nose tells your
stomach to tell your tongue to take a little taste.
you're gonna wanna salt it up,
and before you serve it?
a punch of fresh parsley will give it the hottness,
as will a few tablespoons of lemon juice.
don't skimp out, it's worth it for that the extra juice.
i put some radicchio to it.
i love that stuff.
plus, it's really good-lookin'.
and those microgreens?
c'mon, buddy- tiny nutrient bombs are what's up!
we've got our soup on.
we need to eff with some super-official exxxtra-elite bread,
for dippin' and dunkin' and generally improving the experience in all ways.
good bread makes better people,
and if soup is good too,
then we're evolving with each sopping bread scoople, man.
homemade bread has no comparison,
and that buttery bun right up there only serves to illustrate that statement.
i made two buns, and one long sandwich roll.
1 1/2 cups of flour;
2 T olive oil;
2 T butterish;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
1/2 cup warm water;
1 T rapid-rising yeast;
2 tsp sugar.
the regular composition,
the usual times-
kneaded in the mixer, with the hook,
for five or so hard minutes-
bulked for thirty.
punched, shaped, slit, and left to proof while the oven preheated to 415F...
they were all basted with olive oil,
and baked for 17 minutes until they got good and golden.
the small ones were eaten still hot, right with that soup.
the big 'un?
well, i saved him of something special.
it was snow day, after all,
so i had myself a bang bang again.
but, we'll worry about that another time.
i got nobody to be mine.
that's not entirely true.
there are contenders vying for affection on the periphery,
there's no future in that.
maybe that shouldn't matter on valentine's day,
but it does matter,
it actually matters every day.
and it matters a lot.
the relative attractiveness of an individual is not just dependant
on if they're pretty or handsome or not.
at least,
it isn't for me, and that's probably true for other responsible adults, too.
i'm concerned about much, much more-
and in that regard,
i think i'm at a severe and extreme disadvantage.
most everyone i encounter catches me at the tattoo studio.
as such, they only get a small cross-section of what i'm on about.
and honestly,
that's not the best collection of ideas to base your desires on.
no way.
the showmanship and braggadocio of albie rock is almost entirely alien
to the food-cookin' wordsmith and warrior poet,
the lightning-striking virtuous viking,
the berserker barbarian bard,
or any of the other other myriad facets of my Folk Life.
as a matter of fact,
i'm immediately suspicious of anyone who thinks the performance artist
from my workplace is somebody they'd like to get to know better.
i mean,
they should know better.
that said-
i'm rolling solo on valentine's day,
but i'm eating cake,
and i'm wearing red and pink,
and i'm grateful for crabtree and the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
they're mine all mine all mine if nobody good wants to be.
i do my dirt all by my lonely,
and it usually turns out better without distractions, anyway.
this is it.
a little older, a lot colder,
a little bit louder, a little bit worse,
and all really happening right this very moment;
never quiet, never soft..... 


i love valentine's day.
i really do.
chocolates, and flowers, and lace, and pink, and fancy dinner,
and all of that sweet, sugary, sappy stuff.
i love it.
do i have a valentine?
i do not.
THAT'S how much i love it!
i'm still excited,
i'm still in the spirit,
i'm still going to dress up and play the part.
because rules is rules,
and expert is as expert does, dudes.
...and you KNOW i'm trying to doo-doo alllll
of that expert-style freaky-diki romantic sh!t!
i'm like that, neighbors.
i want all that stupid old sh!t,
like letters and sodas.....
c'mon, man-
it's valentine's day,
and i'm ready for it.
i even got the valentine hearts game turnt the F* up to eleven.
check the teleport:

strawberry, chocolate, and chocolate-strawberry cookies,
as crunchy as you could ever want,
and tasty as you could ever imagine,
and decorated to the site-specific situationally-appropriate color-coordinated theme.
word up.
and that frosting?
there's chocolate, and also there's lemon,
depending on the style!
strawberry and lemon are in love.
chocolate and strawberry are in love, too.
chocolate and lemon hooked up once, and they're still civil,
but it'd never work between them, they're both just a bit too bitter.
make this mixture of you wanna-
it's straightforward enough for anybody to handle-
1 stick + 3 T vegan butters;
1 1/4 cup sugar;
1/2 mounded tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
creamed together, of course,
1/2 cup vegan sour creme;
2 1/4 cups flour;
1 tsp bakey pow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
and here's where it gets good-
3 T powdered freeze-dried strawberries
3 T cocoa
too much is the right amount.
i split the dough into 3rds,
and added in all the stuffs,
and rolled it out pretty thin,
and cut it up pretty fancy,
and so on and so forth....
until i'd used up all but the tiniest scraps,
and had a whole heck of a lot of hearts on my hands....
i baked 'em at 375F for like 10 minutes a pan,
and i had five pans,
so i'm not kidding when i say there's heckloads of 'em.
yum-YUMMMMMMM, y'bums.
chocolate ganache got a nod to come over,
powdered sugar was already here,
and those crystal magical sparkle-sugar sprankles
made a special guest appearance for the holiday.
mmm mmm mmmmmmm.
i LOVE love.
even when i'm not in it-
and of late, i rarely feel it-
but i sure do keep a high opinion of it,
at least,
as it pertains to other people.
i mean, seriously, what's better?
the idea that there's a person who can tolerate your suckiest parts,
because they get to experience all the other parts as well-
intimately, intricately, insistently, persistently, constantly......
somebody to trust and rely on,
somebody who is worth the effort of going all-out,
and all-in,
and whole-hog,
headfirst, and over-heels,
whirling like a savage stormswept raging gypsy heart!
i like everything about that.
i like cookies.
mostly, that's because i'm sure i can make cookies,
and therefore i can have cookies,
and a few realistic and attainable goals are awfully good to keep around.
it's all really happening, kids.
hearts and flowers and all of it.
today is the day,
and while for some of us,
it's just like every other day,
i'd like to think that that's only because
doing everything loud, fast, and hard has become such an innate impetus
that the lace and the doilies are just decorations,
because the big true romance is emanating
always and in all ways in every direction,
today, tomorrow, forever.
with or without you,
with or without me,
with or without us.
the fact that we're choosing to participate is what makes it so much better;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, February 13


do you guys even know what a bang bang IS?
i'll explain it again,
for the benefit of anybody new to the competitive shark-gluttony game.
first off,
shark gluttony is the foremost premier flagship of gluttony.
that's a thing.
anybody can be a fat and lazy boorish boar or sow at the trough.
that's that all-you-can-eat buffet entry-level poor person gluttony.
and that's bush league amateur sh!t.
.....laughable, man.
on the real,
if you're serious about attaining the elitist expert top-tier jaun,
you've gotta model yourself after the most intelligent of designs.
i'm on that SHARK gluttony.
a finely-tuned terror at the table,
seeking and destroying like a guided-missile-tined fork-and-knife torpedo,
created for one purpose:
to munch up at all times, at all costs, forever.
THAT'S omega, my dudes.
sharks know how to doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
and they're my mealtime inspiration:
don't stop moving, don't stop eating.
big bites, swallow, repeat.
now that we're all caught up,
allow me to explain the bang bang.
first, you have a meal.
and then,
immediately afterwards, you have a whole other 'nother other meal.
it's one of my most favorite ways to work.
i mean,
too much is the right amount.
you know it's true.
obviously, i'm about to tell you about a little bang bang activation-
that's the whole point of all that lexicon clarification.
now that you're up to speed,
check out phase one-

holy smokes, these were no jokes.
it's been snowing for a whole week,
and that calls out for all the hot soup to get inside my body.
five ingredients in the dough:
1/2 cup semolina flour;
1/2 cup white flour;
2 T olive oil;
>1/2 cup warm water...
knead, need/want, rest.
roll out thin, and cut into 2" circles
i've covered all  of this recently.
feel free to backtrack,
because we're moving forward.
but how about that broth?
it's the business, for sure.
olive oil and one large cubed tomato,
blistered and wilted and softened,
before a splash of red wine vinegar,
and a hearty shake of salt,
and lots of GPOP got their act together.
2 cups of clear veggie stock to thin out all that juicy 'mato pulp,
and suddenly,
you're lookin' at a tasty little bath for those torties.
i let my folded pasta pouches dry a bit on the counter.
i mean,
nobody likes it when they've exploded,
and a little minute to seal ad set is well worth the investment.
i even added some fire-roasted tomato flakes to the soup,
to turn up the taste a notch, while i was waiting.
the insides of those tortellini had it rockin', too.
mashed potato and red beans, onion, arugula, olive oil, and parsley,
with a dash of liquid smoke, and plenty of nutritional yeast-
that's a cheesy pesto that tastes the besto!
the trick is not to overfill those F*ers,
which goes against my infinite nature so strongly
that i had to make MORE of them to balance the forces that drive me.
rules is rules, buddy.
well, yeah...
those soy-glazed fried brussels sprouts were excellent companions
to that terrific tomato taste.
i love it when my food gets along.
i kept 'em halved, instead of quartered in a surprise bit of foresight,
while i was preparing all of the big bangs for my mouth,.
more on that in a minute.
parsley is always an excellent choice when italianizing anything.
it's sort of like guido-glitter, i guess.
fresh basil leaves put the paisano power to it, too.
i'm not out here trying to have lame food.
what do you think i am?
some kind of an A*-hole?
don't be dumb.
i even fired on some exxxtra fire-roasted tomato sprankles,
because i like to see my food lookin' fancy.
ugly food is for suckers.
wordimus prime.
there's still MORE.
that whole time, the oven was preheating to a ferocious 490F.
you know what THAT means, right?
hell yeah!
the TRUTH is coming atcha like a disc of domination.
check the second half explosion-

oh man!
i love pizza sooooooo much.
and this one has alllllll the flavor.
crushed tomato, daiya mozzarella, sourdough semolina crust.
dope dope dope.
with those brussies bangin' on the system like guerilla flavor activists,
(quartered, not halved, but prepped simultaneously. y'see?)
blackened leeks for that necessary oniony element.
i hate a pizza sans onions, dudes.
that's a thing.
fried garlic sprankles,
OBVI, since that's how i put the signature on my circles.
and then, last but not least by any means,
white balsamic marinated, nootch-boosted walnuts.
think that's dope?
you may just get a handle on some of this shark-gluttony yet, kiddo.
for real, though, broski-
walnuts, white balsamic, nutritional yeast,
tossed around in a pan on medium heat, until the vinegar is absorbed,
and those warm nuts are smellin' SO fine...
crack some black pepper on those bad boys,
and you are now successfully indulging in primordial earth elemental druid sh!t.
i dunno, but it tastes like that's what's happening.
the bang bang is good for you.
i do it more than once a week.
try it out if you think you're ready.
it might be your new thing.
i've got a narrow path to my door,
cut into a six foot pile of snow and ice.
that's about all there is.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is well and truly buried,
and the fluffy feet of snow on top of the roof haven't fallen into the walkway yet.
that'll be fun to try to fit somewhere.
there's NO room,
and the whole of my woodsly realm is bowed boughs and deep drifts,
everywhere i look,
and anywhere i might've taken crabtree to exercise.
we'll have our work cut out for us, today,
and if i know this area,
the plow guys, state and town and local,
will work in concert to keep a steady mound of heavy horrid brown sludge
at both mouths of my driveway.
can't wait.
a snow day used to mean anything could happen.
it just means the same series of stuff is gonna unfold along well-worn
dog-eared, creased and ceaseless recipes for inconvenience.
it's ALL really happening, all the time-
if you need me,
i'll be burning off that bang bang outside;
never quiet, never soft.....