Saturday, April 30

goodbye, april.

up early?
of course!
you bet.
the solution?
breakfast scone squares.
check the teleport:

they've got the thick hot action going crazy deep within 'em.
sooooooo many itty bitty chocolate chips,
they have that uber-melt-o-matic factor in spades.
and a ton of almond slices,
dispersed throughout the exxxtra-buttery,
plain, unsweetened tangy soy yogurt-enriched flakes-
and i mean, LOOK at 'em.
the layers on layers of stacked foldover freshness is F*ing great.
they're heavy on the spelt,
which really gave the crumb some much-appreciated girth.
a little almond extract in with the vanilla almond milk,
and vanilla extract in with the lemon juice,
and lemon extract in with the yogurt,
all that essence, all that infused and concentrated vitality,
whipped up into a sloppy sludge and absorbed by the thirsty grains,
and before you're finished turning and folding and turning and so on and on,
the wetness is packed to the tippity top with every possible angle
of full-bodied complexity and complete hottness turned up to eleven.
and just because too much is the right amount,
the added cocoa dust spritz on top really put the heckful boomfire
straight up onto the whole damned thing.
i mean,
i spread it by hand on the wet dough,
and it stuck fast, like it was meant to be there the whole time-
it kept the moisture from escaping too quickly,
which in turn kept the flakes looking all kinds of super sexxxy.
...i love that.
did i put them in the freezer while the oven preheated?
yeah, i did.
i mean, that's the right way, and i'm not about to get wrongful in the home stretch.
how long does it take my oven to get to 400degrees?
i don't know!
while i didn't keep track of the time,
i can say for sure that the cold-relaxation effect affected some true
traditional and truly triumphant scone texture in the best way.
so expert.
pull-apart right angles of angelical devilish chocolaty biscuit sorcery
are a good way to say adios to april.
just in time, because the BIG action is coming our way, now,
and hopefully we can make room in our bellies for so much more bread.
crabtree is being a total butt.
i guess he's april foolin' on me one last time
y'ever eat deer poops?
me neither.
he must know something we don't,
because not only can he find them with unerring accuracy,
in the mouldiest leafy litter in the woodsliest goodness of the hikiest climbs,
but he also happens to find them a delicacy, too.
listening gets harder for him, the nicer the weather gets,
and the more the neighbors all get outside to lure his limited attention span
towards pulling, jmumping, and generally being a total butt. i said.
tomorrow, however, even his sh!ttiest suckery won't undo the dopeness.
there's too much awesome, and it's too important to me.
i'm not setting my expectations too high,
i'm stating my demands,
and mutherF*ers,
they will be met.
goodbye, april,
hello sandwiches;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, April 29

oh, fudge.

white chocolate is not chocolate.
it is also not usually vegan.
there are sources, and styles,
that make for serendipitous circumstances,
and when i find that puddingy in-the-mix package,
i put it in the pot.
i've got the thickest, fudgiest white chocolate and brown sugar cake
that nobody knew was a thing, including me.
but i GOT it,
and it's good.
the not-chocolate is white, but the not-white is brown and sweet.
yum yum YUM.
a single layer of this heavy, moist masterwork is a lot,
but you KNOW i couldn't leave it alone.
i mean,
what a i?
an A*-hole?
no way, neighbors.
just take a quick look at what i'm lacing into:

what makes white chox better?
coffee of course!
coffee frosting is pretty special, when you do it right.
and doing it right is an imprecise science, to be sure.
coffee extract is weird, but it is also the essence of pure being,
and instant coffee is gross for drinking,
but it IS molto expert for dissolving in sugar and butter
and beating into a fluffy froth of 'sting.
true story.
you like it.
with a couple cups of flour,
and a stick of butter,
and six ounces of soy yogurt,
a cup and a quarter of light brown sugar,
white chocolate essence tapioca secret sauce,
teaspoons of baking powder, soda, and vanilla,
plus a pinch of salt,
and a cup of vanilla soymilk,
in a supermixed mass of aerated excellence,
poured into a greased and floured pan,
and baked in a 350degreeF oven for 50 minutes-ish,
i had a cake that's crushing previous cakey expectations,
and turning the new standard up to eleven.
who knew?
and that's before the frosting fires up the exxxtra hottness!
dark chocolate drizzlers, strippin' and stripin' the surface are nice,
but the added little dazzler of cocoa in with the remaining coffee jauns,
for a serious mocha explosion really truly blow the doors
right off of and well-away from the average cake scene.
too much is the right amount,
and that applies to cake as much as everything else.
i got the goods, and you're welcome to help yourself to a fat slice,
but as always, you'll have to travel up into the remote woodsly goodness to get it.
what do you know about dinner in a bowl?
i love a big bowlful of supper.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
and i do it like i'm wolfen levels of hungry.
that's a lot.
last night,
we had pasta fagioli.
because we had a whole mess of stuff that needed cookin',
to make room for the big shoppin' spree stockpile that will constitute
the bedrock foundation of ingredients for sandwich week.
big onions, two large sliced and two small crushed garlic cloves,
pinkish beans,
diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, babyish spinach, fresh basil,
nootch, GPOP, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, black peps,
rosemary, parsley, bay leaf, bouillon, white wine vinegar, and butterish,
seared, sauteed, and simmered into a sauce that stayed hella thick,
and subtly spicy, with all the big taste you could ever ask for.
over a combo of ditalini tiny tubies, and mini penne,
with a slap of fresh parsley spranx?
check it out:

it doesn't have to be superfancy all the time,
there just has to be a lot of it.
i personally destroyed three full bowls,
and despite knowing full well that i'd eaten the last of it,
still got a little sad when i jumped up to see if somehow it'd made more of itself,
and not surprisingly,
it had not.
i feel the pressure, friends.
i do.
i'm not trying to bring the b!tch-sap to sandwich week, y'know?
i mean,
i've already told you, it's not sandwich weak....
i don't just want to remake every sandwich i've already had, either.
reimagining isn't so bad, really,
but the worst part about shark week is that it's the same ol' sh!t every year.
i'm fixing to bring the noise, and the hottness,
and the all-the-way-live active participation to bear on my dinner situation.
breakfast sandwiches don't wow me all that much,
but there will still be bagels and muffins and toast an' that,
and lunch
i'm too busy to do lunch all that often,
but if i DO, you can bet it'll be a fresh sandwich.
rules is rules, duders.
so, here's the thing-
regular 'guinis aren't going to cut it.
i want that new new,
i want that saucy sauced up stuff.
i want good bread,
and homemade buns,
and flavor that goes on for miles and kilometers.
ive got maybe three of four bangers i know will rock the party,
but that's just about half as many as i need,
and only a third as many as i'd like.
what to do?
what to do?
i guess we'll find out what happens as the week unfolds;
never quiet, never soft.....


blueberries are so expert.
i mean,
they have all that bluish purple stuff in 'em,
and that makes everything bluish purple, too.
more importantly,
they taste amazing.
that's the real real, if you know what i'm sayin'.
they're stainy tasty tiny spheres, neighbors-
and they go great in pie.
...that's what's up.
i told y'all the other day i made two crusts.
the halfie with the creamy maple custard jauns,
and also,
a big ol' batch of burly boiled bloobz,
with creamchee' stirred in;
invisible to the eye,
due mostly to that bluish purple antioxidant dye-
but inextricably intertwined throughout the flavor and the texture,
and the righteous victory of pie-style integrity really shines
thanks to the firmness, sweetness, and hearty smoothness
that the chee' imparted.
no joke.
check the teleport:

check out those braided crust edges!
they're ok.
we've got expert sh!t poppin' off up here in the woodsly goodness
on the regular, and our had-styles and our pie styles are the same styles.
i cut up some strips,
and ampy-d twisted them over, under, and through for me.
that's F*ing teamwork, duders.
but, for realsies,
this pie was quick to make,
and the recipe really wasn't one at all.
a whole bag of frozen wild blueberries.
that's a pound of 'em,
plus lemon juice, extract, vanilla, powdered sugar by the generous shakeful,
and a package of vegan creamchee'.
i cooked that all up,
and powdered some freeze-dried bloobs, to add in alongside some tapioca.
i measured nothing,
i enjoyed everything,
and it looked good from the jump:

hearts on hearts on hearts for pies and tarts.
that's our true kyootness coming out, y'feel me?
it puffed up a bit thanks to that creamchee'.
the bulk and the bump of that silky slow-melting stuff made the middle
the most magical kind of fruit pudding plumpness i've had in an age....
look at it:

i always bake 'em at 420F.
i dunno if that actually matters much,
it's only because it's childishly funny to me.
and i just leave it in there for at least 30 minutes, probably longer-
it's hanging out baking in that oven until the crust gets golden
to the point that i'm pleased with the color
and the cara-melt on those raw sugar sprankles,
...and then that's when i take it out.
next time, i'll clean up the braids a bit,
and trim of the excess,
or make more filling, and take up the gap with bloobs and chee'.
i mean,
there's pounds of hottness happening right there,
and too much is always the right amount,
so i can't pretend that adding in a bit MORE could be detrimental to the big picture.
i bake things, guys.
treats to satisfy my sweet teeth and soften up my bitter disposition.
it works,
in bite sized increments,
and the only reliably course of action is shark-gluttony.
never stop moving forward, never stop eating.
that's the cure for what ails you,
unless you've got a eating disorder, obvi.
then it's just what ails you.
womp womp.
i've got more baking to get busy making,
and more sandwiches to plot out.
y'gotta plan your work,
and work your plan,
if you wanna be the man-
and the manliness is roaring in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, for sure.
it's all really happening,
in anticipation of sandwich week.
this is not a joke, this is real life;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, April 28


y'ever see a couple of really cool fellas,
just hanging out in their kitchen in the morning,
enjoying each others' company?
would you like to?
check the teleport:

maybe i AM wearing a pair of boxer briefs as a hat,
in the tradition of some old egyptian jauns,
or maybe like an old-school pizzeria guy-
i'm on some fashion-savvy sh!t,
and so is crabtree.
he likes it,
so i don't see why you wouldn't.
after all,
he's on the cutting edge of what's dope,
provided your interpretation of what's dope is more like
'what valuables are available to chew into oblivion the very
first second i'm not getting your complete and undivided attention'.
like i said- dope.
me and my beady-eyed best buddy are very busy every morning,
doing important things together.
i just thought that maybe, mixed in amongst all the tales
about all the treats,
you might wanna take a little look at who it is doing all of this,
with some behind the scenes sensitivity and sh!t.
.....hope you liked it.
it'll prob'ly be a minute before it happens again,
if you don't love your dog enough to put underpants on your head
and chase him around yelling nonsense in foreign languages,
rehome him to someone who will.
real talk.
this is the woodsly goodness,
this is what's really going on,
this is it,
and that's that;
never quiet, never soft.....

start tarting.

i made a couple of pie crusts.
i did.
i figured, since i was going to be out of town for half the day,
and the dough needs to chill the heck out for a while
before it's really a reliably pliable piece of work,
that what i was actually doing was utilizing good time management
for maximum results with the minimum of wasted motion.
i made a couple of pie crusts.
right now,
i wanna tell you about the littler one.
the smaller crust was the bigger challenge.
jeez, take it easy.
par-baked pie crusts are a tricky situation.
oven-activated sans filling,
they buckle and shrink, the expand and contract, and generally,
without a heavy heap of hottness in the middle,
they're a wholly uncooperative operation as soon as the oven gets involved.
i even used pie weights to help the whole thing progress apace.
well maybe they were marbles from a terrarium,
thoroughly washed, but, they did their job admirably anyway.
the thing is, it was the sides that were being a bunch of little b!tches.
that's something i didn't account for.
i DID plan out a pretty pattern for the top,
in cookie-cutout leaves and stars.
because maple star is my kid's name,
and i figured that was a nice little tribute or somethin'.
check the beige-on-beige-on-beige-tart-type teleport:

fresh to death,
and with the dual light source photography, too.
pretty sweet, no?
i like it a whole bunch.
the custom custard creme in the center is no joke,
and i think this one had a little exxxtra awesomeness
in the form of sap-happy new englandy real maple syrup.
2 cups of almond milk,
almond extract, vanilla,
a 1/3 cup of real maple syrup,
3 heaping T powdered sugar,
2T starch, (i used organic corn, but whatever)
2T flour,
2T tapioca....
all the dry stuff, and half the almond milk, in a blender,
makes the slurry that makes the custard that creams the competition,
when it's added to the hot other half of the stuff.
y'gotta whisk it for all it's worth, though,
or you'll get a filthy flappy fartskid of clotted crap.
you've been warned.
stop stirring when it gets thick, and remove it from the fire.
it'll firm up a whole helluva lot in just a little minute,
so be on your best behavior,
and keep your spatulas at  the ready.
maple syrup is delicious,
and so are almonds,
although almond extract is to almonds
what quicksand is to gorilla biscuits, y'know?
you don't?
well, you should maybe look into it, then...
when you've got texture locked down,
and flavor locked in,
and the visuals on target,
i think what you end up with is something expert.
that's it.
even after polishing off a mountain of food
at the green elephant down in portland eaast;
and terrorizing a coupla cookies afterwards;
AND beating up the last scraps of deep dishery when we got home,
there was still room for several slices of this taupe miracle.
when it's the hottness, you find room to stuff it in.
as i mentioned,
we went to portland yesterday.
i hadn't been in six whole months,
mostly because of crabtree.
no, really.
i'm no longer the type of pet owner who'll leave his little dude
for long lengths in the crate when i'm prefectly capable
of full time day off bro-hangs with my buddy.
i'm honestly as surprised as you must be.
yesterday, joyce and fred, ampy-d's mum and dad,
spent the afternoon with the shark-bullet!
they got to enjoy the barreling bombardier
and his headlong hucklebutt bucking and rolling,
and we headed southeast to the coast.
it's an unfair trade, for sure,
but i wasn't about to argue with anyone who'd insist
on the worse end of the deal,
and damn, i'm grateful they took such good care of my man.
we gorged ourselves on goodness,
grabbed up some specialty groceries,
and nabbed a few new outfits,
for lookin' exxxtra-fresh over the next few days.
little moments, kids.
that's all i ever really need.
tiny bright spots to remind me that the stormclouds
that i'm usually standing under aren't everywhere all the time.
sunny car rides,
too much food,
hand-holding in public,
it helps when i've got cake baked,
and pie dough chillin',
and a plan of attack for our triumphant return.
i mean it.
i don't care what else we do-
big, small, fun, tedious, whatever-
provided that what i feel i need to do gets done, too.
it's all really happening,
and i'm pretty lucky to have gotten the day to enjoy.
six months in the making only made it that much sweeter;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, April 27

detroit (albie)rock city!

with inches of F*ing SNOW on the ground,
and the trickery of ma nature's fickle temperament doing wonders
towards wreaking ill will throughout the roadways of this northern vale,
i was overwrought with hand-wringing worry about the way the day needed to go.
i mean,
if appointments aren't forthcoming,
or they're cancelling because of environmental inclemency,
that means that the dark magic of deepdish suppertime sorcery can begin
sooner than later, which in turn makes more time for more of everything.
that's called making lemonade,
and NOT the beyonce' kind,
although, perhaps, ma nature turned her chilly shoulders towards us
because she's been listening to it on repeat?
who knows?
who cares?
i did it another 'nother time because for once i had the time.
...i did.
you know what we LOVE,
you know what we need,
and now,
you can see what we've got.
check the motor-city-marinara-madness-type teleport:

this is the the new new fuego,
and this straight-up fire for your face is furious, and ferocious,
and also pretty filling.
word up.
i HAD to activate the triple threat hottness,
all on one spectacular angular rock city rectangle,
because rules is rules,
and if there's only one pan,
it's better have a LOT going on!
a grid of woodsly goodness crossed with deep dish dopeness from detroit.
no big deal.
the exxxtra butter i blasted the dough with before proofing seemed to help,
and the buttery greasin' i gave the pan didn't hurt one bit-
i think it was the olive oil around the edges that really activated the ultimate
in shiny crusted bread barbarianism.
that's some good-A* pizza, duders.
for realsies.
with 500 degrees of baking stone alchemy, and a little time to spare,
the pizza game stays molto strong at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i let my dough ferment like a champ,
and the double yeast jauns is key.
as is the chillout all day long.
the breadsly aroma of just the dough lets all of us real-life food-heads know
it's gonna be epic before we stretch a single finger's width of buttery big action.
no joke.
i also let it proof on the counter, post-stretch,
with the secret special operational underchee' spread right on it.
there's a lot of cold to warm heating up that happens during the prebake,
and i think that's what i like about the prep scene up here-
the changes are tangible,
and while i'm slowly improving my already expert pepperoni blend,
the dough is rising on the warm wafts from the superhot oven's ambient temps,
and the whole kitchen is alive with active reactions and participation.
that's the best.
a living breathing house is what makes that muthalicker a home, homies.
real talk.
and the homemade hottness really couldn't have been tastier.
check the roster,
via the teleport:

when it comes to classic pizza, any-and-everywhere,
pepperoni is a must.
i respect the scene, i do what must be done.
start at the fundamentals, and freak it off from there.
that's how we doo-doo that freaky-diki fAtbread biz, bro.
o.g. underchee', caramelized yellow onions, daiya mozzarella, crushed tomatoes,
garlic-cashew freshness, sausage-base smoked paprika boomfire discs,
a sprankle of nootch, and fresh basil at the end, to take it fully to eleven.
from there,
i took it a step beyond pure tradition,
but with the more-stylistically accurate detroit sauce blop on top.

you like that black-pepper crusted, black peppered red bean roast?
it's rejuvenated with simmered smoke and ho' sauce and MORE black peps,
for a spicy type of slice of nicey-nice heat for us to eat.
double the chee' on this section, too-
underthunder, daiya, onions, daiya, roast, sliced yellow heirloom tomatoes,
a quick nootch blasting and crushed tomatoes, too.
plus parsley sprankles for the finishing move?
you know it.
that's a lot of pizza, believe it or not.
the double dough is deep,
the chee' levels are heavy,
the whole flippin' thing is a beast.
that's why we still had to have some of the third square, too.
you can't just get full, and think that's some sort of excuse not to eat,
too much is the right amount, always and forever.
the fanciness was rolling along like a category four whitewater rapid.
check it out:

hot red pepper flakes in the white chik'n roast, GPOP sauteed,
and spread out on top of  some olive-oil wilted arugula,
on top of those elite onions.
that's the good sh!t.
fresh garlic-cashew creamy chee' blops on the bottom,
AND then again up top,
eschewing the daiya in favor of a pure-being blarpitiness that transcended
the traditions of regular pizza,
and then went above and beyond deep dish as well.
yum4tum, folks, that's what's up.
the sauce was on point,
the roast chix was too.
everything came together so well,
and i was happy for a minute or two.
look at the greasy sheen on that crust!
it's like cake that started hanging out with the wrong crowd.
i LOVE it.
i LOVE pizza.
i want all of it, all the time,
and i'll be honest with you-
i'm gonna miss it for the eight days that bring the ruckus.
that's a thing-
sandwiches aren't pizza,
and even pizza sandwiches aren't pizza.
sandwich week isn't taken lightly,
but you can bet that there will be twice as much pizza
when the regularly scheduled suppers resume on may 9th.
no joke.
i'm glad for the time to do what i like,
i'm grateful for the people i span that time with,
and i'm ecstatic that circumstances have permitted me to indulge in shark-gluttony
and then share only the evidence and none of the portions, with you;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, April 26


cookie pie.
it's a thing.
i'd heard of it,
but never had it;
and then, yesterday,
just because i was up even earlier than usual,
i made it.
i wish it was a more complicated creation,
it's just allllllll the cookies in one cake pan.
some folks put it in a pie crust,
but that seemed like some truly weirdie sh!t to me,
and i just pumped up the edges to give it a little shapey-shapin', instead.
this way,
instead of eating three cookies,
i can crush three slices of the new hottness.
that's like eating NINE cookies, but, in the same length of time.
shark-gluttony is not, and will never ever be for weak waterbabies, yo.
that's real.
lets all just quickly check the teleport:

eleven grain goodness, in F*ing full effect.
because the ten grain jauns from past posts are pretty damned good,
but we're a superior sect of futuristic food-heads,
and that makes ten grains seem almost primitive.
too much is the right amount,
and that means three-cookies' worth of slices
of all the grainy good things we can get.
am i right?
i hope so,
because i'm over here eating this baby like it's got nutrients from heaven in it.
spelt, and wheat, rye, and triticale make up the bulk of it,
but there's flax and chia and corn, soy flour, oats, barley, brown rice, and millet.
well, sure, technically, that's twelve things,
but soy flour seems to me to be a tricky picket-line crossing scab,
so it's IN there, but it's not with us, if you feel me....
the thing of it is,
yesterday, when i started baking that blarpity big cookie,
i didn't realize it would take way longer than a cookie.
i started at one and a half times the baking cycle,
but it was nearly tripletime before it wasn't a messy mush
of middle-drooping doo-doo butter anymore.
it's room temperature,
and it's delicious,
and because i couldn't bring myself to chocolate chip
that caramelly brown sugar circle of grit-grimy burliness,
i drizzled a whole bunch of dark chocolate on top,
and activated it jus a bit more with dual frosting freshness around the rim.
of course,
if you're gonna get frisky with eleven grains,
you've got to take it to eleven with the garnishing-
rules is rules when it comes right down to the nitty-grits and sh!ts
of this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress recipe testing ground.
there's shaved chocolate sprankles on there, too,
just to make proof-positive victory over mundane grains and plain jane cookies.
this mutha is monstrous, and magical, and molto expert,
and even though it's really just a big-A* cookie,
it's also something MORE,
and that's what i'm shooting for every time i aim my spatulas
at a bowlful of battery blops all up in this kitchen, kids.
pizza night was last night,
and that was tight.
i LOVE pizza, as y'all already know.
and i love that the local hippe fancy pizza joint has the vegan chee'.
i doo-doo that sort of night-out stuff.
heck i even got a beer.
no. a ginger beer.
i didn't decide to turn into a F*ing A*-hole overnight.
sugary soft drinkies aside,
my near-weekly routine of flattieboombattiebread
is not something i sleep on.

...because mondays are for eating pizza.
i've got a double-trouble double-dough for deepening,
doing what it does, right now, fermenting in the cold of my fridge.
proofing and proving that pizza dual days in a row is very necessary.
what's better than a monday pizza?
tuesday deep dishes, bishes.
i wonder what i'm putting on top of 'em.
i also wonder if i can make a dirty detroit rectangle this time around.
i'll have to butter the pa,
and oil the crust,
to give it that greaseburn sizzle,
but i'm up for it,
and i'm curious to see how it'll turn out.
today is the day, and tonight is the night,
and despite the date being late april,
it's muthaF*ing SNOWING right now.
nature wins,
and that's non-negotiable.
we'll be outside in a minute, crabtree and i,
doing what we do-
which is fighting over a stick,
and kicking each others' butts,
for a few miles uphill each way.
that's a hard style in nice weather,
and a real sunovab!tch in this weather.
it's all really happening,
cookie pie, pizza pie, cakey deep dish delish'ness,
and a wet whirlwind of wintry psych-outery suckiness.
that's it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, April 25

thirty faces.

it's that time again, neighbors.
i've been makin' 'em,
and savin' 'em,
just to show you what i do in the mornings.
when i'm awake, and you aren't.
check the thirty-rock-type teleport:

that's a lot.
but wait,
there's still waaaaaaay MORE:

that's the best part, kids.
too much is the right amount,
and even when staying dope is much harder than staying ugly,
i just gotta do the things i do.
rules is rules, after all.
you guys want a few more?
you DO?
okay then, here you go:

my mornings start out pretty expert.
it's the rest of the day that poses a challenge;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, April 24

take these tacos, and shove 'em (in your mouth)

palindrome numerical blog hottness is happening right now.
is that cool?
well i dunno either,
but i DO know that i had a fantastic dinner,
and a lovely evening,
and i can attest and avow that that's the truth.
check the teleport:

tacos are dope.
with spicy fried tofu, and mixed greens, and fancy tomatoes,
all of which are individually also dope.
and guacamole is OBviously super dope.
what about fancy beans and coconut lime rice?
you guessed it-
that's dope.
refried beans will always have a special place in the hearts and stomachs
of all those who dwell in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
then how about that purple pile of new age red cabbage and cilantro slaw?
...with white vinegar, vegenaise, carrot, scallion, and spice???
that's the stuff!
and the stuff is DOPE.
ampy-d brought the sabado gigante fuego live and direct to my mouth,
and it was ready as soon as i walked in through the door!
for real,
that's the best way to have dinner.
hot, and ready, and waiting for my mouth to do some things to it.
mexican food is forever invited to my dinner table.
i mean,
we get frisky with those frijoles once a week at least,
i think i especially like tacos for the same reason i'm so in love with pizza:
no matter whatever you put in them, they're still tacos.
customization is a key element in my daily appreciation of all good things.
a little of this, a whole lot of that,
but still, it all gets folded in half, and stays totally expert.
i can't hang out with crunchy tacos.
i don't like 'em.
if i want crispy corn tortilla in my face,
i'll have nachos.
a fistful of sharp shrapnel and wet blops isn't how i wanna get rad on my taco scene,
and after the first big burly barbarian bite,
that's what you get when what you're working with is fragile corn bullsh!t.
soft and delicious, subtly stretchy, mildly malleable, molto delicioso.
that's what i want,
and as time has passed,
and our routines have become ingrained,
which in turn has made them no longer routines but traditions,
(which feel much more comfortable, and a bunch less boring)
we've found a rhythm that suits us at suppertime.
tonight, we dine hard,
or maybe we don't at all.
i'm not sure what's on the agenda.
the thing of it is,
amber is super sick, which is super sh!tty,
and she kept us both up all night with some serious sickin' up,
and sickin' out,
and spouting some spewage that seriously sucked,
except that it more literally really kind of sprayed.
today is the day for starting some big tattoos,
and enduring some big action at the workplace,
by the time i get back to my battlements this evening,
anything could happen,
but nothing might be the best we can muster.
i s'pose there's no way to know where we'll be by nightfall,
but i can accurately predict that i'm about to beat the pavement with my boots.
i'm not psychic, i'm a responsible adult pet owner,
and i've got an obligation to eff up the next hour and a half or so.
because crabtree doesn't give a hot crap about human illness,
and he most certainly couldn't care any less about the tattoos i'll do later-
he does, however, want to roam the neighborhood and urinate on things,
and i do believe in that he and i are more alike than i am with most people.
we're headed uphill, and that's a struggle,
but we'll finish with a downhill fall that's sure to build momentum,
even as we land in a heap;
never quiet, never soft.....

macaroon cupcakes!!

i made a thing,
and it is a good thing.
check the teleport:

coconut sugar, and coconut flour, and coconut milk,
and flaky unsweetened cracker-A* coconut shreds.
all of that, but NOT coconut oil.
(it gets too slippery wet when it gets hot,
and that's not sexy when it's in a muffin tin)
word up.
the full fat of the coconut milk,
the buttery pats that creamed up the sugar,
the coconut flour that added all kinds of fiber,
the whole dang thing, duders-
so much flavor, and all of it exxxtra-concentrated through the judicious
application of heavy-handed coconutty justice!
i doo-doo that overdoo-dooing things type of sh!t.
i gotta,
because too much is the right amount.
oh, and another thing i should probably mention-
i've got an in-between sized muffin pan.
it's so kyoooot!
so i'm over here reppin' midi-muffs,
a bit bigger than the babiest,
but still much smaller than the standard,
and happily just the right size for a double dozen drops of moist-as-F* freshness,
in fully-formed knobbly, coconut-magical flavor.
a stick of butts.
a cup of coconut sugar.
6oz. of soy yogurt.
a cup of coconut flour.
a cup of all-purpz flour.
half a cup of coconut flakes.
a big ol' shake of tapioca.
a half tsp salt
a tsp of baking soda, and 1.5tsp baking kapowder.
plus 3/4 of a can of full fat coconut milk.
that's the stuff,
and it only took twentysomething minutes at 365F
for them to be the spongiest, chunkiest, fluff-ball blops
you've ever wanted to eat twenty of in a row.
real talk.
i chomped through a lot of 'em yesterday.
i did.
and it was flippin' AWESOME every single time.
i could've left them alone as muffins,
and they'd have been legendary around these parts,
but i never half-step because i'm not a half-stepper,
and i powdered a fistful of coconut flakes,
and dosed a bowful of confectioners sugar and butters with vanilla and cocoa,
and used that last 1/4 can of coconut milk,
and whipped up the richest frosting i've had in a dog's age.
i mean,
you can see how decadently shiny it is.
that's always a great sign.
just to take it to eleven,
i slipped in some of those supersexxxy
dark-chocolate-covered lightly toasted coconut chip sprankles.
i'm not afraid to bring more tastiness to the party.
that's sort of my thing, really.
i know that treats are only one facet of my kitchen situation,
but i was looking back through the history of my cake-baking makery,
and i will say this:
if nothing else,
i'm not getting worse at documenting anything.
i think there's always room to improve.
that's why i do what i do.
every time,
my obsessive nature compels me to tweak the edges just a tad,
amp up the hottness a btu or two,
and to generally F* with a good thing until it's a great thing,
and then mess around just a tiny bit more,
until it's expert.
i find faults more readily than i find happiness,
but that lack of contentment has kept me going through these past years,
because a quest is a quest is a quest,
and they're supposed to be hard.
just like the styles i rep, kids.
i'm on a quest for level eleven Folk Life & Liberty,
and it's a hell of a thing to try and bake your way to happness;
never quiet, never soft.....

one week away.

it's sunday,
and in a week,
on sunday,
it'll be the first of the month.
and i hope you know what that means?
you DO know what that means, don'tcha??
it's what happens whenever the first day of the month
falls on the topmost lefthand square of the calendar,
rabbit rabbiting?
obvi, that happens.
there's something else.
something bigger.
something better.
something MORE.
jeez, guys, i feel like i don't even know you right now-
the first eight days of every single month that starts on a sunday can ONLY be one thing:
the best celebration;
the biggest big action;
the fieriest furious activation;
the between-breadsliest boomfire for our pure being and infinite nature;
and i think you finally have an idea of what i'm speaking on-
that's riiiiiiiiiiiiight.
next week is

sandwich week.
eight days of sandwiches all the time.
rules is rules.
and that's no joke.
you know i don't play around when it comes to sandwich week.
no way.
i'm not about to get all punk-lipped and weak-sauce chumplestiltskin'd
about something as expert as a festival of sandwich hottness for my face.
the loud fresh hardness of creating eight banging dinner 'guinis,
and making sure my mornings begin with bagels sliced and stuffed with stuff,
or whatever else is handy and demanding of a dose of toasted dopeness....
what i mean is-
i hope you guys are down to get busy with it, too.
we look forward to the semi-randomized occurrence of the thing,
as it's clearly stated that it's ANY month that starts on a sunday.
and if you recall,
that meant last year had three sandwich weeks!!
this year,
i believe it's just the one,
so it's gotta go straight out,
and straightaways up to eleven,
and then stay there the whole time.
eight breakfasts,
eight dinners,
any lunches, although i don't normally do that,
every treat,
every day,
for a solid sunday-to-sunday fair-style week of expertism.
you think you've got what it takes to tune up eight unique
and individual bread-on-both-sides jauns?
oh. and another 'nother thing...
i've said it before,
but it's worth repeating-
wraps aren't sandwiches.
they're incredibly sh!tty burritos.
get on my level, duders.
you've got a whole week to get a game plan together.
i've got a whole week to incubate all my own ideas.
this time around i want bbq,
and i want something with coconut,
and i want pickles of every sort,
and there should be frying,
and baking,
and no phoning it in with store-bought cold-cut-style beige circles.
let's bring the noise,
and ring the bells,
and make the food that makes the music
that makes the whole block start rockin'.
y'feel me?
it's our holiday,
and sure,
it's a lot of sandwiches,
but it's not the SAME sandwiches.
MORE, and different, and better,
and all of it is about to jump off on MAYDAY.
it's bound to be a big one, and a good one, and a really real one;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, April 23

pound it.

lemon pound cake.
i'm sayin',
lemon poppy seed pound cake!
heavy doses of citrus,
sweetened up and spun about,
mixed with tiny black specks of tooth-sticking drug-test-failing flower dots,
baked in a bumpy circle and presented to you in it's full resplendence.
well you should.
check the teleport:

cake is good.
cake is really good.
cake is what i've got going on,
and cake is what i'm eating-
just how lemony is it?
i always feel compelled to do a whole lot of lemony lemoning,
and when i got into the yellow zone this time,
i did it like i always do it.
too much is the right amount.
on that end of things,
i thought i used a TON of seeds, but,
while they're definitely sticking in between my giant enamel chompers,
they aren't bringing the visuals to eleven by any means.
i guess those nelwyn specks weren't the star of the show anyway.
....y'get where i'm coming from?
the lemon magic melty goodness on the other hand,
has got the big action on lock.
that's for serious.
as always,
the juice, the zest, and the extract all acted in concert to commit a spree of
hottness throughout the whole circle of baked greatness.
what's the secret to good cake?
it's no secret, kids.
you just put it all in a bowl and beat it up until it does what you tell it to.
the exxxtra-heavy icing not playing around.
kapowdered sugar, lemon juice, that fresh grated zest, vanilla and lemon extracts.
eyeballed to the drizzliest pasty sauce-styled sugar-glazing goodness,
and dripped all over the place with a great big spoon. KNOW i hit it up with MORE lemony zest sprankles, too.
i  mean, c'mon,
what am i
an A-hole?
no way!
but how'd i make and bake that cake?
i combined, in order,
one and a half sticks of butterish,
one and a half cups of sugar,
six ounces of soy yogurt,
a half tsp of salt,
a splash of vanilla,
a half a lemon, grated,
a splash and a half of lemon extract,
three cups of flour,
a third of a cup of tapioca,
four tablespoons of poppy seeds,
two thirds of a cup of soymilk,
half a cup of sweetened lemon juice,
a bunch of profanity,
a lot of standmixer whisking mayhem to really aerate that batter,
and a greased, floured bundthole,
plus an oven blazing up at 350degrees F,
pretty much for what seemed like forEVER.
it was somewhere between forty minutes and an hour,
the cake tester should come out clean,
but if not,
a little extra moisture never hurt anybody.
it's not like you'll get salmonella from all the filthy eggs there AREN'T in there.
my oven is pretty reliable,
but damn that doneness window is a wide one.
i bet you can figure it out, though, because you're not a dummy.
how much weak sauce does one fella have to drink before it's okay to call it a day?
what i mean is-
at what point is it fruitless and faulty to fight extra hard
to stay in a place where you don't belong?
that's the full-moon activated nightmare question that kept me up last night.
i bake treats, i do a LOT of tattoos, i walk miles every day.....
i can't help but think there's more to it than that, though.
it's as if there's a deficiency that has yet to be diagnosed-
it's not scurvy, obvi, with all that lemon floating around in me right now)
there IS a fundamental absence occurring.
i can feel it.
maybe i just need more pizza to plug up all the gaping holes
where social interaction would normally be, if i was the type of person who sought that out.
i've got the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress;
i've got crabtree the shark-bullet battle beast;
i've got a sleeping beauty who goes by the name of ampy-d;
i've got an oven;
and i've got precious little time to do much else beyond those four cornerstones.
the thing of it is,
i need to do more.
where i'll find the time and space, and when, remains to be determined.
that's a small world, no matter how concentrated the flavor.
the core group of principles is in full effect,
but in practice,
it's a lonely workday, a quiet morning, a long walk, and a hard style.
i'm grateful for what i've got,
but that doesn't mean that it's enough.
those two things aren't the same;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, April 22


hey man,
today is the day.
earth day.
i'll be honest with you guys-
i don't get excited about earth day.
like, not at all-
i don't think i've ever 'celebrated' it,
in fact,
from where i'm standing,
i think that every day is earth day when you're vegan, anyway.
so much so that i'm sure i could litter throughout the woodsly goodness all day long,
and not make so much as a small reversal in the overall positive impact
my reduced carbon footprint carries every single day,
which is solely because i only eat vegetables.
...and that's just based on math and logic, even.
oh, c'mon.
i'm just sayin'.
it's earth day,
but i'm over here thinking about pie.
blogs are almost always a day behind the times here-
life is lived extra hard,
and the styles are hard,
and the nights are loooooong,
and the times are tough,
and the dog is naughty,
and the motherF*ing moon is FULL.
and then, after all of that really realness is endured;
then whatever stands out gets recorded and reported upon.
so, anyway,
yesterday i baked a pretty tasty pie.
wanna see it?

totally sweet, right?
well, it's an elite, non-traditional,
and admittedly crackery flavor combination-
so the proles at work won't eat it,
or even try it.
awwwwwww, man!
i make the nice, and i put the raw sugar sprankles on it,
but still,
they can't,
and they won't,
and they don't hang out with true vegan hottness.
so what's in there that has so alienated the devoutly unsophisticated palates
of the white mountain tattbomb shack?
pear and walnuts.
i'm for real right now.
ginger and butter and a pinch of sugar for caramelizing,
all heated in a pan, and the walnuts tossed and toasted in there, too.
the fat and the spice mixed up, and coated those rich-A* nuts like warlock water,
and activated the eldritch expertism of full-bodied flavor.
and the pears?
a pinchy-pinch of nutmeg, and more ginger,
over big chunks of buttery bosc jauns, kissed with brown sugar,
and a splash of lemon juice to prevent browning.
neighbors, i'm over here adding just the babiest bit of pulverized apple,
powdered into pure pectin, and thickening all of those tasty bits up like a champ,
and once all the hottness was activated,
and the vents and all the decorative accents were all cut out,
moistened, and affixed around the rim,
nobody had any.
just me.
(i had a lot, because that's just because i am NOT a chump-baby)
so, there you have it.
you're only as proportionately fancy as your audience gives a sh!t.
which is why i'm telling all of y'all about it....
you like it.
and i like you.
plain ol' apple pie seems to be all that those duders i work near will devour;
and anything else is too far out and weird.
it's a sad day when berries or whatever are too wacky for munching up on,
am i right?
i knowwwwwwwww.
at least it wasn't actual earth day that saw the succulent hunks of pear get snubbed.
........ha. i dunno why that'd matter.
maybe if you make it, you'll enjoy it,
and i'll vicariously enjoy you enjoying it, if you tell me you did.
you'll need a cup and a half of walnuts,
fresh ginger, grated,
powdered ginger,
two tablespoons of butterish,
three tablespoons of sugar, and a hot pan.
first, melt the butter, and add in the walnuts, stirring frequently,
add in the ginger, as much as your individual taste demands,
and once the whole room smells like the summoned spirit of garuda,
add in the sugar and let it dissolve.
remove that mess from the heat, and start in on the pears.
you gotta get at least six pears,
it couldn't possibly matter what kind,
and peel 'em and seed 'em and cut 'em up into rough chunks.
i hit 'em with lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, and about a third of a cup of brown sugar,
and a few shakes of powdered sugar, too.
cook 'em until they're soft, but not quite see-through,
and add in the thickener of your choice,
because the whole pot will be pretty juicy,
and unless you actually like soggy bottom pies,
you're gonna wanna hook it up beforehand.
i used those powdered apples i mentioned earlier, and a little arrowroot too.
the juice levels were unprecedented, and required exxxtra efforts to subdue.
- you guys got a pie crust recipe?
you'd better get one, then, or this isn't going to be a very impressive scene is it?
womp womp.
but, like, for real, though...
once that's sorted,
letting it get baked up at 410F for 45 minutes should do it,
if you're at all like me,
and you like the crispity edges a bit browner than beige,
i'd let it hang out for nearly an hour.
and here's the thing-
you can check on it from time to time,
with your eyes, and your own intuition,
and decide for yourself the level of doneness.
happy earth day, i guess;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, April 21

HOT in the kitchen.

when you know you want some asian food,
but you just can't decide what regional specifics should get
the big tasty nod to headline the dinner plate festival,
i think the key is to allow for a two-stage co-top-billing double feature.
to that end,
i got molto busy in the kitchen,
trying to let the battle of the bands be a buffet of big tastes for my big fat face-
and as usual,
it was put together kind of last minute.
if we're being all the way honest,
which of course, we always are,
i like to have the hot hot heat timed jusssst right for smelling goood,
and tasting great, and steaming itself into perfection
right when my ampy-d gets home.
i had all the ingredients on hand,
i had a semblance of a plan,
and i put it all in place in my usual on the fly way;
hurried, rushed, pushed, and with every F*ing burner on the stove raging as one.
that's how i make it happen, neighbors.
a berserker whirlwind of improvisation as the heat gets things activating,
and the knives flash dangerously close to my fingertips.
(i should also mention that the dog is a huge help,
if what i needed was help getting less done in a distracted and infuriated manner)
anyway, it had japanese influences, and thai sensibilities,
and it came together like a supergroup of super nutrients.
check the new-square-white-plate-type teleport:

fresh basil for biting into everything with?
that's expert.
heirloom baby rainbow tomatoes?
they go with that crawnchy cool cilantro lime salad-
red and green cabbage, scallions, lime zest, bean sprouts, cilantro,
and lime juice to dress it up like a dang citrus champion.
it was almost too good.
....except that there's no such thing.
so accept that there's no such thing.
limes for activation,
and cukes for cooling off the fire from that big pile of stir-fried saucy stuffs.
broccoli, and bok choi for the brassica section;
sweet and tiny red peppers;
holla at your jalapenos;
shallot rings;
giant garlic slices, clove after clove of superior flavor domination;
sauteed sweet onion, and bias-cut carrots;
and roughly pre-fried sticky tofu cubes...
y'ever get that one block of tofu that is just kind of an A*-hole?
it's drained, it's firm, it's ready, as far as the eye can tell,
but it hits the pan and immediately throws a four-year-old-in-a-department-store tantrum?
i made it work, by beating it up,
and spatulatin' it's dumb self into submission which in turn gave it a perfect texture.
hard and soft, crisp and smooth, ugly and dope.
and that's just the thing-
we stay ugly up here, but we also stay dope.
rules is rules.
and how about that sauce?
let's just ask it:
me: 'you on point sauce?'
sauce: 'all the time, tip.'
thai bouillon, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave, ginger, ground mustard, GPOP,
ho' sauce, chili garlic paste, fresh macerated garlic, black pepper, lime juice and zest,
and corn starch to let it hit that fire-hot pan and thicken with the quickness.
we aren't steaming anything, y'all-
we're firestorming the whole shebang.
the slurry was furious,
and the results were un-F*-with-able,
especially considering those fat thick luscious udons were one hundred percent righteous.
a splash of thai broth, a little lime zest,
and heat,
just to get 'em going....
and they went, friends.
they went right along with that vegetable war party right to the gates of taste,
and they stormed the sh!t right outta them.
real talk.
the thing is,
after all that enjoyment,
there was still the encore.
and those brussels sprouts are for sure the brand new hottness.
sesame oil fried, soy-glazed smoky jauns are what's up.
liquid smoke and tamari, together, with those sesame seed sprankles,
to half-soften, and half sear the halved sprouts to a level eleven tier of triumph.
for serious.
the saddest moment of the evening was when they were all gone.
i make nice dinners.
and that's cool.
i'm blarping out.
and that's not cool at all.
turns out,
all this walking with crabtree had better turn into running soon,
or else i'll be running out of my pants.
salty soy sauce gives you the swells, which are totally worth it,
but pizza six times a week gives you the thick-crust midsection,
and while i recognize that i could eat a little less pizza,
and fewer indulgent dinners,
i also recognize that too much is the right amount.
i'm not a weak sauce diaper-waterbaby,
and therefore,
that means MORE exercise,
because LESS awesomeness is not a viable option.
that's some b!tchbaggery right there.
MORE running, until my knees fall off,
which is likely to be about five feet from the starting point,
or MORE miles with heavier burdens than the conscience crushing weight
i shoulder in my heart and mind.
it's all really happening,
and i can feel it.
it's pinchable, in inches,
somewhere around my navel.
this is What Is,
and real-life documentarianism is how it's told;
never quiet, never soft.....