Thursday, June 30


hey friends!
how about one last treat for june?
oh, okay.
y'shouldn't leave dessert of the menu when you're planning a heroic level
of gluttonous gastric overdosing, y'know?
that's no joke.
since we were all about to get activated with all sorts of mexican miercoles,
i figured i'd toss a little silken tofu/coconut creme pie jauns in the mix,
and see where that got us.
check the teleport:

it's got all the goods.
chocolate and standard-issue graham crackers, coupled with coarse-ground coconut,
a dash of sugar, and coconut oil, with a hint of vanilla,
compose that thick and crumbly crust.
there's nothing wrong with that.
after a little bakey firm-up,
i poured the melted chocolate into a bowlful of  coconut crema, silken tofu,
cocoa, and ground coconut flake, again with a splash of vanilla,
and pureed it into a pulpy semi-solid that smelled like glory and victory.
on top of that bumpy lumplenut surprise,
i tossed down a ring of flaked unsweetened fancy coconut shrapnel,
and let it sink right in as the chocolate gelled and the cream set to it.
here's the situation-
that would've been a great way to snack up on a little sweetness as is,
rules is rules.
whenever we're doing something,
letting simplicity dictate the outcome is never in the forecast.
too much is the right amount,
and doing it right isn't the only way.
not when overdoing it even righter is possible.
to that end,
i whipped up some full-fatty coconut milky coconut-laced frosting,
and swirled it along the circles that echo and imitate the revolutions of infinity,.
i grated some dark chocolate sprankles on top of THAT.
i told you, man.
too much.
that's what it's about.
we ate it,
we loved it,
and there's still some left!
any day in june is no longer an option.
this is it.
the last one.
the finale.
july promises all sorts of new things-
some better for the lessening,
some more lucrative for the busier business of a big summertime season,
all of it,
good and bad, big and bigger,
and maybe some things slightly smaller in some aspects-
it's ALL really happening.
time is being divvied up like slices of pie,
and the largest wedges aren't being driven between us,
they're being devoured and transformed.
goodbye, june,
hello the future;
never quiet, never soft.....


what's better than a semi-rainy day-off?
a hot, clammy, kitchen on a semi-soaked sunshowering sauna of a day!
i did a lot,
and got so little done.
i believe that has become my wednesday move of sorts.
baking in the morning,
along with coffee and toast with ampy d before she headed off to work;
drawing barbarian warrior sword monsters around brunchtime;
walking crabtree through the dewy, drippy, muggy mess
of my mountainous neighborhoodly goodness at noon;
grocery shopping;
errand running;
and coming home to a heck of a lot of prep for another other 'nother
collaborative meal with my increasingly good buddy travis,
a.k.a. vegan_magic_time!
my time was accounted for,
but the balance at the end of the transaction was skewed waaaaayy off-
the time was invested disproportionately towards foodstuffs
and away from homeownery ornery taskmastery.
that's not a bad trade at all, y'all.
for the second-to-last meal in the month of june,
we brought the thunder and the lightning,
and so did ma nature,
and in sync with the downpours and outpouring of natural splendor,
we made our own kitchen wizardry wonders work it out.
the theme?
totally a-maize-ing.
(corny jokes are included free of charge. uhhhhhhhhZING)
but, like,
what exactly did we do?
we did the very best we could.
word up.
check the cornivore-type teleport:

we got that cornelius jauns totally poppin' off SO hard.
first of all,
that fiesta guacamole, with all those rainbow peppers?
no herbs, no spices, just veggin' out with crawnchy specks of color
mooshed right in with all that smooshy avocado.
every time, it gives me all the feelies, all over the place.
with the guac already to rock,
we could all focus on the big action everywhere else-
travis brought over some ready to bake burly t-piper pipes,
in the form of great grilled corn/poblano/chili-lime seitan taquitos,
with vegan creamchee' and daiya cheddar hiding out as well.
i caught myself cigar-chomping extra helpings
before i'd even cleared my first pass at shark-gluttonous overeating.
y'like that salsa verde?
i made it up as i went-
check it out:

i just kept adding stuff until it looked good.
*custom improv salsa verde*
four tomatillos,
a quarter of a green bell pepper;
a quarter of a red onion;
half a big jalapeno, with seeds;
half a poblano;
three tablespoons of fire-roasted mild green chilis;
three cloves of garlic;
coriander seed;
salt & black pepper;
scallion greens;
three small bay leaves;
3/4 cup seitan broth (or just veggie stock, man, y'know)
-simmered until everything was all wilty and wet,
and then fresh cilantro, and another chunk of green pepper
were tossed in, along with the whole soupy mess,
into the blender.
i like it a little chunky, so i just pulsed it up until it looked right-
i let that chill out for a while,
and garnished it with a splishsplash of lime,
and scallion and cilantro sprankles!
it's got a lot of low-end afterburn.
the heat sneaks up after the ghooey goodness goes down.
how'd it do with the taquitos?
we all liked the look in the picture,
we all doused those jammers with a much bigger scoople of that green monster
once we started munching up.
too much was the right amount.
that's how it is around these parts.
the arepa-style discs of masa?
fried in an oil-butter greaseball amaze-o-matic skillet?
y'can't eff that up.
the thing of it is,
i just used up the remaining corn-dough from our big action time-taker.
masa, with GPOP, baking powder, salt, and veggie stock,
are all that's in there,
but the taste is HUGE.
y'like that succotash hash on top?
me too!
it's the three sisters, man.
authentic trinity triumph, with a few friends along for the ride.
sauteed fresh-off-the-cob sweet corn, and black beans,
and summer squash & zucchini (green and gold, represent!).
with onions, and tomatillos,
as well as a scattered smattering of sweet red pepper, and red chili,
minced up around the fringes.
the expertism was as abundant as the ingredients in our meal, kids.
finished off with diced crisp red onion, juicy red grape tomatoes,
and fresh cilantro sprankles to sex it up a whole bunch.
lastly, but most importantly,
we made some incredible, laudable and applaudable, succulent,
scrumptious, sumptuous super-official Folk Life tamales.
that's right:
corn husks, wrapped tight, and tied down with more of the same,
filled with the previously mentioned masa mash,
as well as oniony black beans, cilantro, scallions,
and super-duper aptly-named exxxtra-sweet potatoes.
believe it.
the sweet potatoes were pan-seared, and slow braised in broth,
before getting activated with a dusting of cayenne, a shake or two of coriander,.
a healthy dousing of  GPOP, and paprika all over the place.
then, towards the post-liquid-absorption double-buttery final fry-up,
i gave 'em the ol' ancho pep powdering.
you aren't ready for this much hottness.
none of us were ready for just how hot those jalapeno slices were!
i ate mine, like a real wrench-chooser,
but my much wiser dinner companions abstained,
likely to their greater enjoyment of the meal.
what do we do behind the scenes?
we geek out hard over the details, obvi.

caught in flagrante by ampy d's real-life documentation.
it's the hats.
i get it.
they're not the same,
but they're soooo close to it.
i promise we didn't plan it,
that's just how expert recognize expert, son.
i mean,
as we switched back and forth between garnishes, even,
it was like a slightly skewed afterimage of an strikingly similar vegan magic theme.


i told you.
go see the sweet in-process tamale shots at vegan_magic_time.
you won't be sorry.
i am grateful for the people who choose to spend time with me;
i am doubly grateful for the active participants,
and interactive conversationalists who discuss ideas,
and make food,
and create as well as consume.
the woodsly goodness could be a lonely place but for them;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, June 29


time is passing at an alarming pace.
that's the sentiment i feel most acutely on a daily basis.
long days, longer nights, hard times and harder styles abound
all around us, all the time-
so it's up to us to make the minutes matter more.
for us,
here in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
that involves a whole lotta very good, very tasty foodstuffs
in between the chores and challenges of time,
and it's passage,
laying waste to each and every circadian revolution.
if it's gonna go by so quickly,
i'm gonna eat the heck outta some expert sh!t while the clock runs out.
the cycles spin like dervishes, sure,
but the dishes are delicious, and i'll take what i can get,
also, if all i can get is a decent meal?
really, i'm still coming out ahead.
i'm feeding the furnace, and i'm investing my interests in ingesting comestibles.
when it's tuesday,
and you love alliteration,
AND you made guacamole in the morning-
there really is only one choice.....
check the teleport:

i'm about it,
ampy d is about it,
and together, we're just about the taco-t'winningest twosome
to terminate a tray of treats, on a tuesday, in some time.
that's exxxactly how we take our time, too-
in folded tortillas of fattie-boombattily stuffed fresh-to-deathly hallowed hot fuego.
that's a thing.
we seared up some homestyle seitan,
with poblano, green bell pepper and a little red onion.
then we seasoned it with a pinch of cumin, a blast of GPOP, a little oregano,
some smoked paprika, black pepper, a little redhot ho' sauce,
and a splash of crushed tomatoes,
cut to the quick with a generous blast of lime juiciness.
before drippin' a dollop of butterish in there to fry it up.
it's a progression and escalation of compound flav',
and it turns up the heat to eleven.
y'know what happens when you doo-doo that sort of sh!t?
you get the BOOMFIRE for your bellyhole,
and the new hottness has alllllll the right moves for your mouth before it gets there.
when you fire 'em up with some nicey-nice diced red onion,
and a few quartered heirloom sweet little round tomatoes,
over a bed of fancy lettuces, of which i used three different assortments,
because too much is the right amount,
and good-lookin' food always makes me hungrier.
AND grilled leeks, for that creamy, gentle oniony char and charm,
plus a cilantro lime coconut crema,
and some MORE ho' sauce???
how could that get any better?
with fresh cilantro sprankles, obvi.
that's IT.
yeah, that's jalapeno lime black beans and rice,
with scallions.
minced onion, and minced jalapeno, and brown rice,
generously activated with lime,
while the beans were fried separately at first,
with GPOP, and jalapeno, and scallions,
before all of it got together to make something much more elite.
texture taste and heat, all cooperating instead of competing,
just so that a side order could succeed as a main event.
i like that.
it's called F*ing teamwork,
and i think a lot of players out there could learn from that.
if you ain't with food combinations,
then you ain't a player, you just cook a lot.
fiesta rainbow guacamole finished off our suppertime plates.
yellow, red, and orange sweet miniature peppers are a staple up here.
we love 'em, and we use 'em in everything.
poblano, green bell, jalapeno, and red chili jauns are all also featured
in my avocado spellcasting smash and grab sorcery.
cilantro, scallions, lemon, lime, garlic, GPOP, black pepper, and salt
complete the bigger picture.
smashed together, and allowed to get to know each other all day,
so that when we drop a scoople on our tacos,
a well-organized chain of precise delights is already in full effect.
i get it poppin' in this place,
for my palate,
for my palette,
for my pictures to prove it,
and for my personal pleasure-
i'm not saying cooking is easy.
i'm saying that it's not that hard.
maybe taking it up a notch isn't for everybody?
i mean,
you are what you eat,
and that's why i want the biggest, the most beautifullest, and MORE of it-
i'm aiming at going all the way off the charts, to eleven+;
y'all can crush some tepid takeaway if that's all you really want,
but that's a steady 5, at best, on the active participation scale, duders.
that's precisely half bad.
good enough is not enough.
don't forget it.
maybe go get some ingredients,
and make something;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, June 28

where my real 'za-heads at?

there ain't no party like a mutha-F*in' pizza party,
because a Folk Life & Liberty Fortress pizza party is the TRUTH!!!
i thought i was making two double-dough fatty-boombatties,
but the cold proof portion of the pregame preparations proved otherwise.
one BIG ol' batch of from-scratch heavy semolina jauns
was swole up and awaiting my arrival after work.
i'm still searching for the perfect dough,
but this one was pretty good.
a little high-gluten floury add-on helped to hold it together under
savagely stormswept heaps of toppings and trappings.
i'll get it jusssssst right eventually,
and in the meantime,
there will be SO much pizza on my plate as i trial-run each new idea.
the BIG double pizza situation is working out reallllly well for us.
two kinds of pizza, per pizza, times three pizzas,
for a sexxxy six-style pie pig-out,
for just me and ampy d this time around.
i'm blarping out, a bit,
as my pizza intake has now exceeded my maximum daily energy output.
i better get moving as soon as i'm done with this accurate assessment of
real life pizza-tossin' participation.
too much is the right amount,
but that doesn't apply to a pizza potbelly.
no way, man.
that's gross.
wanna see why i'm thickening up around the bellybutton?
you do?
check the pizza-pie-in-your-eye-like-amore-type teleport:

what's on it?
* that's underchee' and daiya mozzarella,
covered with crucial crushable cauliflower buffzzz!!!
seared up cauli-wobbles in expert buff sauce from scratch,
with red onion, and sriracha stripes,
and cilantro-coconut dressing,
with a few fresh cilantro sprankles.
that's big flavor, and bigger action, and it's only one of six styles, kids-
* red sauce, as in, crushed tomatoes, with more chee', and underchee,
and leeks, and onions, and burly brussels sprouts,
with fried garlic spranks, to turn it up, and turn it out,
and get this party all the way live.
with that,
our appetites were whetted, and the finely-honed hunger
of a wholehearted shark-glutton had us like: GIMME'S'MO'.
and so we did that:

* homemade vegan sausages? yup.
stir-fried rainbow peppers, with poblano and green bell jauns, too?
caramelized onions?
and fresh basil, to turn it up to eleven.
...with crushed 'matoes, daiya mozzarella,
and a few scallion sprankles, to boot.
* escarole and white bean white pizza for our big fat faces to munch.
underchee', daiya provolne slices,
pureed white-bean-and-seitan-broth garlic'd pasty sauce,
wilted ripped escarole, grilled leeks, and fried garlic sprankles,
because when we come to rock the party,
we rock the flippin' party hard.
that's a LOT of pizza,
but at the same time,
it's not enough, is it?
you already know what's up-
check the teleport:

one more, with two more, for the road.
if you don't eff with pizza at least this hard,
what are you even doing on this planet??
pizza is the best, and loving to eat pizza is smart.
get with this, and get over here next time to experience the boomfire, bro.
ahhhh, hahahaha.
* garlic scapes, braised with broccolini florets.
that is fast becoming a thing we just can't go without.
on the ones,
that's because it's gooooood.
cheddar daiya, over underchee', sauceless, but activated with cashew-garlic mozz blops,
a big ol' blast of nootch, and a few carmies under there, as well,
for a very fulfilling, and filling, hamden-hues green and gold monster!
* classico majesty, man!
house-blend upgrade pepperoni, tuned, turned up and dialed in, from vegan sausage,
sauteed in soy liquid smoke and smoked paprika, for the ultimate 'roni reality.
heirloom tomatoes, crushed tomatoes,
shredded vegan swiss sh!t (NOT our favorite)-
and all of this pizza,
like, all across the whole thing,
is all-the-way blown UP with fried garlic sprankles.
those zizzy-zazzlers are NO JOKE,
and they make all of it exxxtra-expert.
making dinner is equal parts practical, philosophical, and poetic.
the perfunctory gestures of practiced creation,
the intuitive addition of components,
the creative culinary tangents within an established format-
all of it,
all the time,
is how i'm expressing my deep and abiding love for being alive.
i'm very serious.
a better fate than death awaits us anywhere,
and it all starts with a better way of interacting-
with your face, with your tastes, with your body,
with your kitchen, and pursuant to that kind of interactive participation,
with the wider world at large.
...that's a real thing.
this is What Is,
it's ALL really happening, all the time,
even in something as necessary as supper-
and it's how my truths get told;
never quiet, never soft.....

naynay nunu

the bananas were probably perfect the day before.
i got some big bananas, and they were pretty ripe when i grabbed 'em.
when i remembered that i had bananas on the counter,
they were brown-spotted and soft.....
...which worked out nicely,
as i prefer them baked in bread over eaten like a monkey.
real talk.
banana bread is delicious.
that's no joke.
peanut butter is ALSO delicious.
and that's a whole separate but also true thing.
when they get together???
joy and contentment abound in the woodsly goodness.
in varying degrees from that baseline buhnaynaynunu and peanu'butt scene,
chocolate was added into the mix,
with success compounding success with each successive addition.
wordimus prime.
check the stacks-on-stacks-on-stacks-type teleport:

ALL the peanut buttery banana barbarian business.
that's what goes on in this kitchen.
mini loaves of unadulteated new hottness,
with variety for all the picky petes and choosy suzies out there.
how'd i make these?
i did this:
1 stick (8 T) vegan butts
3/4 cup raw sugar
3 large bananas
.5 tsp salt
2 T vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
creamed together and whipped around,
before adding
1 cup a.p. flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking ka-powder
1 tsp baking so-soda
1/3 cup tapioca
1 cup vegan sour cream
that's it.
from there,
i freaked it off with chocolate chips,
and then,
because too much is the right amount,
and also the only way we doo-doo our freaky sh!t in this place,
i also added cocoa.
oh, i dunno- i had to guesstimate the quantities as the batter diminished,
the thing is,
i wanted to take 'em to eleven, as well,
so i whisked together a peanut buttery powdered sugar tapioca vanilla cream,
and laid it down on top of some of 'em,
i whisked in some cocoa, obvi,
rules IS rules, if y'feel me....
and i dropped that on some others.
other 'nother 'nother ones, guys.
everybody gets activated,
and that means all the rest weren't neglected, kids.
no way.
those got chocolate chip sprankles.
i mean,
what do you even think i'm doing in this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress?
F*ing off?
not on your life, baby.
you can see the results for yourself.
you should probably bake yours for about half an hour at 350F,
if you're making muffins and not loaves?
you should still do the same damned thing, man.
talking about food seems infinitely more rewarding than talking about television.
i try my hardest to steer the studio discussions away from the wasted time
in from of the flatscreen, consuming commercial content,
instead of time invested in the kitchen,
creating cultured cuisine and consuming nutritional content to our hearts' content.
it's NOT snobbery, exactly,
although i do consider myself among the elite
of the active participatory woodsly goodfellows,
of which i only know a handful anyway.
i just feel ever-increasingly lonely whenever people are discussing,
what their thoughts are on what might happen next week on some show,
while simultaneously accepting that some microwaved weak sauce beforehand
is okay to put in their mouths.
fattening up and salting out
while they sit in front of the image projector,
watching instead of doing, losing themselves in make-pretend-
so that tomorrow they can connect with others over what they passively absorbed.
i don't have time for that anymore.
there's lots to do,
and i'm not about to make up the minutes by shortcutting the fuel-creation plan.
i like a good story-
as much, or maybe even MORE, than the next guy,
but only after really real life has unfolded to the outermost limits of each day.
for serious,
there's so much that's actually really happening,
i'd hate to miss it because pretend people are doing pretend things while you sit still.
wordimus prime.
i'm here,
and i'm talking about food,
perhaps more importantly,
i'm talking about the food i'm making.
active participation requires both of those things.
i choose to talk about what i do,
not what i watch others do;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, June 27


face to face to face to face to face......
it's that time again, guys.
the one where we all catch up on what i've been doing to myself,
each and every morning,
as a reminder to stay ugly, and stay dope.
check the teleport:

but wait, neighbors, because that's not the end of it:

too much IS the right amount.
i know.
in fact, i don't just say it,
i F*ing live it.
have a few MORE:

you like it, right?
it'll be over soon:

i keep at it,
because rules is rules,
and routines rely heavily on repetition.
like it or not,
it's all really happening;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, June 26

this guy.

reaching maturity is supposedly a good thing.
....unless you're a dog.
it's a chance to reassert your role in the family,
generally disregard the commands of your people,
do some pretty weird wienery things,
and really turn up the activation level on the energy meter.
i thought crabtree was a shark-bullet cannonball juggernaut
back when he was just a little baby butthead...
he's a big gun howitzer of terrible terrier tension,
with shockwaves of awesome rolling off of his rippling muscles.
what i'm sayin' is:
he's got more juice than i've got fresh-squeezes, man.
at 10 months old, he's still just a little fella-
but he's got the big action, the big appetite,
and the big attitude of a werewolfen battle-beast from the battlements
of a war-torn castle in the lands of doggish destruction!!!
i thought getting a dog was a good idea.
turns out, i'm reallllly dumb.
check the teleport:

i DO love his stooopid face,
and the few minutes of laziness and langour as he lies down
in between bursts of explosive energy are very endearing.
and we're buddies, no matter what;
but the ratio of being-cool-to-karate is skewed far far more towards
the giving and receiving of karate-type chops and chomps
than any semblance of being cool could possibly put a dent in.
we are the same, even though we're not,
and samesies face the day the same way-
especially we warriors of woodsly goodness-
it's an unsubtle struggle, up here, for circumstances to play to out
in accordance with our preferences.
he'd prefer to eat our things,
i'd prefer he sleep twenty hours a day.
somewhere in between, every day unfolds.
i miss him, genuinely, while i'm at work.
i can't wait to get away from him before i go.
our styles are hard ones, but they're real ones.
that's how it goes, i s'pose.
adding MORE to the list,
finding time where there is none,
making the most of recalcitrant bull terrier temperament,
trying temerity of temper in trying situations-
it's ALL really happening,
and i'm pressed in on three sides,
so i'm flowing with the go-go in the only direction left;
never quiet, never soft.....


oh MAN!
i can see this becoming a thing.
i can see the baking of bread becoming yet another 'nother thing to eat up
hours and hours of my obsessive and compulsive infinite nature.
my first loaf had the right flavor,
but i think i rushed it a little.
in my overeager excitement to make it myself, at home,
under the auspices and eaves of this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress's
fresh-to-death aura of awesome expertism,
i could've and should've let it ferment for a few hours more,
at almost every step of the process.
here's the rub, though-
achieving a marginal success,
despite the amateurish missteps born of a hungry bellyhole,
has motivated me to really focus on the art of bread.
i knew it was gonna happen,
and that's partly why i never ever got too crazy about lovely loaves.
avoidance of temptation becomes an all-too real consideration
when you're a monomaniacal minutiae-fixated custom freak-it-off kind of guy.
oh well,
the seal has been cracked,
and the window of opportunity is now flung wide open-
thanks to travis, i've got this leaven from heaven,
and thanks to faulty genetics, and possible wrong turns in the nurturing process,
i'm gonna fixate on breadsliness until i'm producing bakery-grade goodness,
in grain after grain after grain combinations.
now i've got a new thing to perseverate about between bulk ferments.
check the take-two-type teleport:

loaf number two is a marked improvement over the premier.
perfectly proofed at moderate temps,
terrifically baked, with steam and convection,
and flavorful as F*!!!
i think i'm gonna break off a little starter,
and experiment with whiter flour for bigger springing bubbles during the bake up.
it's starrrrrrrting.
i can't leave it alone,
and i can't let it go;
maybe, more accurately, i just don't WANT to.
i've got dark and light rye flour on order;
i've got banneton bratforms coming in the mail;
i've got my eye on yet another 'nother aspect of intentional Folk Life liberation,
and it's making me feel a bit better about the way i interact with my world.
good bread makes better people-
i believe that from the bottom of my lava-lined hot-fiery furnaces,
and that's real talk.
a little helpful head start, and some very helpful starter,
a gentle nudge from a friend,
and the added incentive of avoiding the places and spaces where
events unfold in dastardly downward directions,
and suddenly,
i'm over here getting excited about adding MORE things to my to-do list.
because i doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
and too much is the right amount.
doing less equates to being less,
and i'm still vying for the title of largest-than-life-sized hobbity hermit of the hills.
no foolin'.
flour water starter salt and time.
it's all really happening-
the new hottness brought about by the old ways;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, June 25

tossed in.

i ate pizza for lunch.
the coolest dude at work,
dusty jones,
brought me a tomato pie,
and i devoured all six slices of it in seven minutes flat.
here's the thing about that, though-
i also munched up a bunch of candy,
because i make bad choices when i'm stuck in bad places,
and i chose to indulge in sweet junky crap as further punishment
as i crept through wal*mart picking up studio supplies,
and an immersion blender,
and a few squeezable dressing containers.
so i doubled down on foodstuffs,
despite the lack of a plan for dinner.
i just figured i'd skip dinner, since i snacked on sh!t all day long.
...that is, until i though a bit harder about it.
i mean,
rules is rules, after all,
and too much is the right amount.....
awwwww, man.
when i thought harder about it,
i knew i HAD to make something.
so i grilled the heck out of some salty, sour-creamy, whole-wheat-and-spelt flatbread.

it wasn't just bread.
i'm not a weak diapery waterbaby, friends.
i brought out the ingredients,
and tossed a bunch together to see what'd stick.
the greenery is pretty choice, too:
shredded carrots, and shredded baby kale;
raw red onion rings, and red cabbage for color;
purple tomatoes;
baby cucumber slices;
and scallion, celery, and radish,
for that full-bodied zesty crawnch magic.
it turns out, i like a bed of that freshie-freshness.
it goes great with that GPOP-propped fried tofu!
dry-fried, actually, to a black-edged firmness eveybody should try,
with soy sauce and oil and that double-powder dust-up to finish it off.
stacked on the salady stuffs,
and double-drizzled with spicy sriracha and cilantro-coconut dressing?
and then,
just to take it to eleven,
i lit it up with cilantro sprankles.
that's right.
a little zizzly-zazzle to make it exxtra nice.
that flatbread was the business, too, kids.
it went a little somethin' like this-
two tablespoons of whole wheat;
two more of spelt;
a tsp. of salt;
.75 cup of a.p. flour;
a scoople of sour cream (2 T?);
a tsp of baking powpow;
.5tsp baking soda;
and just under half a cup of warm water,
hand kneaded, hand pressed,
and hot griddled to a brown and lovely, slightly puffy finish.
i ate that whole big ol' plateful of hottness,
knowing full well i am a sloppy and disgusting glutton.
y'know something else?
it was TERRIFIC,
and i regret not even one bite.
there's a kind of sorcery that i summon up whenever i'm making food.
no matter what sort of sh!tball suckturd day it's been
right up until the point where the kitchen unfolds it's mysteries
out into the light of a tight and bright refrigerator light, directly in front of me....
as soon as i'm at the grabbing pots and pans,
everything aligns,
and the path before me is clear.
i take great comfort in the ritual of making meals,
and i take almost a great a pleasure in talking about it afterwards.
we need to eat in order to live,
and that's an inescapable truth,
but if we make our lives a series of acts of active participation,
expert intention and execution,
and intense expressions of passion and pleasure-
i'm not saying that a chili-cheeseburger wouldn't do the trick-
but only if you're passionate about being a total A*-hole.
i'm about the super-fancy compassionate conscientious capabilities
of a higher level illuminated and elevated plane of creativity.
easy isn't invited,
ugly might be, as long as it's also dope,
and all of it has to be part of a true story,
or the only retelling it'll get is to be told to F* right OFF.
making things,
and making them well,
and then making them even better,
is all i ever want to be doing.
it's all really happening,
and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

cheery cherry.

what've i got?
did you just say lovin'??
that's not it.
(anybody else ok with never hearing another sublime song ever again?)
what i've GOT is so many cherries!
rainier cherries, as a matter of fact-
the pink and yellow jauns that taste sweet as heck,
and look a little weird,
because they aren't the traditional stereotypical red.
i got 'em,
i sliced 'em,
and i pulled the pits out-
i made some bread.
yeah, bread.
rainier cherry chocolate chunk bread.
wanna see it?
check the teleport:

man, those stone fruits are wet!
and when they get baked?
they get even wetter!!
when i'm baking i don't like to be interrupted.
and when the wettest batter isn't turning bready fast enough in the center?
oh MAN!
interruptions are met with a real grumpy face.
this loaf had a roller coaster ride of heat and cool cycles.
i left it in the hot oven after i turned it off, before it was finished, and left the house.
i heated up the oven again, and sent it home to the hottness a second time-
....and then the center fell straight down.
the strangest part is that it was finally all the way cooked,
but those cherries undermined all the infrastructure,
and settled way down post-bake.
steams swells and cherries fell and as such, i'll skip a recipe,
but i'll help myself to a second slice.
chocolate chunks are nice.
i mean,
alongside the fruit, and the vanilla bean paste,
the smashed chocolate bits dispersed and elevated the tastiness a touch,
and the smaller bits helped hold the rest together while it cooled.
i ate it,
and i shared it,
but i still wish it'd been a baby bit prettier.
i'm not satisfied with good enough,
because its not enough.
i'll eat ugly food, but i'd prefer to munch up on loveliness.
you know it.
i mean it.
it's a thing.
word up.
i've got a job to do this weekend,
and that job is scheduled with a jam packed poopchute full of dudes.
SO many dudes.
y'wanna know how much fun it is to tattoo dudes for three days straight?'s not much fun at all, y'all.
and their dudeish ideas,
are tedious at best,
and terrible as often as not.
i will acknowledge that mixed in amongst the dudes,
there are a few MEN i've gotten to know getting bigger projects worked on,
and that's a whole other 'nother story altogether.
i don't know what happened, guys.
i was over here paying attention to plates and pans,
and tattooing slipped away a little bit.
i didn't get worse at it;
(jeez, way to be a jerk)
i meant i just let myself be taken for granted a bit.
doing all the doo-doo buttery straight-street stuff,
so my same-space competitors could keep doing what they wanted.
food obsessing had me straight-up distracted.
the pinterested pintersection of tree silhouettes pays the bills,
but day in and day out,
playing janitor to bad ideas,
performed on bad people?
when the lost time finally hits, it hits hard.
turns out y'can't lose focus on any angle, man.
too much is the right amount,
and that mean everything,
all the damned time,
even when it's not fun, fulfilling, or rewarding.
i guess y'gotta MAKE it work,
and impose your own free iron will's magnetic warrior attraction
on circumstances, cultivated fortuitous coincidences by ploughing swords
into fetile imaginations, or some such semi-allegorical sh!t.
today is the first day of an activated affect and attitude reboot,
and it's FULL of dudes.
that's right.
i love a challenge,
and i choose the wrench;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, June 24


i promised myself that if my dinner came out like an aluminum-foiled
battery-licking bitter batch of b!tchbaggery,
that it would, in fact, be the absolute last time i tried to make broccoli rabe.
for serious.
it's been years since i last tried to take that tangy-zanger to my teeth,
and i'll tell you something-
i was reluctant, but also determined, to retry the bitterest greens of my past.
it fouled all previous attempts at preparation;
it foiled and spoiled every meal it made an appearance in;
it besmirched the good name of the brassica family, a blight on the roster;
a reliably dreadful misstep in preparation, time and time again,
as if i could not learn from my mistakes, at all.
(hmmm. perhaps the rabe is a metaphor for my 30s?)
perpetual good intentions, paid off in poorly processed green sh!t.
....until last night, that is.
i have unbelievable news.
as of NOW,
broccoli rabe is back on the menu.
check the success-tastes-best-type F*ing teleport:

what changed?
how on earth did it turn out so drastically different from the doo-doo butter of yesteryear?
for starters,
i checked in with the most secretly cookingest duder i know-
the cucch said to give it a braise, a steam, or a boil first-
and maybe that'd cut that bitterness out with a bath of boiling purification.
i took that suggestion, and dumped the stems right into a pot of roiling water,
for exactly one minute.
and it WORKED.
caramelized onions, dark and lovely and sweet, started my meal off,
with the addition of big garlic sprankles fried in the olive oily heat
of that oniony pan right after....
i reserved the garlic when it browned,
but i  let the onions hang out,
all while i had cubed-up salted olive oiled red skinned potatoes roasting
in the oven at 425F the whole time.
'tatoes are expert, especially with a crawnchy skin on 'em.
bias-sliced vegan sausages made their entrance at that point,
and the onion-sausage combo had the house smelling righteous.
THAT'S when i added in the boiled bits of broccoli rabe.
heck yes.
and the potatoes,
and some GPOP, and black pepper,
and let all that good stuff saute in the juicily charged oil.
that's delicious.
zitis are what i had, so zitis are what i used, al dente, obvi-
because i like to firmly embrace my meal in a toothsome tempest
of quantity and quality.
the garlic showed back up,
and took the whole plate past a perfect score, with exxxtra-credit activation,
and blasted it up to eleven.
all told, it's simple,
but the devil is in the details.
good stuff, together, makes great taste.
and when there's also a whole lot of it?
simple is only dope when there's a ton of it.
you know the story:
too much is the right amount.
believe it.
...i don't F* with pasta too often, it's true.
i also don't mess with dinner salad or soup very frequently,
but these last days have ventured out onto the fringes of my reliable menu plan,
and we're exploring a frontier of top-tier delectables over here.
it's all really good,
and it's all really happening.
that's positive,
and i'm positive that there will be MORE of all of it.
rules is rules,
and you know what i'm sayin';
never quiet, never soft.....