Sunday, July 31


gimme pizza!!
pee eye zee zee ayy!
harvest and maple had their last night here for a few,
and we celebrated in super-send-off style,
the very best way we know how.
you know it, you like it, we LOVE it.
and all of us ate a whole lot of the tasty business we've come to appreciate
as the pinnacle of family togetherness at mealtime.
that's right, neighbors.
we had ourselves one helluva pizza party,
and the seven slices apiece that we all devoured were impressive.
i mean it.
check the last-night-was-the-last-night-type teleport:

we doo-doo that siciliano style sh!t, son.
three pizzas in one,
on the first pizza of three.
what even is all that???
from the top on down,
we have
* crushed tomatoes, custom cashew-garlic chee', red onion,
sweet red bell pepper, fried garlic sprankles, and garden-fresh purple basil!!
* underchee', crushed tomatoes, daiya mozzarella, caramelized onions,
and browned-up sauteed baby bellas!
* underchee', crushed tomatoes, daiya mozz', baby kale, grape tomatoes, tempeh bacon,
and grilled zucchini, with parsley sprankles!!!
that's much MORE AMORE than the pan can handle!!
y'gotta start the party with a banger, man.
rules is rules.
from there,
we got a tiny bit more traditional, but we also got even MORE expert.
check the teleport:

our saturday night pizza styles go to eleven.
we beat up a white mountain white pie, with gusto.
the first half?
* underchee', daiya cheddar, broccolini, broccoli, sweet onions,
quartered cherry tomatoes, and those elite fried garlic spranks!
side two??
* underchee', daiya provolone, baked red potato slices, tempeh bacon, grilled leeks,
and parsley.
the heavy chee' factor really added a level of pull,
and that really boosted our status on the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress pie scene.
was that it?
too much is the right amount.
five kinds of pizza on two pizzas is good,
but seven kinds of pizza on three is BETTER.
lucky numbers, magic numbers, and full-blown family togetherness,
rallied around these circles of spirit and memory,
straight out of our 500F degree oven.
hell yeah!
check the trinity-trifecta-of-tastes-type teleport:

the high hydration exxxtra-yeasty 10hr cold-proof dough hit it's stride by the last one.
i think that we have really hit on something good up here.
the pizza variety explosion is a great time,
and when i share it with these kids, and ampy-d;
even having crabtree underfoot,
all at once,
makes my whole heart fell as full as my belly.
we did it right all night,
and this last one really brought the noise.
we started with:
* underchee', crushed tomatoes, daiya mozz', onions,
housemade vegan sausages, sliced grape tomatoes, parsley,
and cracked black pepper sprankles!
..and we ended the night with a 'splosion:
* sauce like a boss, grilled endive, grilled leeks, shredded brussels sprouts,
and a dusting of smoked paprika!!!!!
expert expert expert.
we did it right,
and we did it together.
i miss all these people super hard already,
and they're actually still here for a little minute or two still.
we leave shortly,
and that's the way it has to be.
if you want the big fun, you have to pay the big tab at the end.
it ALL costs something,
and that's a truth too many too frequently forget.
it's worth it.
these are the times i count as the best,
these are the folks i like the most.
it's all really happening,
and as july takes it's last bow, at the final curtain call,
and even the skies are grey and weeping,
as the temperature dips for the first time in a week,
out of respect for the hottness that's departing,
i'm bracing myself for whatever comes next.
this is it, but it's not all;
never quiet, never soft.....

blue mood.

that's that.
another 'nother family vacation at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress
has reached it's finale.
as usual,
we had a great time,
and we made some great food,
and all together the whole crew really worked as a team,
like a real family.
like all things made out of borrowed time,
eventually there has to be a return- this case,
the kids are going over, rather than down, before they head UP.
they're going to canada,
and after i rendezvous with their other family,
i'm going straight to work.
that's right.
i'm headed out to vermont and back before lunch,
and i'll be tattblastin' away for the rest of the day after that.
up and at 'em, and then back at 'em.
that's how i cope with all varieties of loss, duders-
work is the answer.
and working smarter at working harder is the only way i know how to do it.
on the ones,
when it comes to problem solving-
if i can't work AT it,
then i'm sure as sh!t gonna work THROUGH it.
word up.
y'know what might help me stay strong today?
good guess.
cake is the answer.
because cake is good for you,
and cake is what's happening.
check the blueberries-everywhere-type teleport:

bloobz are the stuff of august, but we're a bit ahead of the game in these hills.
blueberries in the cake make an already moist and rich treat even better.
that's real.
i did this:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butterish
2 tsp vanilla
.5 tsp salt
^^creamed it, and tossed in:
1 cup plain coconut yogurt
1 T lemon zest
1.5 cups flour
3/4 cup ground oats
1/3 cup tapioca
1 cup of bloobs
1 tsp each kapowder and soda
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
that's it!
a greased pan, a 350F oven,
and like, 45 minutes?
the middle of a giant manly round muffiny monster like this
needs a little exxxtra time to catch a whole dose of the heat.
it's cool.
i always multitask while i bake anyway.
lemon creamchee frosting is pretty F*ing tasty,
but this hot A* kitchen wasn't cooperating at all.
see how there's a double layer?
melting and melting and melting some more.
i'm wondering if earth balance didn't change up their recipe?
i went heavy on the sugar, and light on the soft stuff,
and STILL, the melt kept crushing my spirits.
it's ok.
i just added more blueberries, to make myself feel better.
we've had a time.
all of us.
i count myself among the lucky ones.
i've had a tremendous week,
and whatever the price tag ends up being,
metaphysically speaking,
it can't undo the time we've already spent.
once it's gone, it's gone,
but if it was good?
the memory goes up in value.
i'm appreciating, therefore, on several levels.
it's all really happening,
and all that's already happened?
super expert.
whatever comes after that has got an awfully high bar to measure up to;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, July 30


i don't usually take requests.
i'm serious.
what's more irritating than those sorta one-way streetwalkers
who have tons of suggestions about what you should do.
on the real-real,
i just am struck by the (un?)intentional sense of suggestive entitlement
that comes from getting treats on the regular.
just because i like to bake,
i did NOT enlist to be anybody's personal dessert provider.
i should make this, i should make that-
what's stopping any of them from maybe making a move or two in their own kitchen,
and getting involved in activating some homemade hottness they can be proud of?
oh, right...
i forget that most folks i meet are 'too busy' to cook.
i'm actually too busy to stop my own forward progress and make them a donut.
here's where it gets tricky, tho-
these kids of mine asked for stir-fry.
and while i don't normally listen to people who talk a lot, but do very little....
i knew i could get them to get with the program,
and climb aboard the active participation train.
....and really, how could i refuse?
i mean, c'mon,
what better time could there be to get after it than stir-friday?!
i got home from a soul-strippin' sap-sucking session
of tattzappin' at the studio,
and burst through the door, and into action, at the same time.
rice was steaming,
onions were sauteeing,
carrots were cut,
all before i even saw one of the kids.
that's real.
i don't have time to waste, neighbors-
stir fry is quick,
but prep isn't for lazy chumps.
they got involved,
we got intense,
we made it happen,
and the delicious dishes we produced are pretty flippin' expert.
check the teleport:

that's what i'm talking about, bruh-bruh.
i had pans on pans on pans reppin' high heat, and sizzling oil,
just to flash the F* outta these eats.
there's string beans, shishito peppers, sweet peppers, hot peppers,
huge garlic slices, celery,
zucchini, and cilantro sprankles,
fired on top of mixed shredded cabbage,
accompanied by pineapple and scallions!
we also had a coolwater accompaniment of pea tendrils, sweet cherry tomatoes,
cucumber, purple basil, avocado, and lime wedgie citrus upgrades!!!
was that it?
no way.
i had sesame oil seared broccoli, carrots, and sweet vidalia onion,
blasted with GPOP,
before i steamed 'em  into the last stretch of the process with a custom sweet 'n' sour sauce.
1 T agave, 2 T soy sauce, 2 T rice wine vinegar, 1 T GPOP, 1 tsp black pepper,
1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp ginger, 1 T water, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 T ho'sauce.
that's right,
quick and easy, but in excessive and forceful amounts.
that's the way we do it.
i mentioned rice.
we like rice.
we also really like tofu.
for real.
fried crispy-skinned exxxtra-firm cubes of that soybeany big business
are what's good in the woods, and in MY 'hood,
we get psyched on a simple-seasoned seared set of squares.
that's right.
dinner happened at breakneck pace,
and we ate loud, and fast, and hard.
these guys have inherited my eating habits,
and while they are smaller, they aren't quieter, i can attest to that.
anyway, i took their suggestion, and i accepted their help,
and we did a thing we all enjoyed.
if you wanna HELP,
i'm happy to listen to your ideas for cakes we can bake together.
i'm going to have to please ask that you gently eff right off.
speaking of baking-
i little red henned another 'nother loaf of leavened luxury yesterday.
the early a.m. oven hours over here are nothin' to laugh at...
i tried some new stuff, and it mostly worked out.
check the whole-grain-type teleport:

cracked rye berries, coarse ground oatmeal, sprouted whole wheat, white flour,
2/3 whole wheat starter, salt, and water, and time.
the time is key,
and that's where i ran into trouble.
oh yeah. it's not all success and laurels over here.
the sequence of events is crucial to the outcome in this.
the crust is fantastic, that's for certain.
the rise was on point, too.
i attribute that to the innate nutty sweetness of that sprouted stuff.
damn, it's dope.
i worked late during the bulk ferment,
and the little helpers were otherwise occupied,
so i ballooned up beyond the parameters of a happy loaf.
cracked rye and whole wheat promised a dense bomber, anyway-
i just could've timed it a little closer,
and let the cold proof begin on the back end of the body-building.
we'll get it next time, i'm sure.
the crumb is chewy, and delicious, and there's a lot of flavor from all those grains.
i used my increasingly-elevated high-hydration ratios,
as i correctly assumed that oats and rye would soak the sh!t outta that water.
how does it toast?
like a mutha-F*ing DREAM!
a little earth balance butterish,
and i've been in heaven all morning.
i think it's time to fire up a loaf of white mountain white, again.
i know,
i do two a week,
but i EAT two a week.
good bread makes better people,
and self improvement through whole grains and wild yeast sounds
like a great idea to me.
it's all really happening,
and we're doing the very best we're capable of.
that capacity increases every single day;
never quiet, never soft.....

black and white and red all over.

melty, rich, thick, chocolate ganache!!
that's what's on the bottom of a black-bottom pie.
on the real, neighbors,
a little chocolate in every bite makes a good pie into a great one,
and when there's farm-fresh late-season strawberries added into the mix?
it's pretty mutha-flippin' expert.
we doo-doo that flaky thickfreak slice-of-niceness-style sh!t.
me and my peoples.
we're not scared to take pie-tasting to eleven.
there's chocolate chips in there, too.
in where?!?
check the get-in-there-type teleport:

black-bottom strawberry chocolate chip freshness, for your face.
sliced strawberries, powdered sugar, a little vanilla,
and an ever littler bit of lemon extract,
soaked for a spell, and spread out heavy in that pan, my man.
then, i  dropped chocolate chip sprankles down, to roll around
and fill in any divots and dents left by the irregular berry slablets.
that's right. i had a plan, and i worked it to the letter.
the crust was something a little different, too.
i used a stick of butterish, and two cups of flour,
plus 4 tablespoons of vegan creamchee',
a dash of vanilla, a pinch of salt,
and a punch of big crystal raw sugar,
before i drizzled in almost a quarter cup of ice-cold soymilk,
all dumped into the food processor,
and pulsed away into a pulpy, perfect dough.
the sugar spread a bit during baking, and gave the braidwork a crucial crispiness,
and a satisfying crunch.
i baked that circle of sexxxiness for 40 minutes at 425F,
and it looks like that was the right way to go.
(also, it tastes like the exact thing i want to be eating ever single day)
i've been putting the recipes in the text of my tales.
i think that's a natural to explain what i did and how.
this blog isn't a cookbook after all,
although i s'pose that's an eventual necessity.
or no?
well, it doesn't matter, man.
books or blogs, written down or memorized,
clearly stated or alluded to-
i LOVE making food,
thinking about food,
writing about food,
talking about food,
and most of all- eating A LOT of food.
...just as long as there's no dead bodies in there, obvi.
my kids get these glimpses into compassionate, considerate, concentrated,
conscientious, conscious, capable, culpable culinary cause-and-effect,
and i hope it's sending them a positive message.
i'd like to believe i'm providing a counterpoint to indecent unimpressive indifference,
and a proactive participatory powerpoint presentation on the benefits
of trying hard, paying attention, and knowing stuff.
y'feel me?
i'm trying to set an example.
rules is rules,
and there's no denying that they're carved in stone as far as i'm concerned.
the simple truth is-
they're here, and they're part of it,
and i really want that to stick with them when they're not around a constant reminder
to just be dope, or F* right off.
i.e. i want for them to feel motivated towards the former, and not the latter.
we do what we do, and we make it matter.
there's really no excuse for opting out of expertism in favor of convenience.
family togetherness, family dinner, family dessert-
me and mine aren't taking it easy.
not even once.
we're taking it upwards, onward, and into the wider wide-awake woken world
of the woodsly goodness and beyond.
mealtime is just what powers us to do our thing.
the meal itself is representative, sure,
but we're learning and growing and being the best versions of ourselves.
everything else is a lame excuse;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Friday, July 29


hey neighbors!
i think you might've noticed already,
if you're one of the regular readers here;
i'm still gonna say it-
we eat a LOT of tacos at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
yeah, we really do.
and not one of us is bummed out about it.
for starters,
TACOS ARE expert.
we don't eat the same ones every time.
no way.
each time that it's taco time,
i try to bring something that's got a little new hottness to the table.
for realsies, man.
be it a bean or a bed of greens,
i'm trying to keep it fresh.
and the freshest thing about tacos?
as long as it's folded in a flour circle, i'm pretty sure it counts as a taco.
soft corn is crackable crap,
and crawnchy tacos are pure bullsh!t, bro.
rules is rules.
anywhere else, the taco shell debate is welcome and i'm open to it-
but here?
in MY house?
we do it like we mean it, and that necessitates the best ones.
soft. flour. tortilla. jauns.
so, decrees aside and notwithstanding-
check the thursday-night-taco-dinner-type teleport:

the other day, my kid got the wrong lentils cookin',
and they'd been cold-coolin' in the fridge since then.
so we fired 'em up, and added some vidalia onion,
and oregano, and cumin, and coriander,
and made ourselves some elite crumbly bean bits,
in the flavor and style of american taco time.
i grilled up some fresh sweet corn, too.
that's usually a good idea, i've learned,
and the lesson stood up to the test of a hungry thursday evening.
we had a whole mess of top-shelf top-offs, too-
rough chopped red onion,
roma tomato,
shishito pepper,
baby kale,
shredded red & green cabbage,
and scallion sprankles,
finished off with sour-cream-and-lime dressing!!!
as if that wasn't enough, there's wedges of lime,
to really activate the citrusy zizzy-zazzlin' zing in each and every bite!!
you know how it is, man-
too much is the right amount.
i want tacos, often.
(for the record, i had pizza for lunch- i haven't forgotten who my favorite is)
i want tacos often, and in abundance.
i want tacos often, in abundance, and in variety.
that's what i want.
the best part about a simple, big action, burly barbarian batch of beans'n'stuff?
the kids love 'em,
and they're impressed when the whole meal comes together in minutes.
keepin' it coarse, on our course sped it all up tenfold.
fresh chopped blops will shave huge chunks of time,
proportionate to the huge chunks of food on each circle.
word up.
vegan tacos explosivo is where we're at when it's just three out of four of us
sittin' pretty at the counter,
crushing supper into submission like we're on a mission.
the whole damn fam couldn't be present,
as ampy-d had to go get those mama marinara movie checks.
we made do, naturally,
and the meal filled in the spot where she'd have sat.
food is a big part of my day.
i mean, for serious.
i've got bread in the oven,
bread in the toaster,
coffee in the french press,
tea in my belly already,
and grains in every container in the house.
there's a whole lot more of all of it headed our way,
and tonight?
tonight it's gotta be stir-fryday, right?
i think that sounds pretty good.
i s'pose i'll have to inspect the crisper in the fridge,
and see what's good in there.
my kids have got an interest in expertism,
and some boring ol' bowl of beige just isn't gonna sate it.
we get after it.
that's the way we are.
when these offspring get back to connecticut,
i'm sure they'll have a new repertoire of recipes to impress
their friends with.
i dunno if they do that or not,
but i'd hope that they know how essential competent culinary culture is.
i can't stress it enough, without stressing out about it.
good food is important,
and sharing it with good people only ever makes both components more expert.
that's the truth.
i'm teaching the youth, y'feel me?
warrior poetry is a whole lot like wu-TANG:
it's for the children;
never quiet, never soft.....


cakes are just too tasty NOT to bake.
i'm serious.
i don't trust folks who don't F* with treats.
fortunately, me and my peoples most certainly get busy with the baked greats,
and that's no joke.
dark chocolate drips, drops, chips, and chops all seem to keep finding their way
into my mixing bowls lately,
and y'know something?
i'm letting it happen, because chocolate is good for you.
a six year old maple told me that almost a decade ago,
and it holds just as true now as it ever did.
what's on the menu these days?
how about two sizes of chocolate chip brown sugar blondies?
sound good?
i hope so, because that's what's happening over here right now, neighbors.
check the squares-on-squares-type teleport:

with those smaller chips tossed in, and a near-syrupy ganache pollock'd on top.
those right angles are all alright in our book.
the surfaces are knobbly, and the interiors are chewy,
and the chocolate within is delightful-
on the ones,
adding more tasty and delicious flavors to an already tasty and delicious cake
has got to be one of the best decisions we can make.
i'm just sayin'-
too much is the right amount,
and taking it easy has never taken us where we want to go, now has it?
no way, broskimo.
we ride the batter-train to valhalla, and when we get there,
we'll add a few exxxtra ingredients to the mix.
because eleven isn't just some arbitrary number-
it's the more-than-the-most mantra we're focused on
here in the hot hot kitchen of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
wanna make your own?
try this:
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick (8T) butterish
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
-cream all of that together, and add-
1 cup of vegan sour cream
2.25 cups a.p. flour
1/3 cup tapioca
1 tsp ea. baking powder & soda
chocolate chips
~3/4 cup non-dairy milk
that's it.
it's thick,
it's sweet,
it's ready to rock your socks off and leave your feet in barefooted territory.
350F for 30.
it's easy.
i drizz'd that chocolate on there at the end,
after the two-sizes cooled a bit....
why two sizes?
because the little cast iron pan that makes tiny squares only makes 16,
and those guys get crispy edges, but they're short, man.
that's a good reason to fire up a bigger, taller batch of blondinis if ever i heard one.
variety is nice, and overabundance is great,
and all at once, a big batch of blocks of double-sized chocolate-covered
chocolate chip-laced, richly moistened cakes is terrific.
we welcome the treats to the party.
in fact,
they ARE the party.
speaking of parties,
me and my kids have been hanging out with awesome intensity,
and it's doing me a whole lot of good.
they're a pair of good children,
and i'm proud of the two of them.
...for real.
i could've gotten stuck with far worse ones,
happily, and fortuitously, (and i'd like to think influentially)
i'm here spanning time, joking around, cooking, eating, playing, and talking
with a tag-team tandem of active participants,
who just happen to represent the future of my own bloodlines.
we're helpful to each other.
at any rate, they're helpful to me, for sure.
this time is important to me,
and while i wish there was a whole lot more of it,
as that IS my infinite nature,
i'm very focused on making sure that the minutes we traverse
make our experiences as a fresh-to-death family last longer in the hallowed
halls of spirit and memory.
i have no words worthy of my honest appreciation for these people.
i guess i'll just have to say it with cake-
awwwwww, man;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, July 28

dawn til dusk

from sun-up to after dark,
we ate.
and we ate.
and we ate.
...that's right.
yesterday was productive and lazy all at once,
and all the while,
as we spanned space and time in the woodsly goodness together,
we punctuated each point with piles of food.
before everybody else got up, i was baking all the bread,
and stirring the batter for all the cake,
and crushing a pastry doughball for all the pie,
as well as melting chocolate for a whole bunch of stuff-
my motivated mealtime mind was multitasking beyond baked greatness,
into the realm of panniecakin' powerhouse breakfast burliness.
on wednesdays, when all of us are all together,
(which just so happened to be the case yesterday)
we eat flapjacks by the stack.
check the brekkie-type teleport:

oatmeal-coconut is were we're at,
but these mama-jamas also have whole wheat sourdough, and spelt!
obviously. there's vanilla in there, too.
i mean,
they're still panCAKES, man.
sliced strawberries, powdered sugar, AND real maple syrup complete the look,
and activate a level of tastiness that transcends mere griddlers,
and raises the bar to eleven as the base number to begin at.
we got seitan bacon, from those fellas at upton naturals,
and it tastes a whole lot like every pretend bacon you've ever bought.
we ate it,
it did it's job,
and nobody complained about it.
those field roast sausages, though?
they taste almost grossly like sausages, just smoother.
as the meals become more intentional, and independent,
our do-it-ourselves attitude has kind of taken away from all the store-bought stuff.
new vegans, lazy vegans, convenience vegans,
and most of all, city vegans, (who are SO the worst ones)
all love having their foodstuffs handed right over.
woodsly goodfellows, however, seem to want to work it our on their own.
there's something about making stuff,
about inventing things,
about ACTIVE participation, rather than presumptive spectating,
and about creative intention, above self-obsessed possessing,
that speaks to the worthiest of warrior poets.
i'm not saying you're a bad egg for taking the easy way.
(eggs are gross, anyway)
and besides,
i just ate those pretenders for breakfast, too-
i'm just asserting that a little exxxtra efforts yields more satisfying results
in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen.
speaking only for the isolated experts in the hermitage of these hills,
the 'cakes were the highlight,
and they sure as sh!t weren't box mix.
and while we're talking about it-
check the white-mountain-white-sour-dope-type teleport:

my early morning rising has been molto productive.
the bread situation in this place is bangin' off the hinges,
and i have to tell you-
i LOVE baking these luscious, crusty loaves of sourdough bread.
this one's got low hydration and extra gluten,
plus i gave it a loooong, slow cold proof,
after a high-temperature, high-humidity. super-sized summery bulk ferment.
the starter ebbs and flows,
so sometimes, it's very excited to be here,
and others, it needs a little more motivation to get going.
the yeasts were cooperating this time around,
and suddenly,
i've got oven spring, big bubbles in the crumb,
and a loaf of new hottness that's about the best one yet.
i've got coarse whole grain rye tossed into a sprouted whole wheat/oatmeal dough.
it's a complicated ratio of grains, with salt, and extra gluten stashed in there,
to infiltrate and activate and otherwise elevate the chains of breadsly bounce
into a coherent unit of new hottness.
like i said,
a little exxxtra effort, friends.
that's all it takes.
i already told you up top-
we ate all the crap we could.
the thing of it is,
we really really truly actually did just that-
chips, weird vegan licorice, popcorn, ice creams, other chips, berries, bread,
our patented broth-boiled ghetto 'ronis, with tofu, pickles, and cake-
too much is the right amount,
and we don't just talk about,
we're ALL about it.
a whole day of family togetherness,
as a team,
appreciating the bounty and the beauty of these mountains and streams.
it's all really happening, and when we're all together,
bellies full of pancakes,
hearts full of love,
and skin soaked in sunlight?
it's all expert, and it's all ours;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 27


hey there, neighbors!
i've been pouring out of my pores for days.
the oven has been cranking away each morning for hours on end,
in the already sweltering summery temperatures-
and i'm adding upwards of 400+ fahrenheit degrees to that.
because cornbread is expert.
because sourdough is dope.
because i've been pretty skimpy on the treats,
and staying steady heavy on the dinners,
but i need BOTH, buddy.
there's a bunch of baking that's been undertaken,
and i think me and the family are enjoying the end results.
mostly because they're asleep, or out of the way,
while most of the highest heatwaves are rolling through the early a.m.
.....they might be onto something,
but i'm deep into something better,
and i'm really loving these bakers' hours.
no joke.
i've got a loaf of white mountain white in the oven,
i've got whole-wheat-coconut-oatmeal-spelt sourdough pancake batter in the fridge,
and i've got plans for a whole lot more before i griddle up a single flapjack.
in the meantime, however,
i wanna tell you guys about the big action from last night.
barbecue fuego was how we did it,
and i'm telling you- it was great!
check the barbe-kyoooot-type teleport:

smoky grilled onion and garlic seasoned black on both sides tofu chunks,
zipped and zapped with a totally tangy tomato-based barbecue sauce!
organic agave-activated ketchup, mustard powder, ginger, GPOP,
fresh oregano from the gardens, smoked paprika,
black pepper, soy, malt vinegar, molasses, and liquid smoke!!!
damn, it tasted good.
zippy, sweet, smoky, mustardy, and just what that hefty, firm tofu needed
to be taken to the pinnacle of level eleven delish.
and naturally there HAD to be some sprankles.
rules is rules.
how about those vegan-bacon-baked beans?
sauteed onions, and crispy strips of brick-colored baconical bits,
in a soft, sweet, bostonian batch of magical fruits!
that's the stuff, bud.
but, that's not all.
how could it be?
i mean,
it's family togetherness, and family funtimes, and family F*ing dinner,
and there's no way we're cutting corners on the big deluxxxe.
...there's rules, man.
seasoned curlies?
seasoned curlies?!
the kids like fries.
heck, everybody likes fries.
and i wanted to toss 'em a gimme,
as i'm subjecting them to radical vegan hottness every damned day.
fries get it poppin', and they tie the plate to more familiar fare. does that slaw.
i freaked it off with pea tendrils,
but otherwise, it's black peppery, vegenaisy shreds of red and green cabbage,
radicchio, and carrot-
basic stuff,
but definitely a proper companion to that barbecue scene.
that would've be a great meal, no?
too much is the right amount,
and that meant making maple-sweetened cornbread for our faces, too!
MORE stuff to stuff ourselves with is how we make it work around here.
for really real-
only the hottest hottness is welcome to sit at supper with us.
today is the family day off together.
there will be food in preposterous portions,
blown out of all proportion,
performed by this troupe of true-story tellin' troopers,
as well as a whole helluva big time span of hang-outs and walkabouts.
we're making some magic today,
as soon as the rest of these sleepy petes wake the eff up.
i'm ready and waiting, and raring to go-
we'll see how the gang likes THAT when their little eyelids lift.
for even one small second of awareness,
im 'bout to bring the loud fresh hardness, because time's not allowed to be a-wastin'.
not here in the woodsly goodness,
not at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and sure-as-sh!t not while i'm rockin' this kitchen like an albie rock block party.
and an albie rock block party don't stop (or start) with weak sauce.
wordimus prime.
today is the day,
and it's GOT to be great;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, July 26

Fortress Fry-Up.

y'know that saying?
'right in our own backyard'?
that's the one.
very literally, right in the realiable log pile,
composed of pure woodsly goodness,
directly behind the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
there's an ever-dwindling birch tree that produces one hell of a mushroom.
every year, after a few rainy cold nights and hot dry days,
a totally elite chicken of the woods mushroom erupts and takes over,
and takes the prize for prettiest and most delicious indigenous ingredient.
word up.
i harvested a whole bunch of that laetiporus sulphureus,
and gave it the big deluxxxe treatment.
check the fried-chicken-of-the-woods-type teleport:

each rinsed and ripped strip,
warily cleansed of any possible beetles and worms
(the woodsly goodness knows these F*ers are crazy delicious,
and the window of opportunity to get 'em before the nature does is slim, indeed)
dredged in flax-activated cashew milk,
and rolled in a cornstarch/black pepper/GPOP/nootch blend,
with just hint of applewood smoked salt-
then deep fried in blistering canola oil..........
and then dominated deep down into our bellyholes.
it went quick.
because it tasted and smelled and looked like fried chicken,
but it WASN'T!
we went matheson-style on the fixin's-
shredded cabbage and radicchio,
thinly sliced baby dill gherkins,
sweet tomatoes, and scallion and cilantro sprankles.
fried chicken(of the woods) tacos are atomic clock-stoppin' hottness.
i mean, really, though-
i was outside, walking crabtree,
and i spotted the orange blossom siren call of that big baby b!tch,
and i couldn't wait one minute more-
i had to have it, and i did just that.
look at the splendor, kids:

nature wins, no contest.
the thing is,
tacos are dope any time of day or night,
and on any day of the week-
on mexican monday,
there's accoutrements of a site-specific and situationall appropriate nature,
that really sort of have to get added onto the menu.
after all,
warrior poets need variety on their plates and palates.
real talk.
that's why we had our traditional buttery nootch-boosted refried beans,
blarpin' out in all their brown glory;
and salsa fresca, light on the spice, heavy on the garlic;
and overpriced organic avocados, ground up with a glut of greenery,
for a verde guacamole especial, as well.
that's all good stuff,
but the butter-fried broth-infused masa medallions up top
are what really got the whole gang fired up.
with a garlic, red onion, black bean, sweet corn and scallion hash dashed along the top??
oh MAN,
we take family dinner to eleven.
we take overeating to heart, as a matter of due course.
lucky for us, it's all good stuff,
and the participation level is at 100% before during and after.
the only real issue i've encountered lately?
even with 8 ft of countertop,
i could always use just a little more prep area.
you know what's up-
too much is the right amount,
and a little bit MORE is what i'm always after.
as usual, we did it right.
i shared a bunch of those crucial 'shrooms with travis,
and he got it poppin' over @vegan_magic_time.
it's been great having another vegan food maniac around all summer.
i don't know what i'm gonna do when he leaves...
besides bake about a billion more loaves of bread, of course.
wordimus prime.
it's all interconnected,
and all of it is really happening,
and i couldn't ask for a more enjoyable cast of characters in this true story.
comedy, tragedy, history-
this is What Is,
and there's likely to be much more of it before our time is up;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, July 25

vive le france

i've got a little bit of that francais DNA banging around
inside my primarily italian framework-
it's true.
my dad brought a little bit of mixed-mutt hybrid vigor to the genetic party,
and it's been the primary catalyst in any and all super-weirdie tendencies
that my sisters, our children,and myself have exhibited.
when all else fails, blame the parents.
knowing that there's some sort of sacre bleu-blood pumping through these pipes
had me excited for some sacre bleu beluga lentil beans.
(^that's pronounced wee, not oh. you. eye., you drunken turds)
i had a vision for our dinnertime family togetherness,
and the whole family got involved!
that's the truth-
those dudes started the prep and the preheat, and the parbake,
all before i arrived to tie the room together,
what did we have, besides those itty-bitty black and blue protein pebbles?
we had it ALL, y'all.
check the evil-eyeful-tower-type teleport:

four corners of intensity!
we rocked an herb crusted seitan steak,
covered in starch, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, nootch, GPOP,
ground mustard, black pepper, and sea salt,
and fried 'em in butterish to get the skins all crisp.
that sat on shredded red and green cabbage.
my homeboy mentioned that different shapes make different tastes,
and that paper thin as-is slaw really tastes way better.
i added a few radishes, for zing, because i'm unafraid of that sort of thing,
and i topped the whole stack off with roasted golden beets.
the tiniest little yellow dirtbombs, oiled, salted, and slow roasted until fork tender!
in each bite, there was a triumph of tastes and textures,
....and that was just one quadrant of this quartet!!!
baked potato slices are flippin' expert.
kids like potatoes.
also also, i like potatoes.
medium-width red skin-on jauns, with olive oil, salt, and peps,
baked above the beets,
crisped to the max,
stacked on stacks of stacks,
and zipped up with parsley sprankles.
we doo-doo that 'tatoey sh!t at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
high quality ingredients, higher quantity servings,
heaps of helpful helping,
and variety, just because we have a system up here:
too much is the right amount.
-and that brings us to the lentils.
beluga frenchies, the little delicate dark-skinned dots of hottness,
boiled in better-than-bouillon broth,
and sauteed up with garlic and carrots,
then taken to eleven with parsley and minced sharp red onion.
 we made enough for these nerds to tune up for lunch today,
mostly because only i knew which lentils i was asking them to get ready.
ummm, yeah.
when i say 'the darkest lentils in the plastic bag',
that doesn't mean any bag of lentils.
y'see, while that IS technically accurate, provided you didn't grab red lentils,
there are other bags, and darker beans,
that, with just a teentsy bit of effort,
would reveal themselves as far MORE accurate.
there was a minor miscommunication, which, with mobile phone cameras,
should NOT be happening unless you just don't give a sh!t.
....i hope that this group of goodsly woodspeople appreciated
the delicate and distinct flavor and texture of the proper beans,
and that when they are munching up the lessers today,
they understand the difference.
i'm SO sure they'll care.
womp womp.
the little things that i obsess over are truly personal perils, and nothing else.
at any rate,
we have a lot of lentils,
and every lentil is a worthy protagonist of incomparable power.
i think i need to overemphasize the superiority of that garlic bread.
that stuff is BOOOMFIRE!!!
oil-and-terracotta-cloche roasted whole clove garlic,
mashed, and spread, with the oil,
on freshly-baked homemade sprouted whole wheat sourdough?!?!?
the second roasty toast on that stuff made the whole crispy crunchy crackle
explode into the universe, and forever change the landscape of infinity.
good garlic bread is a blessing.
real talk.
and good bread?
you already know about THAT.
check it out:

i mean,
we demolished almost 2/3rds of a long loaf,
from cool-enough-to-cut all the way to dinnerly toastin' times.
it was too elite not to eat,
and throughout the morning,
i found myself cutting slice after slice.
king arthur flour talks some sh!t, too.
yeah, they do-
the bag of milled magic actually says, right in front:
'your new favorite whole grain'.
.....and they might just be right,
because sprouted whole wheat is expert as F*!
sweet, chewy, and hearty,
split 50/50 with organic white,
with high (80%) hydration,
looooong bulk fermetation,
patient cold proofing,
and careful scoring on the top-
when the bread is that bangin',
the garlic is just a crescendo in an already epic symphony.
spanning time in this kitchen,
with this crew of hard-laughing, loud-talking, overeating overheated homies
makes me want to do bigger and better things, and more often, too.
i mean,
appreciators don't go unnoticed by creators,
and a positive and proactive audience can make the performance
so much more awesome.
the fact that i've got four burners and an oven all going at once, while we're talking,
and joking, and being a happy flippin' family,
almost seems like background music.
these kids are eating whatever i throw at them,
and i'm proud of them for it.
i certainly wasn't as cool as they are when i was as young as they are.
i can't say enough times how grateful i am for the time we span together.
there's never enough of it,
but only because there's nothing better than it.
four people, one puppy, all the food-
the shopping list is simple,
it's the technique that elevates us to omega level;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, July 24


oh MAN!
i worked late yesterday.
i didn't really wanna,
but i realllllly hate watching those movie checks bounce out of the studio,
clean-skinned, full-pocketed, and with hard feelings.
i had to cancel a tattoo midday day, due to time constraints,
which is just about one of the worst ways to disappoint a client,
as they are usually IN the building when that happens.
when two MORE folks had been waiting a little longer than usual,
and it was already closing time,
i helped out, and took 'em in.
yeah, neighbors, i did it.
i felt like i should try to foster a few good feelings after my fail earlier.
that put me home an hour later than the latest i'd have like to be
in the sweaty swelter of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
with harvest, maple, ampy-d, and crabtree.
the whole gang was waiting,
and i walked in through thunderstorms,
and brought that lightning-striking natural winning streak with me.
two seconds through the door,
and i had onions chopped cauliflower cut up,
and roughly-hewn garlic cloves in a skillet, browning themselves in oil.
there's no time for wasting up here.
the family togetherness had been on pause for long enough,
and all the dinnerly goodness was overdue.
i was all like: 'how about india-ish?';
and they all like: 'yeah. okay. whatever. i guess'.
and that was all the encouragement i needed.
which is really just not hearing a definitive 'NO'.
i wanted something lightly spicy, and fully satisfying,
and they weren't doing sh!t about it,
so i ,made what i felt like making, and it worked out for all of us.
check the not-quite-chana-jalfrezi-type teleport:

oh my goodness!
the photo didn't make it to instagram.
womp womp.
it was too late in the evening,
and the light was too sh!tty to capture a picture of any substance.
not with that much beige in one place.
the taste tho?
that bread!!!!
i made it on the spot, because everything else was done,
and i needed a little somethin'-somethin' exxtra.
you know how it goes.
more specifically,
it went a little somethin' like this:
1 T sour cream,
a scant half cup of warm water,
fresh ground black pepper, a cup of all purpose flour,
and sprouted whole wheat, for thickening and dusting and de-sticking,
2 T sossamon sesame seeds,
with baking kapowder and soda in teaspoons apiece.
in a HOT skillet with melted earth balance?
it's makeshift na-na-naaaaaaan bread, kids.
and it was delicious.
as for the rest of it?
brown rice did what it does.
it was parboiled, and i blasted it up extra-fast.
time was of the essence,
and there's no way i was missing out on a key component of curry.
that happened,
and while the gobi was getting a good char on the edges,
i had tiny cubes of tofu dry frying,
to which i added chopped onion, chick peas,
slippery discs of summer squash and zucchini,
and let that all get sauteed in garlic and oil-
it was time for seitan broth, spiced up with smoked paprika, coriander,
cumin, turmeric, ginger, GPOP, black pepper, and ground mustard!!
it smelled incredible, and tasted just like it smelled!!
i fired in some red grape tomatoes at the end,
because i prefer a lot of color on my plate.
that's a thing.
in like, half an hour. i activated a whole mess of flavor.
not because i am any sort of savant,
but because i know about food, and my mission is to expose this family
to as much of the best big action that active participation,
a vast library of motivated memory,
fighting spirit,
and dedicated inventive attention can create.
i had another burner on the stove, so i used it to sear up the last of the asparagus,
with garlic, and those sossamon jauns.
it's been decreed, all sesame seeds are now sossamons.
sorry, but rules is rules.
we dominated this meal.
savage shark gluttony rules the day,
and we were forcing fistfuls of bread and rice and beige bits straight into our stomachs.
MORE is better,
and too much is the right amount.
we all got stuffed, we all left happy,
and the night unfolded with continued togetherness,
until i collapsed in bed like a withered and weary old man.
full days, full schedules, full belly, full heart.
it's ALL really happening,
and i wouldn't want anything less;
never quiet, never soft.....

creativity or ability?

damn duders,
for being so focused on a full-as-F* day of work,
i sure found myself making a lot of food!
i guess that's exactly where the time goes, bros.
i mean,
when it's flying and frying and fleeting by,
the fast-paced race to make meals for me and mine takes priority.
i make a lot of food for my peoples,
and i make it with or without their help-
for example,
before they even came close to waking up yesterday,
i had dough kneaded,
bread baking,
and cinnamon rolling.
what happens when the leaveners are OVERactive,
in overabundance,
rising high, hard, fast, and aggressively,
up inside of a sweeeeeeet batch of cinnamony stuff? get the PROOF.
you get a runaway OVERproof.
too much is the right amount,
and that's a good thing in this case-
i wanted flaky, chewy, buttery cinnamon bunzos,
but what i got was an explosive activation in record time.
i guess the kitchen was kinda hot,
but i had NO idea that my dough was gonna go after it like that.
by the time i rolled it out,
it was already doubling again, after a triple double dose of doing what it does.
in the past,
i've used exxxtra yeast for a very positive result-
in this case,
i probably could've taken it a little easier....
.....but only if i was a diapery baby who didn't believe in taking it to eleven!!!
i had to contain my runaway rolls, lest they blarp out even further,
and distort beyond their ability to retain all that sugary spice in the centers.
allow me to provide you a teleport for checking:

they're BIG;
they're buttery;
they've got ooey, gooey, soft steamy centers;
there's allllll the cinnamon and friends rolled up within 'em;
and on top?
cinnamon vanilla icing drizzles!!!!
what'd i do to make this come true?
i preheated my oven to 375F for starters,
i mixed 3 cups of flour with half a tsp salt
2 tsp wheat gluten, (to keep it stretchy)
1/4 cup sugar,
one T highly active yeast,
and a cup of warmed vanilla almond milk,
with 6 T melted earth balance,
and as that was only marginally margariney and hot,
i stirred in a couple tsp of secret cold bread machine yeast,
as an experiment, which is the site-specific instance where i created the mutation.
i used the dough hook on my mixer and beat it up for about 5 minutes,
then let it rest for ten,
befoire i rolled it out, and hooked it up-
the filling is a cup and a quarter+ of brown sugar,
a big scoople of butterish pats, (like almost a stick?)
cinnamon, vanilla bean, and in descending order of quantity:
ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and clove.
that got creamed up and spread over the puffiest dough i've ever tried to wrangle.
you may notice that the spirals aren't very tight...
this was an exercise in mitigating the exuberance of my tasty treat, for sure.
i baked 'em for twenty minutes inside a greased springform pan,
after i attempted to chill the impossibly sloppy dough roll,
before i cut into the sticky log and got sh!t everywhere.
there's none left.
which i'd like to think is a testament to their delectable nature,
and not just the sweets-craving gluttony of all these folks hanging about.
why was it so hot?
the temperature was high outdoors already,
and also because i'd had the oven roaring at 455F all morning,
adding hotness atop hotttness, heaped upon hotness from all the hottness.
white sandwich bread is what was causing it,
and i think the results were well worth it:

yessir, that's a loaf of naturally-leavened regular-A* bread.
i know my children,
and i know i'll need to slowly acclimate their little faces to the full power of the
dark side of the crusty bread force.
first things first,
a HIGH hydration heavy-lactic slow-bulk white mountain white loaf,
with an experimental cold-proof,
sans loaf-shaping.
the tang stayed low, but so did the oven spring.
which is fine.
because it tastes like beating a red dragon on a natural twenty critical hit
telekinesis spell that crushes it under a mountain of stalagtites.
if you don't know about that kind of action,
i feel bad for you.
real talk.
baking bread is a positive activity for heart and soul,
body and mind,
spirit and memory.
and i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
good bread makes better people,
and i'm on a path to improving my children,
as enriching as the foldovers that create developed gluten chains in these loaves.
so much went on in this kitchen,
on either side of a day where so much tattooing took over my time,
that by nightfall i was destroyed, albeit sated with supper and sugar and sourdough.
i don't sleep much,
holy crapola, have i been hitting the hay with concussive power the past few nights.
i am very grateful for the opportunities i take advantage of,
and for the companions i exist alongside of,
even if that's only in short spans, in hot spots, at dinnertables,
and when the moment is right.
i hope your plans include great food, better conversation, lots of laughs,
and the kind of togetherness that bonds and binds worthy warrior poets as a band,
forever and ever.......and ever;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, July 23


i'm guilty, guys.
i am.
guilty as sin.
i'll confess:
i'm guilty of being a total sucker for sexxxy macaroni, man!!!
i got some five color farfalle bowtie jauns,
and they were too damned cute to ignore,
and almost too damned cute to actually eat.
when my little italian marinaras are in the building,
they always request specific delicious dishes,
which is flattering, to say the least.
and when fun vacation dad is in his expert element,
AND there's adorable pasta in the offering?
good things abound and the al dente toothsome tastes
teem across our tongues.
check the fresh-to-farfalle-type teleport:

orange, green, white, red, AND yellow!!!!
we got great northern white beans,
we got big sliced-up stewed tomatoes in juice,
we got bouillon, onions, garlic forever,
fresh picked oregano, greek oregano, and basil,
nootch, white wine vinegar, bay leaves, GPOP, salt and pepper,
and whole lot of good intentions, warm wishes, and positive vibes.
family togetherness is my favorite,
and family-style family dinner reflects it.
garnished with parsley sprankles,
and activated with a sprig of oregano flower buds,
good lookin' food sets the example to these teens, y'feel me?
they gotta learn about how really real participants get into it,
when it's time for the gettin' after it to really get going...
food is the central focus around which we plan our days.
we have a whole lot of time in between each feast,
and there's a holy sh!tload of stuff that gets stuffed
into every second of those spans-
but when we all come together, it's the very best part,
each and every time.
our first family dinner was a success.
that's positive.
our first family breakfast is about to pop off, too.
there are super-puffy double-flake buttery cinnamon rolls
baking right this very moment.
i'm excited.
we're excited.
there's fresh bread cooling on the rack,
there's buns looking for a heavy glaze,
and there's this whole houseful of good people here with me.
it smells great,
and feels better;
never quiet, never soft.....


the toasty roasting is the way and the light and the glory
unto all this cookie-makin' mountaintop masterwork.
masterclass maxxximum enrichment of the inner hidden hot fire
is how i'm doo-dooin' my freaky-diki sh!t in these ovens.
believe it.
i'm on some new new:
toasting the rolled oats???
you can totally taste the burly, burlesque risque sass that a little
high heat activation imbues in those flattened groats.
i'm serious.
the whole world is wide open all of a sudden,
as the coconut browns, and the oatmeal warms the F* up,
and the cookie game goes right up to eleven,
like a mutha-'ucking rocketship!!
check the rustic-type teleport:

what's the term we want to use right now?
oh.'s expert.
i used big raw sugar crystals in there,
and they got all melty among the oats and coconut,
and that got things moving and shaking in al the right ways.
you wanna make some of these?
it goes a little something like this:
1 stick of vegany butterishness
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegan creamchee' (!!!)
~almost~ 1 cup of raw sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup toasted rolled oats
.5 cup ground coconut
.5 cup oatflour
2 cups a.p. flour
1 tsp each bakey kapow and soda
the creamchee' really fluffed these effers up.
it tends to do that, as it expands when baked.
i creamed it and the sugar and the butts and teh salt and the vanilla,
and added the applesauce after,
before i really turned it out,
and fired in the toasty bits and everything else.
i gave 'em 12 minutes in a 375F oven,
and that was all she wrote......ALMOST.
that is obvioulsy not where the story ended.
no way.
rules is rules,
and too much is the right amount.
which is why i pressed each cookie flattish first,
and dipped every one of 'em in miniature dark chocolate chip sprankles.
chocochipz are good IN cookies,
but they aren't exactly lacing when they're allowed to get loud ON 'em, either.
c is for cookies,
but cookies are an A+ all up in this place.
softish, succulent, rich roasty toasty comforting BIG flavor,
in single service circles.
we ate them in advance of dinner the other night.
you guys ever have cookie appetizers?
you need that.
chee'cake dessert, and cookie pre-dinner dessert, and dumps on our faces in between?
when it's time to get busy,
fewer are busier than this hive of hot fire hornets.
we make bees weak in their knees, nerds.
harvest and maple are here now.
in the house................asleep.
early rising is apparently the exclusive province of warrior poets,
and pretty princesses and dirty dumb dogs have all opted to remain abed.
i've already been blogging,
and i baked a big sloppy loaf of bread,
and ate breakfast,
and started a batch of ooey, gooey, crusty cinnamon rolls,
which will be ready and glazed with frosty icy icing upon their awakening.
....that's right.
i'm likely not the world's best dad,
i'm certainly the most bakin'est boy on the block.
we're together, and that's the most important part;
there's incredible food,
which is a close second.
i'm psyched on family togetherness,
and i'm grateful for the time we have ahead of us.
it's ALL really happening,
even when those lazy babies are sleeping right through it;
never  quiet, never soft.....


herbity-herb crusts are a pretty reliable combination of crucial components,
and when there's dinnertime constraints on the time portion of the preparation?
a little cornstarch, coupled with some key ingredients,
can really upgrade a meal into something special.
on thursday night,
i was still riding high on the dumpling scene,
with wriggly ropes of noodoo salad slithering on the periphery.
i wanted more of that,
i'd already eaten it all-
i had no choice but to move on, and make something new.
i mean,
i'm not gonna chump out and sit out a meal time.
i fried up some garlic, and seared some asparagus in olive oil,
and let those two get to know each other better;
and i shredded the holy sh!t out of a pair of cabbages,
added parsley and pea tendrils,
a scoop of vegenaise, black pepper, and lemon juice,
for a very mellow, very satisfying crawnchy cole-style slaw on the side.
that's not the herb-crustiness i'm talking about though, duders.
check the teleport:

there it is!
a stack of seitan seaks, rubbed down and fried up,
in smoked paprika, hot paprika, GPOP, smoked sea salt, pepper,
toasted sesame sossamons, and a little pinch of cayenne.
the base floury stuff is corn starch, like i said earlier,
and it held it all together something fierce.
seitan steaks, tho!!
i'm sayin',
they're thick, they're crazy juicy, they're crispy on the outside,
and they're covered in grilled leeks.
green oniony mild and masterful understated great rings of thin-strippin' tastiness
are basically what i want to be happening most of the time.
...that's the truth.
what's up with all those sweet little tomatoes?
their job is to keep coolin' it off, man.
besides, rainbow colors make tastier plates.
rules is rules,
and ugly food is not invited over here.
i'll stay old and busted, but the nourishment game has to steady represent
the new hottness forever and ever.
on the ones,
once you go rainbow vegan splendor,
everything else is total bullsh!t.
not the most labor intensive meal i've ever made;
yet, it was one of the tastier solutions to the time-sensitive light-out
night-encroaching limits of evening repast blastin'.
it's cool, kids. \
be it eleven minutes or eleven hours-
it takes as long as it takes to get expert on all the things we get into
here in the woodsly goodness,
and especially within the worthy walls of my Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
behind closed doors,
i'm gettin' it.
and then, of course, i'm presenting through digital electric binary bobotronics
to you and everyone you know.
the thing about that is-
you're a part and party to it,
but you apart from the party of it.
i miss you, or, i'd like to,
but i might not even know you yet.
it's all really happening,
and you're more than welcome to participate.
cooking and eating and sharing are the path, man.
it's clearly marked, and the route isn't all that arduous.
i'm here.
we're here.
we're doing what we do,
and there's always room for MORE;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 22


in less than an hour,
i'm on the road.
headed south for a meet-up/pick-up/peel-out like 1-2-3.
i've got lots to talk about,
but no time to type.
i'll make it quick, and i'll make it outta here on schedule.
maybe if i hadn't stopped to mix up some sourdough white,
and knead it into the future, i'd have had more time?
i dunno.
good bread is essential to good times,
so there's that.
even if my face is pinched, and my nerves are wracked by the hourglass
leaking sand into the bottom-half.
i mean,
when an hourglass is half full, but it's the low-end?
essentially, it's empty, right?
that's rough.
today is the day.
this is it.
my children, harvest and maple,
are coming back up to the woodsly goodness,
to hang out for a few weeks in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and really make some superfresh family togtherness explode into being!!
meanwhile, i'm trying to ge the high-hydration ratio
of a nearly-by-eye estimated dough into a stable matrix,
so it'll be explosively expert when it hits the oven at this time tomorrow.
planning ahead makes the best foot fall far further forward
than just making the best of whatever happens to happen.
i've got a huge appointment at the studio today,
so it's gonna be a brutal roundtrip roundhouse kick to the front of my pants,
as i fly by the seat of 'em down and up and into the shop.
good thing i know there's still chee'cake waiting for me!!
check the teleport:

too much is the right amount,
and that's the only way to activate a proper treat.
real talk.
i've got swedish-style lemon snap cookie crumb crust on the bottom,
buttery, lemon juicy, lemon extracted, and kissed with coconut and vanilla-
the two-tone tiered creamy chee' cake middle is the TRUTH, too.
a full pressed silken tofu brick,
one and a half vegan creamchee' tubs,
a generous 1/3 cup of kapowdered sugar,
3 T flour
3 T arrowroot
3 T tapioca
lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon extract,
and all the love in my whole heart went into the food processor,
and that's what came out.
i reserved half, and yellowed up the other,
so i could have that exxxtra-sexxxy look to the thing.
i'm just sayin'-
if you CAN eat pretty food,
you probably should.
i baked the crust for ten minutes,
and i added the filling, and fired it back in the oven for another 33 minutes.
that's the standard 350F setup,
which seems to work pretty dang well.
when it was cool enough to eff with, i had to decorate those jauns.
with what?
how about three rings of lemon-juiced lemon-extracted frosting?
i doo-do that zingy zizzle-zazzle sh!t, neighbors.
why wouldn't i take it to eleven?
lemon zest sprankles??
i want all the cool and creamy hottness,
and i'll NEED those nuances when i arrive at work later.
on the ones,
a rip-roarin' ragnarokin' wedge of that stuff is gonna have to recharge my reserves
so i can pound away on my tattoo game for the remains of the day,
leading up to dinnertime and family time and better and better times.
i've got showers to take, moves to make,
and dough to fold over in the hopes of forming elaborate gluten chains.
i'm out of time,
but i thank you for spending yours here for a minute;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, July 21


team spirit?
that's never been my strongest suit.
cooperative collaboration, bordering on opportunism?
well now,
that's more like it.
last night travis came over.
from @vegan_magic_time.
and he brought a bunch of fresh vegetables right along with him.
that dude ran 100 miles on saturday!
here he was on wednesday ready to rock out on some expert dinner
as if he'd just casually strolled a bit a few days earlier.
that's pretty effin' tough.
so we couldn't out any mincey, minky b!tchbaggery on the stove.
not in the face of such tough stuff,
because, i mean, there's no such thing as weak-sauce wednesday.
that sort of poop isn't invited to MY dinner parties.
instead, we had some collaborative cooperation,
and the results were impressive.
check the teleport, then we'll discuss the details:

c'mon, man.
that's what's up.
y'feelin' it?
i sure hope so, or else you might be dead inside.

travis made some fresh ginger-carrot sesame sexxxiness,
with soy and garlic and rice wine vinegar, and whatever else he had poppin',
plus, i noticed some sriracha and stuff slippin' in while it marinated-
that fancy dressing got tossed up in a tasty batch of cold rice noodle salad!
yellow sweet tomatoes, orange bell pepper strips, cucumber discs,
and those fat flat noodz.
...i contributed a secret crawnchy surprise to the equation-
popped quinoa with toasted cracked black pepper, in a baby bit of olive oil.
you got that?
quinoa-pepper-pop sprankles!!!
that's bangkok noodle salad, and it's expert.
how about those sesame oil seared, seitan-broth braised,
BIG-garlic-slice activated green beans??!!?!?!
when you've got access to the sexxxiness,
and the ingredients have all but picked themselves,
there's really nothing for it but to allow events
to unfold along a predestined path of perfection.
sossamon sprankles aren't for the wimpy ones...
and when they're toasted up right,
they'll take an already awesome meal, and turn it right on up to eleven.
no joke.
szechuan coconut tofu?
you'd better be ready to be rocked out of your socks, kids.
i got sauces for days, duders, and this meal had nothing but stand-outs.
like an all-star supergroup of dippable, drippable, drizzlin' sizzlers.
sriracha, garlic, GPOP, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, smoked paprika,
cumin, hot paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic oil, and ho' sauce-
dumped down on a two-side dry fried exxxtrasuperfirm tofu cube situation,
with onions and coconut shreds factoring heavily on the fringes.
those jauns got garnished with freshie-fresh basil, cilantro,
and of course, coconut sprankles.
because too much is the right amount.
rules is rules, fools;
and it's not doing it right we believe in.
it's OVERdoing even righter!
but somewhat more impressively, and perhaps most importantly,
there's that parcel of time consuming pouches
packed with pure dark-side lightning-striking force-choking POWER!
friends, just to step up our shark-gluttony,
we made DUMPS ON YOUR FACE!!!!
dumplings are dope, and delicious, and deviously distracting-
they look so simple, but they take so long.
2:1 flour/warm water ratio, with salt,
plus way more flour for dusting that sticky stuff
once it's mixed, and rolled.
it's basically getting two more dumplings out of the dough,
all things considered,
just from all the exxtra added non-stick insurance on the boards.
these jammers have a whole new world of filling within.
onion, garlic, and shredded housemade seitan,
plus, seitan-broth blanched sweet potatoes and crushed carrot,
with tamari and rice wine and liquid smoke thrown into the mix.
what. the. actual. F*. have i even been doing with my life until now??
a wider world of dumpy plumpin' has me pumped to make MORE FOOD.
i almost forgot.
TWO sauces, and scallion sprankles complete the look.
sriracha chili-garlic sesame soy stuff,
but not distractingly so...
...and a marginally more traditional soy-ginger-mustard-garlic joint.
i mean, it's not complicated, but it's delicious-
GPOP, powdered sugar, a drop of sesame oil, crushed garlic, grated fresh ginger,
ground mustard seed, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and scallions,
married in a muddled mass, and left to activate while everything else got prepped.
what was the best?
there were too many standout superstar servings,
and you know i had to freehand a whole lot of extras while i was at it.
we had life-is-short dessert-first cookies,
and we also had dessert-is-important cake, too.
if you weren't in the know about dessert appetizers,
you're welcome.

hanging out with vegans is about a billion times better
than hanging out with everyone else.
because they get it, AND they do it.
folks who know and choose to ignore the hottness of a conscientious, conscious,
compassionate, considerate, capable, culpable, cogent kind of life,
but still choose to skimp out on the BIG action?
that's worse than the dimbulbs and doo-doo-butts who couldn't be bothered
to learn about what might matter in the world outside their immediate convenience.
free will used to discard and disregard a prime tenet of identity,
and reason, and infinite nature?
A is A, you mutha-'ucks.
get after it, get with it, and get on it.
that's why hanging out with vegans is almost always a more enjoyable experience.
it's not just about big dreaming it, kids, it's about being it.
real talk.
but that's just my own self-satisfied vegan opinion!!!
knowing that there are equal contributors present,
and professional appreciators attending,
and active participants interacting with righteousness,
right in my kitchen, right alongside me?
it's great.
it makes me want to try even harder to achieve even better things-
and it takes the mealtime solidarity up a whole notch, or maybe even two.
i am grateful for these select few and very special folks who've spanned
time alongside us here in the Folk Life & Liberty fortress.
time isn't for wasting, it's for investing-
and i'm witnessing many happy returns on those whom i've banked on;
never quiet, never soft.....