Wednesday, August 31

see you in september.

so,
a ways back, and for many many months,
i was putting little lovely notes and glyphs on the flat stones
that i'd find on my long walks with crabtree.
that's a thing.
i'd pick 'em up, put 'em in my pocket, bring 'em home,
scribble my magic missives on each and every one;
and then,
at one specific location,
in the same spot, at roughly the same time, nearly every single day since winter,
i'd make a little wish, and toss one into this very small pool,
nestled in among a series of waterfalls,
right in the cutest little downhill stream in my neighborhood.
...........
well,
they say that a small stone can make a difference,
(just ask goliath)
and i think in this instance,
putting a whole bunch of (albie) rocks in that low and lovely liquid
changed the course of the coursing current permanently.
not right away.
but,
over time.
the continued investment and attention altered the route and routine of
this pouring path through the woodsly goodness.
incidentally,
on the flipside,
the downstream seems to have crashed it's banks,
and destroyed a big piece of roadway infrastructure.
yikes.
i don't think THAT was my doing, specifically;
but rather the result of the water's insultingly desultory directional drift.
-
here's the thing, though-
i was writing little love notes to my recently removed ladypiece
on each and every one of those smooth grey circles;
and somewhat allegorically,
every last one of those rocks all sank to the bottom and stayed there,
getting drowned under the fleet flow of the fluid-
which in it's turn just took advantage of the big boost they provided-
one that allowed the water level to rise up and head out
to new and different southerly spaces.
damn.
anyway....
a month later,
the dog and i have stopped dropping rocks,
and ceased casting stones,
and have instead found a sort of temporary armistice with each other.
instead of that pause at the precipice of the reflecting pool,
the walks are now much longer.
the attention is far intenser,
nd the days are so full i've not the time to stay overly introspective,
because the perspective keeps changing faster than the water falls...
things aren't looking up,
but i am,
from the bottom of a streambed, or so it seems.
awwwwwwwww.
objectivity is lacking when one sleeps so little.
this whole dang place is appreciably emptier,
the styles are abysmally harder,
and the appreciation of alone time gets smaller and sparser by the day-
this is it.
it's all really happening,
and if these connections i'm making aren't overly far fetched,
there's a better-than-good chance i had more than one hand in doing this to myself,
and over a long enough period that i should've probably seen it coming.
that's just the thing of it, though, neighbors-
too much isn't enough until it's more than you thought,
and then,
it's too late, and yet somehow also too little.
i'm noting the passage of time,
and how little dynamism there is between one day and the next.
yeah.
i'm sure i've written it all before, and probably better,
time and time after time and again-
i guess i just sort of repeat myself when i'm lonely.
i guess i just sort of repeat myself when i'm lonely;
never quiet, never soft.....

DELICIOUS.

dudes,
there are tacos,
and then there are TACOS.
i've been steadily building up a back-catalog of boundless bean-based
open-faced baby burrito flaps,
and last night, i did the thing that i always do.
huh?
what do i always do?
oh.
i do MORE.
yup.
i mean,
i'm not about to wimp out and let my all-alonely kitchen dictate
the level of intensity that taco tuesday should take on.
i may be cooking for one,
but i'm cooking for number one.
haha.
neighbors,
i took a different approach to the theme,
and made a few variations in keeping with the rainbow-magical sprankalicious
hottness i've come to expect from myself.
that's not bragging, it's a dead-set challenge to myself.
a dropped gauntlet daring me to run a chopping-block gauntlet:
a gutbusting gut-check of good ol' gastronomical gourmandise,
from the sink to the ceiling, and over the sides of this sinking ship i call suppertime.
yikes.
it isn't always easy, but it's always what i do.
rules is rules.
so,
here we go-
check the taco-tuesday-type teleport:

WORDIMUS PRIME.
i made coconut curried tofu!
a super simple coconut milk simmer,
with turmeric, toasted cumin, GPOP, and oregano-
with a little coconut oil to activate a good sizzlin'.
those got scallion/cilantro/lime rice,
tomatoes, red onion, grilled poblano strips,
and sriracha mayo drizzles,
over a bed of torn fresh cilantro.
expert?
you know this.
those other jauns?
they're buffalo cauliflower!
texas pete ho'sauce is my friend,
and between him, some butterish, a slap of vegenaise,
GPOP, black pepper, and some smoked paprika,
we made that cauli really go to eleven.
those sat on red cabbage, with red onions, pickled jalapenos,
pea shoots, and avocado!
all of that, and a little lime to crank up the flavor??
that's what i needed,
and i'm glad i got a-cookin' when i got home.
i don't always feel like it,
but that's no excuse not to get busy.
***********
guys,
it finally happened.
uh-huh.
i didn't think it was a thing, but it definitely is-
i can't eat as much food as i'm making.
what??
i know!
my appetite for self-destruction has possibly overtaken my mealtime appetite.
there's more food than i can manage,
and i'm not about to get down and dirty with leftovers.
...that's living in the past,
and i'm looking to the future.
regrettably, i've got a fridge full of treats that aren't getting eaten,
and a nagging sense of wastefulness that's nibbling away at my conscience.
i don;t know what i'm going to do,
besides probably make a whole other 'nother new batch of something again this evening.
damn.
it's all really happening,
and it's overloading my kitchen with abundance.
i'm grateful for the providence of MORE,
yet,
i'm finally witnessing the results of too much being the right amount.
this is real life,
and it's got a glut of yesterdays taking up a whole lotta space;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 30

cookies!!!!

broskis,
what the heck am i s'posed to do at 4:30 a.m.?
karate?
headhunting?
novelization of my prior days monologues at work?
no.
that's not it.
i'm supposed to make cookies.
c'mon.
don't be dumb.
cookies are dope.
everybody knows that.
...they're always dope, always invited, always ready to get busy-
and fully-loaded cookies are super-expert.
that's a fact.
i don't play around when it comes to treats,
even when i'm just reppin' a straightforward cookie sitch.
y'gotta load 'em up,
and that's just what i did at early-as-heck-o'clock.
teleport:

NUTS!!!
pecans!
real maple syrup!!
chocolate chips!!!
coconut!!!!
almond extract!!!!
dudes,
a good cookie is a good way to start a day off.
i ate too many,
and the daylong sweet-toothed sugartrip i soared in on
kept the clients entertained, i think;
and the mood light, i hope;
and the spirit of gratitude and generosity abundant, for sure.
everybody got a cookie,
and everybody was better off for it.
i did that.
you wanna make some of these?
here's how-
*
1 stick of vegan butts
3 T vegan creamchee'
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened flake coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/2 almond extract
^^^^^mash all that up into a creamy mess,
and add:
6oz unsweetened applesauce,
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 1/3 cups a.p. flour
1 tsp ea b'soda and kapowder
1/2 pkg chocolate chips (i still prefer the minis)
1+ cup chopped pecans.
*
dudes,
cookies cook at 375F.
mine hung out for almost 15 minutes in my oven,
but i'd still probably check yours at around 13 just in case.
what?
well, yeah, man-
a pecan half on top looks super sexxxy.
you now the woodsly goodlsy style, don'tcha?
we sexxx it up,
because too much is the right amount.
real talk.
i don't know if you're making any of this stuff;
but,
if you ARE,
i hope it's as rad for you as it is for me.
i love food, and i really love treats,
and i'd like to think i had a little early-onset aptitude for both...
but that has since become a fully-blossoming obsessive focal point
for my mornings and my nights and my days in-between.
we HAVE to eat.
there's no good reason we have to eat ugly.
*
am i pretty on the inside?
who can say?
i mean,
i can't see in there,
but if these cookies could create beauty anywhere,
i presume it's deep within my midsection.
awww.
i have nice guts,
even though most folks i meet seem to sort of hate them.
hahaha.
really,
those guys are just missing out on cookies,
because i don't share the good-good OR that new-new
with any of those weak-sauce waterbabies who can't hang out.
that's word.
if i'm up, i'm at 'em,
if you're not, you're missing out.
this is how we doo-doo that sh!t in my world,
you're welcome to join me,
but, let's be real-
if you were really all about that life,
you'd already be here.
no big deal, buddy-
the reports will continue on as i do my dirt all by my lonely-
it's all really happening,
and that's the best it's likely to get;
never quiet, never soft.....

local mushrooms!

i have a client named steve-
(in fact, i'm sure i have a great many)
but this particular steve is a heck of a nice guy.
so nice, actually, that he brought me three pounds of wild mushrooms as a tip!
yep.
lions' mane, elm oyster, kind trumpet oyster, shiitake, and chestnut,
all grown locally at the white mountain mushroom company
just a few minutes south of here!!
pretty rad, right?
i KNOW!
i used the elm oysters last night,
sauteed in buttery garlic and onion, with lots of cracked black pepper!
how good were they
well,
they were pretty F*ing oystery,
but i s'pose that's sorta the point.
check the teleport:

mushroom monday, with mild mexican undertones!
the mushies took care of themselves,
and the pea shoots and tomatoes certainly assisted with that-
but the BIG deal is those beans!
smoked paprika, liquid smoke, GPOP, black pepper, and cumin
make up the spice profile on 'em,
and the effect is one of superior hottness.
uh-huh.
with onion strips, veggie bacon strips, and hot pepper rings?
sabor de explosivo!!
but wait, neighbors-
i didn't let it ride out from there.
nope.
i turned on the high-test nitro flavor, and went rogue into leafy green territory.
mmhmm.
too much is the right amount.
and there's garlic-oil wilted kale there to prove just that.
scallions and toasted chia seeds are both rad.
together, in long grain white rice, they're flippin' expert.
that's no joke.
dinner was a success without my even breaking a sweat.
it was quick, and easy, and delicious, duders...
and afterwards?
me and crabtree hung out and digested our meals in the warm glow of
the firefly faeriefire in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.

awww.
i'm trying to tire him out, and pay him more attention,
without suffering the ill effects of attrition and attenuation
from all this daily F*ing uphill walking.
i mean it.
i don't mind being outside with my boy-o,
it's just that second walk after work every day,
as the nights creep up closer and quicker and colder.
it's not exactly a good time.
not one little bit.
so,
we're going through toy after toy, tearing with teeth, pulling with nails,
barking and bashing and smashing through the house....
what?
well,
yeah, sometimes crabby does it too.
ha.
i'd love to eat out more.
i would.
that's real.
indian, thai, pizza (naturally) maybe even a veggie burger and fries-
the thing is,
what would i write about here?
and what would that little doodiehead do after already being cooped up all day?
what needs doing is what gets done.
external luxuries and indulgences don't fit into our schedule-
it's all hermit hottness and fancy good-good for one (+ dog)
this is it.
a rigorous routine of effort and labor and lengthy pursuits of improvement,
where the only real break i get is to go to real work,
and actually be around real live people for a little bit.
it's all really happening,
sort of a proof-positive photo-negative upside-down inside-out trip
through my very own Folk Life folklore;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 29

sourdough solo

dudes,
i had myself some new hottness last night.
yup.
i did.
sourdough whole wheat thin crust pizza!
when i was mixing up the very wet, very sloppy, very elite dough,
i thought i was gonna be SO ready for it;
but,
in reality,
who could've ever prepared for that much taste explosivity?!
haha.
check the teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!
i went red with no chee',
and white with no sauce,
but both with fried garlic sprankles.
neighbors,
i'm serious right now-
if you can't hang out with those fresh chunks of allium sativum?
get the F* outta here, asap.
this area is for experts only.
awwww.
just look at what i was snacking on for supper last night:

woooooo!!!
herb-crusted breading on fried zucchinis???
that's how i make good use of summer's bounty, bro.
charred brussies??
obviously-
the char is key with those little baby-cabbage looking delights.
mmmm.
baby spinach went down on the bottom, to hold us close and keep us safe,
and there's a thin shmear of underchee',
(which sounds terrible, huh?)
technically making it not TOTALLY uncheesed,
but,
as i used that cashew-garlic boomfire as a paste, i don't care much that it's there.
paste? why? what??
yeah,
because i really worried a lot about that very wet very thin crust sh!tting the bed
before the big bake, i glued it togeher with chee'.
also,
that added a whole sexy taste component to the zukes!
think almost-as-elite eggplant parm, with more zed-letter prominence.
as if that wasn't more than enough,
there's also some seared-up brick-hued baconical bits and bobs, too!!
yuuuuuup.
too much is the right amount,
and if i'm doing pizzas,
i'm doo-dooing pizzas to eleven.
from the top to the bottom,
and the bottom better be a real sweet-bottom baby-b!tch
hey,
while we're on the subject of bottoms-
....THAT CRUST!!
wafer-thin, crispy, tangy, hearty, and full of flavor!
-
i used half a cup of whole wheat starter,
one full cup of ap flour, plus another Tablespoon or two as it kneaded.
a teaspoon of salt,
1 T of wheat gluten
and half a cup plus 2 T water.
it bulked all day, 12+ hours,
and i just used it as it was.
sour?
in the best way!
wet?
like quicksand!
delicious?
it changed the way i'm gonna handle my business in these woods, broski.
real talk.
*
and that white mountain white pizza jaun was off the hinges of hottness, as well:

c'mon!
crispy baked potato chips, daiya mozzarella, broccolini, and grilled leeks!!!
damn.
that's what's up.
you can SEE the giant garlic spranks-
they kept it all straight up boomFIRE throughout the entire meal.
*
pizza is my perpetual comfort.
just knowing there's pizza out there keeps me going.
i love it,
and i'm sure that if it could,
it'd love me right back,
for real, and forever.
good food is where i invest my time.
well,
that and my good dog.
and by good,
i mean, furious and fueled-up, feverish, frantic, frenetic, and fresh.
he's psyched to eat and run and drive around-
which is good news for both of us, because so am i!
we're road warrior poets, crabtree and me.
yeah.
a boy and his dog,
or an old man of the mountains, and a dear sweet little boy.
something along those lines.
ain't we a pair?
straight outta thunderdome,
a couple of real raggedymen;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 28

FLAKING OUT.

damn, duders!
i've been waiting to make this flippin' meal for days.
uh-huh.
i mean it.
the first delay came at me hard from working too dang long-
dog walks and crate-trained terrier dismay took precedence
over completing a complicated suppertime.
i think it's good that i'm prepared to absorb a challenging schedule at work.
it probably makes me a bit better at what i do when i'm constantly adapting
to the situation at hand, instead of honing one specific stylistic agenda.
who knows?
the thing is, when that keeps me later than usual at the studio,
after i leave the house early to get things done as time permits?,
well, then my poor little crabtree gets a tough day of waiting for papa-dad.
awwwwww.
and when i get home, me and my boy gotta get after some good-good in the 'hood.
i love those movie checks, and i love my small friend,
and that means fancy dinner had to wait a minute
while i took care of business on both sides.
the second delay became a necessary display of respect,
when my homeboy made a frittata,
right as i was preparing the crust for my thing....
ha!
neighbors,
we must be on some sort of psychic frequency/magnetic wavelength
great-minds-thinkin'-similarly scene or somethin'.
no, but for realsies, though-
travis, over @vegan_magic_time makes good things.
i just didn't want to make the same thing.
that's like wearing the same dress to prom, bro.
and anyway,
nobody likes it when there's somebody next door nibbling on your flavor, y'know?
for serious.
unless, of course, it's pizza.
it's always a good idea to be having pizza.
so,
i waited a day to make what i wanted.
and i let the dough for my little bit of superflippincrazyflakycrustycrust relax.
i'm super glad i did that,
because dinner was the TRUTH last night.
score one point for radical QUICHE styles!
yeesh!!
what's all-the-way-live in these hallowed halls, y'all?
vegan savory pie for your eye, that's what.
check the teleport:

WORD!!!!
i went with firm tofu, high-speed food-processed,
and whisked up fluffy in my stand mixer,
with some unmeasured amounts of arrowroot/flax/cornstarch thickening agents
all added in for, ironicaly, good measure.
ha!
i'd have taken more pictures, but it was getting late, man.
and the light is failing and fading fast in these here hills.
no joke.
the leaves are still green, and the sun is still setting sooner and sooner-
that makes a veil on all available light,
and the fleeting moments of natural illumination are getting fleeter still.
so,
i snapped the shot, and i ate a whole quiche.
so, no more pictures were possible.
what?
yeah.
i'm about that life.
duders,
the whites of a bunch of green onions,
three cloves of garlic,
a quarter of a red onion, minced,
sauteed until golden in a healthy drizzlin' of olive oil,
and some well-intentioned inventiveness, on the fly, off the cuff, and totally eyeballed,
repeated here in estimation.
(you'd think i'd have had more of  plan with 36 extra hours to prepare)
-
1 block of firm (as in: regular firm) tofu.
GPOP, (duh)
1/4 cup nootch,
2 T tamari,
2 T cup garbanzo flour
1 T flaxmeal
1 T cornstarch
1 T arrowroot
2T olive oil
black pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1 T ho'sauce (the wet kind, texas pete, or frank, or whomever)
blend it up until smoothish,
and then whisk the holy heck out of it to aerate it for the fluff factor.
expert.
to that,
i added three handfuls of chopped baby spinach,
and sixteen spears of asparagus, precisely,
with the tips reserved to sexxx it up on top.
yup!
i had the oven heating up to 410F,
and i rolled out my cool and rested dough.
i don't know what went right, exactly,
but something did.
-
1 generous cup a.p. flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick very cold butterish
3 T vegan creamchee',
and ice water in teaspoons to bond the whole big baby b!tch up tightly.
i s'pose it's the high fat content?
whatever, my dudes.
you won't catch me complaining about awesome outer quiche-shells any time soon.
hearts?
yeah.
i like hearts.
and i LOVE FOOD.
makes sense to heart what i heart, broski.
c'mon.
garnished up with fresh little round red tomatoes,
and scallion sprankles?
i HAD to tune the whole thing up.
especially since the co-captain of the team,
mr. grilled brussels sprout was there to cheer me on.
mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
*
it's been a serious weekend.
every tattoo took longer than i thought,
which could be indicative of several factors-
none of which are all that great.
let's hope it's machinery-fatigue and not overestimation of my own abilities.
i don't mind working. not one bit.
i'm a working person, i put in work, i work with purpose-
but mutha-'uckers, y'all don't wanna see me workin'-
you wanna see me LIVIN'.
at least, i hope that's what's up.
it's happening.
all of it.
in lengthening stretches,
over darkening expanses,
under deepening skies,
now, later, forever;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 27

cuppery

cups and cakes, dudes.
that's what i'm talking about.
i made some.
i ate some.
check the teleport:

wooooooo!!
i sure do like a soft sweet tasty treat!
chocolate chips!
the little mini itty-bitty ones,
they take up more space even though they're smaller.
that's a nice effect, neighbors.
and coconut?
c'mon.
coconut is all kinds of expert.
y'wanna make some?
here's how:
1 stick butterish
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 T vanilla
6 oz soy yogurt
6 oz applesauce
all whisked together until it's all kinds of creamy-
and THEN:
3 cups of flour
1/2 cup of tapioca
1 cup coconut
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 bag baby chips
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk-
holy smokes, and no jokes,
this is some good stuff.
baked, as usual, at 350F, for 30 minutes.
it makes more than two dozen,
depending on how full you load up the cups.
i had enough for another 'nother 20 mini jauns.
word up.
*
i slept about ten seconds last night,
so,
i'm just about done typing for today-
my lids are heacy,
my hands are shaky,
i'm delirious,
and that's serious,
yuck.
it's never an easy transition,
the days after a departure,
the nights without the comfort of heartbeats besides our own-
yup-
crabtree and i are readjusting to the busy schedule of an empty nest.
i'm just sayin', it's hard, homies,
but it's what really going on.
time to walk the beast,
just so he can rest up all day for another 'nother looooong night of mayhem.
there is always more of all of it,
and not just the highlights;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 26

SPICY NOODZ!!!

bros,
the ramen game went off the charts last night!
chinese squigglers,
lookin' all sorts of just like greek amphora relief hair texture;
boiled, rinsed, and added into a whole mess of fresh vegan hottness!
what?
oh.
you know if you know...
and if you don't?
well,
then you could certainly stand to learn a few more things.
ramen noods, dudes.
they're delicious.
and they're quick and easy.
and they're dope.
i fired mine up while my sesame and garlic marinated super-firm tofu
sizzled away in a sumptuous sauce.
uh-huh.
actually,
maybe you should just check the teleport:

WORDIMUS PRIME!!
chili peppers, red pepper flakes, crushed garlic, macerated raw garlic,
onions, bok choy, carrots, celery, sweet peppers, sriracha, cayenne,
GPOP, and black pepper, together with a dash of soy sauce, and a little oil-
.
that's the veggie portion of the plate.
.
the tofu had a whole lot of other other stuff happening-
sizzling away after draining the water, an replacing it with SAUCE!
...........
GPOP, agave, sriracha, liquid smoke, mustard powder, ginger, coriander,
rice wine, soy, and broth, soaked through and through.
what were the proportions?
who knows?
i was tossing things with wanton, reckless, joyful abandon,
and that seemed to get the job done-
while it cooked in it's own juice,
i just sat back and watched water boil.
neighbors,
it was quick,
and it was easy,
and it was hot,
and it was great.
all good things, to be sure.
i almost didn't mind being home alone eating all by myself.
awwwwww.
almost.
i cooled off my whole head with cukes and peas,
and that helped me endure the boomfire my tongue was laboring amongst.
ha.
i may be low and lonely,
but that's no excuse to accept ugly food.
real talk.
***********
the only time i reaaallllllly get frustrated?
when i'm on day 5 of only 4.5 hours of sleep.
crabtree had some sort of emergency butthole debacle last night.
he finds the grossest things on our walks,
and he eats them all up as fast as he can.
in turn,
i enjoy his rancid anus fumes throughout the evening.
it's not quite symbiosis, but it is what happens.
so, he had me outside half of the night.
and now?
it's raining.
y'ever go for a walk in the rain with a dog who doesn't even like walks not in the rain?
ugh.
it's like trying to carry a pound of pudding in your bare hands.
gross.
frustration builds up a heavy head,
but i think we're just gonna race around the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
making the best of an indoor obstacle course,
until one, or both of us collapses from the exertion.
the elements are conspiring to quash our exercise regimen,
but the jokes on them-
uh-huh.
we're going to go so hard,
it'll be twice as exhausting compared to our usual routine,
and that on top of us being twice as exhausted before we begin.
that starts now.
i probably should've stretched first;
never quiet, never soft.....

squares.

fruit flies are total A*holes.
they sneak in,
and eff with all your sh!t,
and fly around and generally make nuisances of themselves.
all it takes is two, and a piece of fruit,
and they are off and running,
and up and ruining,
and dudes,
let me just say it-
i don't like them.
so,
i had my bananas wrapped up, to keep 'em nicey-nice,
but,
out of sight,
they went straight out of mind,
and got overripe without my attention getting caught.
first fruit flies,
and now brown bananas???
why?
why??
WHY is life so hard?
hahaha.
stop.
i know the rules.
and when life wrecks your naners,
and there are fruity flies creepin' in the cut,
awaiting a lapse in diligence, what do we do?
we mash that fruit and bake it,
and thwart the malignant designs and desires of those drosophilidae.
duh.
check the breakfast-blocks-type teleport:

yes!
we got that oatmeal banana magic for your FACE!!!
thick old fashioned silver palate whole rolled oats are expert,
and they made these rock my socks with their taste AND texture.
yum.
what do i do for banana bread?
i do this:
350F oven preheat.
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick butts
3-4 big ol' brown bananas
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla (paste, if you've got it, for the little grits of goodness)
^all ^creamed^together^
plus,
1 cup+ non dairy yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 1/4 cups flour
^^stirred up, and allowed to chill out for a second,
before being dropped into greased and floured pans, man.
i hit 'em with MORE oaten sprankles, too.
y'know,
to take it to eleven.
word.
they bake for at least 30 minutes.
usually longer.
and when a knife or toothpick or whatever comes out clean,
pull 'em outta that oven.
i mean, really neighbors-
y'let 'em cool a little
and the you F* 'em up with your mouth super hard.
...that's what's up.
*
it doesn't always HAVE to be a major production.
but it always does have to happen.
that's the thing.
it's always lame when the new hottness doesn't occur.
and anything is better than that.
i make things out of what's on hand,
sometimes because i planned it that way,
other times because i'm pushed, pressed, rushed, hurried,
harried, and beset upon by obligation.
but,
none of that permits NOT making something.
rules is rules.
if it isn't happening,
YOU aren't happening.
making moves and making breakfast, lunch and/or dinner-
this is what my life tastes like on either end of the workday;
never  quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 25

development

gluten.
yup.
y'gotta develop it.
that's a thing.
and it takes time,
and rough treatment from external elements
and a lot of folding in on itself,
a sort of ouroboros of flour, water, salt, and yeast,
turned inward, time after time,
to make sure that the strands of stick-it-togetherness
maintain their sticktoitiveness.
mmhmm.
i'm sure you understand the underlying application to warrior poetry?
good.
because good bread,
crafted with care and consideration,
capability and confidence,
is currently a staple of intentional Folk Life culture
here in the last lonely hideaway for your hermity homeboy.
um.
that's me, and i bake a bunch of bread.
i do.
i eat a whole lotta Tea'N'Toast every morning.
it's a tradition i can't forgo,
since rules is rules an' that-
so i've been making lots of loaves,
with lotsa love in each and every one.
and some,
since my starter is expanding exponentially, almost to the point of unmanageability,
and i've been giving a few away, here and there,
as gifts to the few good men of this remote woodsly goodness.
i think/hope that's a nice gesture?
after all-
good bread makes better people.
believe it.
i'd be pretty psyched to get the homemade handcrafted live-cultured crusty hottness,
but,
then again,
i'm a reclusive and elusive hyperborean of hyperbole,
and i probably like a lot of things that aren't looked for or sought after by many.
ha.
still,
i DO make a nice batch of baked wheat, though.
teleport:

right?
i tried the oatmeal two ways-
one with a whole wheat starter,
and 50% sprouted wheat flour:

that sweet wheat flour feeds the beast big time.
huge oven spring,
big crusty pentosan activation,
and heartiness throughout, without being overly dense.
nice.
and take two,
with 1/4 cup more water, and just white flour inside?
it turned out just as expert:

yeah!
look at that opened-up steam-activated super-sexxxiness!
time takes as long as it takes,
and there's no rushing it.
or,
at least, not without ruining something.
*
i do the things i do.
i HAVE to.
i just love to see the finished product after an investment of time and energy.
the little bit of planning, and a whole lot of focus,
a smidgen of inspiration,
a modicum of magic,
and a well-floured banneton.
to that end-
white mountain white sourdough is the TRUTH!
teleport:

boom!!
i've been making the dough exxxtra-sticky, and exxtra-wet,
and the end result is DOPE.
many, many, many gluten-strand-developing stretches,
and the post-knead gentle open-folding technique.
combine to aerate and energize each loaf prior to the cold proof.
are they sour?
yeah, but they're not bitter.
are they open-crumbed and light?
for the most part.
i've been building up the crust and crumb,
improving with each loaf,
for months now.
i'm no master of the art, not by  along shot,
but i sure as heckfire am eating some wondrous and wildly-fermented
fuego for my face,
baked fresh with the naturally occurring expertism floating around,
ambient and aweome, in the air of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
the most recent, save the one in the oven at the moment
looked almost too good to eat,
but i'm glad i ate it, anyway:

WORD!!
fold and rest and fold and rest and fold,
with that highly-hydrated hottness really doing some serious work in-between.
i'm about that good bread,
and i'm about being a better version of myself.
i AM what i eat,
and i'm just as conscious of the who as the what,
and as for the why?
there's really only ever the one reason-
just be dope, or F* right  off.
that's all there is to it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 24

MUCHO MARTES!!

TACO TUESDAY!!!!!
yup.
you'd better believe we get into it.
even though we were pressed for time,
after a shoppin' spree in the valley's finest back-to-school-spirited retail outlets,
we still brought the big-time tastes to the table.
that's F*ing right.
on the ones,
me and mine aren't about to bail out and take the easy road-
not once, not ever, and certainly not on taco tuesday.
i mean,
c'mon,
rules is rules.
what did we do?
we did the best we could.
y'want that soft flour foldover power?
we got it.
how about some crisp poblano pepper?
you likeit, and you know it.
will there be guac-a-frickin'-mole?
OBviously.
what do you think we are, anyway?
a batch of A*-holes?
no way, hombre-
we're a big fat triumvirate of tempestuous and triumphant tines, teeth, and tacos.
neighbors,
go ahead-
check the holy-frijole-type teleport:

black beans matter!
my children and i are all kinds of elite when it's time to eat.
cilantro-lime rice?
for sure.
smoky chili tempeh with poblano and onion?
hell yeah!!
guys,
they're just tacos,
but they represent my intentional time-spanning capabilities with these teens.
i'm NOT bragging, but we still enjoy each others' company.
for now, at least,
and i'm not about to let those minutes slip away.
i want these kids to be inventive, attentive, creative, capable, and competent-
to essentially embody the basic distilled foundational trifecta of just being dope:
try hard.
pay attention.
know stuff.
it may seem like it's just dinner,
but everything is a lesson around here.
we could've been reppin' box mix like a batch of b!tchbaggerish jerks,
but that's not expert.
not even one little teentsy tiny little bit.
every day, in everything we do,
we get a choice.
and i'm hoping they can see the results of choosing to be dope,
rather than to just take it easy.
active participation requires we activate that new hottness
whenever we get the chance,
which happens to be all the effing time-
as you're already all well aware of.
at least, if you've been paying any kind of attention at all.
everything we're on about, here in the woodsly goodness,
is designed to be instructive, subtly, through example.
i hope it's working.
i think it is.
these two are pretty rad, and i wish we had more time.
this is it.
in a few short hours, after a looooong dog hike,
we're gonna get on the road for a loooong car ride.
this is it.
i'm doing all i can in these last minutes
to make it all as memorable as possible,
our time is our own,
and all we have is each other;
never quiet, never soft.....

saying goodbye.

the best times always end too soon.
that's real.
it's a temporal shift between novelty and comfort,
as opposed to tedium and routine.
the same ol' sh!t passes without notice,
one dreary day melting into the next,
with each component minute taking forever to seep past our senses.
however,
the big fun and big action of fresh family togetherness,
especially up here in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress?
we're all intensely aware of how rad our time with eachother is.
i mean,
it's so dope while it's happening...
...and it's ALL really happening;
but,
that kind of connectedness just leaves us all wanting so much MORE.
mmhmm.
too much is the right amount,
and our overlapping circles of spirit and memory,
and our intentional intensive gratitude and generosity,
mine, harvest's and maple's,
all seem to sync up like they're s'posed to.
we span time together, duders,
and it is good.
YEAH!
yesterday,
i got up late, and they got up early, so there were only about two hours in between
awakenings,
and in that time, i got some things in order.
yup.
one of 'em was a big ol' batch of panniecake batter.
that's right.
my patented proprietary oatmeal coconut vanilla superhottness was ready
for some serious griddle-sizzlin' cookie-cutter-shapin', son.
that's no joke.
we had one heck of a first meal,
and it made for one heck of a start to our last day here for some time.
check the BIG-breakfast-type teleport:

BOOOOOOOOOM-MORNING!!
a stack of those hearty hotcakes,
drizzled with real maple syrup!
expert!!!
a scoople of scramble-
exxxtra-firm sprouted tofu crumbles,
GPOP'd, with tons of turmeric, a boost of nootch, black pepper, salt,
and a little paprika to make it pop.
that's a one block of' 'fu,
1 tsp each garlic and onion powders
(if you haven't already combined them)
2 tsp turmeric
thirteen twists of the pepper grinder on coarse,
a pinch of salt,
a dash of paprika,
and a gluggity-glug of olive oil.
go make it.
no. neighbors,
i mean go make it right now.
you need it.
i had bread in the oven at 450F,
and i stashed a quartet of diced potatoes in the oven while that worked itself out.
yup.
with a little oil, a little GPOP, and some salt,
they roasted themselves silly.
for how long?
until they were golden and crisp.
however long that takes.
check on your food, man. what can i tell you?
afterwards,
i sauteed those skin-on homeboys witth red onion, scallion,
smoked paprika, black peps, and of course, MORE GPOP.
we also had some of that prepackaged pretend canada-style
circular baconish pink stuff.
what?
don't start with your high-horseplay, bro-
i don't always eat the manufactured stuff,
but,
it sure does taste damned good with real maple syrup on top.
that's the truth.
BIG breakfast is something we all can get behind.
i mean,
why not start the day with excess?
that's the way we for really realsies doo-do that woodsly goodsly sh!t up here.
*
we went school shoppin', too.
we had to.
i mean,
that's kind of what fun vacation dads are s'posed to do.
we get the good pants,
and all the binders,
and fancy socks or whatever.
it's my pleasure to extend kindness to my children.
really.
we have the best time,
and what's more,
they are genuinely appreciative.
which in turn makes it waaaaaaaay easier to be generous.
i am grateful for the time i have been given.
none of it is a guarantee,
and none of it is taken for granted.
we share a length of road as a family,
and we travel along as far as it'll take us.
this is What Is,
and it is pretty much the best part;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 23

FAMILY PIZZA PARTY!

what the F* would i do without harvest and maple?
guys,
for real-
these kids were steady helping in the kitchen last night.
i mean it.
we made ourselves useful,
and then we made ourselves full as heck!
why?
because they're virtuous valkyries of valuable victuals;
and i'm a woodsly goodsly warrior poet,
extolling long laudable lists of luscious ingredients;
and together,
we're one pretty good team.
lucky us.
and last night, we did that thing we do-
y'know:
the one where we eat a TON of good food,
and hang out with laughs and talks and other sorts
of competent and capable communication as a family hell-bent on
active participation, full-disclosure, and appreciated togetherness.
yup.
we do that,
and we did it all evening long-
but first,
we made dinner,
and dinner was expert.
you know it-
check the teleport:
PIZZA PARTY TIME IS THE BEST TIME, EVERY TIME!!!
get with it, or miss out. (i strongly suggest getting with it)
we brought the noise,
and we took the semolina flour level to eleven.
yeah.
eventually,
i'm sure i'll have a thin-crust dough that's so dope,
it'll be adopted and adapted by all future pizzaiolos in this place.
until then,
i tweak, and i edit, and i tinker, and i adapt.
these were good.
like,
really good.
and higher heat (480F), plus convection, turned it up a whole bunch.
guys,
look at my food:

that's the classic Folk Life & Liberty Fortress pizza-
seared brussels sprouts, tempeh bacon, and caramelized onion,
with underchee', daiya mozzarella, and crushed tomatoes everywhere,
plus those fried garlic sprankles.
yeah.
the ones that have become synonymous with being expert up here.
i love it, the kids love it,
and it's become a sort of tradition that we activate it.
-
dudes,
why is broccoli so good?
i dunno, but it IS.
y'know what makes broccoli feel insecure though?
that younger, skinnier model.
uh-huh.
broccolini is the BIG BUSINESS,
and we need it on our pizza:

BOOM!!
dark green florets of super-ferocious freshness in full effect.
and that garlic tofu? so firm, so crisp, so much of it that this pizza was heavy.
mmmmmmmmmmm.
underchee'? got it.
daiya mozz'? you bet.
crushed tomatoes? what a i? an A*-hole?
of course i rep the main staples of my 'za-'za, brah.
don't be dumb.
garlic spranks are on there, too-
and so are those baby bellas!
mushrooms are good for you on pizza,
but ONLY when they're cooked correctly.
i'm a snob about slimy mushrooms.
i don't want 'em,
i don't like 'em,
and i can't hang out with 'em.
no way.
i like my jauns firm, and dryish, and salty, and dope.
so that's what we did.
word up.
-
my kids rep eggplant heavy in these streets.
i mean it.
they had a little guidance from me throughout the pizza party prep,
but i let 'em run free, and make their own magic up in here.
the eggplant was one such superb spell.
check the teleport:

yes.
.
fried eggplant, dredged in a soymilk/flax/chia blend,
and floured with a blend of corn starch, black pepper,
GPOP, oregano, basil, and nootch, and salt.
how good is it?
it's better than your mom makes.
i said it.
undechee', crushed tomatoes, spinach, daiya chee',
eggplant, fresh sweet tomatoes, cashew-garlic chee' blops,
garlic spranks,
and a finishing flourish of cress!!!
holy good gosh-dammit, neighbors.
we really did it right last night.
*
every day is kind of the same thing-
a litany of labors that take up a lot of time .
i guess i enjoy writing this,
for whomever out there checks in.
i mean,
i could be doing something else.
it's just that real-life documentarianism isn't to be taken lightly-
i make all sorts of stuff,
but i enjoy making food the most these days.
it seems almost disrespectful to the process of intentional radical vegan hottness
to just let it vanish into piehole, and then into a bellyhole,
and then out of a butthole without some sort of eulogy here.
i can't say for certain,
but i thinking this outlet is good for me.
call it a placebo, but i'm pretty sure that that actually makes it good for me.
it's all really happening,
and i'm here to talk about it.
that's what i do.
i communicate.
every day may be eerily similar,
echoing outward into darkening skies and lengthening nights,
but the bright spots still warrant a paragraph.
it can't be all bad,
otherwise,
it'd just all be regular.
rules is rules,
and without a little sweetness,
all the bitter wouldn't seem as such;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 22

CRABBY BERFDAY!!

yesterday,
my dear sweet savage stormswept shark-faced bullet-brained battle beast
had a milestone in his short young life.
yup.
he turned one.
...and we always celebrate a berfday around here.
rules is rules,
even when it's for a terrible terrier who doesn't care one whit about
partying or anything else-
he did like his party hat, though.
that's no joke.
he strutted around proud as a peacock with his sweet turquoise lid on,
and i must say, with the expected bias of a proud papa-dad:
he is one handsome mutha'ucker.
check the berfy-d-type teleport:

say his name, neighbors.
say his full name-
CONSTABLE CRABTREE AT INTERVALE.
that's my man, my main mango, my boy.
one year old, and lookin' GOOD.
i love the way he reciprocates all of my gentlest affection
with high-test high-intensity hucklebutt hard-style hammering and yammering
through the haunted halls of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and also all the way across the sprouted expanses of the woodsly goodness.
i chose him, i think, because instinctively i knew something about him-
he IS the wrench.
(dedicated long-time readers will recognize the reference-
i always choose the wrench)
*
so,
what did we do to celebrate?
we made biscuits for dat boi.
c'mon.
you know the routine by now;
without treats, it's like it isn't even happening.
anyway,
we baked 'em up, and they came out lookin' very expert.
teleport:

WORD!
one mashed sweet potato,
a scoop of coconut oil,
three spice-grinderfuls of coarse-ground oatmeal,
the last scoop of cooked white rice (from our previous indian feast)
a shake of tapioca, two shakes of brown rice flour,
a spoonful o\f baking soda,
a handful of coconut,
and a spritzin' of cinnamon,
that's IT.
one bowl, two eyes, and a desire to make something special,
since crabby never ever ever gets people food.
that's cool, right?
i thought so, too.
i baked 'em like they were cookies,
(just like all the recipes i've ever given you)
and since they are also vegan AND yellowy-orange?
yup.
i ate some, too-
what?
well,
they weren't very sweet,
but they weren't bad at ALL, y'all.
...what i mean is,
with a little sugar, i'd totally eat a lot more of these,
and really, truth be told-
if they weren't shaped like dog bones,
i'd have probably eaten 'em just the way they are.
*
he got 3 new toys, one from me,
one from harvest,
and one from maple.
he destroyed them immediately.
he has a new collar,
he has a party hat,
and he has me.
moreover i have him,
and that's the best and worst present we've ever given each other.
was he fired-up on berfday biscuits, and badly behaved all night?
it's his party, and he'll ruin it if he wants to.
did his big loose b*-hole produce some sour sweet potato toots?
non-stop.
yuck.
it seems no good deed goes unpunished, people.
remember that.
he's infuriating, and he's recalcitrant,
he's obstinate, he's rambunctious,
he's a big bulldozer of stubborn-headed hard-styles,
and he's also just barely not a baby anymore.
look:

i love the little A*-hole,
and maybe, just maybe, he likes me a little bit, too;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 21

cinna-MAN!!!

the swirls are key, kids.
y'know?
in a cinnamon style bun,
there's only room for being expert.
anything else is bullsh!t,
and therefore not invited to sit with us at our breakfast table.
luckily,
i was up early
(well, i was up at the same time i'm always up, which just happens to be early)
and very motivated to make a little somethin'-somethin' good for
me and my children.
cinnamon buns are always a favorite around here,
and the latest one-pan monkey bread jauns i've been working on
seem to have captured the hearts of these kids,
so i've GOT to play to the crowd, and get those big grins and big appetites going strong.
mmhmm.
wanna see?
ok!
check the sixteen-spirals-type teleport:

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!
i did it a little different this time,
i divided the dough in half after it rose,
and made two smaller logs of rolled sticky pre-bun tubularity-
that way,
i could cut 'em a bit bigger,
but still have MORE.
that's always good news, y'heard?
yup.
too much is the right amount.
the filling in the centers is so easy-
a little more than a cup of brown sugar,
a little less than half a cup of butterish,
a splash of vanilla,
a lot of cinnamon, and a little bit of nutmeg, allspice, ginger,
and a baby baby bit of clove,
creamed up into a mush, and left to soften a bit beyond that,
for spreadability in spades.
the dough?
that's a more involved, but barely-
-
3 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 T fast yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 T golden flaxmeal
1 cup warm non-dairy milk
1 T wheat gluten (for ultimate rollout flexibility)
kneaded for seven hard minutes of pounding,
or,
dough-hook stand mixer'd for about three,
with a ten minute rest after-
rolled about a 1/4 inch thick,
spread with that ooey-gooey goodness,
and tucked into a roll of dough and dopeness, in ascending echoes of excellence.
ha!
i rest 'em in the fridge for ten,
then cut 'em,
in this case two rolls each into eighths,
and put 'em all in a pattern  inside a buttered springform pan.
y'might wanna give them a little bit to get used to their new situation-
let's say about ten-fifteen mini-minutes,
and then they get baked in a 375F oven for 22 minutes,
or maybe more, depending on how brown you like 'em-
you'll have to use your best judgement here-
if they look raw, keep baking........
c'mon. don't be dumb.
once they're doe bubbling,
and cool enough to cut without ruining,
the glaze goes on top.
i use a very thick one, because when they're warm it melts too much and looks gross otherwise.
cinnamon, powdered sugar, vanilla, non-dairy milk, all by eye-
figure half a cup of sugar gets a 1/4 tsp vanilla and maybe a T of milkiness?
i dunno.
i just go with the feeling.
-
those pecans, tho!!!!
word up.
buttery pan warmed, with a vanilla extract deglaze,
and a quick toss in a cinnamon and powdered sugar dust-up?!?!?
expert.
and not being one to want to waste good sweets,
i used the leftover mixture as the start of my icing ingredients.
smart.
*
a good breakfast, with good people is what i'm all about.
i haven't made a cup of coffee in three weeks,
and i don't miss that at all,
but i'm crushing the irish breakfast tea scene like a thirsty killarneyean.
mmhmm.
we wake up, and we do our thing,,
and we don't stop until well after dark.
it's all a part of a plan,
a long-term, big-picture method of becoming the best version of ourselves.
it isn't quick, and it isn't easy, and it surely isn't any FUN,
but,
i believe it's worth it,
and that's kind of the point, right?
i hope so;
never quiet, never soft.....

curry in a hurry.

dudes!!
we made indian hottness all over the place yesterday!
yup.
we had spices in every direction,
we had beans and blops and big flavor all up in our nostrils,
all up in the whole place,
and all kinds of ready for firing into our faces!!!
word!
harvest, maple and i are really gettin' after it in this kitchen this time.
that's making me all sorts of proud,
with my spicy little children reppin' all this vegan excellence all day every day.
check the teleport:

BASMATI BOOMBALOTTIE!!
guys,
we made the ill na-naan!
a little plain soy yogurt, yeast, salt, sugar, flour, and vegan buttery ghee-meltiness,
all pan-fried into a little circle of awesomeness.
huh?
oh.
well, there aren't any solids in vegan butter,
so it works out great...
*
we made some sweet chick pea flour fritters, with chunks of onion, garlic, and cilantro,
with GPOP, cardamom, and ginger-
y'know-
we doo-doo those deep-fried pakoras, man.
and accentuated with jalapenos and a little sriracha for dippin'??
holy sh!t, THAT'S what's really good in these woods.
mmmmmmm.
*
rice?
RICE?
basmati-type, fluffy, long grain delicious RICE??
obvi.
y'gotta have rice, or your whole plate is weak sauce.
am i right?
.......usually.
ha.
*
that yellow cauliflower jaun had the FIRE in full effect.
turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, ginger, coriander, black pepper,
GPOP, chopped garlic, and ground mustard-
coating the outsides of a seitan-broth-steamed cauliflower, spinach, and onion scene.
believe it-
gobi-saag is the TRUTH, homies.
that brings us to the burly brown blops on the bottom.
*
that's that dal-faced drippy doo-doo that does what we need it to.
what now?
it's lentil stew,with molto spices.
take it easy.
onions and butter and garlic,
cumin and cinnamon, and chilis and coriander, ginger,
fenugreek, GPOP, turmeric and paprika and mustard and black pepper,
and crushed toasted celery seed-
all that, plus a cup of bouillon broth, and some time,
with a pound of those tasty beans had us all making a mess of the table
in our haste to get more into our mouths!!!!
friends,
the tomatoes and scallions really turned it up to eleven.
.......
all of it was ready in under an hour.
that's a true story.
@vegan_magic_time said so himself a few days ago-
it's fast food from the days of hard styles and tough livin',
and who are we to make it drag on longer than it needs to?
no way, jose-
we needed that curry in a hurry,
and we got it in just the nick of time.
***********
august has been a real sunovab!tch, bros.
that's no joke.
full schedules and an empty bed,
a mostly empty house and an overloaded daily to-do list-
yup.
three long weeks of sh!t-salad singularity later,
and at least i'm still eating as well as i ever have.
i think having these two attentive and inventive active participants atound
is helping a whole lot, too.
nothing makes me more excited about cooking than appreciative eaters
keeping me company,
and helping stir the pot, in all the best ways...
i keep saying it, and that's probably because i really mean it-
i am grateful for the time i have been given.
spanning time, spanning space, running in place....
no, wait,
scratch that last one;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 20

STIR CRAZY!

duders,
i blasted into the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
all kinds of hopped-up on big ideas and good intentions,
and me and these children got very in tune to the wavelengths of
woodsly goodsly expertism quicker than hurry-up.
ha.
no jokes.
we made ourselves a meal worthy of warrior poetry and active participation.
not only that,
but we each terrorized a huge plate of everything,
and left nothing behind,
despite having made enough for at least five people.
real mutha-'uckas do real sh!t, y'heard?
and us realies over here get it turned the heck up at dinnertime.
word.
what was the big occasion?
well, what day was it, man?
yup.
STIR FRY-DAY!!
......we do that.
check the teleport:

BAM!!!!
ginger tofu?
mmmmm.
onions and tofu and oil and mustard powder and ginger and GPOP.
dope.
those jauns got hucked into a maelstrom of udon awesomeness,
with celery and carrot and snow peas and basil and cilantro and soy!!
i might've even put a little scallion in there too.
i'm good like that.
we had accents of tangerine,
and cucumber, pea shoots, and mung bean sprouts,
to satisfy all the add-ons and mix-ins we could imagine,
and that was an expert move, for certain.
everything went well together,
and everybody had a lot of only good things.
dudes,
too much is the right amount,
and we made sure to live up to our motto.
those soy-glazed fried brussels?
holy crapola!!
a little seitan broth to steam 'em in that sizzlin' oil?
rad.
the soy searing the split halves at the end?
super-rad.
the melt-in-your-mouth salty softness of each bite???
c'mon.
we got it right this time,
and we reaped the rewards of our effort in taste, texture, and time together.
huh?
what's that up in the left hand corner?
oh.
well, it's sweet-and-sour bok choy garlic stew.
eh.
that was the weakest link in the meal, honestly.
it was good,
but it needed ramen to complete the look.
the thing of it is-
we already had jasmine rice,
AND noodles,
AND we got ahead of ourselves, cooking hungry as it were,
making more food than would be reasonable or feasible for mere mortals,
AND, on the ones,
i'm not trying to create big fat monsters out of my kids-
so,
i backed off on the barbarian broth bath a bit,
and left it as a simpler side of leafy soup instead.
......it's cool, i can live with that.
mostly because that seitan  and broccoli in garlic sauce was the FUEGO!!!!
agave, soy, rice wine vinegar, mustard, GPOP, black pepper,
fresh garlic, mashed garlic, corn starch,
and a baby bit of bouillon made a thickening liquid
that launched the dish into the stratosphere.
seared seitan and onions and broccoli and garlic,
coated in that new-new hottness had us all like 'whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!'
i almost wish i wasn't dictating the steps to the kids,
because there's really no guarantee i can recreate that stuff exactly ever again.
awwwwwwww.
we're just living in the moment, i guess, bro.
that's what's going on,
and i'm very grateful for it.
*
these days are saved by these kids.
helping with crabtree,
helping with heartache,
hell,
even helping clean the flippin' kitchen.
i have two terrific teenagers,
and i'm zero percent exaggerating.
i'm counting my blessings, and it's easy,
because it's like:
one,
two,
three.
let's make it work, and let's work it out.
it's ALL really happening,
and these bright spots are like perpetual high-noon daylight.
what a brace of lucky ducklings we are;
never quiet, never soft.....

oatmeal cookies!!!!

you like those soft, chewy, sweet treats, right?
yeah, man.
everybody who is any good gets down with that action.
that's a thing.
i'm talking about brown sugar;
thick, hearty, rolled oats;
lots of cinnamon,
with pinches of ginger and nutmeg and allspice hiding out;
and, in this instance,
a few other other bits and bobs to take it to eleven.
tell you what, neighbors-
check the fresh-baked-hottness-type teleport:

IT SMELLS LIKE HOME!!
are those chopped pieces of dried cranberries?
yup.
raisins are good for this sort of thing,
but crans have a little more oooomph,
and if you're feelin' me on that, raise your hand.
ha.
standard cookie practice was implemented in the making of portion-
-
1 stick of butterish
1 cup of dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
a lot of cinnamon,
a little of nutmeg, ginger, and allspice-
all creamed together,
and then stirred up with 6oz of unsweetened applesauce,
and activated with 2 cups of flour
2 cups of whole oats
1 tsp each kapow and soda of the baking variety
2 T maple syrup
1+ cup chopped cranberries,
and a little bit of ground coconut, to sex it up a baby bit.
mmmmmhmmmmm.
375F, oven. 13 minutes baking. golf-ball sized, hand-flattened spheres.
cooled,
and then iced-
the drizzle game is a key component in making oatmeal cookies exxtra-expert.
real talk.
powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and soymilk,
slurried in a hurry, but allowed to thicken with the quickness.
that's right.
i do that sort of stuff.
i mean, c'mon, guys-
who among us isn't about that fresh-to-death treats lifestyle?
....
harvest and maple and i are very fortunate to be able to span time together.
and we're doubly so for al the great foodstuffs we've been stuffin' down the hatches.
it's a sense of belonging.
that's what family dinner is for us.
elite meals, and elite desserts,
and elite times making and baking and creating together.
we are a team when we're all here in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and that's the best part of all of it,
as it really happens,
and as it just so happens, too;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 19

FRITE.

falafel?!
on a thursday?!?
dudes,
i almost, but not quite, went down that road.
actually,
essentially i went straight down that road,
but i weaved a little over the lines.
ok.
OKAY.
i made thursday falafels;
not exactly traditional-style,
but still so dope.
for realsies-
chick pea fritters, and fixins and fresh-to-death spelt pancakes?
that sure sounds like some worthy warrior werewolf sh!t to me.
uh-huh.
cosmic lunar magentics, and competent capable culinary cause-and-effect!
we doo-doo that freaky-diki lunatic hook-up business.
so,
with those refracted, reflected, righteous rays bouncing off
of earth's largest satellite and into the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
me and my children got it poppin' on some perfect dinner feasting.
guys,
they terrorized their plates,
and left nothing on 'em.
that makes me proud, because that's a compliment through action.
active participation, intentional activation, shark gluttony.
that's the stuff that epic edible experiences are made from.
that,
and those F*ing expert fritters.
real talk.
check the teleport:

kaBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMFIRE!
red and green cabbage,
spiralized carrot,
baby spinach,
pickles,
salsa,
tahini with molto molto lemon,
and cilantro sprankles.
like i said: expert.
with those gently caramelized sweet onions spread over each bite,
and that peppery rice and tomato goodness mixed in?
c'mon, neighbors-
we had it easy, because everything on that pate,
all by it's all-alonesome,
is totally delicious.
so,
when the voltron blazing-sword combination sensation got going?
yeah.
the superhot juiceblastin' fury was in full-effect!!!
nice.
those fritters were top notch, too-
chick peas, chick pea flour, wheat gluten, cumin, coriander,
raw garlic, roasted garlic. GPOP, and sauteed onions, lemon, and olive oil.
-
...and those spelt pancakes!
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup spelt
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups soymilk
1 T chia/flaxmeal
that's that FAT crepe business!
mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
-
***********
and what about tonight?
well, tonight,
it's gotta be stir-fry-day.
c'mon.
that's also a thing.
we're doing the best we can with what we've got,
and what we've got is each other.
family togetherness, harvest, maple, crabtree, and me.
that's what's up,
and that's how it goes.
tonight is the night, (just like every night)
and there will be good times, good food,
and our close little quartet of good folks.
it's not the worst way to span time,
that's for sure;
never quiet, never soft.....

*COFF*COFF*

let me clear my throuat-
*coff*
*coff*coffe*
*coffee*
*coffeeeeeee caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!!!
ha!
yuuuup.
i'm on it.
by now, you prpbably already kow how we do it-
when it's time to get fresh,
and there's big, thick, old-fashioned silver palate rolled oats
hanging out on the counter,
daring you to use 'em up,
you've GOT to doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
and you've got to do it like a flippin' champion.
my kids and i fired up a little somethin' special.
and i think we did the right thing-
neighbors,
check the blue-ribbon-grandma-jaun-type teleport:

WORD!
one big ol' buttery-bottomed burly batch of all the best bits.
and that's no joke.
brown sugar?
yeah!
cinnamon?
oh, hell yeah!
oats?
everywhere!!!
what's the secret?
plain soy yogurt.
yup.
it makes the crumb so grandly grannyish,
and it puts that punch to the tastebuds that really real coffeecake heads crave.
i'm just sayin',
if that doesn't look good to you?
oooof.
you're probably an A*-hole.
that's a thing.
you want to make some?
ok.
here's how it goes:
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick + 2 T butterish
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
^^^^cream all that up,
and add
1 cup plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup soymilk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup tapioca
1/2 cup ground oat flour
1 tsp each bakey soda and kapowder
^^^^stir it up, and get ready for the bigger big business:
2 cups of those THICK oats,
1/2 cup powdered sugar,
1 tsp cinnamon,
4 T melted butter, tossed and combined,
and layered on the bottom of a greased 9 x 11 brownie-style baking pan.
that's what you gotta do,
BEFORE you put the batter in there.
does it make a difference?
does building a house on a solid foundation make a difference?
c'mon, man.
get with it.
then,
when the two tastes are stacked,
y'gotta fire up some streusel.
mmmhmmm.
without streusel,
you ain't got no damn coffee cake, son.
........you just got cake.
1 1/2-2 MORE cups of those oats,
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 cup oat flour
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice,
and another half stick of butter,
smashed together into a crushed-up crumbly knobbly oaten awesomeness.
i mean, seriously, though.
that's the good-good.
350F, of course, for close to 40 minutes or so,
and you should have the hottness for your face.
-
a la mode?
mmmhmmmm.
rules is rules.
one vanilla almond scoople,
because too much is the right amount.
with a little cinnamon dusty sprankle on top,
just, y'know, to take it where it needed to go;
which is, of course, to eleven.
*
i don't know if you're making any of these things at home.
if you are,
i'd like to know how it's going....
if you're not,
well, hey, man, that's cool, too.
it's just that i'm making it up as i go,
variations on a theme an' that;
i'm interested to see how y'all other mother'uckers do with it.
anyway,
there's more where that came from.
there always is.
we've got our ways about us,
and our wits,
and our wheats,
and it's all really happening.
that's kind of the whole entire point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 18

reunited!

ha!
harvest and maple,
my thoroughly enjoyable and most excellent children,
are back where they belong,
snug in the hallowed halls of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
tucked away in the remote rural reaches of this woodsly goodness.
yup.
we get a little more time to be together,
before the rigors of a demanding high school yearful of learning commences.
dudes,
we've got less than a week, really-
it's just wednesday to wednesday,
with good times sandwiched inside those day-off midweek bookends
which have been designated travel days in the car.
yikes.
we've got limitations imposed, but we'll impose our will on the remainder,
and brute-force ourselves into some sort of big action.
we doo-doo that make-it-work-type sh!t.
sooooooo,
yesterday i drove.
and drove.
and drove and drove and drove,
and before and after, i baked, i walked, i cooked,
and i spanned a whole mess of minutes getting where i needed to be.
what?
well, yeah, man-
it WAS a busy day.
i mean,
relaxing is not something i've done in a dog's age,
and despite my dog's age, he's just as disinclined to take it easy, too.
it would seem we're a revved up full moon werewolf high-stress family,
and we're all at it all together again.
ummmm.
the again,
i s'pose it's not ALL of us.....
awwwww.
but,
those of us without an exit strategy are shedding our skins
and howling wild in these hills.
yeah!!
we're here,
committed to committing acts of expertism 
for the whole entire rest of this restless week.
real talk.
what do we do when it's the first night of our time as a team?
we eat pasta.
that's right-
rules is rules.
i'm serious.
one way or another,
there's gonna be 'ronis going on,
and when we get it going on, we really do our best to do what's dope.
neighbors,
check the farfalle-type teleport:

C'MON!
beet-striped bowties, broski!
with semi-caramelized sweet onion,
and broth-braised broccolini and asparagus spears,
shredded baby spinach, and fresh sweet small tomatoes.
is that a little molto italiano parsley sprank situation on there?
OBvi.
i mean, c'mon...
what am i?
some sort of an A*hole?
no way.
you gotta garnish it,
or you're definitely doing it wrong
and taste-wise,
was it qualifiably  expert?
oh, yeah.
you know it.
but,
that wasn't it.
pasta is good,
but too much is the right amount...
...and that herb-crusted breaded seitan cutlet jaun?
oh MAN!
that's the freshness from the future.
corn starch and flour, with GPOP, black pepper, oregano,
basil, sage, and thyme, tossed together,
as a coating for some of my crucial homemade wheaten hottness.
mmmmmmm.
butterish-fried, for the saltiness factor,
and hit up with a little very fresh, very peppery poppin'-off cress,
and charred garlic sprankles.
yup.
barely blackened on the outside, soft on the inside, and super elite in my mouth.
huh?
oh,
that's a fresh-plucked oregano flower.
why?
because you know we like our food to look sexy.
ugly food is not for me.
*
tattoos all day, every day.
that's what the schedule suggests is going on.
however,
writing and baking and picture taking, dog-walking and sh!t-talking
are what my mornings are made of;
and big dinners with big kids and this burly dog are what the nights are lookin' like.
there's no free time,
but there's a whole lot of quality time.
i am grateful for this quantity of appreciable togetherness.
i'm lucky to have these ladies,
and we're lucky to be together.
it's all really happening,
and we're doing the best we can to be our best selves;
never quiet, never soft.....