Saturday, December 31


i normally hate goodbyes.
that's no joke.
new year's eve has never been one of 'em.
i mean,
it is immediately replaced by a new everything,
even though it's really just the same old sh!t.
except for the calendar.
that's a brand-spankin' freshie-fresh new one.,
here's the thing-
this year was a lot like the every other one for the past half a decade.
i took a few wins, i suffered a few losses,
and mostly, i just endured what the days had in store for me,
it wasn't as though nothing happened.
heck, a whole helluva lot went on from the first to the last:
i got way better at cooking and baking-
the sourdough bread game has transformed my kitchen for the better, forever;
i got (somehow) way worse at girls-
turns out, there was actually still room for devolution and dissolution;
i worked way too much-
it's the right amount, but it's the worst feeling;
i walked this F*ing dog for hundreds of miles-
crabtree is the bane and boon of my very spare spare moments;
i carried heavyweight resentments that broadened my shoulders;
i dropped myopic regrets and broadened my horizons;
the whole year went by in a flash,
and each glittering twinkle took another 'nother hair from my head away with it.
i'm balder, and grayer,
and my face is scarred;
my eyes are squinting,
which might make some of you suspect those are laugh lines on the edges....
they're not, at least, unless getting laughed AT causes those cracks and creases
on my careworn cranial carapace..
it's been a year.
just like all the always.
just like the next one.
it's all really happening,
and while there will be plenty of time for reflection,
as i drive across new england tomorrow,
for a little post-winter-break hostage drop-off exchange-
today is a day for eating some mutha-'ucking expert vegan treats!
that's a better use of my energy.
and the energy i expect to derive from this latest, greatest, last-of-the-year delight
is copious and capacious and fortuitous, and fruity in all the right ways.
check the sayonara-citrus-type teleport:

lemon and orange and satsuma(my darlin', those are a..k.a. clementines)
cake is great.
cake is good.
cake is what's poppin'.
cake is the TRUTH.
this one is extra-especially elite,
in that it's fluffy, and it's delicate, and it's dope,
all at the same time,
and all while taking that wintry spirit into account,
and then dominating it with the sunshiniest citrus spritz
that i could physically sprankle on top.
that's real.
what sort of 2016 send-off would it really even be
if it didn't take taste and texture to eleven?
i mean, c'mon, man-
rules is rules.
i got the fancy bundt pan.
those things are molto tricky
it's like somebody wants you to feel like a failure,
they're playing it realllllly low key.
before you do anything else,
spray down that non-stick surface with MORE non-stick sauce.
if you've got access to the 'baking spray' use it.
this is no time to worry about health-supportive environmentalism.
if you do that, you'll end up with a doo-doo buttery cake.
i'm serious.
and flour the sh!t outta that nonstick saucy-sprayed non-stick surface,
trust me on this one-
too much is the right amount.
that pan wants to eff your A*.
don't let it.
preheat your oven to 360F.
and now,
let's get into it-
1 stick vegan butts;
1 1/2 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon extract;
1/2 tsp orange extract;
^whisk all of that up reallllly well^
and add
3 cups flour;
1 T bakey soda;
zest of one small lemon and 1/2 of one orange;
3/4 cup soymilk + 1/4+ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
(i used clementines, and a mineola, because i can't resist complicating everything)
^whip it into an airy frenzy, friends^
and spread it gently around the rim of your fancy bundty butthole.....
that baby is gonna need to bake FOREVER.
i mean it.
like, closer to an hour, or maybe more, until a toothpick comes out cleam.
here's the tricky part-
it has to cool completely,
but it never will, until you pop it out of the pan.
when you pop it out of the pan,
it will hang on for dear life,
and try it's hardest to make you look like a chump in front of your people.
don't let it.
aesthetics or not,
that cake is cut off from the full-frame photo because it had a horrible deformity
where it refused to let go and come along peacefully.
F*ing jerk.
it didn't taste any worse,
but i found that last petty gesture fitting for this past petty year.
one mean-spirited ugly little dent for the road.
thanks for that.
i fixed it with frosting.
or rather,
i cold-shouldered it's sh!tty snit back at it,
with citrus spirited icing.
kapowdered sugar, o.j., lemon juice, vanilla, orange extract,
and clementine zest made an expert drizz,
and it really took the overall hottness well past the impending '17,
and maybe even all the way to 2027.
and lastly,
to finish it off right,
i microplaned all the zest that was left all over the top.
believe it.
i'm not playing around, man.
not when it comes to treats.
not ever.
i hate goodbyes.
but i love new year's eve.
i do.
my kids and i will be burning everything,
and eating everything else,
and staying up,
without that televised big-baloney ball-drop,
to wish each other all the good fortune and happiness
we know better than to expect.
as always,
there will be NO alcohol.
because that is for the diaperiest doo-doobuttery waterbabies,
and we can't hang out with that.
learn the rules, kiddos,
it's okay not to drink.
in fact,
it's more than okay,
it's basically mandatory within these hallowed hollow halls
we call the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
it's all really happening-
and we're spanning the times together,
as a team,
as a trio,
plus a dog,
because that's what we DO.
bye bye,
hello hello,
adios, aloha;
never quiet, never soft.....


you like those fudgy brownies?
me too!!
the thing is,
everybody likes the edge pieces.
with that exxxtra-crispy chocolate crunch,
and the seriously caramelized brown sugary sides
are in short supply when you use a pan.
that's beat, bro-
i mean,
i don't wanna miss out on the best part of the brownies,
just because i showed up a second too late-
i've got a solution, obviously,
because conflict without resolution is reserved for my personal life,
and not the daily goings-on in my oven.
word up.
allow me to present y'all with a little bit of chocolate lovin' for your face:

two sizes of mini-muffin tins were employed,
for maxxximun surface-edge coverage.
after the first was filled to the brim,
with a remainder of 50%,
what else could be done?
i see a need, i fill a need;
i see a bowl half full?
i empty it in half-full increments into muffin cups.
then my bowl is vacant, but my house is full of brownies.
F*ing-A right.
that's how i do it.
so, y'wanted MORE edges?
well.. too much is the right amount-
and these're ALL edge.
crispin' it up across the whole entire pan,
with powerfully chocolate, impossible sugary,
super-elite density and deliciousness that defies you not to have another.
what's IN there?
it's easy, and it all takes place in one pot, on the stove.
yep. the stove.
!!brownie batter!!
2 cups brown sugar;
melted into 1 cup non-dairy milk,
with 1 stick melted vegan butts,
all over medium-low heat, so nothing burns.
add 2 tsp vanilla;
sift in 2/3 cup cocoa;
stir to remove any lumps,
then, when it's melted but not HOT,
remove from that heat source,
and add 2 1/2 cups flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp bakey kapowder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1/2 cup chocolate chips;
and stir that into a thick, pasty, muddy mess.
if it looks like sh!t,
that's how you know it's good.
put it in the pan(s) of your choosing-
in this case 48 flippin' muffiny minis,
and bake for about 30ish minutes at 350F.
maybe less when they're as little as these guys.
and be careful.
that's an inhuman level of sugar,
and it will turn into brown glass if you don't pay attention.
brownies are expert.
these ones are no exception.
oh, c'mon, neighbors-
i was gonna leave 'em alone as just brownie bites?
what are you, new here?
no way.
i got those snowflake sugar cookies for the bigger babies,
and the little b!tchlettes got cocoa swirls!!!
butterish by the pat, proportionate to powdered sugar and cocoa, with a little vanilla,
1:1:1:splash by ratio,
made the black spread in between the rolled cookie bits.
i love a crawnchy cookie.
1 stick + 2 T butts
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
>1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 T vegan yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
375F, 11 minutes. don't sleep on it.,.
it's too simple not to try.
AND chocolate frosting?!?!
it's an experiment in decadence, duders.
and holy crapola,
are these ever rich and thick and totally effing brutal.
i like to bulldoze my way into tooth decay and diabetes,
like a freakin' juggernaut of dessert.
what can i say?
rules is rules,
and overdoing it is on top of that list.
you had better recognize, or you're likely to get wrecked.
we're almost out of time.
no, i don't mean the year.
whatever day/week/month/year it is,
my life remains largely unchanged, as has for so long,
i don't even think it matters what the numbers are....
i'm talking about vacation.
it's just about over.
tomorrow, i'll be in the car, heading down and up, in a big old oval loop-
from here to eternity,
and to infinity and beyond,
and then there and back again.
it's never enough.
and it never has been.
i am grateful for the time i have been given,
for the gift of spanning these wintry mornings and nights with these two teen turds
both of whom i happen to genuinely enjoy,
and not at all because i helped create them-
i make a lot of things i can't stand.
but these funny. smart, kind, genuine people are truly good for me to be around,
and they make the minutes all matter so much more-
after all,
time is money, and money is time,
and if how you spend one doesn't affect how you spend the other?
you're wasting both.
this investment of family togetherness
pays off HUGE dividends in every way-
i'd have to say it's well worth it.
i miss these guys before they leave.
a new year looms on the horizon,
but the same empty house comes right along with it.
it's all really happening, friends.
and without the bitter, the sweet just isn't ever as sweet-
of course.
the inverse must also be true.
nobody leaves with the title,
but everybody still leaves;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, December 30


i get into the quasi-asian sensations.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t when i think it's appropriate.
and when my dearest darlings are trapped inside on a super wintry
heavy-duty snow day?
what better time to warm it up with some fresh fattie-boombattie boomfire
for all our faces?
you know our style-
too much is the right amount.
and we got into it like we really meant some serious business last night.
check the teleport:

jasmine rice?
good usage of the homemade seitan?
purple cabbage, hidden just off frame?
the picture is worth a thousand words,
but purple and cabbage aren't two of them.
we persevered,
and we devoured a disgustingly delicious and dominant dosage of dumps
while we were at it.
that's riiiiiiight.
we activated,
we dominated,
we appreciated,
and were rewarded with sated appetites,
and warmer wishes for the impossibly powerful
stormy weather whaling away without our redoubt.
seitan strips, onion strips, and sesame oil-
sizzling away for a spell,
with a bit of GPOP and ginger tossed in got the party started.
then, the broccoli made it's appearance, and the whole of it was steamed just a tad,
with a liberal blast of seitan-stock, and a well sealed lid.
green brox are key.
y'don't want your veg turning olive drab and doo-doo buttery.
so, don't overdo it.
make sure the seitan is sufficiently browned first,
and the onions aren't all raw and suckie, too.
then brox, then broth, then steam, then sauce.
yeah man.
garlic sauce is the TRUTH.
and this one,
based on the garlic content, at least, must'be been brutally honest, too.
what's in it?
this is:
tamari, rice wine vinegar, agave, GPOP, ginger, coriander,
a drop of liquid smoke, black pepper, red pepper flakes,
ground mustard, sesame seeds, sesame oil (just a drip),
huge garlic slices, crushed garlic, and arrowroot, all slurried up,
and ready to thicken quickly at the very end of the road.
how much of all those things? man, c'mon.
eyeball it.
if you like it extra gingery, use more of that,
if you're alone, and nobody is coming to your makeout party,
go exxxtra heavy on the garlic,
if you're a spice-head, (but not like in dune) freak kit off with cayenne.
you got this.
i believe in you.
make me proud.
the rice, and seitan and brox and sauce were all set.
i even gave it a poopie little plop of microgreens, to kyooten it up.
yeah, you do.
as always, who stole the show?
those diaperloads of dopeness did.
every time they're around,
they always do that.
make your own dump skins-
1 cup flour;
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour;
a pinch of salt;
a little shakey-shake (>tsp) of xantham gum;
1 T of flax seeds;
1/2 cup hot water.
that's it.
knead it, rest it for five or ten,
roll it on a very heavily floured surface,
and cut out some 3-4" circles with whatever you've got handy for that purpose.
the filling in these particular tasties was made mostly by maple.
thanks, kid.
1/2 block of minced tofu;
1/2 small onion, diced so nicey nice;
1 little carrot, chopped into the tiniest bits;
sauteed in sesame oil,
seasoned with splashed of tamari and rice wine,
spritzes of Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,
1 clove of crushed garlic,
coriander and grated ginger,
plus about six shreddily chiffonaded brussels sprouts.
why is dumping up so F*ing good?!?!
i mean,
i sear mine for two minutes in hot hot oil,
and then splash 'em with liquid-
in this case the last of the seitan stock-
and steam the sh!t outta that whole pan until all the liquid is absorbed.
then, i give 'em a few more minutes flipped on either side,
to put that brownified fry-up to the skins, bro.
you love it,
we love it.
everybody who is any good loves it.
and if you don't love it?
you're not any good, obvioulsy.
rules is rules.
everything got fully-operational and totally activated with a little cilantro,
and a bunch of scallion sprankles.
that's dope.
and straight up,
we had ourselves a pretty good dippin' sauce too.
what's the deal with dippin' sauce?
you take all the stuff you like,
some wet stuff, some spicy stuff, some sweet stuff,
and you stir it all together.
then.....oh, i dunno,
maybe dip your dumps in it, dude?!
sauce it up like a saucy little boy.
it snowed a lot.
as in-
and the whole of this lovely forest realm is surely going to be stuffed,
from the toes to the nose,
with the biggest batchh of the b!tchbaggeriest babies from all points southerly
as the long weekend begins with feet of fresh powpow for all these d!ckturds
to slalom and gnar out on.
my least favorite portion wintertime in the woodsly goodness?
white people on vacation.
summertime folks are vastly different from the hordes of volvos and rovers
that take each turn at two miles per hour every twenty feet
from here to anywhere within an hour's drive.
i may not ever understand why people come here for all the winter hottness,
but remain shook and horrified by any display of winter weather.
on the real-
if you're terrified by the roads when four flakes fall?
just stay home until later, man-
i've actually got places to be,
and accounting for diapery waterbaby roadweaklings is not the warriors' way.
     dear white people-
                  maybe if you got tattooed more often,
                  i wouldn't mind you clogging up my town as much.
                  i can appreciate how complicated your coffee order is,
                  at the F*ing drive-thru, no less.
                  i'm also delighted by your kids always being in pajamas,
                  in public, at all hours of any and every day.
                  and by all means, carry on enjoying your innate sense of infinite
                  privilege on the roads and in restaurants and at every store
                  i happen to be shopping in...
                  but, please,
                  just once in a while,
                  maybe try using a directional signal a few seconds BEFORE
                  locking your breaks in a two-lane crossover surprise
                  outlet mall turn-in?
                  i don't actually want to drive up your tailpipe.
                  or not,
                  i mean, you are on vacation,
                  why be considerate in any way?
                                                                            thanks anyway,
                                                                                       your pal,
     it's so adorbs that you're watching frozen on four televisions in your car,
     instead of watching where you're going.
     smooches from me to you
dog walking is about to suck balls, y'all.
the snow is deeper than crabtree is tall.
and he's a great big baby about even a few inches.
i'm ready to trudge and plod like a yeti,
and if he isn't on board?
he's coming for the walk, even if it becomes a real drag,
figuratively, or literally.
thanks, ma nature.
you win again;
never quiet, never soft.....

the FINAL-48

two days.
that's all.
two days are all that is left-
of this week;
of the whole month;
of the entire mutha-flippin' year;
and, mostly,
of my funtime sparklemagical family winter vacation;
we're down to the last stretch,
the finish line is in sight.
what are we doing?
we're doing the best we can, man.
what else is there?
well, yes,
we're definitely doing a lot of THAT.
for example,
at breakfast-time,
we had big blocks of fluffy blueberry oatmeal magnificence.
that's no joke.
in fact,
check the teleport:

these jauns have that lofty crumb like clouds of angelic heaven an' that.
i mean it.
i dunno what changed, really,
but this is yet another 'nother example
of the new new hottness that's been happening on my kitchenly exploits.
how do YOU make these?
that's simple, you do this:
1 cup raw sugar;
1 stick vegan butts;
1/2 tsp salt;
^creamed together^
3/4 cup soy yogurt;
2 tsp vanilla;
^folded in thoroughly^
2 cups a.p. flour;
(i use king arthur, exclusively. i've tried the rest, i stick with the best)
1 T bakey kapowder;
1/2 cup fresh-ground oats;
1/2 cup ground coconut;
1 cup non-dairy milk + 2 T lemon juice;
three big handfuls of frozen wild blueberries-
(the small ones give you more blueberry coverage, with less post-bake blarp)
on top,
i added:
4 T ground oatmeal;
4 T powdery sugs;
3 T butts;
1/4 tsp vanilla;
mashed into a sticky mass, like exxxtra-wet cookiedough,
and dolloped on top.
when baked at 360F for 33 minutes,
the toppin' melts along the surface,
and seals in some of the blueberry moisture,
which in turn gives these guys a steamy loftiness
that elevates the whole dang experience.
real talk.
...and with a pat of butter in the middle,
gettin' all melty in the crannies and sh!t while it's still warm???
if you can't hang out with that,
you're definitely some kind of an A*-hole.
i'll be doing my damnedest to make these again.
of course,
that's difficult to do when i'm always moving forward.
there's so many things i want to make,
and only so much time,
and oven space,
and flour on hand at any given moment.
i'll do what i can to recollect and replicate
these righteous right-angled breakfast blocks,
but there's a high likelihood that instead,
i'll just end up exploring some other other new-new,
and whatever happens is what we'll be talking about next time.
two days left.
that's it.
this was a weird year for tattooing in the woodsly goodness.
that's a thing.
i did more tattoos than i quite possibly ever have before,
and i enjoyed far fewer of the than ever,
and far less than i would've guessed was possible.
that needs to be amended, man.
in regards to that-
i had my friend ari in for some work on his sleeve,
and today,
it's my good buddy beau sitting all day for more work on HIS sleeve,
pretty good, no?
but what's that mean for manana?
it means the pricetag is high, and the bill is due.
every good day costs something.
remember that.
and nobody leaves with the title, friends.
remember that, too.
i will leave 2016 behind no worse off than any other prior year.
that's the one benefit of hermitage in the high hills of the far north-
ever day is already the hardest style,
and that makes all the everydays identically difficult.
when it's all bad, all the time,
you're really kind of un-F*-withable, relatively speaking...
i'm prepared for these final hours-
we've got burnable bits stockpiled high,
a refrigerator packed with ingredients,
movies cued up on deck for the evening,
and family togetherness of the most stir-crazy and abrasive sort,
all tied into these tiny times that are left to us-
it's a sort of snow day hospice for the end of the year.
we may not go out on top,
but i can promise you that we will at least exit with full and satisfied stomachs.
last meals are a courtesy extended to even the worst of the worst, after all.
wordimus prime.
play to your strengths if you've only got time for one last play.
that's smart.
you'll still lose, naturally, at the last minute,
but there's no reason to make it too easy-
no matter what,
nobody likes a quitter;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, December 29


don't get it flipped, friends-
there's something called pizza tacos,
which i believe is pizza toppings inside a tortilla.
i'm sure that's good, but it sounds wet, and flimsy,
and just not strong enough to withstand the demands of my family
of furious shark gluttonous food critics.
i went the opposite direction,
and made taco pizzas.
i'm not sayin' it was inspired,
but if YOU were to say it, i s'pose i'd have to agree.
because we consumed a couple of expert vegan sorcerous circles
and the brought out the best in all of us.
that's no joke.
after a long day of tattooing the same tattoo, twice, (for realsies)
i came home and made the same sort of pizza, twice-
except only totally different,
also both equally F*ing delicious.
check the taco-tuesday-apizza-type teleport:

i love pizza and i love tacos and i don't always want to have to choose.
damn, it always makes me so psyched to munch up on a pie, neighbors.
i mean it.
and these jauns?
the semi-semolina dough only gets doper each time,
so the crusts always inspire me to greater feats of topping up.
1 1/2 cup a.p. flour
1 1/4 cup semolina flour
1 T salt
1 cup warm water + 1 T sugar + 1 T golden flaxmeal + 1 T yeast
2 T olive oil.
that's this most recent dough, yo.
it's enough for three pizzas.
i let it rise,
i punch it down,
i let it rise again,
i punch it down again,
i do NOT listen to chumbawumba,
i put it in the fridge,
i cut it into portions at least 8 hours later,
and i save 'em until needed.
we had a little salad.
so what?
lettuce and sh!t goes great with tacos.
take it easy.
that's what you're focused on?
get into the right frame of mind, man-
there's PIZZA to talk about.
on the bottom,
that's a pretty elite, but sorta traditional pizza.
cashew-garlic-tofu spreadable goodness is on the base layer;
a little salsa-style crushed tomato sauce
(just add cilantro and cayenne and lime, dudes);
after that,
it's a doubleheader of daiya chee', both cheddar and mozzarella,
spread evenly,
before all of that gets heaped up with homemade seitan asada-
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
lots of Garlic Powder Onion Powder
black pepper
2 T nutritional yeast
3/4 cup veggie broth
a splash of liquid smoke
2 T tamari
knead all that into a stickyish heavy dough,
and let it rest for a few.
a lot of folks shred it up at this point.
not me, though.
i slice mine into slabs-
as the larger the initial pieces you begin with are,
the more options for future activation i retain.
and those get SIMMERED in a big ol' pot of broth,
with liquid smoke and soy sauce,
a chunk of kombu, if you're a purist (i'm not at all)
and maybe even an onion if you're feeling crazy,
for about an hour-
i let mine cool off in that brownish bath, too, before reserving a quart of the liquid,
and packing up the 'steaks' for good stuff like asada-be-kidding me.
sliced strips of that seitan,
with oregano, and paprikas (all of them)
and GPOP, and galric, and sweet onion, and cayenne, and lime juice,
and black pepper, and coriander and cumin,
and lots of olive oil, and my steaky hottness was ready to 'za the eff out.
add on some black beans, a bunch of sweet baby bell pepper rings,
thin strands of sweet onion,
and a finisher, post-bake of cilantro sprankles???
word up.
that's the big action.
but that was just one half of the magic.
there's MORE.
there usually is.
i mean,
rules is rules.
and part two was even burlier, and thrice as heavy.
i mean it.
a base of nootch-boosted ho'sauce-activated refried beans.
then that doublechee' blend,
and a whole mess of tempeh taco crOmbles!
i had half a block of tempeh hanging out,
and a bunch of those black beans, too.
with a half a cup of those crushed tomatoes on hand,
and a quarter of that sweet onion still remaining,
i tossed all of that in a pot,
and let it stew up,
with a splash of malt vinegar,
and a splash or two of tamari,
a small scoople of bouillon,
GPOP, nootch, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and ho'sauce,
until all those little tempeh flecks were plump and pretty.
quartered grape tomatoes,
sliced black olives,
and a whole bunch of green oniony scallion spranx took it all up a tier,
and the level eleven loud fresh hardness
filled our F*ing faces with so much food!!!
instead of cooking all day, like i normally would,
harvest and maple and i went down to portland, maine,
and took down a heroic heaping mountain of vegan goodness.
i'll admit,
the time we span as a team
is better than baking a big ol' batch of bullsh!t all by my lonesome,
but it feels super weird to abandon my normally scheduled system of activities.
i mean, but like, really weird, though.
i survived,
and none of us is in any way worse off for the fun times
and family togetherness we shared all dang day from start to finish-
i didn't make nearly as many treats as i'd have liked to.
i guess that's a fair trade.
i'd much rather make memories than cake, anyway.
we have a good time, every time, when we get ourselves into a group.
i know just how lucky i am to have a couple of kids
who can stand to be around me for more than a minute or two.
i only hope i can continue to entertain and inspire them as the week wears on.
we're ringing in a new era, you nerds.
one great big child and two smaller big children,
and this mother-effing dog,
all doing what we do,
as expertly as we are able,
until our time is up.
there's a new year headed our way,
and we aim to ring it in at full volume;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, December 28


cinnamon rolls,
cinnamon buns,
cinnamon swirls.
whatever, man.
i got 'em,
we ate 'em,
and you need 'em.
real talk.
check the teleport:

this was the first batch of amended-dough dopeness i've attempted.
a little of this, a lot of that, and a bunch of crossed fingers.
good news-
my crazy-person brain knows how to cinnamon,
even in a hurry, by the seat of my pants,
and without exact measurements.
but, i mean, roughly,
i kinda know what was going on-
these rollios are smaller than usual,
because i made the recipe about 2/3rds the size of the normal one,
there's twice as many.
y'see how that goes?
a lotta littles.
i think it goes a lil' somethin' like this:
1 cup a.p. flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup sourdough starter
2 T wheat gluten
1/2 tsp salt
1 T ground golden flaxmeal
3 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup warm soymilk
with 3 T melted butts
1 T bread-machine yeast
(i dunno what it is, but i just like the way this stuff works)
combine the milk, butts, flax, and yeast,
and allow that sh!t to activate.
the rest gets mooshed up as a messy mass,
and then you add the one to the other,
and give it a beatin' in the stand mixer.
you don't have a stand mixer
why didn't you ask for one for christmas??
you're effin' UP.
the resultant dough needs to rise.
keep an eye on it.
the sourdough starter is largely there to add a flavor component,
and the commercial stuff is gonna do all the heavy lifting.
the rest is easy.
roll out a rectangle,
spread a mixture of
1ish cup brown sugar,
3-4 T vegan butts
and cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of vanilla,
evenly across the surface of your long doughy dopeness.
and this is the key,
get yourself some thick and luscious jam-
i used blackberry, because i enjoy the sweetest of juices,
and spread a blarpity layer over the cinnamon filling,
paying special attention to coverage in the center 1/3 of the dough.
roll it up, cut it into 16 little swirlies,
spread out evenly in a 10" cake pan,
and bake those babies for about 35 minutes,
or until the golden crumb is as irresistible as the aroma
flooding your nostrils, the kitchen, and the rest of the house.
they're so dope.
i activated 'em with some very melty creamchee'/sugar glaze.
2 T creamchee',
4 T powdery sugs
a drop of vanilla X,
and a splish of soymilk.
for as thick as it was, it sure disappeared on top of the hottness almost immediately.
which was great,
because the glaze soaked right into the bready part,
and made everything even softer and stickier and sweeter than before.
i love treats, neighbors,
and i'm dedicated to making new and better versions of all of them,
all the time.
it's already wednesday.
time is moving faster than i can keep up with.
my kids and i are gonna really need to not sleep a wink
if we wanna maximize the remainder of this week.
of course,
they're out cold upstairs,
and i've been baking like a maniac since before dawn.
so, really, we will have to make the most of whatever's left of each day.
i think we can do it.
i'm determined.
they're demanding.
i see a need, i fill a need.
they create a need, and a mess,
and i think that's how synergy works?
well, then,
we'll just have to improvise;
never quiet, never soft.....


do you like waffles?
yeah, we like waffles!
do you like real maple syrup?
what are you?
 an A*-hole?
of COURSE we like real maple syrup.
this is new england.
this is new hampshire.
this is Folk Life & Liberty.
that syrupy maple jauns is every bit as essential as my maple child.
harvest and maple and i know the rules of XI-mas.
and among the first rules on the charter
is the one that says we have to have the big breakfast.
the big deluxe is key to appreciating the rest of the day.
y'feel me?
it's a thing.
and this time around it was waffles and syrup and scrambo, too.
check the mutha-'ucking massive-morning-type teleport:
that's that big badaBOOOOM!
coconut oatmeal waffles,
complimented by coconut vanilla breakfast tea,
activated with a b!tchslap of treesap sugarsauce,
and turned right on up to eleven with sugared candy almond sprankles!!!!
sliced almonds, toasted in a hot pan with a pat of butts,
splashed with a few drops of vanilla and almond extracts,
dumped into kapowdered sugar, 
and tossed around for that instant flash-glazed goodness.
that's IT.
too much is the right amount.
that's the way we do it to it.
y'wanna know what's IN these waffles?
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oat flour (freshly ground)
1/3 cup ground unsweetened coconut
1 T bakey kapowder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 heaping T sugar
3 T vegan sour cream
4+ T melted butts
1 1/2 cup soymilk curdled with 2 T lemon juice
^^^everything added together in that order,
and gently folded into a battery bowl of blops,
and then rested for as long as possible, 
while the waffle iron heats up and the rest of it gets prepared.
fried tomatoes have become a staple of our mornings. 
because they're delicious.
...don't be dumb.
 and that scrambo?
GPOP, turmeric, red onion, nootch, black pepper, and smoked paprika, in olive oil,
on low heat, forever and ever,
had that undrained exxxtra-firm tofu turnt to the maxxx.
that's for realsies.
i think i like breakfast because it requires the least attention to measurements.
if the tofu looks dry, i hit it with a splash of broth, maybe.
if the batter looks to thick, 
i just add more soymilk.
i love it when it works out well.
those skin on small cubes of roasted potato homeboyfries??
the precookin' keeps the moosh away,
and that's such a good thing.
a couple scallion spranks,
a little buttery sauteed red onion, 
a whole lotta smoked and regular and hot paprika,
black pepper, ho'sauce, and GPOP (obvi)
the big breakfast is the best.
and we really elevated the experience with that upper left corner.
that 11o'clock spot on the plate is placed there 
because that's the exact level it's on, bro.
all that breakfast food,
AND blackberry jammie-jam cinnamon rolls??!!??1
if there's not an overabundance of hottness,
it's like we did it wrong, and no good will come of it.
...and that's not how we do family togetherness, at all.
we find our common ground, me and my kids.
it happens in the car,
with crabtree riding copilot, 
and these dudes getting chauffeured through the hills 
and valleys of the woodsly goodness,
while we blast a bop or two, and rock out as a team.
it happens at the table, too-
where my open-minded and adventurous offspring
are happily exposed to new and different considerately-constructed
compassionately-created cruelty-free cuisine,
made prettily, and pretty tastily, 
with me and them and us all involved.
that's what i've always wanted for my vacation-time family.
i mean,
we only get a little bit of time to span,
so we do our best to make it the best.
and honestly,
it's really very easy with a couple of kids like these.
that's no joke.
i am grateful for the time we get as a trio.
it's truly the brightest spot in all this dark.
we're eating, singing, dancing, laughing, and having one heck of a time.
there's not enough of it,
so we're making the most of it,
and it's ALL really happening,
which i s'pose is the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, December 27


somehow i made the softest fluffiest most-magnificently magical cake,
and all with ingredients i may never have otherwise have used-
regular-A* flour;
regular-A* sugar;
reduced-fat coconut??!!
i made a thing,
and it amazed all who tried it.
check the christmas-miracle-type teleport:

so i got it poppin' early, because i'm an early riser, wherever i go,
and we had time before the rest of the family came by.
in fact,
we had more than i anticipated,
and i already anticipated that there was NO way they'd be on time.
it has actually never once happened, and i don't expect it to start in my lifetime.
the cake was expert.
and unexpectedly fluffed the F* out.
here's what i did, lemme know if yours does the same-
1 stick of vegan butts;
1 1/4 cup plain ol' sugar;
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt
1 1/4 cups reduced fat flake coconut
^^^whisked into a frenzy^^^^
to which i added:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose regular white flour;
1 T baking kapowder
1 cup plain soymilk
^whipped all the way up,
but still sort or wet, which makes me wonder if i mismeasured something...
poured into a ten inch springform, single-layer-style,
and baked for a bout 35-40ish minutes at 350F in an electric oven.
i dunno what specifically was different enough to produce the airiest jaun
i've baked in an age,
but damn, we devoured it like a group of starved savages once it was decorated.
and those decorations!!!
chocolate chips and soymilk, melted with a splish of vanilla,
and ganache-glazed across the top!
coconut sprankles?
you know i gotta keep the theme going, neighbors.
coconut on coconut is good for you.
and those strawberry slices?
juicy, and sweet, and molto sexxy, for sure,
especially with those ganache stripes drizzled across 'em.
i don't want ugly food in my face if i can hep it, holmes.
and i helped myself to many slices of this epic beauty,
in molto rapid succession, as my whole mouth smiled the entire time,
even while i chewed (which i only barely even did).
chocolate frosting?!
obvi, man.
too much is the right amount
and you know i'm psyched on that new pastry tip i got,
down at the fancy craft spot, just for the occasion.
i'm not afraid to invest in making the most of the time i have,
wherever i am.
the thing about strong personalities
is that they don't mesh well with other strong personalities-
that's actually almost guaranteed.
when asked if i could just not be SO MUCH of myself,
i couldn't help but ask myself a few questions-
*who even am i, if not myself?
*how am i not myself?
*how can i NOT be myself?
i didn't expect an existential quandary to arise
from my customary christmastime conflict.
here i am,
and this is it.
i think maybe the main difference between respect and disrespect
is convenience.
if we're inconvenienced by something-
and this is true even more so if we've freely chosen to be accommodating-
we immediately stop being respectful, and nurture resentment.
it's hard not to.
i mean,
it's interfering with the way we conduct our routines.
where's the appreciation?
or, rather,
why isn't the appreciation being conveyed in the way we want it to be?
it's the same reason nobody respects protests except the ones protesting:
...because they're a clot in the flow of our own personal narrative.
it's inconvenient to have to reroute any part of your day,
especially when it's because of others expressing a viewpoint
that you possibly didn't even have any prior opinion about- least, until it got in your way.
it's extreme and confrontational and vaguely your enemy.
the truth is-
i'm consumed by my own daily trials.
i've been at war, for some years now, with the inconvenience
of self-imposed responsibilities.
and beset by the petty demons of time and age and discontent,
there's just so little left over for anyone else.
i'm made out of fighting, i think.
my constant struggle, with an absolute lack of perspective,
has me hard-hearted and self-absorbed much of the time-
it's a sort of selfish self-preservation, i suppose.
a perpetual motion defense mechanism that keeps me moving,
even if it's only in circles.
how can i be less like myself?
by giving up, and giving in.
and if that's what it takes to be less,
when the objective has always been to be MORE?
then i guess we're all sh!t outta luck.
i'd like to be liked,
but if the only way to like me is for me not to be like me?
then i guess i'd rather be respected.
the thing is,
i'll bet the only way to accomplish that is to stay a ways away.
y'know those dudes who do what they do, everywhere elsewhere?
those are my dudes.
the hermits.
the wizards.
the worthy warrior-poets.
damned to do my best,
doomed to have it never be enough.
it's all really happening,
that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....


did i stop cooking in connecticut?
despite going out to eat at all my favorite places,
i still made a little somethin' for me and my ma.
in an unfamiliar kitchen,
using largely what was on hand,
plus a few purchases from the insanely busy
and preposterously poorly-staffed grocery store,
i whipped up a tasty dinner, on the fly,
and in a hurry.
check the teleport:

i'm not used to track lightning,
so i think the photo is a bit more indoor-nighttime
than my smartphone photography skills could circumvent.
it's kind of fun in a way,
trying to hook it all up outside the carefully constructed comfort
of one's own optimized space.
i was excited about fancy dinner,
but i was the most excited about all the new and different
non-new-hampshire nature bits i found along the pathways
of my loooooong morning walks with crabtree.
we were out there in my old stomping grounds,
and we were, well, stomping.
all around the southern part of town,
in the rain, and on the ice, and in the woods,
and all along the wide range of neighborhoods that exist within one hour
of leisurely on-foot pacing.....
i had a heck of a time.
and when i was done with that,
i had a heck of a dinner...
red lentil seitan cutlets,
with tomato relish;
creamy tempeh wild rice, with maple-sweetened tempeh medallions;
and some broth-braised broccolini buds to activate any nutrients
all that beige might've been missing.
i hydrated the tempeh in store-bought veggie broth,
with GPOP, and black pepper, and crushed red pepper,
and real maple syrup, of course.
my folks have that on hand just in case i stop by.
i added all the trimmings of the tempeh discs to the rice,
and used more broth instead of water to boil it up.
really, it was an exercise in adaptation,
and i think i pulled it off.
i had all four burners going at once-
simmering and sizzling those tempeh circles
until the liquid was absorbed and dissolved,
so they could caramelize a bit of the maple sugars,
and get a little crisp on the sides.
bubbling the red lentils with a little sauteed red onion,
about a cup's worth of cooked results,
and adding in the GPOP, parsley, black pepper, paprika, smoked sea salt,
and a cup of vital wheat gluten, to make those patty-caked cutlets
for shallow olive oil frying.
i deglazed the pan twice with broth, too.
i made good use of that stuff.
i even added a tablespoon of it to the chopped tomatoes and onion i had blistering
in oil, touched with paprika and peppers and parsley and thyme.
and i even got some scallions, to garnish all those jauns with sprankles?
and while it wasn't a recipe day,
it was a feast all the same.
i could've done a lot worse with a lot more,
so i'm counting it as a win.
did you guys know that i curate my own content?
sometimes, i make a magical dinner,
but for whatever reason, it just doesn't make it on here.
for example,
a month ago, i made this:

that's a whole lot of gooey goodness going on, guys.
it tasted amazing in every way, too-
but that picture is for sh!t,
so i left it out.
the point i'm making here is-
it's ALL really happening,
but i get to choose what to focus on,
and what i want to share with the world.
that must apply to everything, right?
like, not just food?
even when there's crowded and poorly lit, questionably plated dinners,
or equally dim and obstructed days and nights and weeks,
we can just archive those failures and foibles,
and focus instead of the fresh-to-deathness that's sure to be coming next.
i'm giving it a go,
and heck,
i'm even eating the ugly food anyway.
and i'm enjoying the good qualities that still exist within it-
i gotta.
it's not my preference,
but that's occasionally all there is.
word up;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, December 26


Xmas was good.
family times.
food times.
berfday times.
friend times.
there were a lot of times in such a short time-
i'm back where i most surely belong,
up in the white mountainous wintry woodsly goodness,
snug and safe within the walls of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
with harvest and maple,
and the three of us had second christmas, a.k.a. nextmas, this morning.
what comes after X?
that's right.
you know it, and you love it.
XI-MAS is in full effect,
and today is the day when we do what we do.
it's turned it up, rocked out,
and all together,
the three of us had one heck of an expert time.
check the family-togetherness-type teleport:

crabtree even wore his sweater.
i woke up extra early and made breakfast,
and then, once we munched up a little bit
(read as: gorged ourselves stupid and corpulent on deliciousness)
the presents were opened to the collective delight of everyone.
crabby gets a stocking, too.
in fact, the only empty one was mine.
womp womp.
but, guys,
i got the good paper,
the thoughtful contents,
the dedicated and determined presentation, consideration,
and professional appreciation,
not to mention the quantity.
i mean.
rules is rules,
and too much is the right amount.
we did our thing,
and we're better off for it.
me and mine have our traditions,
and we've kept at 'em through thick, thin, hard, heavy, and cold.
it's all really happening,
but it's better when we're a trio of triumphant lightning-striking vikings,
savaging a stormswept raging crimbo holiday as one cohesive fighting unit.
we battle-beast and we battle-feast,
and we are lucky to have the time we do;
never quiet, never soft.....


if you're a true pizza-head,
and you know about what's really 'hood when it comes to that original,
authentic old-school paisano flavor,
the you know that new haven pizza is the TRUTH.
no jokes,
no allowances,
no exceptions.
and when i'm in new haven,
i'd be remiss, and also a total A-hole,
if i didn't re-up my sauce count.
you don't know about the sauce count?
c'mon, man.
get with it.
it's like white blood cells, or platelets,
or serotonin, or somethin' like that.
there's an acceptable parameter for the presence or absence of sauce.
and when it gets low,
you get all kinds of effed up.
that's no joke.
once you have some frank pepe's pizzeria napoletana apizza,
your body is immediately and irrevocably reliant on a infusion of
that mutha-F*ing life-giving sustenance SAUCE, son.
i'm serious.
too long without hometown pizza, and you'll wither away to nothing.
i've experienced it before,
and been forced to journey to connecticut to save myself.
this is a serious matter.
...and yeah,
i DO get busy with the crushed tomato pies up in the woodsly goodness,
by the forceful genetic pull of some long-suffering latent weaponized
mutant guinea X-factor in my DNA,
awakened by the first slice of 'za, ages and ages ago,
i'm dependent on the intermittent inoculation against weak sauce
by some of this lil'-italy-style wooster square BOSS SAUCE.
thank goodness for the spot, bros.
the original, semi-secret, next-door location for those world famous jauns....
check the teleport:

no cheese? no worries.
that's right.
it's the first item on the flippin' menu,
because really real ones know what time it is.
and it's no cheese o'clock, b!tch.
we love the tradition of returning over and over to the same place,
for the reliably expert excellence of our favorite food.
thee's a special kind of pride in living far away,
but being remembered by every server in the space,
every time i'm in town,
because of our long-standing quadruple-generational family ties,
and impenetrable patronage to the best pizza on the planet.
that's word.
in addition,
the first two days of my trip included a whole other 'nother special tradition,
begun six years ago, as a mandatory berfday pre-party party for me and my peoples.
sweet claude's ice cream parlor has what i need, nerds.

what's the emergency?
it's a tub of scoopable 'scream, waiting for my face.
that's some red-alert sh!t, man.
strawberry and fudge ripple??
...and look,
day two kept it just as real:

cookie and chocolate chunk!!!
that's what we do, me and mine.
we tale it to eleven,
we add sprankles,
we feast and we fight and we fete and we feel all the important feelings,
louder, and harder, and bigger than is ever considered advisable.
because too much is the right amount,
and that's the way it's gotta be.
i am so super grateful for all of it,
as it all really happens,
-the gift of spanning time, with these children,
who are becoming actual people,
and they're becoming real life people who i just happen to like,
at least thus far.
that's a win, buddy.
i'll take 'em where i can;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, December 25


over the course of this past fall season,
the whole world seems to have gone off kilter,
and there's a resultant lack of balance that has a great many of my close friends
(by which i mean: we talk infrequently at best)
feeling like there's a big, bad, bleak, break in the business of being alive and well
in the wider waking world a-comin' on down
the (groundwater-poisoning) pipeline just to flush us all down the tubes.
to that i say:
what the eff took you guys so long to catch up?
it took a few disastrous reality checks for the majority
of my optimistic-based-entirely-on-privilege friends and family
to see the bigger picture the way my magic eye decoder-vision has for decades.
i'm just sayin',
i bought a billion bullets, beans, and band-aids ages ago,
in anticipation of the collapse of civilized society.
i'm not a disaster-preppin' 2a/3%/libertarian doomsday armageddonist.
i'm just a man who chose to live in a region that is incredibly inhospitable
to worthy warrior poetry in all it's forms,
and i don't pretend to hold onto much faith,
nor much hope for the boundless beneficent enlightenment of everyone else.
on the ones,
competent, calculated, coherent communication is not welcome around here.
and because i don't live in the supportive-and-tolerant sector of educated
and entitled academics and artists,
within the ease and comfort of a lifestyle-conducive concentration
of similarly-minded synergistic community members,
i've seen more of those people that my friends almost never ever associate with,
in greater numbers, far more often, and for durations longer than i would've
thought i could ever endure.
...and you know what i do about it?
did you just say peacefully protest?
yeah, exactly.
i take a walk with a sign.
c'mon, man.
no way.
i do what i always do,.
i work at being the best version of myself.
and i work through the hardest days, the longest nights,
the loneliest stretches of darkening doorsteps and grim tidings-
...and while the alarmist reactionary vigor one gets from receiving
a surprise referendum affirming the OPPOSITE of all your values
as the preferred template for the future, by the vast majority
of the demihumans, blarps, and necktard stump-creatures you live amongst,
yet largely unaware of-
that is, until their mutant mating calls, (or their ballots, or their bombs)
drown out all rational, intelligible sounds-
must be a huge explosion of shock and rage and outrage
and desperation and despair
and hopeful hopelessness and harmful helpfulness,
and heartache and headache and hand-cramps, from thumb to pinky,
due to all the letter writing and art-making and bird-flipping....
those feelings?
this sense that suddenly the terrible tipped the scales,
and broke the levy,
and burst the dam,
and bubbled over the top?
i can empathize, but i can't sympathize,
because that's been literally every single actual day in the woodsly goodness
for way too many years now.
(i insist there is definitely and definitively no hyperbole in that statement)
while 2016 seems to have everybody elses' tighty-whiteys
in a wedgily-edgy and molto tight pinch,
and their motivation at an appreciably feverish pitch
for a new year of resistance and recalcitrance towards the powers that be-
the world-controlling war-pigs,
the resource-commodifying capitolist cadre;
the glass-ceiling-installing penis-dangling male misogynist oppressors;
the puppets and their globalizing/order destabilizing masters;
etc etc etc,
i'm still busy doing what i always do,
in the ways i feel most accurately represent my beliefs, ideas, and principles.
there's just not a lot of room for the luxury of worrying about the echoing,
outward-expanding concentric rings of of harder times in the broader sense.
it's not that i don't care-
(i've been accused of that recently)
it's that the immediate needs of this lonesome life of mine take up all of my time already.
there's so little left over for meddling on a larger scale.
a starving man cares not for the long term,
his urgent, deeply personal problem takes precedence.
i'm starving, man.
just, not literally,
because of all this amazing vegan food i make...
integrity is continuing to maintain your principles
in the face of hardship, adversity, or disadvantage-
insanity is maintaining consistency despite negative results,
with the (usually unlikely) expectation of a different outcome
under identical conditions.
it seems like the line between the two
is by-the-bye and by-and-largely defined by success or failure.
...and also, likely, the number of attempts.
i'm no longer sure if i've crossed from one to the other,
or if i haven't moved at all,
and which side of the line i was on to begin with.
....hard styles are the ones i remember most clearly;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, December 22


my little baby is fifteen.
fifteen years.
in a row.
my youngest is 15.
it's a big berfday for maple star.
what a good kid.
i'm a lucky guy, neighbors.
i mean it.
i could've gotten stuck with a couple of real sh!tbombs,
but instead of getting typical teens with big attitudes,
and deep resentments of their divorced and logistically distant dad,
we get along well,
and for the most part, we like each other,
in fact,
i'm actually a big fan of these little jerks.
they're cool.
...way cooler than i ever will be,
and maple is a very interesting little capricorn.
i'm very excited for big falafel party in
new haven.
falafel party.
maple's decision.
what about new haven?
i'm heading to connecticut for a few days,
with crabtree as my copilot,
and if i survive his assistance
and four days with my folks,
and the drive home with my children,
there's a family togetherness exxxplosion on hand
for the whole of the next eleven days.
and i'm headed down to kick off the family fun with one heck of a cake.
check the berfy-day-o-type teleport:

double-vanilla brown-sugar cake!!!!
chocolate cake crumbs glued into both sides with maple creamchee' frosting,
more frosting maple-sweetened vanilla swirls this time,
stuck up on there with snowflake sugar cookies-
maple on maple for maple.
get it?
oh, stop...
you like it
and what would a berfday cake be without sprankles?
it's be a big waste of time, dude.
i got those little candy solstice snowflake jauns right on it.
all i'll say is this:
i really like cake.
the recipe for this one will have to wait, because i've gotta hit the road,
but believe me,
i am grateful for the time and for the people
and for the experiences i have been allowed to enjoy.
fifteen years of being a double dad.
a decade and a half.
that's massive,
and magical,
and today is the day for celebrating it.
happy berfday maple,
i love you more than your fifteen year old brain can comprehend.
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, December 21


what do you eat on the solstice?
soul food.
and when it's vegan soul food?
that's high-concept,
and also low-down nitty-gritty,
and therefore expert.
check out the dark-dark-darkest-day-type teleport:

that's absolutely the biggest big badaBOOM on the schedule today!
barbecue tofu is essential here.
hot-oil-sizzlin' griddle magic,
on fat, wet, slabs of that exxxtra-firm stuff,
browned on both sides,
and glazed in the home stretch with homemade chipotle bbq sauce?
i eyeballed a scoop of everything good, and stirred it all together-
then, while i cooked the crap outta all that food,
it hung out and married up, and turned into a thick, rich, sweet elite bastin' sauce!
what's in it?
chipotle pepper, GPOP, ground mustard, black pepper, molasses,
cider-vinegar-thinned-and-sugar-stirred tomato paste...
maple syrup, soy sauce, smoked paprika, a pinch of cumin,
a drop of liquid smoke, and just a touch of weird organic ketchup.
yeah, ketchup.
if you've been around here awhile,
you'll know i don't generally eff with ketchup.
in fact,
except in extreme circumstances,
i generally HATE it.
but it was good in this sauce,
which was literally shaken together with absolutely no definite measurements.
and those greens?
man, i used brick-colored bacon bits,
and red onions, and oil, and a drop or ten of water,
and sauteed those chiffonaded collards to a perfect soft bright green batch
of the best dang jauns i've had in an age.
and i covered 'em with gravy,
which was too damned easy to make:
1 T butts,
3 T flour
1 cup broth
a splash of soy,
1 T nootch, and a whole lotta stirring over medium heat.
quick and greasy and thick as heck.
just what i've always wanted...
what about that baked mac 'n' chee'??!??!
you need it.

2 cups of cooked mini shells, drained,
1 cup of soymilk;
added to 1/3 stick melted butts;
two handfuls of nutritional yeast;
a generous shakin;' of Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
the butts and the flour get it started, and when that's browned the babiest bit,
it gets thicker,
and that's when you add a punch of daiya mozzarella,
stir it all up, and put it in a pan,
bake it for 20 minutes at 450F covered, and another 10 or so uncovered-
it's all so easy!!!
i spritzed it with more nootch, too,
because too much is the right amount!
which is also why i took half a package of tempeh,
halved it in thickness,
and diagonally cut it, to make 4 wedges,
which i boiled up until soft,
dredged in a cornstarch, cornmeal, paprika, black pepper and GPOP mixture,
and fried up in a fat blend of butter and oil.
chickn-fried tempeh is dope.
my soul must've really been hungry,
because i still have one more thing to tell you about-
flaky, buttery, fresh-to-death buttermilk biscuits!!!

y'ever make vegan buttermilk?
it's just 1 cup non-dairy milk and 3T lemon juice,
whisked together and allowed to rest.
i'm telling you, this meal was amazingly light on labor
and ENORMOUS on flavor.
here's the deal with the biscuits-
cut 1/2 stick very cold vegan butts,
using a pastry cutter to barely break those buttery bit up.
into 2 cups of flour sifted with 1/2 + tsp salt.
1 T baking kapowder
1 tsp baking soda
and that buttermilk a scoop at a time,
gently turning the dough so as not to smoosh the butter of make it too tough.
from there, turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface,
and press the whole thing down to about an inchish thick.
cut 'em with your preferred circle-maker,
being sure to dent the centers on purpose so the centers still rise, but stay level-
they bake best if they touch.
the minimalist baker taught me that-
and with melted butts on top?
so expert.
the reason the mac 'n' chee' was in the oven at 450F?
because that's the temp you bake biscuits at, bro.
15 minutes, and you've got the truth in your mouth!!!!!
i'd like to be sorry for the way i write the recipes in the text,
i'd also like a lot of other things that also aren't likely to change.
i made the most of this day, for certain.
wrapping the last of the presents.
cooking most of what was in my fridge.
baking a few loaves of bread.
cleaning up,
walking crabtree,
and visiting with my homeboy carlos-
word up.
it was an alright day,
even though the sun set so dang quickly.....
just because it's the darkest ever outside,
that doesn't mean i didn't brighten it all up, inside.
it's all really happening,
so let's all think of ways to make it happen even harder;
never quiet, never soft.....


just when you thought this year couldn't get any blacker-
here we go...
none more black, man.
today is the day.
the big action. the main event. the cyclical, seasonal sum of all life,
and death,
is all really happening right now.
it's the mutha-'ucking solstice-
the diagonal axis tilt that takes us farthest away from the sun's warmth.
for those of us living in the northern hemisphere,
it is officially winter now.
for us far-northern northerners, that's just a formality,
applicable in name only,
as it's been an arctic windy, snowy, winter for a month already.
but today,
there're also the fewest bright spots, for the shortest amount of time-
it's like the earth's orbit is doing it's best impression of being me.
the leonard cohen farewell album title track
is all i even want to listen to right now-
don't you hang out with m'man?
you might be effin' up with that, neighbors-
the music is so choice.
it IS academic at it's least,
and genius at best,
so it's kinda for smart people, i guess.
...and enjoyed by a few dumb art school girls, too.
oh, okay-
you want it darker,
and that's how today is designed to play out.
coconut cookies?
don't mind if i do.
i always want cookies.
to the point where it's truly problematic.
no, i'm serious.
how many cookies do i really need to eat?
yeah, that's correct.
and that's just the thing, kiddo-
i can make more, so i can eat more, and i DO do that freaky sh!t.
five dozen coconut chocolate chip jauns?
i had to give some away.
they were too damned addictive.
check the teleport:

thickening more rapidly than i could stripe the tops of my treats,
subject to the severe chill of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i'll live,barely, and they do still taste great,
but i sure get frustrated when easy sh!t isn't easy, just sh!t.
here's how you too can make these circles of expertism:
preheat the oven to 375F.
in a medium bowl, cream together:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 stick vegan butts;
4 T unrefined coconut oil;
1+ cup medium flake unsweetened coconut
when that's sufficiently smashed up to become a wet mess,
add 3/4 cup applesauce,
stir it up, so it's even blarpitier,
and add:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powpow
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 pkg mini vegan choco-chips
i used a little scoop to make tablespoonish-sized blops,
which i rolled and pressed flat,
before i baked 'em.
they only needed 12 minutes of lovin',
and they came out all nicey-nice....
until i kind of jacked 'em up with that melted choco-drizz.
womp womp.
the edges are crisp, the centers are soft,
the coconut is not overpowering, but it's presence is strong.
the coconut oil/butts combo made 'em especially expert, man.
i'll be doing that more often for sure.
happy winter, or summer, as the season finds you.
tomorrow is bound to be a bit lighter,
in practical illumination, if not in spirit.
i'll be driving to very most favorite spot in the world.
hamden, connecticut, usa.
where i'm from, and where i'm at,
will both be the same thing tomorrow.
they say you can't go home again.
there's nothing that says you can't go visit where you used to live.
i'll be there, celebrating a few belated, and one current, berfy day,
and of course,
the crimbo family fun festival is sure to bring a storm of holiday hottness,
with liberal applications of happy hearts and hydrogen bombs, to me and mine.
this is it,
and today is the day,
it's darker, and colder,
but NOT shorter.
we still get 24 full hours.
there's just less contained within them;
never quiet never soft

Tuesday, December 20


do you call 'em cinnamon buns?
or cinnamon rolls?
i find myself interchanging the terms to mean the same thing-
i used to bake each one in a muffin tin,
so that they individually got especially crispy on the outside.
these days, however,
i've found that the monkeybread approach,
with all the the packed-tight, tucked-in, swirled-up squish that keeps the centers
all sorts of soft and pull-apart gooey,
while the bottoms and tops get caramelized and crusty,
just seems to be a more rewarding way to produce righteous results.
are they rolls or buns?
i dunno!
call 'em whatever you want,
the nomenclature won't stop me from dominating a few too many too quickly.
that's the kind of fella i am, after all-
i doo-doo that goo-goo-type freaky-diki sh!t,
and the more ridiculous the add-ons and mix-ins, the better-
too much is the right amount, neighbors,
and i made the right amount...
check the teleport:

c'mon, man,
that's the new hottness for sure!
dried cranberry bits IN the dough,
and crushed almonds in the filling,
with more cranberries,
and more almonds,
all over the flippin' place.
on the ones,
it's a good thing i am motivated to make major moves early in the day,
or i might've missed out on all this good stuff...
my best ideas happen at 5 a.m.
this one was inspired by my man travis,
over @vegan_magic_time.
a good idea is a good idea,
and an upgraded bunroll recipe,
in the cast-iron, parchment-pape'd and ready to rock?,
that's about all the direction i require to emote like a maniac,
and chew the scenery with my melodramatic morning makery-
it's not doing it i believe in, bro-
it's OVERdoing it.
rules is rules.
here's how it all unfolded:
3 cups of flour (i did a 2:1 white to white whole wheat blend);
1 T wheat gluten;
1 pkg fast-moving yeast;
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt;
1 T ground golden flax;
1/2 cup +/- chopped ried cranberries;
a shake of cinnamon-
and then,
y'gotta add in the business:
1 cup of non-dairy milk;
w/ 1/2 stick melted vegan butts;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp almond extract;
2 tsp bread-machine yeast
^^ yeast has it'sown flavor, and it's good,
and it never hurts when moving quickly towards breakfast
to have more than you thought you'd need^^^
beat it up, preferably in a stand mixer, and let it rest for a hot 15 minutes.
your oven is at 375F if you know what's good for you.
while that's happening,
you're gonna want to do a couple thing-
add a pat of butter to a skillet,
toss in a handful of sliced almonds,
and when it starts to smell amazing>
splash 'em with a tsp of vanilla,
and then toss em into some powdered sugar-
that'll melt onto those slices and take 'em up a notch immediately.
also, in a mixing bowl, cream up:
1 cup brown sugar;
1/2+/- vegan butts;
1/2 cup sliced almonds;
cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger;
vanilla and almond extracts ( just a splish )-
that's the filling, friends.
when it's super creamy,
and the almonds have been crushed down smaller than my prospects for a bright future?
roll out that dough into a rectangle,
and spread that sh!t tip to tip and end to end....
i even threw in more chopped cranberries, about 1/2 cup?
rules is rules, after all.
roll it as evenly and tightly as you can,
adjusting the ends to keep the tips from becoming tunnels of terrible,
and then get your pan ready for the main event.
the parchment paper is key here, as i learned immediately.
get it crinkled into the iron, and take a minute to be excited
about how so very little sticky cleanup is coming your way.
cut your rolled cinnamony almondberry spiral swirl in half,
now cut each haf in half , and now, cut each of those in half-
eight beautiful big buns, bruh bruh.
that's the stuff.
after you arrange the pieces in the cast black skillet,
trim the paper,
and give 'em about thirty minutes to get used to their new home,
before they ride their new house right into that hot oven.
you're gonna wanna bake 'em for at least 30 minutes,
or until they're dark enough, and bubbly enough for your personal tastes......
from there,
you're most likely going to wait a little minute or ten,
and then glaze the tops with the icing, frosting, or sugar of your choice-
i used a tablespoon of vegan creamchee, with vanilla extract,
5T powdered sugar,
and just enough soymilk, gradually added, to make it a thick'quid,
and let it actually glaze the surface-
from there, i dropped more cranberries,
and of course, those candied almond sprankles.
holy sh!tballs, guys-
i took down three in a row before i even registered what being a fat-faced
shark-gluttonous ultyra-ingestigator was really all about.
there were eight,
i had five.
i am a F*ing pig,
but i hold no regrets about my decision/compulsion.
i finally caught something resembling the ghost of XImas past.
uh huh.
that or a cold.
they're very similar.
the thing is, a little holiday spirit is in the air,
and i'm letting it kindle the embers of my hibernating heart.
was it the prospect of lovely ladies that did it?
heck no.
it was the presents, man.
for realises,
i normally fixate all my fresh-to-deathly hallows on these ho-ho-hoes-
these hoes ain't loyal, man.
my kids, however, will be here, and that counts for a lot.
they may just be here for the gifts,
but that's more than i can say about those who have left behind
a missing stocking space on the mantle-
presents, tho.
crisp, sharp-edged metallic foil paper.
color-coordinated bows.
stacks on stacks on stacks.
that's what gives me the chimney tingles.
i've been over here worrying about shystie piles,
agonizing about post office deliveries,
stressing that the overall rpesenation would be lackluster,
by the time i got just half of the stuff wrapped up?
i realized i'd done it again.
i brought the boomfire to bear, big time.
and i haven't even stuffed a stocking yet.
turns out,
i just want my kids to have an expert time up here,
and that's all the inspiration i ever really need.
that's hardly a holiday miracle,
and it's a little late in the game to fully rally the reindeer for a full comeback,
but still,
it is a very welcome sensation, and i'm grateful for it.
i'll be seeing most of the rest of my family soon enough,
and there's something to be said for that, as well.
maybe some kind of the-end-of-a-christmas-carol,
goose-and-god-bless-us-every-one jauns are in the works?
could be.
it'd be really effin' weird for that many werewolves
to do much besides bite and howl,
but after a fashion,
i s'pose that IS a christmas carol.
it's ALL really happening,
and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....