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.....

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