Sunday, May 28

MONKEYBREAD!!!!

the cinnamonkey vs the rollbot, dudes!
F*ing awesomeness is right at your fingertips.
and if you have a stand mixer,
like, for example, if you're awesome, and smart,
and not effing around in the kitchen,
than you can whip this right up like a g-darn expert.
yeah!
cinnamon sugary monkey bread is the awesome.
i hadn't thought of it, really, in ages.
i used to use *gasp* the pilsbury tube biscuits to make it,
like, twenty actual linear years ago,
well before i knew what it was like to NOT be a total  A*-hole.
yup.
decades later, i'm over here double-fisting a batch of devil's causeway hexagons,
crusted with cinna'sugs, and absolutely drenched in plant-based butter.
mmmmmmmm.
look:

WE ARE THE ONLY FRIENDS THAT WE HAVE!!!
damn, dudes.
this was a good one.
a really good one.
a buttery soft sweet sexy swirl exxxplosion for my face, even.
yum, and double-yum, and also yumyumYUM.
haha.
i was trying for  pinecone pattern, but it went off on it's own and did a thing.
i'm super oka with the results tho.
i mean,
just LOOK at that tortuga shell of solid sexxxiness!
mmmmmmm.
what?
how many of those did i eat?
i'd rather not say,
as the number is synonymous with self-imposed body shaming.
i will go on record, though, affirming the incredible taste,
and texture,
of each and every bite.
neighbors!
you know you want some of this.
here's how you do it:
-
*
CINNAMONKEY BREAD!!!
-
combine 3 cups flour;
1/2 cup salt;
1/4 cup sugar;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
1 pkg commercial yeast;
1 cup warm non-dairy milk + 4 T melted butterish;
cooled enough to bloom 1 tsp bread-machine yeast,
with 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, to make it nicey-nice.
-
and use that stand mixer to beat it up util it form a smooth dough.
let it rise while your oven preheats to 375℉.
roll it out thin on a well-floured surface.
(i cut mine in two pieces first, to get thinner better sheets...)
and sprank it up with a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar.
(that's cinnamon and sugar, combined, for those of you who have traumatic brain injuries)
yup.
a few teaspooons of that, and a tight roll-up from end to end,
ten pieces per sheet,
stacked close together, on parchment,
in a 10" cast iron pan, is the way to set it up,
if you're setting it up for success, that is.
let that rise for another 'nother fifteen minutes.....
but only after you drizzle 3 T melted butterish all over and between them.
YES.
that's essential hottness activation, kiddo.
trust me.
and when they're all greased up?
sprankle MORE cinna'sugs on top!!!!
too much is the right amount, man.
c'mon.
get with it.
i baked it for twenty minutes,
removed it,
basted it with MORE butts,
dusted it with MORE sugar,
and gave it another 7 minutes for good measure.
guys,
i will be making this again.
...and again and again and again.
the meltiness and the sweetness and the happiness were all on point.
i went wild and ate a TON,
and i brought the rest to work, where it promptly disappeared.
that's always a good sign.
i think you'll be pleased if you make some,
so make some.
***********
i'm still playing at catch up,
although i don't play when it comes to getting after it.
y'know?
there are only so many hours to do all the things,
and making is better than documenting,
even if both are essential to my overall well-being.
true stories told truly, in their own due time, kids.
that's where i'm headed,
that's what we're sharing.
this is all that there is,
and sometimes, that's all you need;
never quiet, never soft.....

HOME!!

home is where the house is.
honest to goodness, that's no joke.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is my all-time favorite place.
that's true.
it's a mystic supernatural wizard museum,
and it's where i want to be most days, most often, more than anywhere else.
that's why it's so frustrating to live up here
in this northern white mountainous woodsly goodness-
i work a LOT, just to have it, and i'm not enjoying it as much as i'd like,
although i'm enjoying more compared to where i span time otherwise.
yeah.
my home is where i belong,
but it is beset on all sides by people, places, things, and thinks that do NOT
mesh, interconnect, sync, or otherwise integrate with the Folk Life warrior poetry
that i ascribe to as a code of conduct.
nope.
i am one of one, a closed solution set, in an equation that roughly translates as:
a = albie {x = up-here people} a + x = 0. a > 0.
is that real math?
i dunno,
but i'll bet you caught on to what i was adding up......
guys,
if my house was picked up by a tornado, and dropped off somewhere else?
i'd like there.
uh-huh.
i chose this haunted house.
and i think, maybe, i'm a little too attached.
it's just a domicile, after all-
but,
it's also where i spent the actual literal best and worst days of my life,
and real life documentarians LIVE for that kind of compact and concise history.
yup.
this is where it all really happened,
and while lots and lots of other other stuff has happened everywhere else,
...in my personal narrative, the solo saga of solace and sorrow,
the main dramatic focal loci is right flippin' here.
*
i guess what i'm sayin' is:
where the F* would i move to?
and would that actually make a difference?
starting over, again, as a stranger, in a new place,
with no base of operations,
and no client base,
repping another 'nother rise-up from scratch at 41 years old?
yuck.
...
here's an unrelated, but equally true story-
i can whip up something expert at the drop of a hat.
that's kind of my big action, y'know?
something from nothing.
in the kitchen, it's quick, easy, and rewarding-
in the wider outer world, it's doable but daunting...
if only i could activate a new career as easily as i can concoct a crucial galette.
i mean, really, neighbors-
with a few at-hand ingredients, and a preheated oven,
i can show you some things- like an exxxxtra-crusty star-spangled tart...
but,
even with months of planning,
i'm STILL at the stumbling start of a new endeavor in the business world.
that's lame.
but, the tart?
THAT was good:

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAHHHHHHH!!!
chocolate, and peanut butter, and creamchee' and sugar.
all good things to eat,
all in together now,
all for me...
(and dennis and patti,
as a thank you for watching crabtree while i was in CT)
you need some of this.
you'll have to make your own of course, but that's pretty simple.
check it out-
-
*
-
i happened to have extra creamchee' cheater pastry dough,
leftover from this.
i rolled out a circle, punched out a whole mess of stars from the scrap dough,
and set that aside, in the fridge, while i made the filling.
in one small pot, i poured 1/3 cup natural smooth peanut butter,
and 4 T tofutti creamchee', along with a fat handful of chocolate chips,
1 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 cup powdered sugar together,
and stirred it over medium-low heat, until it formed a fudgy paste,
which only took about five minutes.
spreading that on the cold dough was a cinch,
and dropping some choco chips on top, post crimp-edged fold-up was, too.
i baked that sweet baby b!tch on parchment, on a baking pan,
in the oven, at 375℉, for 30 minutes,
and it came out flaky, and buttery, and crisp,
with the center smooth, melty, rich, and dense,
plus, those starts looki' hella kyoooooooooooot, too.
awwwwwwww.
i could've left it alone, and it'd have been dope.
but, rules is rules,
and i'm not tryin' to settle for a ten when eleven is within reach, holmes.
that's how it's just s'posed to be, bro.
too much is the right amount.
therefore, melted dark chocolate drizzles seemed like a no-brainer, really.
i'm sayin', who doesn't like a little MORE chocolate?
A*-holes, that's who.
and what better way to ensure high contrast visibility in the browns and beige,
than a little stark white powdered sugary sprankle magic to set it apart?!?!
smart.
if you've got a whole dough to work with, i'd make two or three, were i you.
they go down easy, and quickly, and you'll wish you had more,
so consider this friendly advice a preemptive ounce of preparation
in anticipation of your extreme enjoyment.
ha.
you're welcome,
***********
so,
where to go?
what to do?
how to make any of it happen?
jeez.
whenever i need a giant sculptural head, i can make that in an afternoon
with cardboard and tape.
but,
when i need a solid, sound approach to a fortuitous future?
i wander the unkempt corridors of this old house,
wondering about the spaces i call my home,
and the things i call my own.
it's all really happening, right here,
just like always,
and i can only guess that all this time being taken is absolutely a necessity.
i really wouldn't want to waste any;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, May 27

CUPPED CAKES!!

plain ol' vanilla cupcakes.
yup.
with plain ol' vanilla frosting.
.....and a few sprankles and drizzles, too.
i mean,
c'mon, man.
rules is rules.
and you can't expect me to limp around all weak and watery
when i've got ganache and a grater at hand, y'feel me?
yeah!
but,
vanilla vanilla and more vanilla is still the essence of the thing.
why?
because i know kids.
and a vanilla cupcake is gonna get them psyched each and every time.
....and it did,
and we were,
and it all really happened.
-
oh,
and for the record,
the non-stop deluge that's been falling down on these white mountains
has affected my internet connection severely and negatively.
ugh.
the future is SO inconvenient.
ha.
that's a cool thing that happens in the remote reaches of woodsly goodness.
it's not that i don't want to write about all the things that've happened,
it's that they're all just floating around in an electronically-activated ethereal fugue.
so just be patient, friends.
and i'll tell all y'all all about all the treats and eats
and actions and events of the last few days.......eventually.
-
ANYway,
i made cupcakes for my roadtrip to connecticut.
and half of them were munched up by the bevvy of b!tches that work for my sister.
ummmmm,
yeah.
i'm a sucker for a sassy slice in molto mascara, what can i say?
they ask, i answer,
and before i can realize that i'm still and always a shallow sucker,
i look around and suddenly i've got 50% less cupcakes.
awwwwwwww.
-
if you ask me for a cupcake, and i've got one,
there's a decent chance you can have one.
so,
take a good look at 'em, so you'll know to ask next time:

F* YEAH, CUPCAKES!!!
i tried a new super-concentrated small-batch approach,
and i think i like it.
wanna know what's poppin' in those tasty pieces?
you do?!
ok...
it goes a little somethin' like this:
-
*
-
preheat the oven to 350∘F.
in your stand mixer (c'mon, by now you know you need one) combine:
1 stick plant-based butterish;
1 cup sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
...
-whisk in 3/4 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt;
thoroughly aerate that sh!t on high speed-
...
then sift in:
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
3 T powdered sugar;
2 T organic cornstarch;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 1/4 cups white flour;
1 tsp ground vanilla bean.
and pour into the mixer, as it spins around on low-low:
3/4 cup + 1 T non-dairy milk.
whip all that up into a super-fluffy batter,
and fill a dozen of so cuppy-cakey papers halfway,
until you're all out.
i got 14 this time, and i could've maybe gotten 16, but i overfilled a few-
instinctively, i am compelled to overdo it, because
too much is the right amount.
that is etched into my psyche,
and it pushes and prods my actions to excess,
always,  forever, and for ever.
but, meanwhile,
you've gotta bake those babies for 30ish minutes, or until theyre golden and good-lookin'.
you know what a cupcake should look like, man.
when they do, they're done.
cool 'em off completely,
and frost those little effers right up.
-
*
VANILLA FROSTING!
-
3 cups kapowpowdered sugar;
1 stick vegan butts;
1 tsp vanilla;
scant 1/3 cup non-dairy milk.
^ whipped and whipped and whipped until it's turbo-light and bright white.
mmmmmmmmmm.
and with melted dark chocolate drizzle,
and a big ol' goobieblop swirl on top,
with those shaved darky-darkness-style chocolate bar sprankles?!?!
c'mon.
teleport:

S'DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE!
yeah,
the flowers are from the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
strawberry, rhododendron, and phlox.
i got those bloomin' like crazy right now
in fact, i need to mow the lawn, too.
somehow, it found a way to scraggle on up,
through the heavy blanket of wet, matted oak leaves
that've been tryin' to keep it down and out all year thus far.
i mean,
it's only been warm a total of two days the whole year,
and that's no joke.
and what about more rain?
oh, yes, indeed.
it's on the way, to make more wet, more mud, less light, more grey,
and worse photos of food for you to look at.
damn.
-
     dear weather,
              way to to ruin another 'nother week's worth of days.
              it's not cool, buddy. feel free to knock it off any time now.
                                                                     xoxo,
                                                                        your pal,
                                                                               albie
-
...oh, don't worry, duders-
nature wins.
every time.
she's just making a point of flexing and stuntin' on us.
way to go.
*
the connectivity of this computer is limited;
the router is on a semi-permanent detour;
looks like it's time to get into some outdoor activities,
like, soggy-bottomed yard maintenance,
and drip-drop-top dog walking through the lyme-infested
metaphoric lemons that life seems to hand out as door prizes up here.
it's all really happening,
and it's all soaked through to the bone;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, May 26

PIEBALD!!!

neighbors, there was a party!
yeah, there really was-
harvest and maple,
myself,
their mother, and her main man, keith,
and my long-lost homeboy, mitch,
were all in attendance,
and we put the dance in it, at ten, and afterwards.
c'mon!
shoutouts to wordplay.
dudes,
i used my day off to go see PIEBALD.
yup.
if you don't know what i'm talking about,
or,
you think i mean variegated albinism or mottled pigmentation,
well, ok, that IS a thing-
but i'm talking about music, man.
PIEBALD:

YOU'RE PART OF IT!!
one of the bands to supply a formative soundtrack to my beginnings.
that's real.
like,
a huge chunk of my superhero origin story
would have their songs playing in the background.
and after ten years, they're playing shows.
guys,
there's a place, in my hometown of hamden, connecticut,
called the outer space/spaceland ballroom,
and it's a sh!tty restaurant, a divey bar, and a fantastic place to see live music.
which we did.
and i have to tell you something-
i had a serious proud papa moment,
because my kids and i were at the very front,
singing every single word to every single song,
loud, fresh, and hard, the entire time.
heck,
even their ma was rockin' out like a champion,
and mitch was at my back,
and it was like we traveled back in time about twenty years,
and for a scary span,
maybe two songs' worth,
i remembered what we were all like, way in the before times,
when we had common interests and genuine affection,
and spent every single minute hanging out-
allllll those looooooooong years ago.
weird.
anyway,
the show was incredible.
the energy was explosive.
the songs were still as awesome as they were when they were written,
and
my children were happy and so was i.
(write that down)
we got super sweaty and hoarse and had the best time.
plus,
watching my girls reminded me of what it feels like to be young,
trying to look cool at shows where scene kids are posturing so hard-
forever making faces.
awwwww.
i am very grateful for the time we were given,
and for the my-age rock-and-rollers who roked our socks off.
no, they didn't age well,
but, damn, they still kicked out 100% of the available jams,
and impressed the packed house with their party-time expertism.
*
also,
we had a little somethin'-somethin' beforehand too:

WORD.
nothing tastes as good as pepe's pizza.
if you're not aware,
i suggest you take a roadtrip to the head of the pizza pantheon immediately.
you won't regret it.
-
maple has managed to blur her face in every picture.
it's like she's possessed, almost.
look:
see?
i guess she's got a special talent.
.
these kids are rad.
no.
really, tho.
they've got humor, and brains, and i'm just so psyched on them.
family togetherness is my favorite part.
there's not ever enough of it,
and i always leave too soon,
wishing for more of all that love and sh!t.
i'm grateful for what i've been given,
and i'm luckier than i deserve to be, that's for sure.
it's all really happening,
and hey!
you're part of it*;
never quiet, never soft.....
*american hearts is a great song.

PIZZA PARTY!!!

if you ain't never had no damn square slice,
then you really have not been livin' life yet.
get after it,
and get that square jaun into your face, friends.
me?
i rep a grandma pie from time to time,
in a pan, on demand, out of hand, and righteously right angled,
in all the best ways, with sauce for days,
and alllllllll the toppings.
that's no joke.
i got home a minute early after an awesome tuesday full of filthy-mouthed ladies,
and made my own filthy nana tribute, from scratch,
as soon as i got to the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
mmmmmmhmmmmm.
i had a semi-semolina dough rising in minutes, dudes.
yup.
the dough is so damned important.
and there are ways to get it poppin' when time is of the essence.
for example,
a little sugar and a lot of yeast will do wonders,
so will added gluten, so your texture develops in minutes, instead of hours-
the thing of it is, i'll only allow myself to let it grow as long as the oven is preheating-
once we're all fired up?
ready or not,
it's go time, guys.
check the teleport, before we discuss process:
shoutouts to huey lewis.
oh, c'mon...
where's my old people at?
it's hip to be square, for cryin' out loud!!!
no?
well, this pizza is F*ing expert,
even if you hate 80's references.
so,
i know you see those fiddleheads, right?
right!
i'm into the seasonally-appropriate site-specific native new england stuff.
my biggest gripe around here is that there are mostly poor people,
who also don't know anything about ingredients and vegetables and nutrition,
all in charge of produce procurement at all the markets in the area-
...that means no ramps.
awwwwwwww.
expensive weird garlic weeds are NOT even on the radar up here.
y'gotta go lookin' in the woods yourself.
...but who the eff has time to go foraging?
i barely have time to make pizza!
-
ok, ok, OK.
so, the double-dough was in full effect.
that's 1 cup semolina;
1 cup white flour;
2 T olive oil;
2 T sugar;
2 tsp salt;
1 pkg commercial yeast;
3/4 tsp wheat gluten;
+
1 cup warm water;
1 tsp agave;
2 tsp bread machine yeast-
(stirred and allowed to bloom)
risen for 15, pressed into an oiled pan, all the way to the edges,
and allowed to do its thing.
^^^^that's all there is to a decent double-dough^^^
nice.
*
i had the oven preheating to 490ºF,
then the dough got going,
and the onions got caramelized,
while the mushrooms got browned,
and the homemade vegan sausage soaked up it's pepperonification,
in a broth bath with smoked and hot paprika, olive oil, black pepper, and GPOP.
yum! YUM!!YUM!!
also, you kids down to get into some shredded spinach?!
that's good news.
and what about asparagus spears?
word up.
fried garlic sprankles?
i mean, we sorta HAVE to.
rules is rules.
just look closer, a little bit:
YEAH!!!
crushed tomatoes, chopped up daiya mozzarella chee',
up from-scratch seitan, more sauce,......
the toppings cascade and overlap, so every slice has a progressively more elite bite,
after bite,
after bite...
WORD.
this was a heroic big-crust big-action activator,
and i was fully committed to the fullest-figured experience.
it isn't easy, always, figuring out what is going to be for dinner.
pizza is ALWAYS a great idea, tho.
that's for real.
i knew i had treats that'd need baking,
and i knew there was gonna be a whole unholy hell of a lot of driving, too.
i had to have the nutrients, and i had to have a little new hampshire pizza,
before i got to the domain of the world's best pizza.
uh-huh.
heading into new new haven is always exciting,
because there is always pizza.
and, even though i just had this big-A* pizza,
there's always room for MORE PIZZA.
too much is the right amount.
that's a thing.
pizza is serious business where i'm from,
and i carried that with me up to the cold white north when i moved.
sure,
it's been forever since i left connecticut,
but my sauce-count still needs replenishing from time to time.
you can't ever really leave home for good.
not when those tomatoes are coursing through your DNA.
that's how it is, man.
if you weren't raised in the weird world of sicilian grandmothers
and italian-american pizzatime culture,
you won't understand.
y'can't,
because if you haven't been exposed to the TRUTH,
you may be into domino's or pizza hut,
or some other other sloppy butthole insult to what's really good in these streets.
and that's the difference between where i'm from and where you're from-
i got that true-story big action in my genes.
it's woven into the fibers of a multi-generational cultural tradition.
REAL pizza, dudes.
you've either got it, or you don't.
and if you can't understand that,
you'll never get it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, May 23

MUCHOS TACOS!!

another 'nother mexican monday,
another 'nother overdose of deliciousness.
*yawn*
sorry, duders,
rules is rules,
and when there's a lull in the formerly flooded flow of creative juices,
y'gotta do the things you know will pump it up.
c'mon.
y'can't have a low-water mark as your day to day level of expertism.
even when i'm just not feelin' attuned to the universal wavelengths of freshness,
i'm not going to let that attenuation shift my attention away
from getting all the ingredients together
for a big ol' burly black bean bombardment at my bellyhole.
yup.
word the F* up, kids-
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t;
despite a genuine lack of innovative ideas at the moment,
i'm all about that soft flour power, prepared in under an hour.
yeah.
luckily for me and my estomago,
tacos seem to suffer little to no adverse effects from the absence of exotic ingredients.
mmmmmmm.
check the teleport:

IF YOU AREN'T MAKING RAINBOW SORCERY, GO AWAY.
those tacos were a refreshingly filling batch of overstuffed stuffs.
the kind of taking it to eleven that'd never ever work
in a cheapskate sh!tcrackle hardshell hobby kit crapflap.
real talk.
toasted soft flour jauns will forever be my first round draft choice.
shoutouts to my limited non-knowledgeable sports references.
look at these TACOS, guys:

YEAH!!!!!
first of all,
even at my least inspired, i'm not making just one kind of filling.
no way, josé.
i've got standards to uphold, friend.
so, for starters, i have a classic:
homemade seitan, asada-style-
that's seitan, onion, poblano, GPOP,
cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, coriander,
oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil and cilantro leaves, bro.
and that's well known to be expert.
so, there's that,
on purple cabbage and green leafy lettuce,
with red and gold tomatoes, crawnchy radishes,
sliced fresh HOT jalapeno,
a few yellow carrots,
*
and that avocado crema!
mmmm.
-
that's half an avocado,
4 tsp lime juice;
4 T soaked cashews;
1 clove garlic;
2 tsp nootch;
and 'milk' enough to make it into a wet pasty thicqqq smoothie.
mmmmmmmm.
you want that in your life, buddy.
you might eve need it in there.
i'd make some today, if i were i you...
*
and then there's the spicy tempeh crumbles.
almost a traditional mess,
those clumpy orange blarpity blops that regular people think isn't horrifying.....
the same folks who shun tofu because it's gross.
ugh.
anyway-
1/2 cup tempeh;
2 T minced onion;
1 clove crushed garlic;
1 tsp ea. jalapeno, poblano, and red chili, chopped;
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes;
1/4 cup seitan broth (or whatever)
salt, black pepper, GPOP, cumin, chipotle pepper powder, coriander, to taste;
2 T agave;
1/3 cup black beans.
^ put it all in a pot, and cook it on medium heat, until the liquid is gone,
and it looks likes traditional poor person taco filling.
easy.
red leaf lettuce, sliced chunky cucumber, shaved purple carrot,
cilantro, red onion sprankles, and avocado complete the look.
oh,
almost.
there's ALSO fresh-shorn-from-the-cob blackened sweet corn,
with the babiest hint of all that seitan spice from the same pan, bro.
mmmmm.
it was super-expert, on the ones.
i ate a whole lot of that straight off a spoon before it ever made it onto the plate.
*
and it wasn't just tacos.
nope.
too much is the right amount,
that's real-
even on a rainy monday night.
even when i don't know what i want to eat.
even when i'm not all that hungry, actually.
there still needs to be thunder rumbling the cage, man.
it's a beast, this urge to create.
truly.
and when i'm not really sure where all my inspiration is,
i just start firing things together,
letting the culinary spirit take muscle memory to task,
and let the spices fall where they may, man-
ha.
that's riiiiiiight-
check it:

quesadilla and arroz amarillo for the WIN!
two indie-pressed record sized tortillas,
with custom cashew-garlic-tofu underchee',
and daiya cheddar, scallions, cilantro, and a whole mess of black beans,
plus daiya mozzarella over that,
grilled up on both sides, and covered with that crucial corn,
ho'sauce,
red onions and scallion sprankles.
wordimus prime.
quesdillas are dope because they're really realllllly hard to eff up.
i like that.
-
rice, however, is deceptive.
yellow rice is only somewhat weirder than just regular rice.
also, it's yellow, which is pretty cool.
when you're adding spices an' sh!t,
or, if you've got every burner and the food processor running at once,
and you leave the burner up too high, or whatever,
(i'm not sayin', i'm just sayin')
sometimes you've got to remedy a situation on the fly-
usually, with rice, it's either draining water or adding some.
that's comforting, kinda.
however, burnt rice is the worst, so don't do that-
i didn't, don't worry.
oh, yeah, and when you're making yellow rice?
little pepper bits are a nice touch.
uh-huh.
yellow rice is just GPOP, a few minced peppers,
and some turmeric tossed in with the actual rice while it cooks.
i dropped in some more of those black beans, and cilantro,
after it was all soaked up, just to turn it up a little.
(it worked)
***********
crabtree got his big reward, too, finally.
we've been working our way through some elite cookies his auntie patti got him.
she loves him,
and he loves her,
and i think he's just about the luckiest little dog ever.
he flipped over in the actual air,
because he was so excited to munch up on his signature cookie:

c'mon!!
how kyoooooooooooooooot is THAT?!?!
i know he can't read. that's not the point.
i can,
and i am very grateful for that kindness.
it prob'ly could've said 'stanky A*-hole',
and he'd have been as delighted.
he's good like that.
he gets to see her again today, i think,
and he's gonna lose his whole little dumb mind.
he looks forward to seeing anybody but me, and especially her,
almost as much as i look forward to seeing him a the end of the workday.
awwwwwwwwwwwwww.
that's my lot in life, bros.
second place finishing for first-rate effort.
if it wasn't for hard styles and soft tacos, who knows where i'd be;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, May 22

CRABTREE!!!

ummmmmmmmm.
is this what walking is supposed to look like?

i don't think he's doing it right.
but,
he's so mutha-F*ing adorable,
that the need to do it correctly is optional,
just so long as he looks good doing it wrong.
-
neighbors,
flowers on graves,
and dogs playing dead.
how expert is that?
...what more could i ask for, really?
other than maybe a well-behaved, obedient animal, i mean.
crabtree is my homeboy,
and we're a team.
i'm grateful for him,
and he likes that i feed him.
it's not exactly synergy,
but it is how it unfolds along the creases of each day.
this is what  happens when we go outside.
i just thought you should know;
never quiet, never soft.....

WAFTING WAFFLES!!

that big B, b.
...yeah,
i've got that.
y'ever put tahini in your waffles?
do it.
it's good for you.
y'ever put retrofit whole wheat in your waffles?
no?
that sounds weird?
yeah?
you sound weird ho 'bout that, buddy?
it's not a thing, but it's not not a thing either...
it goes like this:
all purpose flour,
but then added wheat germ, and wheat bran.
get it?
you could use whole wheat if that's your thing.
but y'still gotta add the extras back in, too.
rules is rules.
mmmhmmmm.
dudes,
i made some serious, and very photogenic roundies for breakfast,
and i'd like you to take a quick look, via teleport:

WAFFLES, man.
dented pancakes cooked on both sides simultaneously.
that's expert.
and these are especially tasty-
here's the battlefield order of operations,
for those who'd like some hottness in a heaping helping,
today, tonight, or in the future...
-
*
-
in a medium bowl, toss together:
2/3 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
3 T raw sugar;
3 T oat bran;
3 T wheat bran;
3 T wheat germ;
4 T coarse-ground coconut;
1 1/2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
and add 3 T melted butterish;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla;
1 cup 'milk;
2 T tahini.
-
holy sh!t,
after a rough fold-in of everything,
and some rest in the fridge.
you've got a batter that'll freak it off like a filthy little morning romp
through the backstreets and alleyways of edible awesomeness.
real talk.
these waffles were the cornerstone of a monstrous level of satisfaction.
damn.
they have what you need.
...and with buh-noo-noos on top?
and real new hampshire exxxtra-fancy maple syrup?
AND toasted vanilla-kissed sugared almond sprankles?!?!
c'mon.
too much is the right amount.
don't settle for less.
-
of course, it's not a BIG big B if there's just one thing on your plate.
no way.
that's just a b.
and that's not enough for us, is it?
wordimus prime,
we want the superfresh deluxxxe, and the roasty toastiness,
and the add-ons, and the sprankles.
that's how it works.
and when it's working at optimum capacity.
there's got to be homeboyfries on the plate.
oven roasted toasty exxxtra-crispy smoked paprika and GPOP-dusted,
caramelized onion and ho'sauce activated potatoes are so damned delicious.
guys,
i LOVE potatoes.
i realllllllly love 'em when they got the crunch all over 'em,
and i get especially excited if a little cilantro sneaks in,
because that's what you need to give the whole heap a magical tingle.
yeah!!
-
and blackened fried tomatoes ahev become kind of my thing.
they're fantastic, in a british kind of way.
mixed in with scallion-activated nootch-boosted tofu scrambo?
you're taking flavors off the charts,
and into the headwaters of new bodies of expertism.
you make your scram however you'd like, but turn it up with those 'matoes.
do it, please, and let me know how much you LOVE it.
but, if somehow you don''t, keep it to yourself,
and go to the doctor's office immediately.
....i can't hang out with that kind of lameness,
and you probably have something medically wrong with you, too.
hahahaha.
is there anything to add to that?
ummmmm.
yep.
AVO-F*ING-CADO, broski.
just because that sh!t is always invited to the party.
yes.
now that's a brekkie in full effect.
-
don't skimp out on treats for yourself, friends.
at least once a week, i'm gonna need you to hook it up.
it's genuinely good for you.
i mean,
i know i'm worth the effort, so i make the time to make it happen.
you should do the same.
sure,
a lazy twenty extra minutes of sleep is easy,
but it's wasted time.
get up, get after it, get on it, and get it poppin', man,
your body and mind will thank you.
do the things that are dope.
the more of the you do,
the doper you get.
and the doper you get,
the more expert you are.
and when that's what's really happening,
everything else is waaaaay more likely to, too;
never quiet, never soft.....

DARK ROAST!!!

coffee.
mmm.
it's good.
the thing is, i'm a sensitive and delicately-calibrated man.
and coffee doesn't integrate well into that combination .
sometimes, though, when the mood strikes me just right,
i still eff around and activate some super-charged boomfire,
in the form of a caffeinated baked treat.
yup.
i like the delicious flavor of a good strong cup of joe.
and decaf doesn't taste the same.
that's real.
i'd love a righteous mug of the really real deal,
it's just that the slightest sip will send me soaring straight up
to the stratospheric outskirts of the firmament's farthest flung reaches,
vibrating at a frequency even dogs and bats can't decipher.
uh-hu.
i'm no fun to be around when there's coffee in my system.
louder, fresher, faster, and harder are all i have to offer under those conditions.
it's one of the perils of clean livin', really-
everything dirty shows up like a spotlight is shining on it.
and yet,
here we are,
with a big fat coffee brownie, covered in all kinds of coffee and chocolate,
because rules is rules-
and if there's a wrench to choose?
........i'm gonna.
check the high-test-turbo-type teleport:

BZZZZZZ BZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZ.....
that's blanka's electricity, buddy.
because the voltage from the aftereffects of this sweet brown baby is preposterous.
dudes,
there's chocolate ganache on top!
that's 1/4 cup dark chocolate;
3 T nondairy 'milk;
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T powdered sugar;
and on top of that?
chocolate-covered espresso beans!!!
really, how could that even get better?
oh. right.
there are also mini baby chocolate chip sprankles!!!
that sound good?
i hope so, because they're on there already.
so, are we done yet?
nope.
c'mon.
too much is the right amount, man.
get with it.
chocolate frosting is also in F*ing full effect!
is that it?
bro, do you even have eyes?
okay, well then, do they work?
c'mon,
obviously, there's one more thing, to get it TILTY,
and turn the tastes up  to eleven-
that's that espresso icing drizzle jaun!!!
1 tsp espresso, reserved from the cake making,
plus 4 T powdered sugar;
and a few drops of vanilla and coffee extracts!
WORD.
-
here's the thing.....
all of that is on TOP of a brutally burly coffee brownie circle.
uh-huh.
and that's a monstrous undertaking in it's own right.
-
*
-
in a mixing bowl, like always, combine and cream together:
1/2 cup sugar;
1/2 cup big raw sugar crystals
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
2 tsp vanilla'
1/2 tsp coffee extract;
3 T instant coffee granules.
mmmmmmmmmmmm.
once thoroughly blended, fold in:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt (that's yoghurt outside the u.s.)
-
sift in:
2 cups flour + 3 T flour:
+ 2 T cornstarch;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/2 cup strong espresso, brewed and cooled;
1/4 cup 'milk..l.
-
mix it by hand, with a spatula, or spoon, until it's one cohesive batter,
and add that to a brownie pan,
or,
in this case, a 9" springform pan, greased and lightly floured,
and bake it at 365℉ for 30-40 minutes,
checking for doneness every two minutes after 30.
don't ice it while it's warm, either.
that's a surefire recipe for doo-doo buttery runoff,
and nobody likes a 'rrhea-looking frost-job.
that's no joke.
***********
i had another 'nother 17 dumplings for supper last night.
yup.
first, i did seven smaller tattoos, in a row, on a whole dayful of folks
who i think might've had a good time.
i can never tell.
my investment in their feelings is subordinate to my interest in doing a good job,
and meeting my quota for filibustering blustery monologues.
that's not even a little bit false.
and then i got a haircut,
which is always a bummer.
no foolin',
when the hair i have left has to be lessened in any capacity,
it's just insult on top of misfortune.
but, i look less like i live on a bench, now,
with some topiary grooming to my dome in effect.
so, i got home a little late,
i got into a dumpling groove,
and i used the last of the filling up, down to the last morsels.
i'm not trying to be fat,.
but i'm not trying to eat less awesome stuff, either.
moderation is not my area of expertise.
i do what i do because i can't imagine doing something else.
i've got bad hair, sore fingers, short time, and too many dumplings.
that's what life looks like these days;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, May 21

FALAFEL!!!!

shoutouts to the maine falafel company,
a.k.a. the falafel mafia,
a.k.a the dudes with the foods......
the fryeburg, maine, home and garden show is apparently the place to be,
if where you want to be is near a whole bunch of tomato plants and patio sh!t.
which, while i don't mind being surrounded by those things,
aren't really a reason for me to get ready early in the a.m., y'feel me?
however,
i'll run a mile for a falafel any damned day of the week.
mmhmmm.
so,
i met up with my buddy dennis,
and we rode out across the state line,
with the xpress prupose of a special visit to the farmland fairgrounds.
yeah, that's right-
we paid the gosh-danged admission to the all-day-long event,
just to beeline directly to the falafel stand,
get a whole mess of incredible edible excellence for our faces,
and walk right back out in under thirty minutes,
all so i could get to work at the studio with a sated and exalted smile on my face..
yup.
brunch falafels are a thing, now,
and i think that's pretty F*ing expert.
if you don't know what falafel are, welcome to earth,bro.
there's a flippin' emoji for it, so get with the second decade of the new millennium,
for crying out loud.
c'mon, now.
-
word up.
look at the new hottness they're reppin' these days:

kaBOOOOOOOM!!!!!
that's mega-omega-level tahini,
crucial chick pea activation times two,
and all the pickled goodness that'd fit into those
elite new yeast-raised pitas!!
i F*ING LOVE FALAFEL!!!!
-
sharing the experience with a good friend made it even better.
in fact,
introducing folks to the falafel situation is one of my minor hobbies.
like,
once a year, i've got to make a trip to the spot with somebody,
to initiate them into one of my favorite pastimes-
overindulgent single-minded purposeful shark-gluttony.
yup.
don't stop moving, don't stop eating.
and then,
it was time to really get to work-
in order to pay for all those sarnies,
i've got to tattzap the crap out of some people
all day every day,
since a grand don't come for free, on the ones.
so i did that, too.
an insane cover-up of a thick black tribal,
with ornate paisley organic stuff,
on a tasty lady from the eighties who needed her sad late nineties tattoos
to be upgraded to something sweet, sassy, and sophisticated for this modern age.
when you need tattoo solutions,
suddenly, i've inherited your problems.
thanks for that, everybody...
so,
the repair work began, but we didin't finish,
but that session was immediately followed by my buddy toby.
yup.
i've been tattooing him for over a decade.
and we did finish his large-and-in-charge 3/4 backpiece all-seasons tree.
that's something.
what?
did i i take a picture of either?
c'mon, man.
are tattoos made out of cake?
no?
well, then, there's your answer.
-
when you've got history with your clients,
the time passes effortlessly.
there's the catching up followed by the effing around followed by the making of plans...
there are much worse ways to channel the sustenance
of a super-awesome falafel exxplosion, for sure.
in fact,
at the final tally, all told,
it was a free-flowing connected and attuned day.
you guys know what THAT means, don't you?
mmhmm.
the pricetag for good news is steep,
and there's sure to be pressure, stress, and complications all day today,
just so the balance levels out to a no-good-days average.
damn.
that's bleak,
but, really real life is not for the weak, neighbors.
i mean it.
*
and, what's even worse, is that i'm not exactly feeling very creative,
at least, not in the kitchen, where most of the major arcana of activated victual
virtuosity is manifested most of the time.
so, at the moment, i'm out of ideas for food.
holy sh!t.
that's no joke,
and it's not funny.
i'm just suddenly sort of not feelin' as hungry.
weird right?
i know!
so,
it's a brainstorming and tattblasting and haircutting kind of day.
let's all hope inspiration strikes between now and supper,
lest the next missive also be all about other people's food and my boooooring day job.
no matter what, it's all really happening,
and that's the point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, May 20

STRAWBERRY PIE!!!

strawberries have got it going on right now.
the market is jam-packed with buckets and buckets of those little red heart drops,
and you can't walk three feet without bumping into a bushel of 'em.
i think that's pretty cool.
i mean,
i like strawberries.
i want to have way more of them.
....and there's so many that i very easily can do that.
so i've been doing that.
strawberries are tricky when you're baking, tho.
on top of things, they're great.
but inside of things,
they need attention,
or they'll turn to pure sh!t before you can say shortcake.
that's real.
however, in a pie?
they're perfect.
and a perfect pie is ALWAYS invited to my makeout parties.
mmmhmmmm.
two quarts of berries went straight into the center of a puffy pastry crust.
yup.
too much is the right amount.
flipped around with 1/4 cup powdered sugar,
and a spoonful of vanilla bean paste,
i had stacks on stacks of sliced strawblers sitting so prettily,
steaming dreamily,
and sweetening the whole scene with their little red skins.
how simple is that?
berries, sugar, vanilla.
that's IT.
check the teleport:

WOOOOOOOOORD!
see what i mean?
that's a nice one.
and the crust was a little different than my usual method of preparation.
yup.
it went rogue when i decided halfway into combining the ingredients
that i wasn't making cheater-puff pastry....
uh-huh.
here's the recipe for this stuff.
who knows?
maybe you'll like it the most!
-
*
-
in your food processor,
which you have because you are a bad mutha who knows what's up,
combine:
2 1/4 cups flour;
dash of salt;
1 stick of butterish;
1/2 tub vegan creamchee';
vanilla;
3 T raw sugar crystals;
non-dairy milk, added in T increments-
and pulsed until it's a crumbly, squeeze-togetherable mixture.
press it into a ball.
wrap and refrigerate that golden globe for about an hour, or more,
and then roll it out on a well-floured surface,
and make it all nicey-nice for the pie trimming.
that's the play i'm backing, bros.
yup.
i want pretty food with gorgeous flavors,
and everything else can totally take a hike up the mountain to lamesville.
ha.
bake the whole things for 25-30 minutes, a 425℉,
and you've got yourself somethin' worth slicin' into.
ok. ok.
also, prior to baking, i rubbed a little agave glaze on there,
and that helped stick a batch of raw sugary sprankles to it, too.
you knew it was gonna happen like that, didn't you?
rules is rules, and that's no joke.
-
if i had it to do over?
i'd probably just have made use of my more traditional dough,
and i'd likely have tossed those berries with a few tablespoons of arrowroot.
.....it was molto molto juicy.
not that i hesitated from terrorizing literally half of it in one shot.
i'm just sort of a ravenous werewolf when it comes to good food,
and my sweet teeth have a soft spot for pie.
mmmmmmm.
***********
i've got tattoos to do.
i do.
biggish ones.
and it's a sunny saturday in the woodsly goodness,
and i got less sleep than usual,
but i'm fired up for a big day despite the big bad bags under my eyeballs.
that's the way i like it, really.
overbooked, but not with tasty babes.
just people with ideas.
that helps me focus.
that keeps me moving.
and i also think it just might make me funnier, too.
huh?
oh, you haven't had the pleasure,
but i do like to make a little bit of fun, by way of making my own fun.
and when there's no deliciousness to confound the issue,
i can get pretty serious about taking nothing seriously.
y'feel me?
no?
well,
stop by,
and i'll give you a dose of what i'm on about, neighbors.
you might like it,
or you might not,
but either way,
it's all really happening,
and that's what saturday looks like right now;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, May 19

DIRTY DUMPZZZ!!!!!

bros,
dinnertime, tho.
i'm serious.
you've got to rep dinnertime hard.
i thought i might have company.
....but i was mistaken.
i thought that i'd take it easy, instead.
...but i was mistaken.
see, here's the thing-
on wednesday, i prepped for success.
yup.
i made two types of fresh and flavorful fillings,
to stuff in some powerful pinched pouches,
and produce the super-elite expert excellence that i've come to expect
from my custom often-emulated super-offical molto-popular dumplings.
YUP.
DUMPLINGS!!!
dumplings are the TRUTH, son,.
real talk.
a big bowl of hot dumps is the source of much sorcery in this place.
ha.
i mean it.
dumplings are good.
super good.
turbo good,
and when you've got two types?!
F* yeah! that's twice as much awesome,
and cause for celebration,
even if you're eating solo.
(because that means the same number of dumps, divided by less mouths)
friends,
check the teleport:

DUMPS ON YOUR FAAAAAAAAACE!!!
potstickers in full effect,
red oil jauns in even fuller effect,
three sauces,
and a little salad to keep it fresh.
yup yup YUP:
too much is the right amount.
there were even more dumplestiltskins than pictured.
all told, i had like twenty-something, straight to the dome.
*
the red oil jauns were simple...
-
a cup and a half of sesame oil-seared minced seitan,
with two cloves of crushed garlic,
splashed with a tablespoonful of soy sauce,
a little bit of GPOP and ginger,
and a 1/4 cup chopped scallion added at the end
all that, folded and tucked in a simple dough, bro.
-
2/3 cup flour;
3 T warm water;
a dash of pink salt;
(add more water or flour to make a soft ball of pliable goodness,
roll out, cut out all the 3.5" circles, (about 8)
and fill 'em up with that tasty business.
fold, tuck, and join the edges,
so you've got sexxxy little dumpy balls to work with with.
give 'em a little minute to set,
and boil 'em in salty water until they float.
the red oil is good for you, too.
-
3 T garlic oil;
1/2 tsp cayenne;
1/2 tsp hot paprika;
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes;
11 turns of the sriracha flake grinder;
-
and i even made a bit MORE, with cayenne ho'sauce,
for MORE bumbum BOOMfire on the side, just in case
(and i used it, of course)
garnished with just a few sprigs of cilantro,
to make it pretty, and activate a little bit of cool in among that much hot fire.
smart.
*
and those sesame potstickers?!
c'mon.
that's the big action every damned time.
YEAH!!
-
first off, that dough had it poppin'-
i regularly eff up the dry/wet ratio,
and fix it in post-production-
-
i started with 1 cup o' flour;
added a dash of salt;
(skipped the rice flour, just because the light was failing, and time was of the essence,
although it's more absorptive, and would've probably saved time in the long run)
1 T black'n'white sesame sossamons;
1/3 cup warm water.
was it too wet?
yeah.
so did i add more flour?
dude, c'mon...
obviously.
all told,
i went heavy on the rolling surface,
and had about 1 1/4 cups flour IN the dough, too.
anyway,
i cut out like 18 fat dump wraps, lookin' thiqqq AF,
and put some of that new-new in each and every one-
that's right.
the tofu oracle from the future had me on some other otherness, and it was DOPE.
-
1/2+ block exxtra-firm tofu, drained, and cubed all sorts of tiny-like;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1/4 cup finely chopped onion;
2 T sesame seed sossamons;
4 T minced yellow carrot;
4 T minced peeled celeriac;
8 shredded medium sized brussels sprouts;
2 T sesame oil + 2 T veg oil for pan frying,
GPOP, ginger, coriander, and dried mustard,
a dash of rice wine vinegar to get things wilty,
and 2 T tamari to give it the nice.
-
like i told you, i prepped it i advance, so it was cool,
and marinated, and ready to go, bro.
so good.
each pouch was tucked up tight, and pinched together with a sweet crimp
that absolutely dissolved under the rigors of a blast of heady-lidded steam/fry up action.
awwwwwwww.
happily, their taste was completely unaffected.
pan fried for a minute in HOT sesame oil,
then blasted with a few tablespoons of seitan broth,
covered, and cooked until the juice evaporated, was absorbed, or whatever....
then, flipped over and given a sear-up on the sides, too!
you gotta get that good-good finish to 'em,
or you're missing out on an opportunity to get molto expert in only an extra minute more.
do that, dudes, it's worth it.
*
and that sauce?
2 T tamari;
1/2 tsp sesame oil;
GPOP;
black pepper;
ginger;
1 tsp agave;
2 T rice wine vinegar;
1/2 tsp dried mustard;
1/4 tsp ginger;
2 tsp scallions;
1/4 tsp toasted sesame seeds;
100% pure expertism.
get on it.
and that wasn't the only sauce, either.
i mean, i told you about red oil redux,
but how about that smoky soy/sriracha/sesame sh!t?!?!
that's riiiiiiiight.
too much is the right amount.
how many times do i have to remind you?
-
1 T sriracha;
1 T toasted sesame seeds;
1 tsp tamari;
1 dash of liquid smoke;
GPOP;
1 drop of garlic oil.
how good is it?
....i could probably do a shot of it.
that's pretty good, no?
-
dumplings are on my short lis of most awesome things.
you bite one end,
you dip it in the brown, you dab it in the red,
and you fire each one into your head, like a grenade,
and let those taste exxxplosions awaken your inner awesome,
bite after bite after bite after bite.
it's the way to make a hot day cool,
and the way to take a weak no-show day and make it fresh-to-death fo'sho'.
mmmmmmmmhmmmmmmmmm.
if you don't love dumplings, you're a jerk,
and i don't want you around.
that's a decree set in stone.
i'm passionate about my food, friends.
and i don't play around when it comes to who gets an invite.
*
tonight is the night.
just like every night.
and i'm ready for it.
i've got stacks of cardboard,
and heaps of paper products begging to be burnt.
however,
the air is dry, and the wind is whipping,
so its just possible tonight is the first night of a major new hampshire forest fire, too.
or,
i could begin demolition on the woodshed,
or the waterdamaged walls,
or even clear up one of those battlescarred back rooms
of this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
anything can happen on a friday night,
most likely, it won't be any of the things i've listed.
and in between,
i've got tattoos to do, and miles to walk beforehand.
it's all really happening,
the must-do's
and the might be's,
and the should not's, as well.
we'll see where today takes us,
besides straight down the tubes.
my body is fueled by dumplings, so i'm wagering
that it's at peak performance, no matter what ends up unfolding
along the mysterious creases and folds of this universal blueprint
of activity and longevity and proclivities and lividity.
wow.
basically,
it's all up in the air,
and i'm curious to see where today takes me;
never quiet, never soft.....

APPLE BLUEBERRY!!!

eating breakfast is good.
i mean,
after you've reluctantly dome a little sleeping, 
which is a whole span of time where no eating is happening,
you've been missing out on,
and you've gotta make up for it.
y'know?
and then, boom, just like that, breakfast shows up,
right on time, to start the day with something expert.
at least,
that's how it goes here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, anyway.
y'all might be effin'  around with smoothie bowls, or cereal bowls,
but me? i'm reppin' cake for brekkie.
yup.
i have a thing i like to do.
it's no big deal or anything.
i just like to get up and get after it and make something super-elite
to stuff into the hungry hole in my head.
mmmmhmmmm.
sure, i could've just had a pancake.
in fact,
that's a pretty good idea.
panniecakes are also awesome.
but i chose cake.
a big fat burly slice of especially hearty hottness,
homemade, and made with love, 
all just because i indulge my compulsive infinite nature
with flour and fruit and everything nice like sugar and spice.
uh-huh.
so,
cake, man.
that's a thing.
check the apple-blueberry-type teleport:
BREAKFAST!!!!
or lunch or snacktime or dinner or dessert...
anytime is a good time to tune up a slice of cake.
i had mine activated with a few fresh fixin's, too.
after all,
if cake is great to start the day with,
then cake taken to eleven has to be even better.
look:
a la mode!!!
a scoople of coconut vanilla nice cream,
and a drizzle of homemade blueberry syrup?!
heck yes.
too much is the right amount!
the driz' is super easy-
a tablespoon of blueberry jam, 
a teaspoon of agave,
a splash of water,
and some heat, to liquify the lumps, and make it pourable.
it'll thicken quickly when it's away from heat, 
so be ready to eat fast.
as a matter of fact,
always be ready to eat fast.
it's good to be prepared for a flash-feeding-frenzy, just in case you find yourself
in a pop-up smorgasbord someday....
you wouldn't want to be the weakest shark in the berserker binge, wouldja?
c'mon.
ANYway,
cake, tho.
here's what i did to make it happen:
-
*
-
preheat your oven to ≅360℉.

in a large mixing bowl, combine
1 cup brown sugar;
1 stick (8T) vegan butter; 
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt.
(by now, you'll have noticed that this is the golden combination.
the beginnings of almost everything expert include that mystical mixture)
stir in:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt,
and add 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and minced.
now, for all the dry stuff:
2 1/4 cups a.p. flour;
2 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 tsp ginger;
2 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
and to fully develop a batter, you'll need that liquid-
3/4 cup non-dairy 'milk, plus 1 T lemon juice-
fold all that into a batter,
and add it to your greased and floured pan.
if i was doing this again,
i'd use a brownie pan, for a more even baking result.
i gave it well over 45 minutes, before it settled dow enough to call done.
had it been shallower, i assume it'd behave more like a cake,
and less like a wet A*hole.
you've been warned.
also,
because too much IS the right amount,
i  added a cup of frozen wild maine bloobs to the top.
again,
in a rectangle, it'd stay pretty tight,
but in a circle,
they sort of sank into the center, dragging out the baking process for ages.
womp womp.
also,
there's streusel on top.
i mean,
it's a brown sugary breakfast bomb after all,
and rules is rules, man.
-
that's 1/3 cup powdered sugar;
1/3 cup butter;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 cup oatflour;
3 T cup a.p. flour,
cut and cut and cut again, 
until everything was a stuck-together streus', 
crOmbled on top for the win.
-
mmmmmmmm.
so that's stacks on stacks on stacks,
baked and ready,
crusty along the outer rim, soft and berryful in tthe middle,
and sugarcookieish on top.
what could be better than that first thing in the morning?
nothing.
obvi.
...don't be dumb, duder.
yeah.
***********
now, it's friday again, somehow.
time travel seems to keep getting faster, 
like internet connections did in the early 00's.
you wanna know what's on mind?
what the F* is for dinner?
that's first and foremost in my thoughts.
also,
how the heck am i gonna ge away from all these bad bad biting black flies,
and sucky mosquitoes?
i looked like i was doing a manic edm dance, 
trying to swat and confound those starved little A*-holes.
they must be hella hungry after sleeping all year,
because normally, they'd eat almost anything BUT me. 
interestingly,
crabtree was unmolested by their pincers and pokers, 
so, 
i s'pose if i bear the brunt and he escapes unscathed,
i can live with that.
guys,
i love my dog a whole lot-
and for all the haters out there who didn't think i was even capable 
of such large-capacity devotion to another living being,
let me be the first one to take umbrage,
and also the one to retort out loud-
i hope your cat gets AIDS.
yikes!
hahahahaha.
...but, for real, tho, bye bye dumb cats.
i know, that's a terrible sentiment for a vegan, right/
WRONG.
cats are the worst.
also,
i don't even care about ALL dogs.
nope,
i can't hang out with most of them, 
just like i can't hang out with most folks.
interestingly enough,
i ignore the dogs there are the most of,
much the same as i blur and erase the memory of the most common people.
jeez, that's some sh!t, huh?
yeah.
i've always been, and will likely always be, something of an elitist.
i like what i like, and everything else can choke on a cherry pit.
that said,
i have a boundless limitless heart of (quick)silver and (fool's)gold
that i give to people and places that deserve it.
and also to some terrible ladies.
mmhmm.
it turns out superficial shallowness begets big probsies on the back end.
you'd think i'd learn after all these years,
but, that's not how it works, is it?
sometimes, 
you choose the wrench;
and other times,
the wrench chooses you.
shoutouts to being the chosen one, time and again,
and also, shouts to my dog, for getting chosen,
and repaying me with countless hours of family togetherness.
i'm grateful for his lack of thumbs, lest he open the door and run away forever.
the wrench, brother.
it always finds a way to turn;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, May 18

FRIENDLY FO'!!!

focaccia is too damned good.
that's what i was thinking as i tore into a little MORE of it,
as i finished eating a herculean serving of sustenance,
with a side order of exxxtra focaccia.
mmmhmmmm.
neighbors,
i did something pretty epic,
although the internet largely ignored it.
ha!
my mouth and stomach, on the other hand?
they enjoyed each and every morsel, right down to the crumbs.
that's for real.
check the teleport:

kaBOOOOOOOOM!!!
jeez, that's an awful lot of food for one person.
then again,
too much is the right amount!!!
i made sure to overdo it, and add in all the extra-exxxtras, as well.
i figured,
if i already had fresh fluffy, olive-oily, salty super-sexxxy bread,
it'd be that much easier to stack a whole sandwich up to the tippity-top tier
of the palatable pantheon of sarnies and 'guinis in heaven and on earth.
yuuuuuuuup.
tall orders are my favorite kind.
i had some homemade seitan on the stove,
and a headful of ideas about fattie-boombattie stack on stacks,
so i took the one, and used it to activate the other.
mmhmm.
i've covered baking up your very own focaccia here.
and homemade seitan gets described right over here.
so,
now that we're all caught up,
allow me to get into the dirty details-
wilted baby kale and chard are on the bottom of the toasted buns.
there's no need to butter 'em, either-
that focaccia is hella ready for that already.
anyway, the greens are on the bottom,
followed by caramelized shallots, tossed with quick-pickled hot radishes-
-
actually,
it's radish, carrot, and celeriac,
in a homemade pink salt black pepper and crushed red peppery apple-cider vinegar bath.
with a dash of sugar to really give it some ZIP, dudes.
honestly,
y'just boil the veg barely covered by the liquid, and allow it to cool.
you end up with something especially expert for the level of commitment it takes.
-
and then there's those seitan steaks.
breaded in garbanzo bean flour,
with GPOP, brown sugar, black pepper, smoked paprika, and thyme.
there's a small scoop of masa, and a small scoop of cornstarch, too.
i mean,
we wanna give it the ultimate toothsome bite, don't we?
yes, we do.
and we did.
or i did, and you will, too, if you're so inclined.
seared in a hot pan, with a tiny touch of olive oil, for a few minutes per side,
and there you have it-
another 'nother blast of awesomeness, savory and sexxxy, and ready for more toppings.
WORD.
like pickles,
and crispy fried onions.
that's the right call.
there's earthy notes from the leaves,
and sharp tang in the rad'ness,
plus complimentary caramel in those shallots,
with savory steaky substance from the seitan,
briny brightness in the pickles,
and crawnch in the onions.
what else do we need?
there's that fatty, salty softness in the bread, so we're good right?
nope.
c'mon, man.
don't be dumb.
there's always room for one more thing.
*
roasted garlic and green onion aioli???!!?!!!?!
F*ing right, bruh.
five cloves of roasty, toasty oil-browned garlic,
with 4 tsp green onion,
a dash of coarse kosher salt,
and a glug or two more of olive oil-
all mashed and maceraed in a mortar, with a powerful pulverizing push of the pestle.
that's what's up, for really real.
aioli for your buttholi!!
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
*
now, that's a sandwich for the records, friends.
heck i used a quarter of the loaf of bread for it,
that's why i had a slight pang of guilt when i went in for a little bit more of it.
i fought through it, and overcame the doubts,
and shark-gluttoned my face right off  anyway-
i mean,
rule is rules, and every good thing should be experienced to eleven.
and i did just that.
cucumber salad, with purple carrot, and cilantro, and red and gold tomatoes,
in white balsamic vinegar?
dope.
tamari-glazed fried brussels sprouts?
so dope.
fries? shoestringers? thin chips? call 'em whatcha wanna,
they're the way to go, if you're going too far into sandwichville.
and i am about that life, for realsies.
*
guys,
i made myself a magnificent meal,
after which i walked the dog through downtown north conway village,
along all save one street.
ummmmm, i'm serious.
even after hours,
the whole of the paved paths along that spot are dead to me.
yeah.
i'm just sort of like that.
hard styled and committed to the decrees as they are issued.
regrettably so, at least  for navigational purposes, anyway...
but,
off the list means off the list,
and there's nothing for it but plotting alternate routes.
***********
it's going to be in the 90℉ realm today.
that's insane.
i mean,
had the heat on high blast, just last week.
now, i'm sweating like crazy,
and the skies are hazy from the ambient temperature.
new england is some kind of fickle.
it's like the laboratory where they experiment on how to eff with everything.
....except learning.
that's been pretty much disregarded and discarded up in these hills.
ugh.
i long for better conversations.
i ache for them.
shoutouts to my competent and capable communicators.
where y'all at?
i've got sandwiches in exchange for spoken words that're worth a sh!t.
if you care to trade ideas, you can find me in the last lonely houseful of books.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is open to all those who care to participate.
it's all right here, ready and willing and able to unfold,
as long as you're possessed of something valuable by way of nouns and verbs;
never quiet, never soft.....

FAMILIAR FEELINGS!!

cookies, bro.
cookies.
that's it.
that's all.
what else would there even be?
i mean,
if you've got cookies, you've got the world on a leash.
seriously.
and when you meet someone who doesn't like cookies?
don't spend any more time with them,
they're defective, and they're bad for you.
that's real.
cookies are divine discs of delight,
and anybody who says otherwise is a total A-hole.
word up.
now, i personally LOVE a good cookie.
that's a fact.
and good cookies are the only kind that i make.
i'm not bragging,
i'm simply stating that i am intent and determined to get expert
on a big batch of from-scratchery each and every time.
started effing around with cookies
waaaaaaaaay the heck back when i was a wee lanky lad of seventeen.
i made my first homemade cookies in high school,
where i wisely took 'skills for living' instead of shop class.
uh-huh.
i'm serious.
and skills for living meant 'stuff for girls' back then.
and yes,
i was, in fact the only male in the class;
and also yes,
i was much more gifted in the kitchen than all those hoes,
even in my most angsty long-haired evenflow grunge days.
hahahahaha.
ANYway,
back to the matter at hand-
cookies.
decades later, i'm utilizing those skills for livin',
and livin' it up with a big-A* bowlful of burly oaten awesomess.
yup.
i took it easy, sorta, and made them simple, mostly.
check out the cookie action, via teleport:

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP SORCERY, SON!!!!
wooooooooooooooo.
damn it feels good to eat cookies.
i know, i know,
they're not as superfancy as you guys like to look at.....
but they taste like everything good is happening at once.
that's for damned serious, suckas.
familiar feelings are flowing through every oaty bite of these beige b!tches.
make some for yourself,
then tell me if  i'm wrong:
-
*
O IS FOR OATMEAL! 
C IS FOR COOKIE! 
D IS FOR DOPE!
-
preheat the oven to 375℉
-
in a medium bowl, cream together:
1 cup dark brown sugar;
1 stick (8T) vegan earth balance butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla.
once blended, stir in:
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce.
(that  makes them 1,000,000✖ better than some funky egg jauns)
-
the stir in:
2 cups a.p. flour;
1/2 cup coarse-ground oat flour;
(i take whole oats and use spice grinder activation to make them just right)
3/4 cup old fashioned (not quick-and-easy) rolled oats;
1 cup mini chocolate chips.
you'll need to hand squish the final stages of better battery, for best batter upshots.
that's no problem, tho, because you're active participants, and you're ready to rock, right?
that's right!
so,
form golf balls to the tune of about two dozen+,
and hand-flatten them somewhat.
space them evenly on a baking sheet, or two,
and give 'em about 13 minutes in the oven.
that's it.
and what you get is pure boomfire for your hungry cookiepit.
do it,
and you'll see what all the bravado is based on, bro.
-
YOU NEED MORE COOKIES IN YOUR LIFE!!!
really.
...also, they taste great,
but that's just because they taste like home, and family, and comfort,
and happiness,
and THAT'S why i had to eat a dozen myself.
damn.
too much is the right amount,
but,
that might not apply to waistlines.
jeez, i'm just so psyched on eating this stuff.
i s'pose that's good news, since i do it alone most of the time.
awwwww.
take it easy, that just means i get as many cookies as i want,
and that's great, because i want them ALL.
***********
i spent the whole day playing with my dog.
really.
i mean,
yes, i did some other stuff while i was up and at it, too.
like, for instance, i also made a batch of seitan,
and started two loaves of sourdough bread,
and set to some puff-pastry dough,
and a big loaf of homemade focaccia,
as well as frying up a pair of very different dumpling fillings for tonight's supper,
and ovenizing a tasty baked treat of two,
plus a big-deluxxxe dinner......
so, not nearly enough to maximize the day OFF.
mostly though,
i exercised outdoors along with my tremendous terrier,
and we hit the town for a long walk through the village and everything!
mmhmm.
i should've been buying wiry fences for my grapevines,
and maybe setting fire to the funky leafpiles,
bu,
if you could've seen the look of pure joy on crabtree's big sharky stoopidhead,
you'd know i was doing right by my little dude.
sometimes,
you've gotta just make nice, and do a good thing.
i may never get enough done to satisfy myself.
i'm starting to acknowledge that that's likely the worst part of every day,
but also,
something that'll have to be dealt with healthily,
and not with defeat and despair.
y'know?
do MORE, but of all the right things.
that's how i'm lookin' at life today,
and today is the day, neighbors.
will i celebrate this temporary clarity with a huge helping of dumplings tonight?
don't mind if i do;
never quiet, never soft.....