Sunday, November 19


i'm makin' it without bakin' it,
and definitely without bacon in it.
you'd better believe it, neighbors.
no-bakes are good.
and there's certainly more than one way to no-bake up a batch of cookies and sh!t.
i should know, because i doo-doo that cookie cookery,
and i do it loud, fresh, hard, and in quantity.
that's the stuff. 
in fact,
i had myself TWO kinds of peanutty buttery barbarian big action activators recently,
and i have a feelin' there's probably even MORE where that came from.
here's the thing-
after the success of my white chocolate jauns,
i felt it a necessity to immediately set about making some dark chocolate realness,
with that crowd-favorite, graham-style crackery crOmbles, as the base. dope is that?!
no need to respond, because i'm going to show you exxxactly how dope.
heck yeah!
check the teleport:
the crumbs as the bottom was a good move.
but the choco-nut on top is a great move.
the white chox drizz' is a dirty dirty touch, but it's necessary,
and furthermore, since rules is rules every damned day,
the chopped peanut sprankles made it expert AF.
was it complicated?     far from it!
was it time consuming?     not even slightly!
was it messy?     it shouldn't be, if you're not an A*-hole!
i can't get enough of that chocolaty peanut buttery flavor,
and i'm all about it in light and dark sides of the force.
word up.
i think that i'm lucky as heckfire to have the well-stocked, stacked and packed pantry
that allows me the luxury of making layers and layers of double treats and eats.
that's truly good fortune.
...that i can always indulge in the fancy-pantsed complicated creation 
of pretty much whatever the F* i want?
i am truly grateful. 
on the ones, 
it isn't everyone, everyday, that produces something new from scratch
just because the spirit and memory of Folk Life & Liberty possesses them.... i know i'm lucky to have caught the muse of makery magic.
and what's more,
i'm gonna give you the recipe, too.
y'like to hear it? here it go:
in a small saucepot, on low heat, on your stove-
melt 1 stick (8T) vegan butterish.
add 2 tsp vanilla, and pour that over:
2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs;
1 cup powdered sugar;
3/4 cup natural peanut butter;
press that well-blended concoction into a 9 x 13 inch pan,
lined with foil, which has been greased for ease of release,
and allow it set in the fridge while you re-use that saucepot
to dissolve:
1 cup+ chocolate chips;
1 tsp vanilla;
2-3 T all natural unsweetened thiccc peanut butter.
once that is spreadably melted up,
pour it over the graham base, and smooth it out.
re-refrigerate it, 
and add the white drizzles after another 'nother 11 minutes or so.
white choco chips, a little non-dairy milk, 
and low heat to turn the blanco solids into slippey lava.
that's when you turn it UP, and drop those peanut spranks on top.
otherwise, what are you even doing?
too much is the right amount,
and if you aren't OVERdoing it,
you're doing it wrong.
i couldn't decide which one was superior,
and i still can't.
i might need to make MORE, to try to get to the bottom of it.
i know i'll get to the bottom of the pan faster than i can make up my mind.
shark gluttony is the true winner in a contest like this.
the sharkiest most-gluttoniest holiday is right around the corner,
and i think i may have more company than usual.
that's right.
last year,
it was just the girls, harvest and maple, and myself 
(and crabtree but he's never any help at all)
this year,
there's the very likely attendance of a couple of good guys,
and at least one more valuable viking vixen with all the fixin's.
it might be a real party.
a house party.
a Folk Life & Liberty Fortress Fiesta.
a gathering of gratitude and generosity.
a concentrated collective of concentric overlapping ghost circles of family togetherness.
who'd have supposed a year would change everything so much?
this is What Is now, and it's all really happening-
the unfolding blueprints of a secret universal dispersal of fortune and favor,
flowing forward from here to points unknown to me and mine,
but mapped out in advance along the paths and passages of warrior poetry in motion,
navigable only through active participation.
that's a lot to be a part of,
but at least i won't be going it alone;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, November 18


what do you even know about
they're gluten-free!!
they're thiccc!!!
they're incredibly tasty, with the two best nutlike substances working in tandem,
and a whole lotta oaty knobbles and coconutty nibbles keepin' it molto real,
AND a lil' dark chocolate drizz' just to freak it off, too.
that's expert.
i went all out on the big action,
because too much is the right amount,
and i'm gonna need you to just take a quick look at what i mean,
via the super-flavor-circle-wedge-type teleport:

if you're allergic, you're losing out so hard i almost feel sympathy,
that means more treats for me,
and that makes me feel selfishly centered on stuffing more of it into my skull!!
i've been waiting for these vegan chocolate-style chips for melting and activating
to arrive,
and as soon as they got here, i burned through a bunch of bags quick-fast and in a hurry.
hell yes i did.
if you've got 'em, and you aren't trying to git it, you're doomed to get gotten instead,
and that  ain't me, bro.
no way.
i'm a getter of the most gargantuan proportions, and i got this on LOCK.
here's the thing-
i'm asking you to make some of this for yourselves,
because i think you'll find that your whole life is better for tasting it.
no jokes.
this sh!t is the super-deluxxxe TRUTH!
...and once you have some, you'll be much imorved for the experience.
here's how:
in a small saucepot, melt 1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
in a medium mixing bowl,
toss together:
1 cup quick-oats;
2 1/4 cups rolled oats the texture difference is key, here)
1/4 cup unsweetened flake coconut;
1/4 fresh ground unsweetened coconut meal;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup sugar;
1/2 cup powdered sugar;
3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter;
1/4 tsp salt.
add the butterish to the oats and peanuttiness,
and combine it until it's a gooey, wet, slippery chunk-up crOmble,
and press it evenly into a 10' circle cake pan,
lined with foil, and greased for ease of release.
add 2 T peanut butter to 1 cup white chocolate chips,
to 2 T smooth ground coconut,
and melt on low heat, or in a double boiler,
or, if you're an A*-hole, just do it in the microwave.
but maybe do it on low heat on the stove like a worthy warrior poet.
whatever, man.
once it's all one wet paste, spread THAT on top,
and refrigerate for a few-
then you're gonna wanna melt a little dark chocolate with a little non-dairy milk,
and activate the drizz'.
drizzlin' is what we like, isn't it?
yes. it certainly is.
and then, because rules is rules,
hit it with some coconutty sprankles.
DAS IT!!!!
i love a good treat.
i also love a good time.
i have the former far more often than the latter,
but at least i have a lot of it whenever i do.
the need to create something delicious is a real compulsion i experience.
it's the sort of urge that comes from constantly adding new tasks to the laborious
voyage of self-improvement i've been on these long years.
way back in the day,.
a pretty bad person suggested i become someone else,
in order to stir some sentiment of fondness in her.
to my embarrassing discredit,
i did not hold myself in high enough esteem to tell her to go to hell
for suggesting i may only be enjoyable if i'm anybody but myself-
in my earnest quest to become something else for all the wrong reasons,
i instead discovered the urge to become something MORE
than i'd thought was previously possible. be a better version of myself,
and not a wholecloth discard of my infinite nature.
and THAT was a self-perpetuating positive side effect of an otherwise awful span of time.
it stuck, too.
to this day, i am compelled to continue to produce greater quantities of greater quality
or great goods and experiences for the greater good of this woodsly goodsly Folk Life
i've been carving out of granite on these frigid northern mountains.
it's all really happening, kids.
the pursuit of productivity and the search for satisfaction continue,
and with triumphant treats like this last one,
i think i'm on the fast track to super-official nonstop hottness, for sure.
this may be all there is for now,
but it's the next step in going further and farther, faster, and for longer,
than all the days leading up to now.
it's all part of the process of progress,
and in the meantime,
we get to eat all this dopeness while we span the time we have been given;
never quiet, never soft.....


triple chips?!
yes, friends.
triple chips!
shoutouts to the vegan chip spot, for supplying all the dairy-free kosherness
that's about to change the way i bake up my treats.
it's ON, broski.
y'boi king david, a.k.a. the secret vegan sorcerer's supplier,
has got me feelin' a certain kind of way.
that's that new new hottness,
and when it's time to introduce a new batch of new hottness
featuring the expert utilization of those new new ingredients-
it seems only natural to apply the formula to the legendary
legacy of sweet treat supremacy that is the one and only rock bloxxx.
check the teleport:

triple chips, mutha'uckers!
chocolate jauns!
white chocolate jauns!!
caramel gargamel jauns!!!
AND a double drizzle to turn it up to eleven!
that's the only way to go, y'know?
they're oaty, they're coconutty, they're brown sugary,
they're buttery, they're chocolaty, and they're incredible with the cakelike nuances
of white choco-loco-lettes, and those caramelty mini bits, too.
it's a whole new realm of taste, friends.
also, i actually have a fourth chip, too.
i do!
it's butterscotch, and it wasn't invited to the cookie party,
but it will be making an appearance soon, so don't fret.
get after your main man king david, though, and get those radical vegan flavors.
caramel on the gargamel-tip, in chip form,
is something i have been missing without ever even knowing it.
now that i've got it, however, i can't go on without it.
that's the only problem with illuminating the darkness, right?
once you know what's out there, you cannot ever un-know it.
and i have seen the light of vegan chips,
and nothing will ever be the same.
i had a wild pair of days, down in connecticut.
i did.
maple star was in the school play,
'she stoops to conquer',
and it was pretty effin' good stuff.
so was the interactive food-stuffin' face-packin' vegan smorgasbord we had while
within the confines of new haven county.
for realsies,
there was emergency tofutti at sweet claude's;
there was frank pepe's pizzeria magnificence;
there was somebody's first time at chipotle;
there was lalibela's ethiopian food;
there was pastry hottness at the edge of the woods endlessly hippie crunchy grocery.
if you're unfamiliar with any of those,
i'd recommend you get yourself down there and see for yourself-
on the ones, it was all good,
and all really happening.
the food is the highlight of every trip.
to that end, you'd better believe that i brought three kinds of treats,
with a wide profile of flavor and texture and visual appeal.
because too much is the right amount,
and when you're gonna bring the fire, you'd better bring ALL the fire.
here's how to rock your bloxxx with chips on chips on chips-
preheat your oven to 375℉
in a large bowl,
thoroughly mix up:
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 cup brown sugar;
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, and stir until it's all one muddy mess.
1 cup oatflour;
2 cups flour;
1 tsp ea. bakey powpow and bakey soda;
1/2 cup fresh-ground coconut;
1/3+ cup each chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel chips.
mix well, and thoroughly,
and dollop golf-ball-sized blops onto baking sheets,
(i got 39 cookies from my batch)
and bake them for 13 minutes.
cool them on a wire rack,
and then hit 'em with that drizz!!!
it's just melted chips with a little non-dairy milk to emulsify the dissolution.
that's how you make it special, though.
a double drizzle is better than a lame icing any day.
and in that pollocky pattern?
it's art, m'man.
and you like it.
i'm back again, in the woodsly goodness,
and i'm back at it, today, at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
i missed my main milkyman, crabtree the crapper,
but he was in good hands with nate holding it down
at the helm of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i'm psyched on my team, friends.
it's a good one.
i'm grateful for the time i have been given,
and i know i'm damned lucky to have these people around
who are sharing this leg of the trip with me;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 15


taco tuesday is tight and TILTY.
and when it happens in a bowl?
it's bigger and deeper and more filling than ever before!
that's no joke.
who'd have guessed that dolloping all that dopeness into a wide-rimmed well
would be so expert?!
i had a feeling, and i went with it, and i'm glad i did, too.
check the teleport:

i got those toasted soft flour tortillas on the bottom,
then a blend of red and green lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, and pea shoots,
followed by some cucumber, and some purple carrot sprankles.
that's all well and good,
but the really real-real stuff took the whole thing up and over the top,
to eleven and beyond.
i mean it.
cilantro-lime jasmine and black rice a.k.a purple boomfire, with scallions?
it's the TRUTH! the real hones no-jokes hottness for your face.
that's IT.
25% black rice in with the jasmine,
prepared like rice always is,
but then tossed with a bunch of chopped cilantro, a handful of scallion bits,
and a huge squeeze of lime juice!
easy, but unbelievably dope.
try it, you'll see.
ho'saucy red-pepper cauliflower?
c'mon, man.
you know you like it.
that's onion, red pepper and those fine white florets,
seared for a spell,
then juiced up with 2 tablespoons of broth, 2 tablespoons of ho'sauce,
GPOP, salt, pepper, and cayenne, covered and steamed just enough to get it softened.
the edges are crisp, the centers are smooshy, the taste is elite, and the heat is palpable.
that's how you doo-doo that freaky sh!t when you're serious about taco time.
trust y'boi, i wouldn't lead you astray; certainly not, especially when it comes to food.
taco-chop-up-style tempeh crOmbles?!
F*ing right.
1/2 block tempeh, minced;
half an onion, finely diced;
1 cup of quartered grape tomatoes;
1/2 cup salsa fresca (it had reached the limits of it's shelf life, sort of a not-so-fresca);
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes;
GPOP, nootch, salt, pepper, oregano. thyme, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika;
3 tablespoons broth;
that's all you need, and you just simmer it for a bit, until it's the mushiest mass
of sloppy josé you've ever sniffed.
also, it's tasty as hell.
just sayin'.
quick-pickled mixed veggies?
oh, you already knew that was comin'.
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, plus 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt,
boiled with 1 jalapeno, 1/4 onion, 1/2 large sliced carrot, and two thin-sliced radishes-
that's how it's done.
and if you aren't going after it like that,
i feel like you might be doing it wrong.
no judgement, just observation.
i've got days "off " coming my way.
that involves a LOT of driving,
a little family togetherness,
a metric ton of all the food i have limited access to in the woodsly goodness,
and the obligatory tour of the nooks, crannies, cracks, crevices, and past haunts
of my young life into early adulthood.
it'll be good, because it has to be.
it'll be brutal, because it never hasn't been.
rules is rules.
i've got places to go,
people to see,
gluttony to shark up on,
and it's all really unfolding, again,
in all the ways it always does,
for the betterment and detriment of time and space as it relates to warrior poetry.
it's all really happening,
the echoes of spirit and memory are ringing in my ears,
and the miles ahead are the exact same ones behind me;
never quiet, never soft.....


leafy greens are pretty good.
i mean, they've got vitamins, and nutrients, and color,
textural roughage, protein!,
and big blasts of flavor in their concentrated outward-sprouting chlorophyll paddles......
so, they're basically a win if you have them on your plate.
here's the thing-
once in a while, when i'm looking down at my torso,
i notice the beginnings of a blarp-out.
you know what i'm talking about, don't you?
the slight spread, the gentle jiggle,
the ever-so-slight unsightliness of an extra pound or three.....
and whenever that happens, i pretend i'm going to nip it in the bud,
and i F* up a salad or two for a little bit.
that's where the leafy greens come into play.
i wonder who the heck i think i'm fooling, really.
for realsies, man,
i load those bowls up with so much stuff, it barely qualifies as salad anymore.
it's just a heap of dirty-A* food with leaves on it.
but, that's delicious, neighbors, and i want you to look a it:

arugula, kale, spinach, purple cabbage, and pea shoots are all in there.
and those cute little two-color tomatoes, too.
that's where the good-for-me part of the plan ends.
then, the just-plain-ol'-good part gets started-
oven roasted olive oil and salt activated potatoes!
baked cauliflower, carrots, and brussels sprouts, with GPOP and nootch!
......and a glug of oil to help 'em along!!
the potatoes went in as the oven preheated, way way up to 400℉,
but the veg got foiled-over first, and roasted for less time, with more steam trapped within.
all in all, it's like twenty minutes for the veg,
and whatever the exxxtra time was for the preheat on those 'tatoes.
caramelized onions? i did that.
crispy tofu cubes, a.k.a. 'croutons'? hell yes; indeed; don't mind if i do!
oil-toasted pepitas and sunflower seeds? sprankles, man, are where it's AT.
anything else?
too much is the right amount,
and i don't actually ever want just a bland and healthy sheaf of leaves,
i want the big deluxxxe bowlful of the best bits-
so i sweetened the pot with dried cranberries, too.
yeah, it's salad, but it's also awesome.
there's no point in tricking myself, is there?
i love food more than i hate feeling like a sloppy-bottomed blarp-out.
i doubt i'll ever resign myself to letting go and blimping up,
but i'm gonna have to get used to the shimmy-shimmy ya-ya's if
i'm going to continue to indulge in all the hottness,
all the time,
while the NOvember nights try to chill my bones.
i'm just insulating my marrow with plant-powered flesh blankets, bro.
that's all.
i've heard it said somewhere that we repeat the same mistakes over and over and over,
until we either learn the lesson they've got to teach us,
or we die, ignorant and tired, in the throes of the devils we know and love to hate.
that's a sure enough hard style.
and i think that there's nothing but the ring of truth to it, too.
i think i'm just looking for something that may not exist.
that's the thing, kids.
four out of five ain't bad, but it's still a B-,
if you get the drift of my 100 point 100 percent grading system.
that's the issue;
where to invest the time and energy that'll return the highest dividends.
ponderous ponderings?
i have no idea.
i've tried all of those, individually, and all at once.
but so far, i still haven't hit that upper-tier level of satisfaction.
i s'pose i'll have to keep looping back, over and over and over,
doing the same sh!t,
attempting to salad the situation into submission,
despite knowing it's not really salad, even when it's a metaphor,
even when it's literally a bowl of leaves,
even when it's tossed, like lettuce or like A*....
it's all really happening, and there's something to be said for that,
but i think it just might all be the same thing,
repackaged and recycled-
frankly, i have yet to learn my lesson;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 13


just gimme the blueberries, man.
that's all i want.
is that too demanding?
i rather thought not.
lucky for me, i have blueberries.
that means i get what i want, and that means i'm having my breakfast
in a decidedly antioxidized manner.
because blueberries are for muffining, neighbors.
that's a thing.
in the pantheon of muffins,
bloobs rank first and foremost amongst the rest of the rabble.
you know it, i know it, we all know im
and now, i'm going to show you it.
check the teleport:

how can something with such easy, linear recipe progression be such a rewarding experience?
really though, these soft and spongy little sex-bob-ombs had my mouth watering,
and my tastebuds tingling,
and my belly singing bard-style lays of the heroic sort for the whole dang day.
turns out,
blueberry muffins were the secret to a great day.
i think the texture of large-crystal raw sugar helped.
i also believe the little bit of creamchee' i cut in with the butterish was a factor
in turning the crumb's toothsome profile up to eleven.
y'gotta do the good things, and add the good things, in order to get the even better ones.
no doubt.
that's always a factor, isn't it?
you can trick yourself into thinking that the wholesome whole grain low-sugar
dense-bombing butt-blasin' boring ones are the best,
but deep down, you've gotta know that the decadent indulgent jauns are where the true
decadent luxury is being kept.
i know all about it, and i also know how to do it.
so i do it.
i mean, c'mon- too much is the right amount.
i'm not on some ol' doo-doo buttery old-man-bran-muff stuff.
no way.
i got the extravagant blueberry big action right here,
and i'm about to let you in on all the details-
preheat your oven to 350℉
in a medium-sized bowl, cream together:
+/- 1 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 (8 T) stick vegan butter;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon zest;
3 T vegan creamchee';
stir in:
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt, and mix well.
next, add:
2 1/4 cups flour;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries;
3/4 cup non-dairy milk.
stir it just until all the stuff is barely, but definitely combined,
and spoon it equally into greased muffin tins.
i got something like twenty, i think?
i also added raw sugar sprankles, pre-bake, for that caramel sexxxy time on the tops.
because rules is rules, and wordimus to ya'll nerdimuses.
that's just the way in which experts do the do, dude.
for realsies.
bake 'em for about 30 minutes,
give 'em five out of the oven,
then cool 'em on a rack,
and eat as many as you can fit in your fat face while they're still warm.
i'm pretty sure i took down about eight.
i'm not afraid to go hard on the anti-oxidant campaign trail.
heck yeah!
bloobs for me, bloobs for you,
bloobs for everybody.
that's just the way it is.
i may not have a tattoo today.
we'll see how it goes, bros,
but it's possible that i might actually have ten seconds worth of time
to work on other projects that have been neglected for the past few weeks.
i'm sort of excited, movie checks notwithstanding,
to draw a little bit of stuff NOT on a human body.
that's awesome, for sure-
the permanent marky-markin' for even-more permanent inky-inkin',
but it will be so sweet if i can put a pen on some paper for an hour or so, too.
it's all got to happen, and i want to enjoy all of it as much as possible-
the only way to do that is to dive in as hard and as deeply as i can manage.
here's to headlong hurtling into every second of this day;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Sunday, November 12


i have been crushing tattoos every flipping day.
it's good, and it's bad, and it's welcome, and it's a nuisance.
I'm grateful to have the clientele that is committed to coming and experiencing
the luxurious setting, and the expert ambiance of AMPERSAND TATTOO.
that's for sure.
it's a carefully cultivated environment,
designed to be inclusive and interactive with the individuals who compose
the larger, bigger, better, and more awesome army of excellence that
makes the place a living organism, rather than just a place where tattoos happen.
and that's cool, right?
man, i sure hope so, because it is exhausting.
if you want the new hottness,
you've gotta make the new hottness.
(and there is always a F*ing but)
the demands i impose on myself to maintain the intensity and energy of the
effective, affected, and effusive establishment,
and to create something MORE than any ol' ordinary setting for tatzappin' and crap-chattin',
are really taxing the limits of my endurance;
and that's saying a LOT-
considering my mystical vegan barbarian stamina exceeds the average everyday
doo-doo buttery dude
by a full order of magnitude x 11.
and i'm not even bragging, neighbors-
i'm too tired for that, so you know it's serious...
i'm fortunate, and i'm giving thanks, and i'm working my hardest, and longest
to keep everything elite and expert all the mutha-effing time.
it continues to shape the way i look at time.
and when you truly begin to realize how little of it there is,
you've got to decide how you're going to budget the finite quantity,
with the maxxximum results for the investment thereof.
i'll tell you something-
cake helps the days pass with fewer hitches, headaches, and hiccups.
i mean it.
if it was't for the early a.m. bakery exxxplosions i concocct,
i doubt i'd have the nourishment necessary to dominate each day into submission.
word up.
i've been going somewhat simpler than in months past.
i believe it has to do with the sh!t-salad of grey lameness that is NOvember.
easily the least rad month of the year, and my personal seasonal nemesis.
i activated some coconut, which is perpetually uplifting,
and then i dropped a couple chocolate chips on top,
to turn up the sweetness, and maybe ease my bitter words back a bit.
here's what happened:

a huge scoop of vegan sour cream, whipped into a frothy frenzy,
is what turned a regular-A* morning into a sumptuous fluff-up from the future.
that's real.
i want you to make this.
i want you to have a 10" pan.
i want you to experience the joy of coconut.
i want you to get moving, because time's a -wastin', man.
here's the order of operations-
preheat your oven to 350℉
in your heroically dependable stand mixer, with the whisk attached,
cream up:
1 stick vegan butter (that's still 8 T all day);
1/2 tsp salt;
1 cup sugar;
2 tsp vanilla bean paste;
1 tsp coconut essence.
next, whip in:
1 full heaping cup of tofutti vegan sour cream;
1/4 cup tapioca flour.
now, toss in;
1/2 cup medium flake unsweetened coconut;
2 1/4 cups flour;
1 tsp ea. baking powpow and soda;
1 cup coconut milk (the drinking carton kind)
whisk it into a lofty batter,
and spread it out in a greased 10-incher.
i hit the whole surface with shredded coconut sprankles,
which toasted up so nicey-nicely,
and i also respected the house rules.
like, too much is the right amount.
so i also put vegan chocolate chips on half, as well.
in case somebody needed some exxxtra gooey goodsly goodness for their face.
bake it for 30ish minutes, until the center is thoroughly set up,
and let it cool enough to cut without smearing chocolate everywhere.
i'd recommend you eat at least one slice warm,
although it is very good at room temp, too.
i mean, really, it's got all the right flavors, and textures,
so how can you go wrong? CAN'T,
unless you don't eat any-
in which case you are very clearly F*ed up.
so don't be F*ed up, and get your hands on an oven and a pan and some ingredients
and make your own magic.
maybe leave the chips off?
maybe put more chips ON?
maybe put chips IN?
who knows??
you're in charge of your own destiny, bro.
and i hope that includes cake;
never quiet, never soft.....


one nibble, neighbors.
that's it.
one nibble, and you're nobbled.
you know what i'm sayin'?
do you feel me?
those british wholemeal cookies that rock all of the socks off of all of the feet.
i accidentally recreated them in my kitchen.
that's a thing.
....and it's a really flippin' good thing, too.
because hobnobs are F*ing expert as hell.
word up.
if you've never had 'em, you've most definitely been missing out-
this new-new i whipped up is an unintentional doppleganger
for the full-figured flavor of those o.g. knobbly, oaty biscuits.
check the teleport:

no jokes.
so much so that i think that all the exxxtra chatter is irrelevant right now,
and we should just skip straightaway  to the recipe.
preheat your oven to 375℉.
in a medium-sized metal bowl, combine:
11 T earth balance buttery spread;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla bean paste;
1 cup dark brown sugar;
cut that all together, until it's a smooth mortar of magic, and then add:
1 1/4 cup flour;
1+ cup ground coarsemeal quick-oats'
1/2 cup whole quick oats;
1 tsp ea. bakey powpow and soda;
3 T real maple syrup.
1 cup vegan chocolate chips.
that's literally it, duders.
knead it into a dough, roll it thin, and cut it up into whhatever shapes you'd like.
i baked mine for 13 minutes per tray,
and somehow, the small ones got dark af  anyway.
it's cool. they taste amazing.
oaty, hearty, buttery as heckfire, and sweet without being cloying.
on the ones,
these are what you want this morning.
trust y'boi, and bake up a batch asap.
that's my advice to you.
it's cold.
well, i realize that it's hardly big news.
but, i mean, it's not just the crisp air of autumn anymore.
it is now a well and truly fully COLD season.
my skinny little legs are basically icicles whenever i'm walking crabtree.
...and even he has his warm coat on while we're out in the woodsly goodness.
yeah, yeah, yeah, we all knew it was coming,
i'm just shivering almost every second of every day, and my purplish fingers are numbed
as i type, so it's sort of at the forefront of my thought process.
NOvember has a way of really insinuating it's sucky self into all the worst case scenarios.
and the creeping chill of this grey month is really making an effort to erode my positive vibes.
i think i'll need another 'nother couple dozen cookies inside my body,
to build up a layer of human insulation for the coming frosty future.
it's all really happening,
the lack of light,
the lack of sleep,
the lack of leisure,
the lack of luster, if not lust.
NOvember sucks balls SO hard every flippin' year.
there's hard styles, and then there's this.
i'm not into it, at all, and i'm ready for something better,
or at the least, maybe an answer,
to blow in on this savage stormswept raging gypsy wind;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 10


sometimes i'm in a hurry.
other times, i'm in a rush.
rarely, if ever, am i leisurely waltzing my way to the finish line.
i'm on a tight schedule always, feeling the pressure of so many minutes
pouring out of each hour,
and every hour flitting past like a blinking eye.
it's NOT easy.
day after day after day, up early, on that steady grind:
doing, making, creating, working, actively participating!
for realsies, man-
i'm tired, spread out, worn thin, and for the first time in a long time,
i'm kind of tired.
sometimes, i forget to do stuff.
like, ordering propane, or raking leaves, or getting special ink for the printer,
and so on and on and on.
i'm just busy, in every direction, all the time, from the first to the last,
every single day.
and THAT'S why dinner is sometimes a big heap of hottness,
piled high with all the stiff i need in one place.
that doesn't mean it's sh!tty, just that necessity demands i get it poppin' FAST.
i need the luxurious flavors, i insist on the glorious textures,
and i absolutely require the visual sexxxiness of a huge portion of all the deliciousness.
in three pots, in twenty minutes, i  came up with THIS:

it was suuuuuper dope.
the spinach and the pea shoots and the cucumbers are a nice raw touch, too.
and fyi, that's jasmine rice,
because the delicate long grains cook fast, and taste great, and look cool.
did i use a whole can of full-fat coconut milk?
i did!
what about coconut oil?
hell yes.
it was the unrefined one, too.
i LOVE coconut, and i want ALLLLLL the huge coconut flavor.
and is that tofu you see up there?
fried triangles of soybean sorcery,
coupled with well-browned hunks of baby-sized portabella caps!
that's. what's. UP.
deliciousness taken to eleven is all i had in mind,
and i made up my mind only minutes before i made up all the SAUCE.
there's a stalk of celery, and a carrot, as well as an onion,
plus a teaspoon of fresh minced ginger, three cloves' worth of sliced garlic,
half a hot red chili, and a smalllll baby red sweet bell pepper,
all soaked in a bath of coconut milk, activated with 1/2 tsp turmeric,
a spoonful of bouillon, the juice of one and a half limes, plus half a lime's zest,
GPOP, coriander, a hearty dumpin' of cumin,
and a big blop of chili garlic paste.
the thing about cooking is it's organic, and fluid,
as well as a genuine expression of the moment.
i don't measure, man, i feeeeeeeeeel it out.
i mean it.
cilantro sprankles and exxxtra lime just felt like what was supposed to happen,
and so it did.
it's an inescapable progression, kids.
beginning, middle, ending.
idea, ingredients, heat, transformation, ingestion, enjoyment, digestion, and sh!t.
that's what you get, bro-
sh!t is how it always ends.
because rules is rules.
it turns out that today was the day.
a bitterly cold windy grey one,
with early darkness,
a half of a tree smashing the rooftop of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and the last ties to my last love being severed through the servers of social media.
ummmmm, yeah.
and that last one's a weird feeling, y'know?
suddenly, they've disappeared.
here's the thing-
there's always a sort of lingering attachment after you get past the surprise
of an abrupt departure from a long-time partner.
it's certainly not affection, exactly,
nor is it intimate interest;
but rather,
it's a sort of interconnectedness affirming that what we once shared meant SOMEthing.
as time marches forward, distance and time separate us all
from who, what, and where we were,
and what used to be becomes either a recital of litanical lament;
a fond recollection of highlight reel greatest hits;
it seems,
you just find yourself deleted, long after they've removed themselves.
relationships are hard enough when they're all really happening.
it's so much weirder when they aren't even a thing anymore,
and yet they still somehow still feel like losing. that too personal?
it is?
well, it's a true story, and that's sort of the whole point.
NOvember claims another loss,
and creates a whole 'nother other void in the roster of casual acquaintances.
that's why it's the worst month, always.
it's colder than it needs to be,
darker than is advisable,
and people all begin to really act like a bunch of buttholes.
i'm not a fan,
and all the curry in the universe couldn't warm me up when it's this lugubrious on the inside.
what's there left to say?
oh, right-
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, November 9


i make things.
to put it very simply- that's what i do.
and while i make a LOT of things,
across a wide spectrum of creative mediums,
i've got an especially soft spot for pastry crusts.
it's true.
i just love a good ol' crispy one.
all the art, and costumes, and tableaus are great, for sure.
i couldn't and wouldn't be me without 'em-
but an especially tight pastry, with the snap of a flaked-out crust?
that's where it's AT, neighbors.
and while i think i've got a pretty firm handle on crusts,
i still keep effing with 'em,
just because i can't leave well enough alone.
i mean,
if you aren't reaching higher every time 
then you're actually just sort of slowly going backwards, right?
that might be a thing, man.
just sayin'.
as usual, i'm out here messin' with my dough,
and as usual, the results are well and truly worth the trouble.
don't believe me?
check the teleport, and be convinced:
it's pronounced PAY-STREE, and it's expert, bro.
you dudes like that little broom?
it's s'kyoooot!
i made it special.
in fact, i made a few.
i think i may produce a set of krampus dolls for the holiday season.
if you think you'd like to buy one,
you may want to contact me for more info.
^yep. that's really my email, kids.
neat-o lil broomskis notwithstanding,
that braided boomfire is SO DOPE.
and the interior is so easy to assemble, it's almost like i didn't do anything.
i mean it.
there's walnuts, vegan chocolate chips, flaked unsweetened, non-gummy coconut,
lemon zest, and raw sugar sprankles, and DAS IT.
the crust, though, friends.
it's miraculous.
y'want to know how to do it?
this one is a true fast-n-dirty one, so i hope you're ready.
here it goes:
preheat your oven to 410℉
in a mixin' bowl, heap up:
1/4 cup big-crystal raw sugar (the size matters);
1 1/2 cups flour;
1 tsp vanilla;
6 T earth balance vegan butterish;
4 T vegan (tofutti) creamchee' (i'm telling you, it makes such a difference);
1/4 tsp salt;
chop all that into a crOmbly coarsemeal mix-up,
and add very cold non-dairy milk, a tablespoon at a time,
until the whole thing sticks together when squeezed.
fold and turn it and fold it some more, until it's barely dough,
with visible chunks of chopped fats throughout.
roll it quickly, cut it, braid it, crimp it, whatever-
then fill 'er up, and bake that little baby b!tch for 20 minutes-
all you've left to do is freak the F* out over how amazing a baker you've just become.
yay!! win!
and you also get to enjoy the thoroughly elite excellence you've just concocted.
day four of the big tattoo black and greyness is here.
tomorrow is big all-red tattoo time,
and that's a little different, but basically the same.
however, that's feeling like it's a long way away.
for real.
i've got fat stacks of tatts on tatts to do, again, in just a little teeny tiny baby bit,
and if we're being completely honest, 
which is the curse of true-storytellin' real-life documentarians everywhere-
i'm just not ready yet.
awwwwwww, MAN.
i feel like i just left the studio a second ago.
and i worked on yesterday's half-sleevery for longer than i thought, 
with a machine a little heavier than i'm used to,
with all the flippin' details i constantly add and embellish,
because too much is the right amount.
except, my old man hands took a terrible pounding for my trouble.
who'd have guessed that tattooing tight details on rough spots for seven days a week,
all the gosh-danged time would quickly exact a toll on my slightly-spidery spindlemitts?
weird, right?
and also, kind of a bummer.
there's still so much to do, dudes.
i need alllllll the movie checks, so i can stock up on fat stacks and fat saxxx and 
maxxximize all the collateral battle-beast-branded merchandising that i'm envisioning.
to do that, i'mma need to amass a massive mountain of cash, bro.
because nobody likes spending money and then not having any left, do they?
huh? WHO does that?
.........oh right-
that's what poor people do,
but that sort of short-sighted suckery is NOT invited 
to the AMPERSAND TATTOO makeout party.
that's kinda funny, but i'm not joking.
i work a lot so i can do a lot so we can all enjoy each others' company MORE.
that's not so dumb, is it?
larger quantities of available time in the assigned space, 
and more numerous objects of concentrated and energized transportable talisman-ia, 
and more fertile and fortuitous experiences are ALL probably pretty good for us.
we're growing up, and out, and moving forward.
a large part of that is making determined decisions to expand and spread the roots of 
this bastion of big-action badassery that i've created.
which means i need a pair of better hands, and soon.
it's all got to keep happening.
otherwise, what the eff are we even doing?
MORE is the whole point, friends.
i hope you're on board for the journey;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 8


what happens when you're hungry and in a hurry and it's tuesday?
a convergence of environmental elements collides,
and the resultant exxxplosion is something expert for your enjoyment
in all of it's elitely expert edible excellence.
don't believe me?
well you should because truth telling is my specialty.
you can have your doubts.
but maybe you'll feel differently once you see the results for yourself:
THAT'S how you make dinner go to eleven.
fiesta guacamole?
hell yes.
salsa fresca?
F* yeah!
crisp smoky tofu?
it was all the best flavors working in unison to elevate my tastebuds
way way upwards towards a higher plane of pleasure.
...that's what happened.
as always, soft flour tortillas were the way to go.
i don't eff with the sh!t-sucking shrapnel of crunchy corn.
oh, for sure, i'll crunch up a tortilla chip,.
i mean, c'mon, i'm not an A*-hole.
it's the terrible fall-apartiness of the shells that i detest, and avoid.
with my toasted flour flaps in place,
and shredded purple cabbage, chiffonaded baby spinach, cilantro and cucumber discs on deck,
all that was left was the thicccness.
tofu, fried in coconut oil, with garlic, and onion, just a little of each,
plus smoked paprika, and GPOP, and oregano, and coriander, and cumin,
until it was crisp as heck.
i had onion, and black beans, and poblano pepper all minced up,
and toasted with a touch of chipotle pepper, and black pepper,
and just the tiniest dash of ho'sauce, to give it a deep heat that took a second to warm your face.
a little heat-seeking secret to suck on, y'know?
yeah. that's pretty neat.
and i added some pepitas, toasted in olive oil, black-peppered,
and brought up to the forefront of fresh flavor with a glug of agave.
that's riiiiiight.
seed sprankles are good for tacos.
pea shoots stopped by, and we welcomed them with open arms.
same went for the quick-mixed-hot-pickles, too.
and then there was the vegan sour cream.
yeah, it was store bought. yeah, i feel completely unashamed.
also, it was delicious.
the guac' rocked my socks.
it always does.
and here's how to make your own spellcast avocado magic, bro:
if you've got a molcajete, feel free to employ it-
otherwise, in a sexy glass bowl, combine:
3 ripe avocados, mashed;
1/4 cup red onion;
1 T scallion;
3 T minced cilantro;
1/4 cup finely chopped multicolored sweet peppers;
1 tsp chopped red chili;
1/2 minced jalapeno;
2 T minced poblano;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 T lemon juice;
2 T lime juice;
GPOP, pink salt, and black pepper, to taste.
leave in the pits and cover it all with MORE juice, to prevent ugly oxidized brownification,
and serve it up with confidence,
because it's got ALL the goodness within,
and ALL the new hottness as well.
the salsa fresca has long been legendary around the woodsly goodness.
with the big move to my own artistic enclave of expertism,
and the subsequent dismissal of the dismally faithless and accursed 'friends'
i'd shared my fresh saucy vegetable heroics with,
i'm now fully aware that a whole group of Off-The Listers who previously sung it's praises
and lauded it's considerable virtues will never ever ever ever have another scoop of it.
but that's only sad for them, really,
because it just means even MORE of this delicacy
is reserved for my own fat face from now on.
after all,
i know the recipe, and i've got the touch, so it's still salsa time anytime around here.
you want the recipe?
just don't give it to them.
in a chopper-upperer,
or by hand if your knives are crazily sharp,
coarse-mice up;
4 roma tromatoes;
2 1/2 tomatillos;
1/2 red onion;
1/2 jalapeno;
2 cloves garlic;
1/2 cup cilantro;
3 T scallion greens;
1/2 cup red and orange sweet peppers;
3 T poblano pepper;
red chili;
LIME for days, GPOP, salt and pepper, to taste.
chop it up as chunkily or smoothly as you'd like,
and let it sit in it's own juice for a bit, in a bowl, in your fridge,
until it's time to get gnarly on some superior shark-gluttonous gorgeous gorging.
...that's tight
and so it goes.
taco tuesday was dope.
and worst-ever wednesday is now where we're at.
it's ferociously, and frigidly in full effect.
it's all really happening-
and it's cold, too.
here, there, everywhere, the icy november air is doing mean-spirited things
to the trees and hills of the woodsly goodness.
but, specifically, what's on the schedule around here?
well, just like every damned day, there are tattoos poppin' off for the first half of the day;
but then, i think there's gonna be fancy dinner in the evening,
and some sort of active participation everywhere in-between.
i may make some mushrooms, too, man.
NOT slimy ones.
what's wrong with you?
that's gross, and i'm not with that.
browned and firm, baby,
like my butt.
oh, wait, that's not it;
never quiet, never soft.....


who knows?
maybe you're the type who doesn't hang out with cake?
that's not my problem, but it IS a problem.
i mean, have you ever even had cake?!
c'mon, neighbors.
cake is good.
and soft, moist, rich cake is expert AF.
whenever i want some cake, i just up and make one.
that's real.
but first i give a little moment over to silent gratitude.
yes, i do.
because i always have the ingredients to make cake right at my fingertips,
and that's an awfully fortunate position to be in...
i'm an obsessive hobby baker, so the odds are better than average that
sugar, butterish, flour, salt, and so on are at the ready.....
but still,
cake is a luxury, and i am luxurious as well.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is the best place for indulgences
like constant cake-ing to take place, and since that's where i reside,
it stands to reason that cake time is just about all the time.
this time,
it's a vanilla-bean and brown sugar crumb,
with coconut and chocolate coconut frosting to complete the look.
ok, sure, AND shredded coconut sprankles, too.
rules is rules after all...
MORE cake is all there needs to be.
here's a picture of the one i just made,
so you can get as excited as i do about how much deliciousness
is practically exxxploding out of every inch of it:

cake is always invited, and always attends.
the crumb is so simple, but so good-
here's the way to have some for yourself, with fairly minimal effort:
preheat your oven to 360℉
in your faithfully diligent stand mixer, cream:
1 cup light brown sugar;
2 tsp vanilla bean paste;
1/2 tsp salt;
8 T vegan butter substitute (earth balance);
add 2/3 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt;
which together, then add:
2 1/2 cups flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
1/4 cup tapioca flour;
>1 cup non-dairy milk + 1 T lemon juice, stirred and rested five minutes.
whip whisk whiz whir and whorl all of that into an airy batter,
and dump it into your chosen receptacles.
i used smaller springforms, for taller sexier cake,
but most other pans'd work, to.
grease e'm, though, because sticky cake is for amateurs, bro.
don't make that mistake, especially now that you've been warned.
bake your tins for 30ish minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
cool e'm before you frost 'em, or you're gonna have a runny loser-fest
instead of a tremendous victual victory.
and about that frosting:
it's expert.
coconut frosting is always bangin',
and this creamy batch of cool hottness kept the streak going-
make it yourself, son:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar;
3 T finely ground coconut;
coconut extract;
4-5 T vegan butts-
and then,
when the center of the cakes were frosted, and the topmost surface, too,
that's when i got motivated to get it going even harder.
i added a few tablespoons of cocoa to the remainder,.
and turned it up to eleven.
y'gotta make an effort, man.
ANYbody can have a bullsh!t cake,
but that makes you a bullsh!t person.
don't be like that.
because i am well aware of how to correctly present a cake to the universe,
i hit it with those flaky unsweetened coconut sprankles....
word up.
it's never ideal.
what i mean, is:
i'm a natural-born fault-finding complainer.
it's got to be genetic, as i come from a long line people of predisposed to dissatisfaction.
do you understand?
ok, i'll set up the scene for you:
i've got tattoos to do.
big ones.
great big black and grey half sleeves.
that's good, right?
what are they tattoos of?
they're too complicated (50% their choices 50% my accommodation of said choices);
they all contain waaaaay too many lines (100% my fault);
there's heaps of personal meaning (100% their fault)....
all of that stuff.
...and you guys probably think that's awesome, right?
i know you do.
here's the thing-
what i reallllllly like are tattoos that don't mean sh!t.
i'm serious.
not one lick of deep momentous justification for getting fresh with the skin pics, man.
no jokes.
just looking cool and appreciating unique art is NOT a crime.
it doesn't ever have to be a spiritual vision quest of meaning and destiny an' that.
in fact,
the coolest tattoos, on the coolest people NEVER are.
that's some behind the scenes tattoo-world insight for you, buddy.
yes, i'm very grateful for all the work flooding the scene,
and yes, i feel compelled to bring the thunder on all these uniquely personal mementos
of interconnected familial piety and so on,
i know where i want to steer the remainder of the year,
and i'm at the helm trying to decide if i'm a russian icebreaker
intentionally hitting all these icebergs of intermediate enjoyment
on my voyage to somewhere better,
or if i'm the titanic, getting sideswiped and sunk by the same subsurface perils
that portentous half-sleevery presents.
maybe a few of y'all ca just come get some mostly-meaningless extra-cool tattoos?
wouldn't that be neat?
i think so.
your call, i s'pose.
that's the hardest part about being the boss.
i feel obligated to do it all.
it's all really happening after all,
good, bad, better, or worse, and that's sort of the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 6


bonfire night!
to all my british folks out there,
this one's for y'all.
guy fawkes had a decidedly bad day,
as a catholic loyalist who'd plotted to blow up the protestant parliament of england,
but who was instead caught, tortured, executed (sorta) and quartered,
with his mutilated body being displayed in the four corners of england afterwards.
the brits, being a dismally festive batch of good sports, 
were encouraged to light bonfires to celebrate the failed assassination attempt on
ol' king james.
and so,
bonfire night was born.
the guy fawkes masks of these makeshift anonymous anarchists, 
inspired by the movie about a discordant future inspired by the comic 
inspired by the long-past events of y'boi guido,
which have all of you familiar with that V for Vendetta jauns 
that inspired my treats for the big day!
all that is real.
and so are these not-so-british coffee-flavored cookies!
coffee coffee coffee;
and then, more coffee, with chocolate, 
because mocha is expert!
wordimus prime...
guys, (unintentional pun)
these luxuriously coffee-activated melt-in-your-face cookies are incredible.
i mean it.
i just kept adding stuff until i was satisfied,
and happily,
i also saved the stencil from year's past, so i was already ready already
before i even got started.
here's how i did it,
so you can indulge yourself if you're so inclined to plot 
and plan a little revolution in your kitchen.
preheat your oven to 375℉
get yourself a bowl, and cream up:
1 cup sugar;
1 tsp coffee extract;
3 T instant coffee;
2 tsp ground espresso beans;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
10 T softened vegan butter;
3 T softened vegan creamchee.
add in:
2 1/4 cups flour;
1 tsp bakey kapowder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
roll the dough out on very-well-floured surface,
to about 1/4" thick,
and cut yourself some circles, about 3" apiece-
i made, like, thirty circles, with the express purpose of making crunchy sandwiches out of them.
i planned ahead.
and i'll tell you another thing- 13 minutes of baking had these bad boys especially crisp.
...and when they were cooled off enough to allow frosting to fill 'em without melting?
i did that....obvi.
c'mon, man. MORE is better.
i approximated the measurements for a little mocha sorcery.
that's coffee, and cocoa, and coffee, and more coffee,
with butter and powdered sugar and a splash of french-pressed coffee
brewed expressly for this one purpose.
figure on:
4 T earth balance butterish;
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar;
1/2 tsp coffee extract;
1 T instant coffee;
1/2 tsp ground espresso beans;
3 T cocoa powder;
3-4 T espresso.
whip whip whip it up,
and it'll be the best thing you've had in an age.
and when you mix it in with those coffee snaps????
too much is the right amount,
and it all syncs up to elevate the experience to an off-the-charts melty crunch-to-dissolve
activated sweet exxxplosion of parliamentary funkadelicious delightfulness.
....for realsies.
meeting new people can be stressful, or so i've heard.
i've had very little experience with the stresses of new environments, honestly.
mainly because i'm relatively a very interactively participatory person.
once i realized that other people can't affect my infinite nature,
nor does what they eat make ME sh!t, as they say,
spanning time near new people became a worry-free exchange.
y'feel me?
think of it like this:
new people have managed to NOT determine who you are
for the entirety of the time you didn't know them,
which is every single minute right up until you did-
it's pretty rudimentary math to just subtract any negative experiences from the whole,
in order to return to the total you had previously.
it's like voiding a transaction at the grocery store, man.
that's a thing.
IF you're unaccustomed to dominating every social experience with easy prepossessed power,
sorta like a brutal barbarian battle-beastly juggernaut of reckless self-assuredness,
then yeah, i s'pose i can see how interacting with strangers could maybe be nerve-wracking.
and for the record,
when i say prepossessed, i really just mean: handsomely at home in your own old, busted skin.
...or maybe i'm just referring to myself exclusively.
i met a group of lovely folks last night,
and had a good time celebrating in the spirit of belated berfdays and family togetherness.
it was pretty nice to be around a group of folks who decided to do something special,
and then actually did something special.
although, i admit i am very UNused to being treated to a night out.
i was uncomfortable with that.
but i'll make it up, because i believe firmly in tidy accounting,
and the balance of gratitude and generosity.
so, by night's end,
i was neither drawn, nor quartered,
and i wasn't hanged or bonfired, either-
my limited time away from responsibility was spanned in the company of good people,
so we're gonna go ahead and call it a win.
time unfolds in surprising ways sometimes,
and it's a good feeling, still being surprised sometimes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, November 5


graffiti eggplants, man.
that's what you want.
littler bittier skinny dongers,
with purple and white thin stripey skins,
for maximum edibility and minimal seedy bitterness.
there you go, bro-
that's my tip for today:
get the graffiti jauns, because they're better.
yesterday, i took that advice,
and i'm glad i did, too.
because little magnificent medallions of meaty eggless plant matter
were ON the main menu for a late-nite high-intensity melanzane meal.
word up.
check the molto-italiano-type teleport:

popeyed baby spinach?
homemade marinara?
nootch and parsley sprankles?
cornflake-&-herb-crusted fried, layered, chee'd and baked eggplant?
that's TILTY AF, son!
the diced-up daiya mozzarella is key here.
if you're running it long, you're ding it wrong.
meltability is increased a hundredfold in smaller sections.
io had layers on layers of all o it too.
hot sauce, eggplant, chee';
over and over and over-
...and then even MORE sauce, obvi,
because too much is the right amount.
heck yes.
slice and salt your eggplant, let it sit a bit, and then rinse it off.
in a little bowl,
combine a cup of non-dairy milk, a tablespoon of nutritional yeast,
and 2 tablespoons of ground flax/chia meal, and let it sit and activate the thickness within.
in another 'nother bowl, crunch up a heavy handful of cornflakes,
a healthy shake of non-GMO organic cornstarch, a scoop of nootch,
and a few shakes each of: GPOP, oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme, sage,
pink salt, black pepper, and a baby bit of smoky paprika.
do y'see where we're headed?
sure you do.
dunk the slices in the milky boi bath,
dredge 'em through the flakes,
and fry 'em in a fat splash of olive oil in a bog ol' pan, until they're browned on both sides,
flipping just the once, to ensure the steamiest dreamiest sizzles on the griddle.
only the should you beging the stack and chee' layers.
i'd bake them for as long as it takes, but at least 15 minutes, at 375℉.
that's real.
the sauce will soak in and elevate all the flavors to eleven.
trust me.
oh, yeah.
the SAUCE.
it's so simple you'll slap yourself silly if you ruin it:

in a small sauce pot, simmer up, in a tablespoonful of olive oil:
one small minced sweet onion;
one little peeled and minced carrot;
one lovely clove of crushed garlic;
add oregano, thyme, sage, basil, and nutritional yeast,
just long enough to toast 'em up a bit in the sweet juicy veg melt-
then hit it with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and a tablespoon of soy sauce,
and give it another 'nother litttle minute to sizzle,
before adding a cup of chopped sweet baby tomatoes-
they'll cook down quickly, and you'll love the texture,
unless of course you're a weak baby,
in which case, who really even cares what you think anyway?
now, add 2 cups of crushed tomatoes, and a pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar,
and a half cup of water, and let it all cook while all the other stuff is happening.
oh, yeah. start your sauce first, because the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.
and turn it DOWN, duder. don't bubble the blops all over yourself,
and don't burn the bottom.
do a good job.
you can see what i made,
but you can't relish the resplendent flavors.
that's precisely why you should make some for yourself.
a good eggplant dish is worth eleven ordinary pasta platters!
that's real.
writing about food is easier than writing about real life.
today is the day, though, neighbors.
guy fawke's day.
V for Vendetta day.
as it's also known, perhaps most awesomely;
hot fire is the truth.
full moon werewolfenism is also present at the moment, too.
it's a collision of events that are all awesome,
and it's all about to unfold in front of my face from now until nightfall.
i feel lucky to be present for it, to be a participant in it,
and i'm sure as sh!t grateful for all the time i have been given.
this is IT,
and that's kind of a LOT,
but in the best way possible;
never quiet, never soft.....


hey guys!
so, i learned something about myself as i put the third one in my mouth-
it turns out i like 'em fluffed-out and buttery.
i'm not talking about the ladies.
what's wrong with you?!
buttery?! c'mon.
i'm talking about fresh, warm cakes, neighbors.
but, for realsies, i made some new-new cakey goodies,
and they had a mysteriously wonderful level of buttery fluffiness.
i think it was all the almonds.
they were almond cranberry magic squares, and they were molto expert.
that's no joke.
look at 'em:

these little effers were pretty much the best part of the morning.
you want to know how they work
here's the rundown:
preheat your oven to 350℉.
get yourself a mixin' bowl big enough to make a cake with,
and combine:
1 stick earth balance vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 cup sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp almond extract;
next, stir in 2/3 cup (1 personal container) non-dairy yogurt.
1 cup almond meal;
1 3/4 cup flour;
2/3 cup dried cranberries;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1/2 cup almonds;
1 cup almond milk.
mix completely,
and spoon into greased tins.
i used the squares because they're deep and dope and non-traditional and elite,
but i'll bet a brownie pan or muffin tins would work just as well,
only not as sexxxily.
no big deal, really.
you can still make it work.
but, before you bake 'em for 25-30 minutes,
you've GOT to add cranberry and almond sprankles on top.
yes. that's a thing.
rules is rules,
and if your treats aren't overflowing with add-ons and mix-ins,
you might be doing it wrong.
on the real, too much is the right amount,
and NOT putting the exxxtra to it is a grievous mistake.
so don't skimp out, because you'll only be cheating yourself.
the almondy almondness made them SUPER smooth and buttery.
it's the nut oils, i s'pose-
although i won't repeat that out loud, ever.
they're good as heck, tho,
so i strongly recommend adding 'em in,
and making up a batch of these sweet babies asap.
you won't regret it unless you F*it up, in which case,
you got what was coming to you for not paying attention.
i've got tatts on tatts on tatts every damned day for a long stretch of time coming up.
that's cool.
i mean,
as the shoulders shrug into the christmas season,
well ahead of thankful givings and sharkish gluttonies,
it's always nice to scoop up some movie checks.
i mean,
those presents aren't gonna buy themselves, kids.
time has become a precious commodity,
and sleep seems to demand attention at the strangest times.
for example,
after 6 tattoos yesterday,
whereupon i also just happened to entertain four or five folks who weren't my clients,
i got home, got into some dinnertime activation,
and suddenly found myself completely exhausted.
an eight-hour filibuster of flavorful anecdotes takes it's toll on the body,
more so than just being hunched over a sweaty body tattzapping the crap out of some skin does.
that's real.
i'm not saying i won't continue this seven-day pace,
i'm just letting you know that determination and drive demand a high price
that is debited directly from one's private time.
better that than their private parts, i guess.
the bottom line?
i may actually work too much,
that's the main ingredient, isn't it?
it's all really happening, to the simultaneous benefit and detriment of everything else;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, November 4


National Sandwich Day?!?
damn, duders-
you KNOW your boy is about that life, for sure.
it's a real thing,
and while i only found out about it through a snapchat filter(so lame, i know),
once the information was in my brain,
it was absolutely inescapable.
homemade bread became a mandatory necessity,
and the makings of a big action deluxxxe jaun were in the works all dang day.
i get into the spirit of sandwiches,
and i get into the spirit of celebrating,
and i get into some THINGS when both are colliding, neighbors.
check the teleport:

that's black-peppery whole wheat hottness, freshly baked and somewhat steamy still,
packed full to overflowing with pickles, and baby spinach,
and caramelized sweet onions,
and pickled jalapenos, and AVO-F*ING-CADO, and pea shoots,
and herby-crispy tofu,
plus ho'sauce to accentuate the spice, and make it twice as nice.
the very-nearly overripe avocado was so soft, it spread perfectly across the surface of the bread!
the pickles drizzled their briney heinies into the bottom crust,
and the jalapenos had their own juicy juice let loose into the 'fu!
....and somehow, it was not a wet mess.
it was a sensual and succulent success story of power and glory...
a good sandwich is always a good idea,
but a spicy little number like this one is a flippin' triumph.
so what's up with that tofu?
for starters, it's dope.
fried up in coocnut oil, in a very hot pan,
after being dragged through a mixture of flour, cornstarch, smoked paprika,
GPOP, nootch, thyme, and sage,
it was crisp on the outside and packed with flavor,
plus the interior was sealed up tight, soft, but superexxxtrafirm.
i like a tofu that's zero percent dry, but not drippy and soggy and sad.
i dunno about y'all, but i get psyched as hell when the golden goodness of a tofu slab
comes out crisp and soft and spicy.
small victories lead to grand conquests, or so i'm told.
and the bread?
of course.
i mean, good bread makes better people,
and i steadily try to be better, man.
since i knew early on it was gonna be a sandwich night,
i started the dough early-shirley in the morning,
so it'd have a rich, deep, developed flavor by nightfall.
i like to have some idea of what's happening on the base layer,
before i build a b!tch on top of it...
at any rate,
here's how it went down:

in your trustworthy and wonderful stand mixer,
1 cup white whole wheat flour;
2 cups white flour;
2 tsp salt;
2 tsp sugar;
3 T olive oil;
1/2 tsp black pepper;
1 pkg (~2 T) fast-actin' yeast.
using your dough hook, knead in:
3/4 cup warmed non-dairy milk,
activated with 1tsp bread machine yeast.
(i like the flavor of a heavily yeasted bread, bro, don't judge me)
beat it up for about five solid heavy-handed minutes,
and let it rise, covered, for thirty more.
punch it down, and put it in the fridge until you're ready to use it, hopefully later in the day,
or the next morning, or thereabouts.
preheat your oven to 420℉,
and divide your dough into 4 long lengths.
i give 'em the slits for rising,
and let 'em re-bulk while the oven heats up.
these little logs baked for 20 minutes,
and were a *perfect* golden brown.
but OH how i do so love a fresh-baked loaf of new hottness.
sandwiched don't have to be complicated,
but the more sh!t you pile on,
the better you'll feel later when you're thinking about the kaleidoscope of tastes you enjoyed.
i know that's what i do anyway.
that's my thing.
too much is the right amount.
anything else is a waste of time.
this weekend is mobbed with stuff.
i've got tattoos overbooked and backed-to-back-to-bacdafukup'd all day today and tomorrow,
there's molto dog doo-doo to do,
and dinners to attend to, too.
plus tomorrow is bonfire night,
and you KNOW i've been saving a mountain of combustible moves for just such an occasion.
rules is rules, friends.
i've got plenty to keep me busy,
and i've got ten winks of sleep to do it all with.
that's thirty too few for the ordinary average everyday human,
but i'm guessing i've got the perseverance and the determination to make the most of the
bleary-eyed weary extra minutes that i've got at hand.
tomorrow, we time travel back to the future,
but i'm willing to bet that crabtree can't read a clock,
and will have me up and at 'em before i'm ready. much for extra hours, amirite?
it's all really happening, and it's all ending, a minute at a time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 3


let me clear my throat!
when it's rainy, and cold, and grey as heck,
what do we do about it?
for starters, over in my northern neck the woodsly goodness,
we bake a F*ing cake, obvi.
and to be more specific-
from fresh out of the hearth in the heart of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
just what sort of cakey-cakeyness exactly might be poppin' hot out of the oven?
in november, when the sky is falling, and the light is missing,
it's GOT to be coffee cake, of course.
word up.
no other cake has that streuselly crumb topping that warms your body
with it's nibblable nubbles, and brightens your day with it's sunny disposition.
that's real.
the crOmbles are key here, kids.
i mean it.
a good interior coffeecake texture is tight, and righteous, and always welcome in my home...
without that gooooooood streus' up top?
it just ain't no thang, y'feel me?
i want a love affair with my daymakin' daydreamy morning delights.
to that end, my trio of a.m. amazings did their job efficiently, effectively,
and with expert activation across the board.
check the teleport:

yeah, actually, that IS an a la mode slice with cinnamon sprankles.
what do you think i am?
some sort of an A*-hole?
no way, buddy.
i do it right, because i am compelled to and besides,
what else should i do?
have a less enjoyable, less remarkable slice of this sexxxy brekkie bake-up?
c'mon, man. you know better than that.
the objective every day is MORE.
in fact,
too much is the right amount.
and taking it easy is for suckers.
three smaller personal springformed pans of this pleasurable perfection?
that's a good idea.
if you're planing on eating a LOT... which i always am-
then eating a whole cake is terrific.
and, it's only like, half a regular-A* cake, too.
so you can have a little more right after.
oh, don't worry, bro. i did exactly that.
the secret to success in this recipe was vegan sour cream.
it's got that grammie jauns just exxxploding outwards into the essence of edible excellence.
real talk.
if you don't have tofutti vegan sour cream, go get some,
it's expert for coffee cake, and pancakes.
it might even be good on tacos, if you like that sort of thing,
but i don't usually eff with it like that.....
also, i had graham flour in place of 50% of the regular flour.
WOW, it added richness and depth and complexity in ways i'd only surmised could be true,
but my theories were prove right, and that tasted better than it felt.
i mean, being right is great, but eating something great is greater.
lemon zest?
of course.
that's how you make it authentic an' sh!t, b.
what else?
i'll tell you what else:
coconut cinnamon oatmeal whole wheat streusel, b!tches!
that's how really real NOvemberists do their thing.
believe it.
here's how i did what i did, in case you'd like to replicate it for yourselves:
preheat your oven to 365℉
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick vegan butter (8T);
1/2 tsp salt;
1/4 cup brown sugar;
3/4 cup raw big crystal sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 T lemon zest.
next stir in:
1 cup vegan sour cream.
and add all your dry bits together, next:
1 cup flour;
1 cup graham flour;
4 T tapioca flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
add 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, to really moisten up the mixture,
and thoroughly combine it all together.
spoon the batter generously into greased pans, and bake 'em for 25-35 minutes,
depending on how thick, and/or large you've decided to go.
you could make one big one.
you could make a lotta muffins,.
you could do whatever you wanted, and i would support you, because i'm good like that.
i will turn my back on you forever if you skimp out on the streusel.
that's real.
rules is rules, and coffee cake ain't worth nothin' without the crOmbles.
here's how that went down:

in your previously used, still unwashed coffeecake mixing bowl,
6 T vegan butter;
two handfuls old-fashioned thick rolled oats;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 handful shredded medium flake unsweetened unsulphured coconut;
1/2 cup powdered sugar;
1/3 cup whole wheat flour;
cinnamon and ginger.
cut it all in with a fork, until the whole mess is exxxactly like you like it.
you KNOW how you like it, too, don'tcha?
chunky, crumbly, bumpy, and nicey-nice.
you'll see.
put it all over the top like you're a gluttonous hedonist BEFORE you bake the whole thing,
and rejoice in your glorious results, neighbors.
yeah, that's the stuff.
i like writing about the food i make.
it's a good deal more rewarding than recounting the numerous dissatisfactions
that come from as-yet-incomplete overambitious long term plans.
that's no joke.
there simply aren't enough day-to-day reinforcements to make big smiles
appear from thinking about and discussing all the work i'm always doing.
food, however, is always instantly gratifying, satisfying,
and nourishing in ways that materialize in the short timeframe from concept to completion.
plus, then we get to EAT it, and that's dope.
i don't know if i've ever mentioned this (SIKE, i mention it every year)
but NOvember is an A*-hole.
it's least favorite one, i think.
april is pretty weak, and i don't love january,
but serioulsy, it's NOvember that takes the cake for being total crap.
and on the calendar there's only one good day all month.
oh, right,
veteran's/armistice day is great i'm sure;
what with it being 11/11 and all-
but i've worked every one of those for decades,
so i'm just sayin',
it's NOT a long weekend for me... not once, and not ever.
it's a long way from the first to fourth thursday, man.
and while it's great that we get to be fat and excessive as a culture
all together in unison on that one hungry thursday,
all the rest is still crinkly butthole (and, like, in a bad way).
it's got to be food that carries the day.
we've all GOT to eat to live, that's the biological imperative-
but i want that luxxxurious magic on my plate and in my mouth.
if i get just one true joy in my days, let it be heroic proportions and portions of food.
i  love it, and it keeps me alive in all the most literal and metaphoric ways;
never quiet, never soft.....