Thursday, March 9


take charge!
be heard!
try living a day without a woman!
no offense, but, like, no sweat-
because that's a whole lot more like EVERY day 
when you're a hard-style hermit up at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
international women's day was very important 
to my oldest daughter, harvest.
for real.
she's vocally feminist, 
and yesterday she was wearing red (which is a thing, i guess)
and being psyched on womanly stuff.
i'm more of a site-specific pun kind of a guy.
hence, WOmanicotti!!!
ladies, i love you.
that's no joke.
but, the thing of it is-
i've never been hurt in my heart or broken the bank 
by loving a big plate of marinara,
so i'm gonna have to say that tomatoes may win
if there's ever a contest between you.
oh, c'mon.
manicotti are pretty F*ing amazing.
i hadn't had any in FORever.
i've said it before-
i am unused to going crazy making veganized favorites from my youth.
that's all changing these days, isn't it.
thanks to wordplay and marzo italiano,
i made arrangements to remedy my longtime lack 
of 'cotti-boombalotties pretty readily.
friends, neighbors, women of the earth,
check out the new hottness that's living life like the BIG MAMA,
large and in charge and stuffed to the tips of the tube with that new-new.
they're too good.
they're so smooth.
they're way too dope.
i had all three, plus another 'nother one, for the road.
i'm about that shark-glutton maximization sensation sh!t.
homemade crepes?
i spoke, at lengthm and in reat detail, to anyone who wwas within earshoty,
about man-oh-manicotti magic, and the process of preparing them,
to the best that my memory could serve to explain it, 
in an effort to cultivate coincidence,
and foster fortuitous flavors when the time came.
plan your work, work your plan.
that's smart.
here's the weird part, though-  
somebody who grew up in this white mountainous cultural dead-zone
told me you just put cottage cheese inside a macaroni tube.
first of all, ONLY the worst person ever would mistake cottage for ricotta,
and plain ol' grapefruit-toppin' cheese is just about the saddest sack 
of clumpy, blarpity no-thank-you i've heard someone speak fondly of in ages.
yuck yuck yuck.
and second,
i'm pretty sure a giant ziti is NOT a manicotti.
in fact, 
it sounds like somebody out there is perpetrating on an especially lame canneloni,
and that's just not how my nana would've permitted this to unfold.
real, sexxxy, old-school manicotti are the crepe style jauns.
word up.
that much i remembered from back in the day. i made crepes. 
that's right.
if that's how it's properly done, 
then that's what gets done, properly,
rules is rules.
crepes are crazy easy to make, so that's a plus.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
2 T olive oil;
whisk it, rest it, pour a few tablespoons of it onto a lightly oiled HOT pan,
swirl the batter to make a thin circles,
flip it after thirty seconds, remove it after another 30,
and then do it again and again until,you're out of batter.
a. EW.
b. unnecessary.
these crepes were awesome as is.
i had eight, and eight was perfect for the level of filling i made for the occasion.
what's in it?
i'll happily tell you all about my modified custom cashew-garlic-tofu chee' truth.
1/2 brick exxxtra firm tofu;
1/4 brick silken tofu;
1/4 cup tapioca;
1 cup soaked and drained cashews;
2 T lemon juice;
3 T olive oil;
1 clove of fresh raw garlic;
1/4 cup nutritional yeast;
1/4 cup minced daiya mozzarella-
all of that, pureed in the food processor,
and once blended,
mixed up with:
1 cup chopped baby kale;
1 T each Garlic Powder/ Onion Powder;
1/4 cup chopped parsley;
dash of nutmeg.
take 3-4 tablespoons of that superfresh chee'sorcery, 
and spread it down the center of each crepe.
roll 'em ,
and arrange them in a 9" x 12", lightly oiled pan, seam side down,
where they'll await the SAUCE.
if you want what's hot in these streets to be what's hot in your mouth,
you've got instructions for two out of the three components right here!!
and now, 
for the SAUCE-
1 small yellow onion, finely minced;
1 medium carrot, shredded and minced as well,
3 T oil.
saute those on medium high heat until they sweat, 
add 2 cloves crushed garlic,
and when it almost begins to brown,
splash it up with 3 T red wine vinegar;
and add 3 T tomato paste;
three shakes of oregano;
and 1 1/2 T basil;
keep that going while you dice one juicy fresh whole tomato, 
or two plum ones,
and toss that in to melt away into a juicy mass of pompom delights.
2 T sugar;
1 T agave;
1/2 cup warm water;
salt, black pepper,
and, if you're cool, a big blast of crushed red pepper flakes;
that's what you're gonna do next,
and then add a whole 28oz  can of crushed tomatoes!
turn the heat to low, so it can cook all day.
.....and leave the wooden spoon IN.
that's a thing.
a heavy dose of sauce goes a long way towards making manicottis more majestic,
and regal 'ronis are the right way to go.
i hit 'e,m heavy with the stuff, 
and spritzed the tops with a few leftover daiya sprankles.
i bake my tubes at 375F for 20 minutes, covered in foil,
and then, i turned the heat up another 10 degrees,
activated the convection whirlwind,
and gave the whole pan an added 10 or fifteen....
served up on even MORE sauce, 
these little ladies were SO F*ING expert!!!
too much is the right amount,
and there's no reason NOT to tune up one more for the road.
these were some of the finest foodstuffs that i've stuffed my in food-fightin' face 
in a long time.
i rarely make something sucky.
it happens, but, infrequently.
when something stands out?
that's how i measure my successes.
better than good is where i'm aiming.
y'gotta be dope, bruh,
or y'gotta get outta here.
that's the set-in-stone commandment that directs the actions, 
activation, and active participation of my small but strong world;
never quiet, never soft.....

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