Sunday, April 30


pie is my favorite.
at least, it's my favorite whenever there's pie around.
here's the thing-
i can arrange it so there's always pie around.
and here's another thing-
i usually arrange it so there's always pie around.
i'm at the helm of this titanic undertaking....
making all this stuff from scratch, by hand, every day.
and when it's time for pie?
i'm ready.
i'm pysched.
and i'm going to forever eat a whole lot of it.
too much is the right amount, after all.
which might explain the superbraids i brought in to represent the hottness
on my most recent circle of sexxxiness.
apple pie is my favorite.
strawberries are the best berries.
apple-strawberry pie is therefore exxxactly what i needed
to come to terms with how under-impressive april was the whole damned time.
word up.
....also, that's what i made,
so that's what's happening, anyway.
take a good look at this bad mutha:

the crust game is superlative.
the apples are still firm, and molto chunky.
the strawberries are sweet, and soft and so smooth.
and all of it is activated with vanilla bean paste and sugary sprankles.
rules is rules, neighbors. know it.
do you like pie?
i hope so.
you're cooler when you're into the pie scene, for sure.
have you ever made my dough, though?
i think it's dope.
maybe you will, too-
here it is (again):

2 1/4 cups flour;
11 T vegan butts, very cold;
3-4 T vegan creamchee';
dash of salt;
2 T sugar (powdered makes it creamy- raw makes it flakier- regular just makes it sweet)
+ non-dairy milk, added 1 T at a time,
while pulsing all the stuff in a food processor,
until it holds together in a clumpy crumbly mass.
wrap it and refrigerate it for, lie, a whole a day (but in reality, for at least 1 hour)
and roll it like you mean it....
the strawberries were simple, too-
3 T powdered sugar;
1 tsp lemon zest;
1 T cornstarch;
1 1/2 cups strawberries;
vanilla bean paste;
medium heat, and stirring, until the juices thickened up.
removed from the heat,
i let 'em cool enough to not ruin the braids by melting them pre-bake.
that's a thing.
buttery dough will soften to sh!t if your filling is hot.
don't do that.
or, if you do it, learn your lesson, and don't do it twice.
i also had four huge apples.
red ones.
what kind, specifically?
huge and red.
i told you.
...take it easy.
all of those, peeled, cored, and hacked to pieces,
made for a totally expert base to layer those berries atop.
real talk.
the strawberry juice trickled down,
and the apple sauce bubbled up,
and they met, fell in love, and rocked my socks off when i finally got a taste.
i stewed those apples to soften them-
with brown sugar;
real new hampshire maple syrup;
lemon juice;
vanilla bean paste;
a pinch of salt;
and a T of flour.......
no cinnamon.
that's right.
all the apple flavor, no cinnamon.
nor nutmeg.
not even ginger.
i'll tell you something else-
it tasted AMAZING.
braids on braids,
moth cutouts, because moths are dope,
and a little convection oven activation,
at 420° F, for twenty two minutes.
that sh!t is a F*ing TREAT!!!
the baked greats aren't getting lamer,
and i say that with pride.
sprankles, braids, cut-outs......
i just can't resist making the nice.
but, i'm really focused on the flavor.
i mean, if it tastes like sh!t,
all that pretty skin won't mean a damned thing.
it's been my firsthand experience, however,
that it's the exact opposite with people.
i know a whole bevvy of baddies who look fair, but feel foul,
but only if you've got eyes that see substance,
not just accessories.
i'm doing that thing that i do,
without the benefit of taking it easy,
or being easy on the eyes-
...heck, i'm not even easy on the ears.....
what i mean is-
i'm creating the very best things i can craft with my truest self.
you know the score:
stay ugly, stay dope.
there is no other option.
from the first thing in the morning,
to when-and-wherever i finally fall asleep,
i'm trying to be beautiful in all the ways that i can,
and to surpass all the super-official superficial ugliness in-between.
what do you think. kids?
if i had chiseled, rugged good looks,
would i try as hard to  take everything else to eleven?
i just honestly couldn't say.
luckily, i don't;
and therefore,
these pies and pastries are looking hella sexxxy instead;
never quiet, never soft.....


this is it.
today is the day.
the last one.
...of april, i mean.
another 'nother month of all the exact same everything
is signing over and out, off of the calendar and into history.
april is always a weird one up here in the woodsly goodness.
it's still basically winter for the first two weeks,
and then it's rain and mud, and mud and rain...
which lasts right up until all the biting bugs show up.
cool, right?
the one good thing about all these hungry insects swarming and buzzing,
and generally being a nuisance to almost everybody?
they feed all the hungry bats and frogs,
who also all happen to be out in full force.
acro-bat-ics are being performed all around the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and the chirping croaks of all the little horny toads, or frogs, or both,
keep a steady soundtrack of sonnets bleating into the night air.
it's actually pretty awesome, all this nature.
there's bear sh!t in the woods. (that IS where they do that)
and fox and skunk and coyote crap, too.
it's a fauna wonderland up in these mountains,
and there are even fawns fawning over the shoots and sprouts in the garden.
that's not as cool,
but it's still really happening.
i'm over here trying to stay woke,
while the forest realm wakes the eff up.
it's F*ing nature, neighbors.
nature wins.
we're just spanning time under the firmament,
while the flowers and the trees and the birds and the bees all do their thing.
see you next year, april.
until then, i'll be making the most out of what comes next.
one thing is for sure, though, kids-
i make a pretty elite salad.
wet leaves.
for dinner.
i do that.
last night, i forgot to take a picture-
that's true.
i was ravenous and absent-minded and overly eager to munch up
on a big ol' basket of nutrients an' that.
i have been effing with these salads pretty regularly,
so i've still got the glamour shots for your face-
check the teleport:




i sure do like a gigantic heap of raw food, sometimes.
or, often, even.
a couple of times a week.
it turns out, there's something to the notion that vegans love salad.
i never really messed around with it like this before,
but, then again,
i didn't eat three peoples' worth of dinner every other night before, either.
that's no foolin', friends.
i think i activated a 30% wet leaf dinner reality this month.
a second salad post,
letting you know that yeah, it turns out salad is still really good.
and filling, if you use a big enough bowl.
fun fact about these jauns- the dressing game is gentle, at best.
white balsamic vinegar.
less that one tablespoon of oil, and that only to sizzle those seeds,
and keep 'em separate when the lightest of kisses of agave brushes up on 'em.
i just let the avocado do it's thing. always does, regardless.
i think you know how to make a salad, don'tcha?
i hope so.
and if not?
dude, y'gotta get off of the whole planet.
there's no room for you here, bro.
for dinner.
even when i have pizza dough in the fridge,
and seitan,
and homemade sausages,
all begging me to put the fire an explosions to it.
it's still salad, tho.
i have to do it.
precisely because i love food SO much.
getting old and busted was an inevitable progression-
time travel notwithstanding,
i don't necessarily want to look the the most trustworthy chef, y'feel me?
tonight and tomorrow there will be lots of cooking.
actually, most of the week,
looks like the second, third, and sixth are going to be going pretty heavy on the lettuce.
but, for realsies.
the thing is-
april was fooling around the whole time.
i'm ready for some may, and a whole lot less may not;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, April 29


hey guys!
this is one of those quick ones.
the folks who only want recipes will be psyched,
and those of you who might want to know whats going on
everywhere besides my kitchen will have to wait, however.
i'll just keep it short-
but seriously,
time notwithstanding ,
i have to tell you something-
you ready?
here goes:
.....i've been eating all the cookies.
that's a true story.
after i began the week with chocolate chip oatmeal jauns,
i headed into the weekend with a big batch of even better ones.
chocolate chocolate chip peanut butter hottness is here.
...and it is taking the cookie game to eleven,
on a bullet train to the tippity-top of the cookie hierarchy.
peanut butter cookies are good.
chocolate cookies are good.
but what about chocolate chip cookies?
umm........ yup.
they're also good.
but, what happens when one cookie is ALL of that?
you get to EAT it, buddy!
obviously, that's the best part.
look at them:

if you've got a cookie that already has everything you need in it,
how else could you activate the upgrade?
word up.
dark chocolate and vanilla and non-dairy milk and powdered sugar
make for a pretty textbook ganachey goo for striping and piping onto the tops.
peanut butter, s'milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar?
that's the name of the game, if the game you're playing is: expert icing!!
and the cookies themselves?
they sure aren't dry and crumbly like any ordinary pbc,
but they definitely ARE rich and thick and heavy on the chips.
if you'd like to fire up a triple-dozen dose for yourself,
here's how:
in one medium bowl, cream up the following:
11 T vegan butts;
1 cup dark brown sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
stir in, and mix well:
3/4 cup peanut butter;
1/3 cup cocoa;
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce;
3 T maple syrup;
fold in:
2 1/2 cups flour;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2 tsp bakey pow-powder;
1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips.
- kaBOOM!
roll some golfieballsies out of the dough, flatten 'em-
rules is rules when it comes to peanutbuttery cookie production-
and bake 'em for thirteen minutes,
at 375°F.....
cooled, glazed, and delivered to the world at large.
that's how you doo-doo that freaky sh!t, son.
don't be a chumpy sucka.
make some cookies,
they're good for you.
i stayed up way too late.
i got up way too late.
too much is the right amount,
but too late is never enough.
i'm rushing and racing and running around,
and i've got plenty to keep me occupied until it's time to head to work,
where i'm overbooked and under pressure as well-
it's  all really happening,
twice as much as usual,
in only three quarters of the time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, April 28


pee eye zee zee ayy!!!!!
that's the truth.
pizza never lets me down,
and pizza always brings the hottness to the party.
i've written a LOT over the years about pizza,
so much so that i sometimes worry that i've gotten too repetitive.
...but then i remember how F*ing expert pizza is,
and how anybody who could get bored of pizza is probably a real jerk-hole.
that's a fact.
pizza is preposterously versatile.
and delicious.
and rewarding.
and beautiful.
this tie around, for my solo pizza party times,
i proofed my dough, stretched it out,
and took it all the way back to sicily.
or, at least,
to NY-dirty-C, and those big metal gas ovens and deep pans
that represent the signature sicilian square.
check the corner-slice-is-what-you-need-type teleport:

the best part about the big rectangles?
variety, man.
that's what's up.
that pepperoni?
100% the TRUTH.
real talk.
begin with homemade vegan sausage.
slice it into discs, layer them in a pan,
and sizzle those sh!ts right up with a dash of liquid smoke,
aglug of olive oil, GPOP, smoked paprika, hot paprika,
and seitan broth to cover them....,
simmer that until all the liquid is absorbed/evaporated,
and you've got what?
- the closest third has got what you need, nerds:
minced daiya mozzarella, layered heavy,
with crushed tomatoes on top, and caramelized onions,
AND pepperoni, and cashew crema doing double duty as burrata?
guys, add on some fried garlic and parsley sprankles,
and suddenly grandma is keeping it real like yesteryear!
that's the style, bro, and it's good for you.
- above that, there's a more traditional sauce, spinach, chee', onion, 'roni jaun.
also with the combo spranks, because rules is rules,
and fried garlic is absolutely essential on Folk Life pizza.
it's so simple, but it's so astounding and amazing and satisfying.
jeez, i just feel so strongly about pizza, y'know?
i know- you know- we know.
- last up, old-school classic albie 'za'za, kids;
underchee', (cashew-garlic-tofu chee'),
tomato sauce,
sauteed mushrooms and soy-glazed fried brussels sprouts,
red onion bits and pieces,
fried garlic OBVI,
and a few dollops of cashew crema.
expert AF, on the ones.
the dough?
oh man!
the dough is where it's at:
2 cups flour;
1 cup semolina flour;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
2 tsp salt;
1 pkg active dry yeast;
3 T olive oil;
1 1/4 cups warm water + 2 tsp sugar + 2 tsp bread machine yeast.
stand-mixed for 7 minutes, for a sticky, sexxxy dough,
bulked for an hour, punched down, and proofed in the fridge for 20 hours!!
yeasty, stretchy, sultry semolina savagery was/is in full effect.
i used half for that big pan of powerful pizza partying,
and still have two personal portions packed away for later in the week.
that's just such good news, it makes me wanna celebrate.
and how do we celebrate?
you guessed it-
with MORE pizza,
my oven is roaring at 490༠F;
my whole house is toasty warm;
my brain is free from all shackles of perception;
there is only pizza, and nothing else matters.
...that's just how it is when pizza is what's happening.
it's a little troublesome, really.
the state of pure being that comes from making my favorite food is so alluring,
i basically want to make and eat pizza all day every day.
no, really.
i don't know how else to say it.
pizza is better than almost everything.
certainly more awesome than everything currently on today's schedule, anyway.
there's always the possibility of a positive plot twist,
so i'll hold onto that thought,
and dream of MORE pizza in the meantime.
it's all really happening friends.
some of it tastes better than others, though.
and just to end it how i started it:
heroic magnificent vegan pizza > you;
never quiet, never soft.....


i had a busy day full of star wars fans and funny ladies,
and all of them seemed, at face value anyway, to be good-hearted people.
that almost never happens.
what i mean is- i had an alright day with some nice folks.
chatting about all the nerdiest stuff, with a whole group of nerds
is just about the second or third best way i can imagine spanning a day.
y'know what's even better?
talking about food.
that's no joke,
and when it comes to food, there's a special place for reallllly good coffee cake.
i'm serious.
coffee cake in general is pretty expert.
great coffee cake?
that's the big action that takes breakfast to eleven from the very first bite.
word up.
i catch feels over coffee cake.
that's a true story.
the sorta grainy, sorta soft, sorta firm crumb is what's up.
and streusel?
if you ever have the option to add stresuel,
you totally should.
you want to see what i'm speaking on?

but was it bangin' off the meter?
of course, and more importantly,
it STILL is.
(i didn't eat the whole cake, take it easy)
the creamchee' blops on top? s'smart!
the brown sugar and  oatmeal cookie crumble streus'??
and the jammie-slammie slap of berry treasures in the center?
it's got all the right moves, in all right places, to make mornings all alright.
....until it's gone,
and then everything will be sadder and grayer and worse.
but for now, the world is amazing, and so is this cake!!
how does cake like this happen?
mostly, by throwing all the stuff into a bowl and strirring.
you wanna know what stuff?
sure, here y'go:
let's begin with the berry filling:
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries,
warmed in a small pot with lemon zest;
2 T seedless raspberry jam;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup powdered sugar;
add cornstarch to the liquid, slurry it, and stir the sh!t out of it,
keeping it wet, and not gummy.
that's a by-eye adjustment, but i believe in you.
start with a tsp of starch,
and see if that does the trick,.
let it chill out off the heat while we do the next thing...
in a medium bowl, combine:
1 stick + 2 T vegan butter;thicken,
3 T vegan creamchee';
1/4 cup sugar;
3/4 cup dark brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla.
^thoroughly cream it up, making sure the creamchee' is completely incorporated^
then stir in:
3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy yogurt;
(or sweetened if that's all you've got,
but the unsweetened stuff has that coffee-cakey-grandma-style tang to it)
add 2 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
1 T cornstarch;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
and 1 cup of non-dairy milk + 1 T lemon juice.
hand-fold all of that together, barely combining it all witgh over-mixing,
and pour half in a greased and floured cake pan.
i used my big big one, because i like big big ones,
but you could go taller with a smaller one, or even rectangular.
...i definitely don't care what you decide, but make a decision, so we can keep going.
put the razzles in next, spread out across the surface, and maybe pressed in a bit,
to prevent the second half of the batter from turning pink when you try to spread it out.
that's a good idea, but, do it however you want.
and once you've cake surrounding fruit, stacked on top of itself?
it's time to activate the even more expert part.
4-5 T vegan butter;
1/4 cup brown sugar;
3 T powdered sugar;
1/4 cup oat flour;
2 T a.p. flour;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 cup thick-rolled oats.
^mash that together until it looks like a chunky cookie batter,
(it should readily stick together when squeezed)
and liberally spread it out on top of your new favorite treat.
i could've stopped there,
and had something to excite my mouth with all morning.
....if i was a diaperbabyish weakling.
i couldn't stop.
because too much is the right amount.
therefore, creamchee' blops were very necessary, broski.
and i'm glad i did it, as they've got that last little something special,
not in every bite,
but as an exxxtra treat every so often among the outstanding chee'less bites
bake it at 360∘F, for upwards of 40 minutes.
i mean, go less if you're using shallow pans, like maybe 33 minutes?
the big big took 45 total, and the toppings turned golden and amazing
while the heat worked it's way deep withing the rest.
cool it, flip it out of your pan, and if you've done it right,
your streusel has completely adhered to the crumb,
while the liquid from the berries has created an airy, spongy,
somewhat sticky middle, and all of it is golden and glistening.
cut a slice when it's stopped being hot,
and then lose your mind over what you've made and how good it is,
before immediately having another,
and then another 'nother slice.
after a long day of work, with all those nerds and ladies,
i got home to my dog,
and we played and played and played and played.
crabtree needed attention, he was insistent on it.
i was feeling especially affectionate,
perhaps because of all the coffeecake coursing through my body,
and so we bounced and ran and bumped and rolled all through the halls,
and along the floors of our Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i would've never guessed that a greedy, needy, heedless alligator shark-bullet
could improve my nights so gosh-danged much.
he is just about the happiest little idiot in the woodsly goodness,
and he's got the attitude i need to adopt more of.
he loves food, he loves exercise, and he loves people.
in that regard, he has by far surpassed his master,
no foolin'.
i'll bet i could learn a thing or two from this little dummy.
who'd have thought i'd be writing about a pet?
if you knew me back when, you'd know precisely how much things have changed.
and if you're new here,
it turns out i F*ing LOVE DOGS.
not all of them, just the cool ones.
...and while i know you think your dog is cool,
i'll be the judge of that;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, April 27


shoutouts to sausages!
shoutouts to hot dogs!!
shoutouts to those street cart desires that are named PØLSE!
i'm gettin' tilty on some sausage dogs, duders.
check the teleport:

homemade sourdough dogg-bunzos!!
homemade sausage!!
house-pickled onions and radishes!!
homestyle root-pickle-curry remoulade SAUCE!!
veggies, mustard, and sprankles, too?!
wordimus prime.
if you ain't 'bout these big dirties,
you are messin' up,
missin' out,
and officially UNinvited, in perpetuity, from any and all future makeout parties.
there's a LOT to cover in this one,
and a LOT went into the creation of this meal,
despite it just being basically road-dogs.

homemade sausages??
you'd better believe it.
easy easy easy:
saute one small minced onion with two cloves whole garlic.
separate half the onion once caramelized,
and put it in a medium mixing bowl.
add the other half, and both browned cloves of garlic to your food processor,
along with:
one block firm semi-drained tofu;
3 T nutritional yeast (nootch);
3 shakes of liquid smoke;
3 shakes of soy sauce;
20 turns of fresh cracked black pepper;
3 full glugs of olive oil ;
1 T better-than-bouillon vegetable base (there really is no substitute)
pulse that until smooth as heck, scraping the edges as necessary,
and add it to the mixing bowl,
along with:
3/4 cup wheat gluten;
2 T garbanzo bean flour;
2 T tapioca starch;
and heavily spiced herbs such as:
2 tsp each- smoked paprika- Garlic Powder- Onion Powder;
1 tsp each-crushed fennel-sage-thyme-basil-paprika- crushed red pepper;
1/2 tsp each- ground mustard- crushed rosemary- parsley-fire-roasted tomato flakes.
mash ALLLLLL of that into one massive mushy mess,
and shape it up into the type of tubes you prefer.
big, small, fat, skinny, whatever.
i roll mine in aluminum foil, so i can twist the ends shut,
and keep the dough from overly expanding when it gets steamed.....
which is the next step.
25-45 minutes of hot steam should do the trick, duders.
from there?
i braised a batch of 'em in seitan broth, to keep 'em soft and hot and glistening.
otherwise, how dirty are your dogs, really?
word up
the bread was it's own expert ordeal.
i mean,
nobody wants a budget bun.
especially when you've got uberdoggs to munch up on.
y'feel me?
i took the time to make the magic,
and every moment was well worth the results.
here are the steps, so can create your own !
(adapted from chef john from allrecipes/foodwishes)
1 cup flour;
1/2 cup sourdough starter;
combine, cover, and let eat each other overnight.
in  your trust stand mixer,
add that slop to:
2 cups flour;
2 tsp salt;
3 T melted vegan butters;
1 T olive oil;
1 pkg active dry yeast;
2 1.2 tsp sugar dissolved in
1+ cup warm water.
beat that up for 5 minutes on high,
cover and let rise for 2 hours.
flatten out into a 1/2" thick rectangle on a floured surface.
cut into sixths (you can do eighths is you're just using premade doggs.
i chose bigger and better brats, so i needed fewer, larger buns)
turn them cut sides up and down, shape them roughly like buns,
arrange 'em 1/4" apart on a parchment-lined baking tray,
score the tops with your lame or serrated or other sharp knife,
 and then baste those b!tches with melted butterish, on all three exposed sides.
let them rise another 45 or so minutes,
then bake 'em for 25 minutes at 375͒F.
butter them one more time when they're hot, and you've got something so dope,.
your whole face will explode in the best possible way.
i trimmed the ends for presentation, and ate them for the taste sensation.
i may never buy buns again.
that's real.
the remoulade was no joke, either.
it's kind of like danish tartar sauce, from what i understand,
and this one specifically is kind of like THE TRUTH!
no jokes.
1 smallish peeled purple carrot;
1 similar-sized chunk of peeled parsnip;
1 proportionately portioned hunk of peeled celeriac;
a pickle bath of cider vinegar, sugar, thyme, salt, and black peppercorns,
brought to a boil,  combined with the veg, simmered for about 5 minutes,
turned off and allowed to cool.
the purple carrot turned orange, and the white tappies turned pink.
that's how you know they all had a flavor orgy, or something like that.
you can't get that close without getting the evidence on you-
meanwhile, we'll combine
1/4 cup vegan mayo (vegenaise or whatever)
with a dash of cinnamon, a dash of GPOP,
a 1/4 tsp cumin, a dash of coriander,
1/2 tsp turmeric, a dash of cayenne, a dash of dried ginger,
and a dash of ground mustard-
when the roots are cool, combine them all into a yellowish magical sorcerous sauce.
i promise this stuff will activate previously unexplored routes through your brain
which in turn unlock flavors and desires that can only serve to elevate
and improve your whole entire life.
and the pickled radish and shallot?
vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, water, and a littlelemon juice,
poured over the chopped bits and pieces and allowed to cool and turn pink an' that,.
but, but, but,
what about the fixin's??!?!
don;t worry, i got you, b-
are there minced cukes?
and they are SO cool, and crisp and good.
what about fresh radishes?
heck yes,
because they're sharp and spicy.
spears of baby dill pickle?
c'mon., what are you? an A*-hole?
OBVIously, i went long dills, because other pickled cukes are bullsh!t.
and, hold on, now, is that horseradish dijon mustard i see?
you betcha.
it's F*ing fantastic. and pungent. and refreshing!!
and also,
just because rules is rules,
and too much is the right amount,
and because danish doggies aren't jack sh!t without 'em:
fried crispy onion sprankles!
if you were to add fries, and slaw,
and ho'saucy smoked ketchup, too?
you'd probably be just about the luckiest girl or boy on the block.
i know i felt like i was the luckiest one,
and i had to make all that sh!t in order to enjoy it.
i'm glad i did too.
because radical expert compassionate passionate vegan feasts
are my favorite thing in the whole wide world.
so that's what's up.
the dirty dirties that you KNOW you love,
but wish weren't made out of buttholes and penises,
stuffed inside of buttholes, which are then shaped to resemble penises.
i can't hang out with that.
it's F*ing filthy!!
hotdogs are butt-nasty,
and sausages are, too.
which sucks, sorta, since they have all the flavor in 'em.
solutions abound, of course,
and my genital-and-sphincter-free homemade custom vegan tubes are the TRUTH.
they're 100% expert.
and that's real.
with all the exxxtras, upgrades, and activation i added?
they're the conscientious filthy street food alternative from the future.
i sure hope you're impressed;
never quiet, never soft.....



the big b.
my favorite.
brekkie in effect.
y'gotta break yo'self on the B, buddy.
maybe not every day,
unless of course you're a lumberjack-
i mean, rules is rules, y'feel me?
but, if you're a moderately active morning person,
or a barely awake brunchtime butthead,
a big b is key to making the day better than it would've been otherwise.
that's real.
big breakfasts are for heroes.
and i'm over here trying to be heroic.
specifically with my waffle iron.
that's no joke.
check the teleport:

peeled carrot and parsnip, finely shaved red onion,
and one big, fat, peeled chef's white potato-
grated, salted, drained, squeezed, and fired onto a well-greased
(and exxxtra-buttered) hot waffle iron.
y'gotta squeeze the ever-livin' sh!t out of it tho,
or it won't get crispy, just sort of wet, and that's not invited to the big b, bro.
black pepper and pink salt and vegan butter and time.
you need a waffle iron if you've not got one,
let's start there, and work our way up.
if you've got one?
you need the hashies to get browned up with dents in them.
real talk.
it's expert AF.
........and with verrrry ripe avocado, ho'sauce (texas pete is my dude),
pea shoots, fried tomatoes, AND cashew cream?!
get right up on it, and peep game on the hottness:

that's that sh!t that goes super-upgrade-style, off the charts,
to eleven.
now, just imagine if that was all there was.
that'd be tasty,
but not worthy of the BIG in big b, right?
damned straight.
which is precisely why there are those epic buckwheat breakfast crepes,
in an unleavened semi-ploye-style,
keeping it all-the-way awesome and in keeping with the prime directive:
too much is the right amount.
^oh, hell yes, it really IS.
half a cup of a.p. flour;
a handful of buckwheat flour;
a spoonful of sugar;
a spoonful of crushed chia/flaxmeal;
a dash of salt;
and roughly the same amount of non-dairy milk.
(you will need to add a bit more once the binders thicken up.
i mixed all mine in a measuring cup, and had the spout already ready for pouring
onto the piping hot, very gently greased pan i spun them around on.
y'ever made a crepe?
you should,
they're fun.
how do we make them better than just slightly-greenish flat pancakes?
we fill the F* out of 'em with alllll the hottness, obvi.
don't be dumb, man.
we're on a mission to make the big b a worthy saga for the children an' sh!t.
grilled tofu?
griddles are dope, gas ranges are dope, and tofu?
well, tofu is super dope.
scrambo was skipped, tho, bro.
i went chunky, with salt, pepper, GPOP, and a little sweet onion,
and what i ended up with was A+, for sure.
combined with tasty veggies, cashew cream and ho'sace?
i had myself a freakin' expert munch-up, without a doubt.
what veg?
oh, i'll tell you:
mushrooms, cooked thoroughly to prevent sliminess, which i don;t dig, at all.
broccoli florets;
asparagus spears, chopped and lowered;
black beans with a little bit of nootch;
caramelized sweet onion, and softened red onion;
there's even a little popeye jr. too-
yep. baby spinach on the over-under;
i tossed in a few of those blackened sweet baby tomatoes.
oh how i DO so love a blackened tomato.
in fact,
i pronounce it toe-mah-toe when i make them,
since those guys seem to get freaky with 'em in the a.m. pretty frequently.
oil, tomatoes, halved, cut side down, heat.
that's the whole technique in one sentence.
the breakfast game was crucial, as a one-fingered salute to the weather.
rain, rain, go away, y'know?
i'm not a fan of daytime rain.
nighttime rain?
now that's a whole other story.
pitters and patters on my metal rooftop?
so nicey-nice.
but, during the productive hours of brightness?
it's not know for really making me too happy-
being wet, and not seeing any sunshine,
and wishing i had better light to look at my food with......
i have so few joys in this corporeal world.
just give me a dry, bright wednesday, y'know?
it's all really happening-
under all conditions-
under all circumstances-
heroic breakfasts powering villainous days.
that's how it goes sometimes;
never quiet, never soft.....


delicious cookies.
delicious mutha-'ucking cookies.
hearty, tasty, rich, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
wouldn't that be nice?
yeah, i KNOW!
the good news around these parts?
i have all the necessary ingredients to make that sort of thing happen.
maybe you're not a cookie person.
if that's the case, i feel bad for you, son.
the rest of us are going to be getting molto busy beatin' up a batch
of these from-scratch freshies with wild and reckless abandon.
look at what the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory
had in store for a tuesday morning tattoo time with all the lovely ladies
from this mountain vale.

cookies are dope.
these cookies are SUPER-dope.
and i'll tell you something else- they were a cinch to make.
one bowl, a little stirring,
and a little bit of fancy unnecessary extra activation for good measure.
i'll give you the details of their construction,
so that you can immediately begin a big batch for yourselves.
-preheat your oven to 375F
in a large bowl, combine and cut together:
1 cup dark brown sugar;
11 T vegan butters;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
add in 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce;
& 3 T maple syrup, and mix well-
the dry ingredients are up next:
1 cup coarse oat flour ( i grind my own from old-fashioned thick rolled oats)
1 cup quicker oats
(not the packet kind, but the loose tub variety- they add texture without being to tough)
2 cups a.p. flour;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 pkg miniature dark chocolate chips
(they take up more space in your cookies,
so you get more per bite, despite being fewer oz. per pkg)
get that all combined into a wet dough,
and scoople golf-ball-sized blops down onto a pair of baking trays.
leave 'em lumpy, because after all, these are homemade vegan comfort blops,
and that's the aesthetic we're after.
bake these babies for 13 lucky minutes,
and the tear into them at whatever temperature you deem suitable.
warm, they're damned good.
room-temp? they're damned good.
cold? ...yup. know it- damned good.
you like to snack up on delightful dudes like tasty treats, don'tcha?
these damned good cookies are just what you need.
go make some, man.
you'll be the most popular person in your group,
for about three and a half dozen cookies'-worth of time.
in other news,
it's every F*ing wednesday.
no joke.
bad weather, bad news, and bad tempers.
that's right.
nature keeps winning and i keep losing.
as a simple matter of course,
springtime's precipitation patterns have been raining on my parade all season.
that's real.
there's been a sh!t-salad suckstorm every wednesday for ages.
i'm not a fan, neighbors-
wednesday is also my one day off from work every week.
...and that's weak.
yesterday was no exception-
yet another 'nother doo-doo buttery raincloud posted up over the woodsly goodness,
and soured the mood of anticipation i'd savored since the last one...
i'll confess i was in a doldrum of ho-hum bummin' out,
not that that stopped me from doing what i do.
here's the thing-
i can't stop.
it isn't as if breakfast is gonna plan itself,
or like dinner will bring the thunder all by it's lonesome.
there's dishes to do, and laundry to fold,
and crabtree.
yeah. him.
let's not forget about crabtree.
i mean,
even if i was limbless and dying, he'd STILL need a walk.
even when the weather is muddy and wet and we're both bedraggled,
we're out on the trails, gettin' our neighborhood tour in for the day.
there's no resting with that guy.
so, we did our thing in the rain.
because that's what we do;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, April 25


oh man!!
what a day!
beautiful weather.
laid-back clients.
well-behaved crabtree.
and a great big fat mexican mutha'-munchin' monday to manage
once all the regular responsibilities of my everyday adult life were completed.
i got after all the routine stuff from the jump-off,
just so i'd be ready to rock after work.
on the ones,
i looked forward to my dinner plan all damned day long.
but first,
i did the dishes, i swept up, i folded laundry,
i walked the dog, i ran the errands, i got the groceries,
i tattooed a few lovely ladies-
including a little freehand floral cover-up and rework action-
and i managed to leave work thirty minutes early.
it's a small quotient of time,
when allotted to committed and conscientious dog ownership-
with crabby and i careening through the mud and leaves of the woodsly goodness,
it actually freed up a little MORE focused and unadulterated kitchen time,
with the good evening light,
the better to capture a picture of what i was confident would be a ferociously filthy,
gooey, sauced-out shark-gluttonous feast for my big fat face.
it's not psychic precognition, it's just determined meal planning.
enchiladas are definitely ON the list.
the nice list.
the guest list.
the A list.
even schindler's list.
that's what 75% accuracy looks like.
what i mean is:
that's no joke.
and when i find a bigger and better soft flour tortilla at the grocery store?
like, the perfect F*ing sized circles.
like, lower calories, but more area.
like, 7" hardcore vinyl record radness, in floppy flour format.
the enchie game turned up a notch with these new-new jauns.
check the double-sauce-type teleport:

i'm pretty sure that's a thing.
i had multiple burners blazing away.
gravy, sauce, beans, and fillings,
plus the food processor pulsing and spinning,
and a whole counter cleared for assembly.
that's what's UP.
the enchiladas themselves had a whole holy helluva lotta hottness.
homemade cashew-garlic-tofu chee'.
daiya mozzarella,
shredded spinach.
scallion greens.
nootch-boosted ho'sauce activated refritos!!!
2T vegan butts + 1 T olive oil;
1/4 cup sweet onion;
3 T finely diced sweet bell pepper;
1 tsp minced jalapeno;
16 oz. cooked, mooshed pinto beans;
(canned is fine, get the fat free ones they're usually the lard-free less-'sgusting vegan ones)  
3T nutritional yeast (nootch);
2 T louisiana/texas-style ho' sauce;
1 1./2 tsp each Garlic Powder, Onion Powder & black pepper.
saute the onion and pepper, add the beans,
stir it up, and mix in the nootch, spices, and ho'sauce.
really, it's so simple, but the FLAVOR is so much more awesome.
but that's not all y'all.
what are you?
new here?
don't be dumb, dude-guy-
too much is the right amount.
and MORE filling fits in a bigger wrap-up,
so there has to be MORE filling.
rules is rules.
so i simmered up a fresh homemade batch of smoky seitan in the a.m. in eager anticipation
of my enchilada extranvaganza in the p.m.
 i took strips of that, with strips of poblano pepper, and onion,
and sizzled them to a golden brown with chipotle pepper powder,
oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, coriander, GPOP, cayenne, and himalayan salt.
homemade seitan is the TRUTH,
how much more expert did it make my enchiladas?
twice the legal limit, at least.
that's awesome news for lovers of illicit 'ladas, am i right?
here's the thing.
i made gravy too.
y'gotta, or your enchiladas are bullsh!t.
no, really.
if you pour homemade gravy in between the tubes,
and under neath, and around them,
it seeps and steams into the tortillas,
and gives them that wet-bottomed juiciness that really real mother'uckers crave.
for realsies.
gravy is crazy simple, too.
my homie travis (vegan_magic_time) discovered as much recently,
and it's changing his life for the better....
don't sleep on it.
and while you're at it, peep his recipe so i can type more about other things...
3 T minced onion;
2 T minced poblano
1 T minced jalapeno;
1 tsp red hot chili pepper (but no anthony keidis, under any circumstances);
1 T vegan butts;
1 T olive oil;
1 tsp ea. GPOP, black pepper, crushed red pepper. smoked paprika,oregano;
1/2 tsp ea. cumin, cayenne, ancho chili;
1/4 tsp. coriander;
himalayan/sea salt;
^ fry all that up until the spices smell astoundingly well toasted,
and the veg has been sweated and softened.
then add in 1/4 cup broth (i used the seitan stuff, and that was a nice touch)
and 1/2 cup crushed tomato sauce-
simmer that all up until it begins to thicken,
add a dash or three of ho'sauce;
a pinch of raw sugar;
and as much as i am loathe to suggest it-
2 T organic agave-sweetened ketchup.
a quick stir and then you just douse your enchiladas with about half of it,
before you bake them, in whatever sized pan you'll need to fit however many you make,
covered in foil, in a 360F hot oven, for twenty minutes.
after that,
you're gonna reapply the rest of the sauce,
which has still been thickening on low heat,
and give 'em another 'nother ten UNcovered.
complicated? a little.
amazing? completely.
worth it? SO worth it.
and even THAT isn't all there is.
i told you-
too much is the right amount.
that's not to be take lightly.
there's also cashew lime crema!!!
in a high-speed food processor,
which i sincerely hope you have, as it is ultra-necessary for expertism,
3/4 cup soaked drained cashews;
a dash of pink salt;
1/2 tsp GPOP (that's 1/4 each);
3-4 T lime juice;
cayenne to taste;
non-dairy milk, added 1 T at a time, until it's all super smooth.
i think i ended up using 1/4 cup or so?
holy sh!t, tho, bros.
that's the next-level drizz that will activate all your latent neurons.
for serious, you will get smarter if you eat this.
actually, i can't say for sure.
but, i know i feel smarter.
that's real, at least.
and even that wasn't the end.
i took these even further-
avocado? check.
sliced fresh jalapeno? check.
leafy, cool, cilantro? check.
red onion and scallion sprankles? WORD UP,
and check yourself if you thought i'd sleep on the spranks, you skanks.
that's a serious commitment to the enchilada scene, isn't it?
you'd better believe it.
all told, even with baking, it still took under an hour.
i had the custom underchee',
the seitan was created in the a.m.
the crema was concocted while the big action was in the oven,
and i STILL made a whole other 'nother side order of sexxiness.
much simpler, but also pretty tasty.
tres hermanas in full effect, too-
brothb-braised butternut squash, sweet corn kernels, black beans,
sweet and red onion bits, poblano pepper, cilantro, scallion,
chipotle pepper, GPOP, and salt, sauteed in olive oil,
and served with little sweet tomato slices.
a quick one pan browning up of everything had it ready with the quickness, too.
i don't understand what compels me to do this,
but my face loves it more than my waistline laments the consequences.
eating alone is for sh!t.
no, not really really.
but kinda.
i made my food bigger, because i had the technology to do so.
i thought that might give me a headstart on intelligent portion control,
but it did not.
like, not at all.
not even one little teentsy teeny-weeny tiny little bit.
i STILL ate more of it because there was nobody to share it with,
so i could just keep going.
taking big eyes-closed-happy bite after bite.
as deliciously indulgent as that was,
given all the effort that went into it,
after an all-day-long of obsessive focus on about how awesome it was going to be,
which was SO spot on, btw,
without somebody to taste-test, and corroborate my account of things,
you'd have to make it yourself to know for certain that i'm a truth-teller.
i'd suggest giving that a shot.
i'd hate for you to miss out.
i mean, it's all really happening,
you've just got to get into it to be a part of it;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Monday, April 24


i spanned the entire day tattooing dudes, yesterday.
now, they were nice.
i've been tattooing one of them for the last twelve years.
he was a kid when i met him,
and now he's a grown-A* man.
it always blows my mind to think i've developed these relationships
that've outlived ones with people i genuinely cared very deeply for. 
i mean,
my clients choose to come back time and again,
for what could very well be a one-man show performed by
the most eccentric rendition of myself;
whereas folks i gave way more of a sh!t about,
and gave way more of my truest self to,
do seem to chose the exact opposite course of action.
i don't know if that's a referendum on the merits of being disingenuous,
or worse,
a vote of no confidence after being taken into my confidence....
there's nothing for it, either.
who else can we be, but ourselves.
how am i not myself?
am i not. 
it's a real albert markovski and brad stand moment, friends.
if you know, you know,
and if you don't, 
you're really operating at a major disadvantage.
i think it's a bit more than familiarity breeding contempt.
no joke,
i think there's a catalyst for calamity in my actual chemistry.
no, not like a psychological brain chemistry dysfunction, bro.
i mean, literally, physically,
i may be giving off a triggering pheromone, man.
-like the one that lets bees know who they all are gonna sting-
a compound that builds up over time,
like a slow-actin' quicksilver jaun.
with prolonged exposure?
it's continued relationships.
i rep a hard style.

just to quickly recap how fast that went downhill:
i went from tattooing dudes, which is lame,
to being psyched that they were cool, kinda,
to being flattered that they've kept coming around for over a decade,
to probably ending up old and alone because of an invisible anomaly
that repels all those who span too much time near me......
at least i'm positive there's no proof to purport 
it's plausible my preternatural predisposition to pessimism pushes people 
perilously past the point of pledged passions.
i think some folks hate alliteration, too.
that kind of spun away from the original narrative.
but here's a bigger question-
can very spicy food fix ANY of that? 
as of last evening, i'm inclined to say no.
at least, not with just one megadose, anyway.
i came home to lovely evening light streaming through the picture window,
and it made me want to make something HOT.
mostly because it was deceptively NOT warm, despite the sun.
i did just that.
check the spicy-everything-thai-ish-type teleport:
too much is the right amount!!
i used everything!
and lots of all of it, too.
coconut oil seared tempeh was on the menu,
and so was half a block of cubed tofu, 
sizzled up with half a diced red onion,
and deglazed with a few tablespoons of broth once they began to brown.
that's a good start.
when the liquid has disappeared,
i added in serrano chili, jalapeno, mystery red chili, and sweet yellow bell pepper.
from there,
it was a punch of cabbage and thin discs of rainbow carrots,
a head of chopped broccoli,
two cloves of sliced garlic;
a big handful of torn cilantro, 
two tablespoons of fresh thai basil,
another two tablespoons of scallion,
and 1/4 cup of roasted, toasted, unsalted peanuts.
all that was necessary after all that was a righteous drenching in sauce!!
sauce is key in these things.
the current version contained the following:
1 T molasses;
1 T sriracha;
1/2 tsp texas/louisiana ho'sauce;
1/2 tsp cayenne;
1/4 tsp fresh ginger;
2 T lime juice;
1 T soy sauce;
1 T rice vinegar;
1/2 tsp coriander;
sriracha flakes;
coarse fresh ground black pepper;
1 T cornstarch.
slurried and splashed into the piping hot panful of fresh leafy goodness,
stirred twice, and covered.....
on the ones,
you'll have all the boomfire for your face in under two minutes.
a few extra basil, cilantro, scallion, and peanut sprankles.
and a dust-up of toasted coconut flakes,
took the whole of the texxxture and taste profiles up to eleven, fast.
and that coconut lime rice?
there's two ways to make coconut rice extra rad.
gummy, or grainy.
i chose grainy, since jasmine rice is flippin' awesome,
and with a 1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut cooked right in with it,
it's totally expert.
i replaced 25% of the water with lime juice, so the rice, all on it's own,
could've been all i had for supper, and i'd have been psyched as heck.
real talk.
yeah, the garnish was sexxy too-
baby cukes and pea tendrils and microgreens are all s'kyoot,
and so delish, and so crawnchy.
i like all of that, 
especially when i'm melting my face off.
i don't think i fixed anything with thai chili superheat.
but at least i gave it a shot.
i mean,
where are you guys?
i'm at the fire.
it's all really happening.
and that's the best and worst news i've heard all morning.
there's a lot to consider these days,
as spring sort of actually slowly creeps into the cold mountains of the north.
last time, last year? 
not so good.
but now,
this is the TRUTH;
never quiet, never soft.....


if you grate a half a teaspoonful of fresh ginger 
and drop it into half a cup of sugar, 
and toss them both into a bag that sleeps in the fridge overnight?
the ginger makes all the sugar taste like ginger.
that's pretty neat.
especially if you want ginger flavor, 
but maybe not the spicy bite that goes with it,
without actually candying the stuff....
i was on some residual earth day sh!t, for sure.
reuse, recycle, repurpose....
i changed it up, kids.
three R's, for sure,
but i stood on the far side of that other other  R-
y'know the one: reduce.
that's not a thing.
too much is the right amount-
and i'm happy about that, 
at least when it comes to pastry dough.
the recipe for it you might've read one post previous?
it had more flour power than one tasty tart could handle,
what could i do, 
besides what i do?
rules is rules, dudes.
...that's right.
i HAD to activate MORE tarts.
and i did that, with every last morsel of that dough,
and a few key bits and pieces from the pantry-
check these white-people-style tartlets, via the teleport:
i'm telling you, these were just about the easiest ones to build.
a jar of apricot jammie-jam, an apple, some of those figs, and the spices...
one scoop, two slices, a pinch of sugs, a spritz of cinnamon,
and a few fig chunks.....
the next thing i knew, i was tearing into the whole batch of 'em.
then i remembered that i hadn't documented them yet.
so, from twelve, eight.
a few powdered sugary sprankles took them to completion, once they were cool.
and that looks cool, too. 
that's just it.
i like good-lookin' food.
i think maybe that's just overcompensation?
i stay ugly, by design.
i choose to stay dope as a matter of principle.
i repeat myself. it's like a mantra,
making the best of the worst, and making good things get better... 
nature wins, after all,
my very best efforts to coordinate some semblance of personal style
are thwarted and stymied by the raw materials i'm working with underneath.
it's in my infinite nature to turn my eternal dissatisfaction 
into an equally interminable pursuit of improvement.
it's those same raw materials that are not content 
to accept my superficial shortcomings as a declaration of devaluation
and inevitable failure as a matter of course.
ugly people can do beautiful things, bro.
that's real.
now, a few exxxtra tarts isn't quite enough of an example, 
but it's a pixel in a bigger picture...
one that's unfolding in fragments of days and weeks and months and years;
a secret blueprint of hidden hottness, 
revealed through hard work,
and intentional participation each and every last day, right up until the last day....
it's kind of life my life depends on it.
at least, it all depends on what kind of life i'm prepared to accept as my due.
i want the big deluxxxe,
so i take everything to eleven.
it's not just doing it i believe in-
it's OVERdoing it.
too much IS the right amount, 
i can't stop doing what i do,
i'm made out of it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, April 23


yesterday was earth day.
that's the day where all the non-vegans pretend they give a sh!t about the planet.
is that a combative statement?
it might be.
but is it a true statement?
yes, it is.
y'all can recycle all you want,
but the impact of what's entailed in the creation of just one bacon cheeseburger
effs up the world so much more than those twelve reused aluminum cans
could ever repair.
i said it.
sorry for giving an actual sh!t about the whole world every day.
now that i've started off by being kind of a d!ck-
let's talk about tarts.
i love 'em.
you love 'em.
we love 'em.
and what better way to enjoy the beauty of this planet we all share,
than by sharing a slice of super-expert tripleberry creamchee' pastry together?
heck yes!
i'm here for you, even when i'm kind of mean at first.
that's real.
consider it a test, neighbors!
yup, a tart test.
and if you're still reading?
you passed.
so, now then, let's get into the tart talk.

why do berries have to be so good?
i just want to eat every last morsel.
.....and i just might.
too much is the right amount,
which is why i used all three big berries,
and lemon,
and vanilla.
all the flavors, man.
that's what we need.
the crust is the same as always, because it's the tastiest one:
in a food processor, combine:
2 1/4 cups flour;
pinch of salt;
11 T vegan butter;
3-4 T vegan creamchee';
4 T sugar;
pulse that up,
with non-dairy milk added in by the tablespoonful,
until the flour sticks together when squeezed.
wrap it and chill it for at least an hour, longer is better,
and roll it out on a generously floured surface when it's time to rock the party.
it's. just. so. easy.
and the fillings?
1 cup sliced frozen strawberries;
1 cup frozen wild blueberries;
1 cup frozen raspberries;
1/4 cup sugar;
2 T lemon zest;
2 T lemon juice;
lemon extract;
thaw out and simmer over medium-low heat, and drain off the juice.
combine with 2-3 T cornstarch, slurry, and add it back to the hot pot.
let it thicken, and cool, before adding to the dough.
(stretched into a tart pan, obvi)
that'll be crazy delicious all on it's own.
if you're serious about getting expert,
you've got to get the creamchee' layer underneath first.
that's what's up.
1 tub of vegan creamchee';
3 T powdered sugar;
2 T tapioca;
2 T lemon juice;
lemon extract;
heat it enough to soften it, whisk it all together,
and spread that down first-
now you've got the hottness at your fingertips.
i love a good braided crust, guys.
i do.
it's good lookin' and it's a good usage of extra pastry to full effect.
and hearts?
c'mon, now-
if you don't like hearts, you probably don't have one.
i decorated it like i'm in love....and i think i might be....
...with treats, of course!
did i finish it off with raw sugar sprankles?
yes i did!!!
naturally, i wasn't going to just chump out in the home stretch, was i?
no way.
rules is rules.
i baked it for 25 minutes at 410F,
and i ate a warm slice after my earthy walk with my earthy terrier.
look at it:

the cream, the tart, the sweet, the crisp-
the buttery big bombardment of taste and texture.
i really hope you make one at home yourselves.
i think you'll be psyched if you do.
or not.
i mean,
i've got mine already, so i guess you can do whatever you want-
i'll be over here munching up on this one regardless.
in the meantime, tho,
i'll be out enjoying earth, and days, and my dumb dog,
and then, it's gonna take a whole lot of tart to improve my afternoon,
because i'm about to be brutalized by a pair of backwoods inebriates.
it's an all-dudes workday,
on a double-dose of drunkish doo-duderism.
it's all really happening,
and sometimes, that sucks;
never quiet, never soft.....


i s'pose it's a good thing i'm a reclusive introvert
the instant i get away from the tattoo studio.
since i'm not out cavorting and frolicking late into the evenings,
there are no real distractions from the quest for expert sourdough.
....that's real.
and since i don't have anywhere else to be,
i don't so feel badly that i spend a chunk of my time folding dough, y'know?
i mean,
what else would i be doing?
going to a bar?
F* no!
going to a club?
that's just a bar with louder music.
i guess could be doing yardwork,
but, c'mon, now-
honestly, how sweatily freakin' terrible does mid-spring cold-air raking sound?
i know.
and really, the bread dough doesn't even take that much attention.
i just happen to care more about, and have a greater emotional investment in,
a slice of unbelievable homemade radical sourdough toast in the morning,
than the prospect of being around a boring batch of box-mix m-f'ers.
i don't think that's elitist.
i think i've got my priorities in order, neighbors.
real talk:
good bread makes better people.
i'm just trying to ensure that self-improvement begins at the breakfast table.
i tell myself that small actions add up to big changes,
what's probably more accurate is that small actions add up to big heaps of bread.
too much is the right amount, though,
and more and better bread is not a bad thing.
i've been a busy baker, and my tri-weekly bakes have produced some pretty decent results.
y'wanna see?
i'll preface it with the following:
flour. yeast, water, and salt are the requirements.
a pinch of sugar, a dash of gluten, a little bit of almond milk-
those things make an appearance here and there....
but the main four, plus time, and a whole lotta love,
are all you really need.
that said,
i make a LOT of oatmeal, white mountain white winter wheat, and rye breads.
you'll see:

is that the perfect oatmeal country loaf?
it might be.
it didn't last long, that's usually a good indication.
and how about these:

rye with wheat germ? dope!
oatmeal boule?? SO dope!
i've found a rhythm to what i do.
i still don't weigh anything,
and i add a splash or a dash here and there by eye, and by feel.
i'd probably not do that if the bread sucked.
however, trusting my instincts about making dough has treated me well thus far,
so i'm gonna keep it up.
take a look at a few more, buddy:

and this one, with the explosive oven spring:

the oatmeal is high on the sexxxy levels, for sure.
or how about these tasty mofos:

the crust game is on point.
uncovered in a convection oven at 460F.
for 50 minutes, with steam injection at the halfway point
(what i mean is, that's when i splash boiling water on the oven stones)
i've even tried some things that are probably not things with good reason,
like a 24hour bulk, with no cold proof:

that one tasted ridiculous, but it's looks were a little on the underdramatic side.
my house is usually not super toasty warm,
so i bulk my dough, with 3 regularly timed folds from 6a.m. to 9a.m.,
plus one more at 11 a.m., then a looong rise until 6ish when i get home,
shape the loaves,
and let them rest for a nother 'nother couple of hours,
until 8:30-9 p.m.
the following day, they're in the oven by 7 a.m.
after i've run through all my early morning routines.
i think it's a system that works well,
with all of the responsible pet-ownership, and excessive treats-baking activation
that seem to suck in whole swaths of time every damned day.
y'gotta make time for the good bread, tho, bro.
rule is rules.
i recently ran out of cracked rye.
i did.
and i've been replacing it with einkorn and wheat berries.
nobody has noticed, so i guess that's good news, and bad news, all  at once.
it'd be nice if discriminating palates could discern the difference in kernels,
but i s'pose the savage tear-up of a hot slice is compliment enough.
look at some of these:

shoutouts to my rye guy!

(and the oatmeal's looking sexxxy as always, too)

even without the caraway seeds.
what about white whole wheat?
or spelt?
i got you covered:

i can't say it enough- i LOVE good bread!!!
i tried some oat flour, instead of oatmeal.
it was ok, but not as amazing as the whole oat cragmaster blasters i'm used to:

nice, but where's the dynamic action?
the whole wheat business is uniformly a dense endeavor.
hearty, healthy whole grains are one thing,
but heavy crumb is the opposite of what i want.
to that end, i eff around with some white-on-white mountain jauns on the regular:


and just so you don't think i HATE the whole wheat, here's a little hybrid vigor for your eyes:

that's what brings the party to the toaster,
and then gets freak-nasty with a pat of butterish.
i'm a busy baker,
and that's no joke.
in addition to all the cakes and cookies and pies and tarts,
i've got loaves on loaves on loaves, too.
i gift away a loaf or two every week.
really, what's the point of stockpiling bread?
it's got a finite lifespan, and it's made to be enjoyed.
i'm sharing my passion with a select few appreciators of the hottness.
not just anybody gets the good-good, guys.
i mean,
i'm not NOT an elitist,
i just don't think preferring bread to bars is the criteria.
determining who is worthy of a loaf tho?
that's definitely a better example.
guess i need more good bread, to become a better person.
and i guess that means more time spent kneading at home.
it's all got to keep on happening.
after all,
that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, April 22


thank goodness there's cake.
i mean it.
day after day after day,
there have been complications, cancellations, and aberrations
in most aspects of my workday studio life.
the scheduling is problematic.
the keeping of appointments is even worse.
and of course,
the tattoos that do show up?
mostly dudes, dudes.
it's nice to know that the cake situation is handled, at least
i can't cancel cake, even if i wanted to-
it's baked, and it's decorated, 
and it's ready to take good care of me.
....a nice slice, neighbors.
that's all it takes to turn a turd of a day into a totally expert one.
and luckily, i've got a whole lotta slices, 
enough to last me through the weak weekend, 
so i can overcome the doldrums of these dark days,
and show up all caked-out and ready to rock all these tattoos exxxtra hard.
that's practically professional planning.
i owe it all to the cake, obvi.
that's right.
another 'nother cake.
what can i tell you?
i like cake.
i need cake.
i'm a cakey baker's kind of man,
and man, oh man, oh MAN, i have a good one right here and now.
check the teleport:
chocolate cake can be tricky.
that's no joke.
if you're going heavy in the cocoa zone,
the crumb can get a little dry-
but if you add too much liquid, it bakes unevenly,
the edges getting crispy but the middle staying batterish.
we don't want that.
we want moist, springy, soft sensuality in our crumb.
heck yes we do.
what's the solution?
better flour.
no, for real: almond meal is pretty moist stuff.
and there's almond everything in this one-
preheat your oven to 360F.
grease and flour two 9" rounds.
in your trusty stand-mixer, cream together:
3/4 cup sugar;
1/3 cup raw sugar;
1 1/2 tsp almond extract;
2 tsp vanilla ;
1 stick + 2T (10T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt; 
add and whisk on high:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt.
to that sloppy mess, you're gonna wanna include:
2 cups flour + 2 T cornstarch;
1 cup almond meal;
1/2 cup coarse-ground toasted almonds;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/3 cup cocoa;
and 1 cup almond milk.
whip that up into aerated fluffy cakey batter,
divide it evenly,
and bake for 30 minutes.
when it's cool, but naked,
y'gotta get activated on some frosting styles.
yes, you do.
in your freshly cleaned stand-up motorized mixin' bowl-
whisk together:
1/2 stick vegan butter;
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar;
almond extract;
vanilla extract;
almond milk, added one T at a time, 
until it whips up all floofy and light.
the center and the top are the two most important parts.
if there's extra, skim-coat the sides too.
i still had chocolate frosting from my graham squares left,
so i used that on there, too. looked good, but something was missing-
  and that's when i noticed the absence of sprankles.
almost made a rookie mistake there,
but, rules is rules
and too much is the right amount,
and MORE hottness is always a good idea.
hence, a dash of toasted almond slice spranks.
that's the way it was s'posed to be.
and that's the way it is.
maybe today will bring some new hottness with it-
i mean,
the sun has been obscured for three days,
and the rain and wind haven't really allowed for much in the way of warmth,
the downhill downstream waterfalls around the neighborhood are lookin' really fresh!
crabtree likes to drink the mountain-cold water,
and i like to rest for ten seconds by the brookside babbling of the rushing current.
that'll most likely be followed by a full day of zappy zips and tatty 'ttoos,
but afterwards,
it's dinner and dog excitement until whenever sleep hits,
on an all-the-way-live but unsurprisingly solo saturday night.
fresh baked bread?
i got that.
i got them.
pie for your eye?
rolling dough between sentences.
i'm making things.
i should be making pictures.
maybe i will.
i mean,
there's enough cake to last a day or two,
and that should see me through to monday.
maybe that'll buy me an evening of art?
i guess we'll know within 48 hours;
never quiet, never soft.....