Wednesday, May 31

CAKE!!!

i just wanted some cake.
so i made some cake.
no surprises, nothing crazy,
just yellow-A* cake.
and,
i'm very pleased to let you know:
it was mother-F*ing expert AF.
i mean it.
look for yourself:

SQUAAAAAAAAAARE!!!!
yumyumYUM!!!
dudes,
it's just cake.
and,
i didn't even whisk it in the mixer!!!
*gasp*
i knowwwwwwww, right?
here's the cake's details, for your face:
-
*
CAKE!!
-
in one regular ol' bowl, combine:
3/4 cup sugar;
1/4 cup brown sugar;
1 stick vegan butter;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
mix well enough that it's basically mud,
and stir in 3/4 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt;
from there, it's simple.
add:
2 1/4 cups flour;
3 T arrowroot;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
stir it up,
and bake it, at 350℉, for 30 minutes.
i'm talking about soft, thick, rich, yellow cake here, kids.
in a 10" square pan,
ready to rock.
and when you add chocolate AND vanilla betterthaneverbefore creme frosting?
yuuuuup.
it's terrific.
straight-up cake, keeping it real.
how do you top that?
well,
rules IS rules, fools.
and that's why i had to pop off those crushed cacao nib sprankles, too!!
heck yes, i did!!
a nice and easy cakey treat, enjoyed by all.
that's nice.
i did the nice.
i'm nice;
never quiet, never soft.....

ALMOST BURRITOS!!!

i effed up a little tiny bit, buddies.
yup.
i had a plan, but i didn't plan it well.
burritos have long eluded my food photography skills.
and here's why:
they look like beige diapers.
that's zero percent sexxxy.
and that is a fact.
beige underwear isn't sexy.
diapers aren't sexy,
combining them is definitely NOT sexy.
enchiladas are sexxxy,
because despite the amazingness being hidden within the roll-up,
the gravied craziness,
and the saucy boss-move activation carry them all the way upstairs,
to the naughty boudoir of tubular enjoyments.
mmhmm.
but burritos?
nope.
they're just not sexxxy.
the thing of it is,
i was still gonna make one ,and cut it open,
so that it would be technically more of a wrap with rice,
but the general idea would get conveyed to you, the viewer,
that is might just be what's inside that counts.....
except,
i didn't have any gigantic tortillas.
nope.
and the light?
it was failing fast.
so,
mexican monday became a massive mexican mountain of burrito'd big action.
check out the consolation-prize-type teleport:

WEPA!!! DAS IT!!!
red beans! fresh corn, straight off of the cob!
poblano and jalapeno and red chili peppers! radishes!!
cilantro! tomatoes! chipotle pepper powder! GPOP!
black pepper! lime juice! red onion!! green onion!!
cayenne-fried tofu!!! AVO-EFFING-CADO!!
and lime rice!!!!!
dudes,
c'mon.
that's actually better looking than a burrito could realisticaly hope to be.
and that's no joke.
the edible garnishes didn't hurt either-
i love lettuce, and i can't get enough of those pea tendrils....
alllllllll the good stuff, ready to go,
and me without my soft flour circle to scoople it up.
i made due with those blue corn jauns,
because i can adapt if i HAVE to.
*
is that slivered celery on the side?
you bet your A* it is.
that right there is sriracha-ho'sauce-cayenne cauliflower,
and it totally made my night.
real talk.
a pat of butter, a drop of broth,
all the hot sauces,
hot parika, cayenne pepper, black pepper,
a few tablespoons of onion,
and half a head of cauli to get steamy and wild with all that fiery wet redness.
it was something, i'll tell ya.
something dope, as a matter of fact.
***********
may is done.
that was fast.
it's no secret that i've been on a quest to fly solo in my professional life.
at least, i don't think i've been keeping it a secret,
but,
the secret universal plan has been holding out on me.
ugh.
the search continues for a suitable spot.
...but seriously, kids,
it IS starting to seem like the valley has been in cahoots with the fates,
and while i WANT to be on my own as far as work goes,
i may be destined to remain that way only in my personal life.
womp. womp.
woooooooooooomp.
awwwwwww.
time ticks by, and the hot irons cool without any strikes,
save maybe a few strike-OUTS.
i persist, don't you worry.....
but,
when the final bells toll,
i really do wonder where i'll end up.
it's all really happening,
but the parts i need are taking too long,
and the opportunity is passing by too quickly.
it's always that way.
shoutouts to hard styles and long nights;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Tuesday, May 30

BURGER TIME!!!

so,
sunday was national burger day.
yup.
that's a thing.
and, while beef can remmain on the hoof forever, as far as i'm concerned,
there IS something very moving about a great, big, tasty burger.
mmhmm.
and i'm not one to want to miss out on a burly, bountiful, beautiful sandwich....
you know i love the sandwiches.
and if i'm gonna stunt on some burger-time,
i'm gonna stunt especially hard, like a plant-based barbarian conqueror.
word the F* up.
duders,
check the teleport:

YEAH!!!!
no, but, for real, tho.
get right on up in there and look closer:

C'MON!!
double decker domination is the name of the game, guys.
and just for scale,
take another 'nother other look,
with my massive monsterman hand holding this heavy hunk of new hottness:

WOW!
i was so full i sort of hated myself,
but it was so tasty i definitely loved every minute.
yeah.
that's real.
the bun was one of my custom jauns from saturday's crucial bbq,
toasted up, with butterish, again.
...because there's no real reason to believe in too much of a good thing.
too much is the right amount, in fact,
especially if it's something good.
classic topping time was in effect, neighbors.
like:
lettuce- both red and green leafy varieties;
and tomato- the fattest, most massive hothouse gargantuan i could find;
and shaved red onion,
because the L and the T need that big O to complete the look;
also,
there are pickles, because rules is rules,
and sandwiches are sexxxier with pickles;
then we took a detour through veganville,
and freaked it off with a couple non-traditional additions....
hummus, because it's dope.
pea tendrils because they're super-nutritious and good for you,
and also because they look cool;
and avo-effing-cado, too!!
that's right.
avocado is integral to the smoothness and the squishiness
of a superlatively supple sarnie 'sperience.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t when it's national burger day, bro.
hmmmm?
what're the burgers?
oh, MAN.
i'm excited to tell you about these jauns.
mmmmmmmmmm.
red bean and seitan firminators!!!!!
damn, kid, i did a thing, and i did it like i was trying to win a prize.
i guess i kind of did, because those circles of pure sexxxiness rocked my whole wide world.
real talk.
here's the low down, for your face:
-
*
SUPERSEITANBEANBURGZ!!
-
1 cup of seitan, absolutely destroyed in a food processor,
until it looks just like store-bought veggie crOmbles-
sauteed in light oil until barely browned, and added to:
1 cup crushed red beans;
1/4 cup chick pea flour;
1/2 tsp xantham gum;
1/4 tsp pink salt;
1 T starch-based egg-replacer;
2 T nutritional yeast
GPOP, cayenne, black pepper, smoked paprika;
plus, pinches of cumin, sage, and ground mustard-
with 2 T ground flaxmeal/chia blend, plus 3 T hot water,
and 3 big glugs of olive oil.
kaBOOOOOOOOM.
when you squish it all up, together,
and give all those binders a chance to tie the whole shootin' match up nice and tight?
you get the hones-to-goodness super-expert TRUTH, son.
i mean it.
i made and baked four big burgers, at some undetermined preheat temperatures,
while i also had the fries rising to crispy doneness in an oven climbing towards 450℉.
fun fact:
i just toss the fries, in this case, the spicy jammers, right in the oven
while it's getting hot.
yup.
by the time it gets to the right place on the thermometer, they're ready.
...smart.
seriously,
who the heck waits around for an oven to be ready for fries?!
not me, bro. not even once.
anyway,
i gave those burglies about 10 minutes in there, coated with olive oil on top,
and then pan seared the outsides on a skillet,
for ultimate textural diversity.
yup!
crispish, thiqqq as heck, burly, beefy, and damned delicious.
national burger day was a plant-based, cruelty and murder-free achievement,
and it was all ready in well under an hour.
nobody has to get killed to make a good sandwich,.
don't be an A*-hole your whole life,
maybe try some alternatives to being mean to those dummyhead cows an' sh!t.
i'm just throwing the suggestion out there,
for y'all to consider it, or not.
***********
it's unseasonably cold,
it's unenjoyably rainy,
it's underimpressive here in the woodsly goodness at the moment,
and that's being very kind.
sure,
flowers are blooming, doing their best to act in accordance with the passage of time,
and the availability of light.....
(they're definitely watered enough)
but it's cold, and gray more often than it's tight and bright, warm, and sunny.
as if the events of each day weren't dreary enough,
the weather surrounds us in similar fashion.
yuck.
it IS all really happening, and that's somethin', i guess.
the idea that there is always a fight,
always.
that's what i wonder about.
why's it gotta be like that?
i must like it, right?
the striving and vying and intentional endurance of unenviable conditions?
friends,
i have a job that should be cooler,
i work so much i should be wealthier,
and still, i let it choke me....
the unspoken, the whispered, and even the out-loud yelled frustrations
of living like a weirdie hermit on the edges of a community i still do not understand;
to give succor and sustenance to the very people who seek to undo and destroy
the self-possessed purpose i pursue,
while literally sucking down the dollars and the donuts that i produce,
is a very grim prospect, indeed.
i'm speaking specifically of the working world,
and the predicament of responsible adulthood, with all it's expenses and burdens,
in the face of desires and dreams that collect dust in my mind,
while i get older and older fighting for the next step....
does that make sense?
no??
damn.
ok.
how about this?
i have the coolest job, yet i'm so unfulfilled.
i remit an heroic hunk of my wages,
earned by executing bad ideas on worse people,.
and taxation without representation isn't cool, buddy
with a huge infusion of time and money,
i could be out on my own,
doing all the things in all the ways i'm SURE will work better,
and develop into more soundly, solidly, and superbly-crafted results
without the interference of those less capable at the helm.
i have the best house, this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress;
but, it's in need of a huge infusion of time and money
to get back to it's former twentieth-century glory
on the register of historic manorly hottness-
i also have the best meals.
that one there's really no complaints about...
save maybe that i eat too much, and all alone, most nights.
the thing of it is,
to get more money, i use more time,
to get more time, the inverse is true,
and the catch?
there has to be BOTH , for the plan to work.
except,
there is only a limited amount of either,
and i give samoan-sized swaths of each to people and places that do NOT appreciate it,
because the only other alternative,
at the moment, is to have much LESS of one or the other.
and that's a dumb play, in any game.
so,
i'm cold and wet and and out the door,
ready for grudging dog-walkin' drudgery and trudging,
while crabtree trots and sniffs and pisses and generally remains awesome.
it's nice to have a happy friend,
but it sort of takes a lot on my part to keep him that way-
shoutouts to complaining, huh?
i've heard it keeps you healthy.
so, here's to good health over bad vibes and hard styles;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, May 29

CRUCIAL BAR-B'CUTE!!

i want to eat ALLLLL the plant-based big action.
yes.
that's a true statement.
i had some sandwich plans for myself that started simmering in my skull
while i was on my way back home from my old home in connecticut last week.
a good sarnie is a wonderful highlight to any day's mealplan.
no joke.
and while i sure do like to munch up on the big action,
i really, really like to overdo the biggest action even MORE.
yuuuuuuuup.
too much is the right amount.
you know that's the style i rep the hardest, neighbors.
and when i get it into my head to dominate a crucial BBQ sandwich,
ain't nothin' and not nobody gonna get in my way.
word up.
check the teleport:

HOMEMADE TASTES BETTER IN YOUR F*ING FACE!!!
that big-daddy-sized megabun?
yeah!
s'dope.
the shredded sitan?
heck yeah!
the pickled onions?
wordimus prime.
the mutha-'ucking SAUCE?!?
you know it.
friends,
this one brought the kaboom-boomfire to the party.
we'll start with the bread-
-
*
BUNZOS!
-
preheat your oven to 400℉
-
in your stand mixer.....did you get it? you got it! now use it!!
combine:
2 1/4 cups a.p. flour;
1/4 cup wheat bran;
1 tsp salt;
2 tsp sugar;
3 T olive oil;
1 pkg yeast;
+
1 cup warm water;
1 tsp bread-machine yeast;
1 tsp agave-
knead it with the mixer, and the dough hook, and the power!
rest it for thirty.
divide it into thirds, (or whatever)
i wanted massive cheeky buns for myself, so thirds it had to be...
if you;re feeling expert,
add a little olive oil and cracked black pepper sprankles on the tops,
give 'em a slice or two, let 'em rise for another 15-20,
and then bake those babies for 22 minutes.
that's that.
big buns for big 'guinis.
i toasted mine with a bit of butter, and then the sarnie saga began in earnest.
-
the seitan is my custom stuff,
shredded,
and sauteed with a splash fo oil and a little onion, until it's beginning to brown,
at which point it's very necessary to add in a crucial barbecue SAUCE.
for those who don't know,
if it isn't crucial, it's just a piece of sh!t.
...adjust your plans accordingly.
here's my take on it.
yep.
it's homemade,
obvi.
hey man, look, you should feel free to activate the jar sauce,
but also, you should be prepared to be openly judged as a slackass diaperturd.
real talk.
-
*
CRUCIAL BBQ SAUCE!!
-
1 6 oz.can tomato paste;
1/4 cup agave syrup;
2 tsp raw sugar;
1/4 cup white vinegar;
1 tsp ea. GPOP, black pepper, ground mustard, basil, thyme
cayenne;
1/2 tsp cumin;
2 tsp smoked paprika;
1 dash liquid smoke;
2 tsp soy sauce;
4 T seitan broth (or water, or whatever, man, don't worry, it just needs the wet)
-on medium-low heat, let that simmer around, until it's all thickened,
and darkened, and aromatic in all the most tangy and spicy ways.
it's spoonfuls of this expertism that're gonna caramelize on the seitan,
and make it sexxxy...
then, when it's all coated.  add another 'nother tablspoonful,
or two,
depending on how wet you like your pulled-style barbecution,
and get that sh!t ready for sandwich activation.
F* YEAH!!
-
the pickled onions were especially delicious this time around-
one red onion, shredded, and enough cider vinegar to barely cover it,
with celery, mustard, coriander seeds,
crushed red pepper, and black pepper,
salt, sugar, and a little baby boil for just a few minutes was all it took,
but their addition was integral to my enjoyment.
-
friends,
the assembly was tight and tilty and totally awesome.
bun.
big pickles.
arugula, for that sharp bright bite.
red onions, for savory, slippery smoothness.
barbecutie-pie unporkish pulled protein, with molto sauce.
cool, crunchy, crisp slaw-
purple and green cabbage, pea shoots, cilantro, yellow carrot, radish,
and a little bit of scallion, with a splash of lime, a dash of salt, and a slap of vegenaise.
and then, because rules is rules,
even MORE crucial sauce on the top bun.
i even had those little baby dill pickles on hand,
just in case i needed exxxtra bites.
(and i did)
that little cucumber salad was a nice touch,
and also, it was mostly overkill.
...with the extra slaw, and the salad, and that 7" bun,
i was full to bursting, and fit to wallow in a sty.
damn.
my appetite is going to kill me eventually.
i s'pose i can live with that,
but only in an oxymoronic sense.
i'm still a whole day behind in my true life meals and ordeals,
but i'll bet i can catch up if i really wake up early tomorrow.
it's all really happening,
more than i can recount in a reasonable amount of time, even.
i do think that's a good thing,
as livin' should always be greater than relivin';
never quiet, never soft.....
also, 
i AM working today, 
just like every day... 
so all you 3-day weekenders should totally complain about how lame it is 
that you're going back to work tomorrow, 
because i SO sorely would love to hear all about it.

TRIANGLES!!!

guys!
scones!!
y'feel me?
flaked out, layered up, fruit-packed, chocolate-chipped wonderwedges!!!
yep.
that's real.
that's what's up.
that's a thing that i sometimes get into,
and whenever i do,
it's an impressive, expressive, exceptional breakfast scene here in the woodsly goodness.
uh-huh.
check it out:

THE SCOOOOONE ZOOOOOONE!!!
wooooooooooooo!
hahahaha.
i'm psyched on scones, bro.
neighbors,
i love a good scone.
i mean, c'mon, you've had an overly dry one before, and that's no fun.
y'ever have one that's so bland that while chewing you just feel dead inside?
ew.
i have done,
and i sincerely hope to enliven and revive all your internals with MY version.
...that's because i'm inherently a good person,
trying to do my best at becoming expressly expert with all my interactions,
as i travel to and fro, throughout the wider waking world.
dudes, that definitely includes scones.
no joke.
how can you walk around being awesome all day if you began it
with a bad butt-A* brekkie?
you CAN'T, man, that's why i'm over here cultivating improved sconage for your face.
first the scones get better and better,
then your attitude,
then your actions,
and before very long at all has passed,
those exxxtra minutes i spent adding layer upon layer to my biscuits
have elevated the human condition a peg or two on the expertism chart.
doesn't that sound kind of....well, kind of F*ing great?
i think so.
and so i'm sconing up on my treats, and honing in on the answers,
and bearing down on the dough, time and again, to get the compressed success i crave.
oh, yes, i am.
these jauns were a variation on my usual tried-and-true morning glory,
and i really have to say: i'm pleased with the results.
try it for yourself, and maybe you'll agree-
-
*
NEW TRIANGLES!
-
preheat the oven to 420℉
-
cut the following all together in a medium bowl:
1 stick vegan butterish;
4 T vegan creamchee';
1/2 tsp salt;
1/4 cup sugar;
1/4 cup coarse-ground flake coconut;
3 cups flour (i couldn't care less what combination you use,
but i repped 1 cup spelt as well as 2 of wheat)
4 T tapioca;
2 1/2 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda-
once combined, into a crumbly dryish mixture,
add:
3/4 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt;
1/2 cup non-dairy milk;
1/2 cup raisins;
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips;
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla-
stir it until it's very loosely a crumbly dough,
then get your hands dirty, buddy.
fold, turn, fold, turn, flip, fold, turn, flip, fold, flip, turn, etc etc,
until all the dry stuff is stuck together,
and all the layers are stacked on stacks of stacked layers,
and the dough is lookin' molto righteous.
-
on a floured surface, pat and press it down to a roughly 1" thick circle,
and coat the top with raw sugar sprankles,
rules is rules, man,
and those spranks are essential to the process.
i cut a dozen thin triangles.
you could make them bigger, if you want less, but also more.
i personally prefer eating a TON of smaller ones,
instead of feeling slightly fatter eating two huge ones,
but that's just me.....do as you like.
anyway,
baked for 25 minutes,
with half that time on the convection setting of this luxurious gas-powered firebox,
and i had the crustiest, flakiest, moist, lofty, buttery, pull-apart, sweet and lovely scones
anybody could've hoped to share.....
and share i did.
uh-huh.
i'm good like that.
were they appreciated?
i know my clients were grateful, and enthusiastic,
whereas my co-workers helped themselves without eve so much as a thank you,
or,
moreso in their own best interest,
a resealing of the container to maintain maxxximum freshness.
i'm just sayin', neighbors,
entitlement and expectation aren't pretty,
but ruining the treats for yourself and everyone else is downright ugly.
when you make yours,
make sure that if you share 'em,
you share 'em with folks who give a sh!t.
that'll leave a better aftertaste than any scone ever has or ever will.
damn.
***********
gratitude and generosity.
i love those two things.
that's kick-A* lightning-striking viking virtue,
and if you don't have both,
you don't have a damned thing.
remember that, because it's a true story.
i'm lucky to have the time i do,
to do the things i do,
because the urges to create and destroy are all-consuming.
fortune smiles on me, in it's own thin-lipped smirking way.
i'll take it,
and i'll use it,
and i'll even maybe make more scones-
even better than these,
but possibly with a little passive-aggressive note on the box
to remind those unglamorous and ungrateful dirty dirts
to CLOSE THE F*ING LID, y'scuzzy scuzzers.
ha.
it's all really happening, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
weird as it might be,
ugly seems to be compulsory,
so i'm doing my damnedest to at least be good and ugly.
bad and ugly is not invited;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, May 28

MONKEYBREAD!!!!

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

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

CHOCOLATE PEANUTBUTTER!!!

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

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

Saturday, May 27

CUPPED CAKES!!

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

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

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

Friday, May 26

PIEBALD!!!

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

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

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

PIZZA PARTY!!!

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

Tuesday, May 23

MUCHOS TACOS!!

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 22

CRABTREE!!!

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

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

WAFTING WAFFLES!!

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

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

DARK ROAST!!!

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

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

Sunday, May 21

FALAFEL!!!!

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

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

Saturday, May 20

STRAWBERRY PIE!!!

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

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

Friday, May 19

DIRTY DUMPZZZ!!!!!

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

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