Tuesday, June 27


sometimes, you're so busy, you feel like the day is flying by,
and before you know what happened it's late,
and it's lame,
and it's dark.....
and some other times,
you do all your work,
you make all your moves,
you leave work thirty minutes early,
and then you whip a whole bunch of tacos.
personally, i like those second times.
mexican monday!!!
i eff with tacos pretty heavily, as you know;
and i only represent on those soft jauns, because hard-shells are bullsh!t.
heavily effed with soft tacos are the winner,
when it's time to rock out on some dinnertime dopeness while the evening is just beginning.
i can't resist, i won't resist, overindulging in that foldoverflappity hottness.
no way.
i need, i want, baby, baby, baby, i gots to have 'em.
....and so i did.
check the teleport:

how is it that a bunch of vegetables can be so F*ing delicious??
oh, right-
because vegetables are delicious.
i love refried beans.
i do.
those mashed pintos, with a big ol' pat of earth balance,
to saute onions and poblano in first,
plus a whole mess of GPOP and nootch,
and a healthy hot-fire squirt of ho'sauce (texas pete is the bro)
they have that smooth, they have that chunk, they have that heat, they have that hottness.
i love 'em.
and i also love guacamole.
that's no joke.
however, i have to say, my grocer's distributor has been sourcing
the sh!ttiest avocados i've eaten in an age by far.
they're big, which is nice, but they suck butts, which is not.
the guac triumphed, but it was a fight to the finish for sure.
what do you dudes put in your guac-rockin' beats?
i opted for sweet red bell, red onion, fresh garlic, GPOP, black peps, pink salt,
cilantro, poblano, lemon and lime....
it was good, no doubt,
and scoopled into those tacos, it was even better,
but on the ones,
my man over in the produce section had better get it together.
i don't want to fight with avocado, ma.
i want to span enjoyable moments with those alligator pears.
word up.
chili-spice tempeh strips?!
i did that.
i mean, it basically did itself.
i just added a cup of broth,
paprika, liquid smoke, oregano, GPOP (obvi),
salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, thyme, and agave,
and let it boil down to nothin',
soaking dep into those 1/4" thick strips,
and then i added some olive oil and fired 'em a little tiny bit.
that's rad, right?
i mean,
it essentially was 90% passive action,
for 111% super-deliciousness.
...here's the thing:
the fixin's and mix-ins are the key, really.
a good protein goes a long way,
but great additions are what elevate and illuminate the big action in the clutch.
that's no joke.
cucumbers add cool.
cilantro adds refreshment.
lettuce is for crunch.
radishes are for spice.
purple carrots are there to look dope, because ugly food can go die in a ditch.
red onion has sharp flavor.
jalapenos add that bum bum yum yum boomfire.
tomatoes lube it up properly.
radicchio kinda just does it's own thing, really,
but it sure is pretty while it's about it's business.
a few sweet peppers, a couple of fried garlic sprankles,
and WOW.
you're dominating dinnertime into submission.
did i need six tacos?
too much is the right amount, man.
you already know.
and i also had chipotle chick peas.
basically, it's just a bunch of beans, onion, and peppers, oiled up, and sizzled down,
with the chipotle peppery dusties all over it.
i mean,
tacos are dope.
and if you're effing up tacos?
you're effing up at life.
get it sorted.
on the ones,
they are infinitely customizable,
and therefore, unless you're on those hard shelled sh!tballs,
you can't go wrong.
eat more tacos.
they make you cooler.
today is another 'nother busy big one.
i've got zaps on zaps to slap on these suckas all dang day,
and walks for miles and miles to tire out my little terrier before that.
in between, i've found i'll need to run errands until the last few seconds tick away.
it's all so much,
and there's always somehow even MORE.
i guess i'll just keep adding new things to do until i finally collapse.
then, i'll adjust the load, tighten up the reins, and get started again.
i just need a purpose.
that's actually all i've ever needed;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, June 26


red berries!
that's summery as heck!
although each and every morning, and evening's weather
has been far more reminiscent of a Perfect Fall Day,
i'm not complaining, because there's still that longer, better light,
and a whole lot more berries.
....that's all good news.
i have exxxtra pastry dough alllll the time.
because i make more than i need because i know the rules, man.
too much is the right amount.
and therefore, if i ever need an emergency tart,
i'm right there, in full effect,
ready to rock some socks off like a bakery barbarian berserker battle beast.
that's a thing.
and yesterday, in the a.m., especially for my buddy/co-worker nate,
i fired up the engines, the oven, and the ingenuity,
and brought out a black-bottomed berry tart for breakfast.
word up.
check the teleport:

the crust is the usual, and it's amazing, as usual.
i'm very lucky to be so obsessive,
because the compulsion pushes me to be productive.
that's two cups of fresh sliced strawberries, a handful of frozen raspberries,
and raw sugar, tossed together with vanilla and lemon zest,
in unmeasured quantities, visible but not commanding in their presence.
underneath and on top, there's melty, soft chocolate ganache!!
chocolate chips, soymilk, and vanilla, melted up, and spread out.
how freakin' simple does it get?
baked at 405℉ for 25 minutes,
cooled while we walked crabtree through the mosquito-infested
wet mess that is the woodsly goodness,
and then powdered sugar sprankles were administered as well.
eat beautiful food, and be beautiful by ingestion.
that's real.
i got a haircut yesterday.
what. a. bummer.
       dear my hair,

              i am so very disappointed in all of you.
              i though you were my friends,
              those of you who stayed after most of your brethren abandoned their posts
              have truly been misbehaving.
              i thought gentrification made places more elite,
              but all you've managed to do is make it way more white up there.
              not cool, dudes.
              not one bit.

                                                                  albeit with deep concern,
it looks neater, but it's always easier to tidy up less of something.
my clients brought me vegan pizza,
and the conversation was cogent and organic.
i saw folks i hadn't in some time,
and i saw others i'll likely see again sooner than later.
i know a lot of people.
...i'm NOT bragging.
that flash of awareness only made me more cognizant of how little they interact
and overlap with the daily doings of hermit-style warrior poetry.
i s'pose that's the cost of being busy-
you see a lot of people a little bit,
and you span a lot of time alone, logistically, literally, etc etc.
it's ALL really happening, and the spheres of influence
which we reside within rarely bump into each other-
i think that just might make the time we have been given a whole lot more special;
never quiet, never soft.....


the ravioli scene had been too long neglected over here.
i mean, seriously,
that pasta game kind of fell off when the weather warmed up.
(don't even get me started on the pizza scene these days)
i had a whole lot of basil, and it really wanted to turn brown and die.
i'm not especially cool with doo-doo buttery smeared basil leaf buttsauce,
i am down to get rad on some basil-derivative dopeness every damned day.
real talk.
what's that mean, exactly?
it means pesto is the best-o,
and i activated a batch of the thickness, with the quickness,
and i'm SO glad i did.
 i reallllllly like a good rav.
like, i like 'em like 'em.
and if i'm in charge of manifesting my very own ravioli destiny,
you can bet your backbottom gristlelumps that i'm gonna do it to eleven.
here, have a look, and see what i'm speaking about:

all the notes are playing perfectly.
i'm serious.
the firmness of the ravs is 100% expert.
the filling is TOO mothereffing excellent.
the sprankles are numerous and beauteous.
the sauce is superb.
it all cooperates like it was intended to,
and the result is a synergistic exxxplosion of awesomeness.
this is one of those meals that sticks in your brain,
and you cannot help but reminisce about often afterwards.
for realsies.
dinner is important.
good dinner is really important.
shared good dinner is vital.
and when it's happening,
and your dinner guest is appreciative,
and the food is seriously workin' it for all it's worth?
that's when you take a minute away from shoveling those
huge forkfuls of boomfire flavor into your face,
and breathe in, and be grateful for the time you have been given,
and the companions who care to participate,
and for the skills and the motivation to make the magic happen.
damned straight.
lucky us.
i know you wanna know the secrets,
but i have good and bad news.
the bad news is, there are no secrets,
the good news is i'm down with full disclosure.
here's how it all unfolded along the well/time-worn creases
of the ever expanding origami blueprints of the secret universal planagram-
in a medium bowl,
1 cup white flour;
1 tsp salt;
2/3 cup semolina flour;
1/2 cup warm water;
11 turns milled black pepper;
3 T olive oil;
1/2 tsp wheat gluten.
knead it well for a few minutes,
rest it, covered in plastic, for fifteen? minutes,
before rolling it out hella thin, and cutting your shapes for filling and such....
easy easy.
now, you need to pt something IN your raviolis,
and here's the winning formuoli for this versioni:
1/2 large sweet potato, boiled until fork tender, drained, rinsed, and mashed-
with GPOP;
a scoop of nootch;
and 1 T fried garlic sprankles...
combined with:
1/2 sweet onion, minced, and caramelized in especially exxxtra-virginal olive oil;
with 3 T browned fresh torn sage leaves;;
cracked black pepper;
and about 2 tsp red pepper flakes...
that mixed and mashed filling is SO MUCH fire,
it'll make your eyes water,
and then instantly evaporate due to high levels of sexxx-action hottness in your skull.
that's no joke.
a half a tsp scoopled into a 2.5" serrated circle,
closed in under another 'nother one,
first mildly moistened to form a watertight seal,
and rested for eleven minutes to achieve maxxximum adhesion on both sides.
y'ever made homemade ravioli before?
you just toss them into boiling salty water until they float,
and then you pull 'em out and eat them.
how rad is that?!
i use a weird asian wonton wire ladle to take them out,
so the least span of time elapses from pot to plate to palate.
that's word.
and let's get into that sauce, bro.
the pesto is top notch.
here's what happened to produce that sultry slippery succulent sauciness:
in your mandatory and magnificent food processor, combine:
1 huge bunch of basil (like 2 cups, which is really not very much),
stems, flowers, the works;
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds;
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley;
pink salt, black pepper, & GPOP (to taste);
2 large-ish cloves fresh garlic;
1/4 cup nutritional yeast;
1/4 cup olive oil-
^pulverize that sh!t until it's thiqqq as heck, and well-combined.
...don't worry that it's so rugged, you'll thin it with pasta-water when you serve it....
that's right.
a few spoons of salty rav'water, to thin it and emulsify the paste
gives you a wholly satisfying consistency,
within which to toss those powerful pouches of pure-being existential awareness.
i mean it.
put your ravioli in a big bowl with a generous scoople of pesto, and a that H2O,
and kaBOOM!!!
you're living well into the future of edible excellence.
from there, i put the X in eXceptional,
and then i added the I, too,
to make it eXIceptional.
served up 21 ravs apiece over baby arugula, with it's pepper brightness,
and fire-roasted tomato flake sprankles,
AND shredded radicchio for color and texture and tartness.
that's a lot of flavor, but it's no enough, is it/
no way.
too much is the right amount.
so, there are black-pepper-infused olive-oil-toasted sunflower seed sprankles too.
rule is rules, buddy,
and we can't have any less than the most on our plates, if you know what i mean.
anybody can create reasons why they aren't going to be rad.
and those same somebodies can absolutely do the same for being awesome.
the thing is,
you get a choice.
whether it's dinner, your job, your nighttime ritual, your exercise regimen, whetever,
it's all you, all the time.
free will is a real motherF* of a thing,
no doubt, no jokes-
because once we accept that we do, in fact, have it,
that means that whatever happens,
it's all about our individual responses when a reaction is due.
that's serious stuff.
things happen, but we decide what happens next.
that's a tall order,
and i'm gonna need a whole lot more ravioli if i'm gonna have to institute
protocols for self-responsibility.
this is What Is,
and there is nothing else for it but to go for it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, June 25


it's a sunny summery sunday in the woodsly goodness,
and the livin' is easy, tho the styles be hard.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress thrives on summery flavor.
the whole house resonates with positive vibes and good energy
whenever the weather is nice...
the skies are blue, the light is bright, the birds and the bees
are buzzin' and singin' and flyin' all over,
and all of it is easy.
easy just like today.
y'feel me?
it's sunday morning.
umm, they wrote a song about it, bro.
it's a lovely day.
i think i might just be feeling the aftereffects
of a totally expert day of edible excellence.
all my body is alive with awesomeness at the moment.
that's real.
i put the nutrients to my cells and sh!t,
and my corporeal form is energized with all the raging eagle berserker power!!
i started my morning with tremendous and terrific triangle treats...
because scones are effing dope as heck.
and scones are what you need.
and scones are also delicious.
it's strawberry festival season,
and also it's the scone zone,
and that means we gotta combine both to make something even better than either.
hence, the triumphant triangles you're about to witness:

they're little, so there's a lot of them.
they're delicious, so you'll eat a lot of them.
and they've got ALL the hottness is each and every bite.
neighbors, fresh strawberries take these to eleven,
and from there, it's all exxxtras and upgrades everywhere.
here's how to do it:
preheat your oven 400℉
in a medium bowl,
sift together:
3 cups flour;
1/4 cup tapioca;
1/2 tsp salt;
3/4 cup medium flake coconut;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/4 cup sugar;
cut in:
1 stick vegan buttterish;
3 T vegan creamchee';
then, add:
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries;
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips;
1/2 cup non-dairy milk.
stir it until it's lumpy,
then fold and turn and fold and turn and turn and fold,
over and over,
until you've made layer on layer of stacks on stacks...
i always press 'em flat...like, about an inch thick.
and here's the thing:
i formed up a rectangle, cut it in half lengthwise,
and then chopped triangles to the tune of 22 individual delights.
raw sugar sprankles were added.
rules is rules, after all,
and then i baked 'em up to the puffy pop-ups you see above.
that's twenty minutes of baking time,
after five minutes of freezin', so the butter didn't get too soft up in that hot ovenpiece.
i LOVE  crispy crusted fluffy soft scone.
true story.
after a walk with crabtree,
i returned home, fired up a pot of dark chocolate,
and melted myself some vanilla-kissed ganache for drizzlin' all over all of it.
you can never have enough drizz, bro.
that's real.
and i mean,
you see how sexxxy they look.
they're a perfect summertime treat.
i think you need 'em.
shoutouts to today, tho.
a full day of tattzaps,
a full night of drawing,
and somewhere in between,
there's gotta be MORE treats.
it's all really happening,
and it's all too much.
luckily too much is the right amount.
that's the best part;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, June 24


summertime stone fruit fresh-to-deathly hallowed hottness?!
heck yes!!!
why are tarts so good?
i mean, pastry is dope,
and fruit is dope,
and sugar is obviously super-dope,
but how do all those things get SO much MORE expert
whenever they form up a supergroup in my oven?!?
i'm sayin',
a good galette will get you in the right mood right quick.
...wordimus prime.
i'm a fan.
and i'm pretty psyched on the pastry situation here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
that's real.
the recipe is fairly dialed in,
and the results are consistently ultra-elite,
i think this summer,
whenever i can, which happens to actually be all the time,
like, whenever i want, in real life in real time with real talk-
there's gonna have to be pastry tarts and galettes and pies.
decreed, dudes.
summer pies are now officially on the agenda.
eff yeah they are!
here's what i rocked out on most recently:

you like it, and if you remember dj kool,
you're psyched right now.
but, back to this treat action right here-'
peaches, vanilla bean, raw sugar, pastry, and love.
that's all it takes to rock the party.
and it rocked from the first to the last, in rapid succession.
i'll ask again:
why are tarts SOOOOO good?
...i ate half in one sitting.
i did.
and i'd have eaten the other half, too, no probsies,
except that i'm considerate, and wanted my friends to have a bite.
awwwww. i'm secretly nice, neighbors.
that's two big fat juicy peaches, skins on, tossed with a scoop of dried vanilla bean,
and a few tablespoons of raw sugar,
with lemon zest to activate it,
and the leftover peach juice spread on the crust, to get it exxxtra golden and good.
straightforward treats? is that a thing?
i guess it must be, because this jaun was the TRUTH.
no joke.
i may have to make a whole other 'nother one, just because i want more.
and this time,
i'm not sharing.
too much is the right amount,
and that means it's mine all mine all mine.
here's that pastry recipe, again again again,
for those of you who love a great crust,
but hate scrolling through old posts:
in your trusty food processor, combine:
1 stick + 3 T (11 T) earth balance buttery spread;
3-4 T vegan creamchee';
pinch of salt;
3-4 T raw sugar;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla;
2 1/4 cups flour;
non-dairy milk, added in between pulses of that motorized magic blade,
a tablespoon at a a time,
until the crumbly mixture holds together when pinched.
i write this one a lot.
wrap it, chill it, roll it, fill it, bake it at at least 400, for at least 20 minutes,
and thank the universe that you have the means,
and the opportunity,
to activate such heavenly hottness from the comfort of your own home.
it's wet, and it's humid, and the air weighs a ton.
there are bugs swarming in exsanguinating feeding frenzies,
and there's fog and sh!t, too-
basically, for all it's the unpredictable northerly woodsly goodness,
it's pretty damned jungle nasty right now.
i'll be out in my raincoat,
sweating my whole effing face right off,
swatting swaths of 'squitoes away,
while crabtree undoubtedly takes his time on our mountain jaunt this morning.
after that?
it's a dirty dudefest at the studio,
and i'll be wading through the dudelike doo-doo butter
of a whole big bog-bloke batch of basic b!tch bro-ism.
lucky lucky.
it could be so much worse, of course.
there could be NO work.
i suspect, however, that there is a better way,
and all it would take is a little invested time and energy in promoting
all the actual cool stuff that exists out there in the world.
most of these nancypantsed puke-holes would still want those generic jerk jauns,
but maybe,
a small percentage of them would get woke, and in turn TILTY AF?
we'll have to test that out.
starting today.
all i see are problems,
but when i look closer/
there's almost always a solution lurking just below the surface.
it's ALL really happening,
and i think i'm obligated to see it through;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, June 23


my dear friend, and all-around solid dude,
travis is in town!!!
the mastermind behind @vegan_magic_time
is here in the northeastern woodsly goodness,
live and direct from the sweaty reaches of nicaragua.
to go one better,
he was at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress last night for dinner.
good things happen when there's vegan magic joining forces,.
and this was yet another example of that.
what was on the menu?
for starters,
he broughth some summer rolls over that were off the hinges good.
full stop from the tippity-top.
they were flippin' expert.
peaches! tofu! pea shoots! roastie beets! jalapenos!
...and fresh sexy lime-activated dippin' SAUCE!!!
he'll hopefully have the details over at his spot.
go find out about them, because they're too rad not to enjoy for yourselves.
real talk.
and then,
while we snacked on those supersexxx cyclinders (oh, grow up)
we fashioned an exxxtra-excellent turbo-elite veggie overload.
word up.
when the serve up started, i think we both realized that it was legitimately
more food than even our own heroic standards could manage.
that's how you know you're doing it right, neighbors.
when it's more power than the grid can cope with,
you're finally recognizing the true potential of too much.
the noise and the fury,
the thunder and the lightning,
the hot fire and the raging stormswept savage berserker barbarian buffet
all showed up to the party.
that's no joke.
check the teleport:

that's a sword style, man.
shouts out to THAI THURSDAY!!!
when you absolutely need a lot of food in a hurry,
asia is the place to start looking.
we went regionally non-specific, and blew up the spot
with those twin-tone sossamon sesame split-flour semi-steamed, fried-up
dumplings are molto rad, and if you disagree you're probably a real jerk.
so sorry, jerk, but only activated awesomizers are allowed to my dinnertime parties.
womp womp.
but, for the rest of us,
the dumplestiltskin deluxxe is the way to go.
3/4 cup flour;
1/2 cup brown rice flour;
2 T sesame sossamons;
dash of salt;
>1/2 cup warm water.
knead it for a few minutes, rest it for a few minutes,
and then roll out your dump wraps on a well floured surface.
the filling was especially on point, too:
3 T sesame oil;
1/2 block exxxtra-firm tofu;
1/2 cup minced onion;
1 small carrot, cubed especially tiny-sized.
4 exxxtra-large brussels sprouts, chiffonaded;
3/4 cup chopped mung bean sprouts;
fresh grated ginger;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
GPOP, black pepper, ground mustard, red pepper flakes-
2 T rice wine vinegar;
3 T tamari;
lots of love.
allow that filling to cool, before you drop a scoople
into each circular hommemade packet,
otherwise, it'll poop out the bottom,
and that is bush-league laughable amateur sh!t, man.
consider that a decree, buddy.
so be expert, or be asked to leave.

2 T rice wine vinegar;
2 T soy sauce;
1 tsp sesame oil;
1/2 tsp garlic oil;
fresh garlic;
two squirts ho'sauce;
2 squirts agave;
GPOP, coriander, cracked black pepper, ground mustard.
2 T sriracha;
1 tsp soy sauce;
1 tsp rice wine;
1/2 tsp sesame oil;
1 dash liquid smoke.
y'just fry 'em up in sesame oil, cut with a splash of olive oil,
on high heat.
fry one side,
add a couple of tablespoons of water,
and cover the until the water disappears.
flip 'em over one time, brow that second side,
and serve them up like a lord of lusciousness.
hells to the yes,
that's 100% elite and extravagant DIRTY DUMPERS.
how about that bok choy stri fry?
broccoli, boks, onion, and red pepper,
braised in lighth brothy big action,
and seared in a toasted sesame/raw coconut oil exxxplosion .
that's the stuff.
leafy, succulent sexy greens?
with mutha effin' coconut-oil crisped crusted tofu?!?!
that's dope,
but when you also toss in some cool and refreshing mint sprankles,
AND purple carrot chips,
AND a few cabbagey shreds,
AND maybe just a couple of pea shoots for good measure?
now you're talking about something that spreaks to my soul-hole.
sharing a meal with a good friend is great.
sharing it with somebody who also understands food is tremendously rewarding.
i am grateful for the time and the tale we shared.
i'm also grateful fot that mutha-'ucing cashew-pineapple pad thai.
yeeeeeeah, boyeeeeeeeee.
fattie boombatie udon noods!!!!
jalapeno slices!!!
toasted cashews!!
fresh juicy pineapple chunks!
so dope.
2 T mae ploye sweet chili stuff;
2 T tamari
3 T rice wine vinegar;
2 T agave;
1 tsp sesame oil;
1 tsp garlic oil;
2 tsp chili-garlic paste.
y'got your noods boiled, and rinsed, and back in the hot pan,
and you add your sauce, and stir it while it sizzles for all your worth.
it doesn't matter how many noods you've boiled,
it only matters that they're covered in alllll that sauce.
and when they're well coated, and heated?
well, toss in the pineapple and the jalapeno,
and add it all to your serving bowl, buddy.
top it with purple cabbage shreds, and refreshingly bright cilantro sprankles,
and you've got something to show off to everybody who cares to look.
wordimus prime!
not everybody gets an invite.
that's real.
and not even half of the folks who do ever show up.
i know i'm lucky to have the few friends who really understand my flavor.
i mean,
obsessive is one thing,
but aggressive and abrasive and invasive and intense all at once?
that's some other other sh!t entirely.
lucky me,
there are focused and fresh-to-death worth warrior poets out there
who really seem to 'ge it'.
i'm counting my blessings, and i'm counting the leftovers:
10% of the bok choy escaped ingestion.
30% of the noods made it until this morning,
a grand total of 0 dumplings got a reprieve.
dumps go in your mouth, kid.
i'm serious.
...it's all really happening,
and too much is the right amount.
next time,
we'll bring more mouths to feed,
and that's take care of the surplus;
never quiet, never soft.....


when it's time to get summery-
and that is what happens specifically once it is officially summer......
...which it IS, now, as a matter of fact,
y'gotta make treats that keep the feeling pumped up, y'know?
i know you know, because you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't.
word up.
now that we know about summer feelings,
let's talk about summer treats.
it begins with berries, broski.
berries and lemon and sugar and vanilla.
wanna know what ese is pretty rad?
cake is just kind of special.
most people only eat it when it's a big deal day of celebration.
i F* with cake heavy in these streets,
because every damned day is special.
...and what's even better than cake?
summer berry lemon cake!!
check the teleport:

if i'm gonna summer up a treat,
i'mma make it look sexxxy, neighbors.
that's mandatory.
and also, those berries, upside down style, were a good call.
two tiers of tastiness, slightly different, but totally expert,
sandwiched on either side of that lemony creamchee' frosting?!
hell. yes. y'all.
i don't always stack my cakes, but when i do, i'm always psyched.
real talk.
it's summer.
(it's raining, right now, which is pure sh!t)
and it's time to elevate and activate the hottness like a champ.
for realsies,
if you aren't turning it up to eleven,
you may as well just turn it off.
too much is the right amount, man.
i believe that,
and i baked that,
strawberry/blueberry upsidedown lemony cake
is the right choice to begin the summer with.
here's how you too can have your very own:
preheat your oven to 360℉.
in your very handy, very necessary stand mixer,
soften and whip up:
1 cup sugar;
1/44 cup powdered sugar;
1 stick earth balance buttery goodness;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp coconut essence (so dope)
1 tsp lemon extract;
2 tsp lemon zest.
then add, and whisk the sh!t out of:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
1/2 cup + 2 T tapioca starch;
then, sift in:
3 cups flour + 2 T cornstarch:
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
begin the big whisk-up,
and add:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1/4 cup lemon juice.
^when it's whipped into a fluffed out batter,
pour it into two 9" rounds,
with 1 1/2 cups ea. bloobs and sliced strawberries layered on the bottoms.
that's how upside down works, kiddo.
bake the for 35-45 minutes
(the fruit complicates things. the crumb tastes better,
and has an improved consistency, for all that fruit,
but, it IS wet, and can add as much as 50% to the bake time.
check 'em for doneness, and let them cool completely
before you even think about messing with them any further.
caregully flip and remove them, so that they're fruity topped,
and ready for frosting.
in your same )recently washed) stand mixer,
cream together:
1/2 cup (8T/1 stick) softened vega butts;
3 T non-dairy creamchee';
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp lemon extract;
1/2 tsp lemon zest-
add 3 cups powdered sugar,
and >1/4 cup non-dairy milk/lemon juice.
whip it, bruh-bruh.
whip it reaaaallllll good.
and lay it on thick to the tops of both, and stack 'em up.
i added a tsp of powdered freeze dried strawbs to the remainder,.
goobieblopped some swirls on there,
wrung out the rest, and rewhipped it with another 'nother tsp of bloobs the same way.
well, yes, i did add some pink crystal sugar sprankles, too.
rules is rules, friends, and i do what needs doin'.
the results were wondrous and wizardly and i ate more of it than was wise.
that's my thing.
shoutouts to summer bods, if they look like bloated sausages.
that's what's up!
weird orts, scraps, odds, and ends comprise the whole of my weekend
working up at white mountain tattoo.
all the layaways and leftovers are crawling up and out of the forest,
and looking for your boy to zipzap some crapslaps on their skins.
i guess that's fair.
i had two full weeks of relatively radical days and nights.
it's only fitting that the doo-doo butter gets it's day in the sun, too.
plot twist,
it's gray and cloudy and butt-nasty out there.
let the weather match the day, i say.
the thing is,
i'm not even mad, yo.
this is What Is.
days fade to months fade to years, and it all keeps rolling.
no sense in staying angry, since it's going to continue regardless.
there will be MORE of all of it,
and there's no time, nor room,
for wasting any exxxtra energy on the things we can't escape.
i'm ready to eat sh!t for seventy two hours.
i even brought my own oversized spoon;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, June 22


i spanned the day doing more busywork,
and with more running around,
than on any two other days put together.
good thing i had a huge breakfast to fuel up the engines first.
after all that back and forth across the whole of the woodsly goodness,
i realized i'd been planning on skimping out on supper.
it's true,.
i could feel it in my blood,
a lackluster bust-out of botom-rung weak sauce.
and of course, the moment i realized it,
i could no longer accept that sort of sh!t-salad doo-doo buttery diaperbabyism.
i mean,
what the eff, neighbors?
am i suddenly an A*-hole?
emphatically, that's a NO.
in fact,
instead of b!tching out,
i brought down the vegan valkyries on my head,
and let those winged victories turn dinner up to eleven.
don't ever think i'll let myself turn into some sort of quittery turd.
no way.
there's only me over here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
so there's only me to keep the war machine primed and ready.
sure, i could just take it easy, after a long day of making moves and taking hikes,
i could choose the wrench,
and make sure that being expert isn't overlooked when my vantage point changes.
i'm glad i did a summer thing.
honestly, i'm thrilled about it.
summertime is for BARBECUE.
rules is rules, after all:

coleslaw is dope.
and easy.
and crawnchy.
and all of that is what you need, if you think you need to have a good time.
that's the recipe, actually-
shred all the veggies you like, and salt them a little,
a little black pepper, a splash of acid, and a dollop of fattie-boombattitude!
e.g: purple cabbage, savoy cabbage, carrot, parsley, cilantro, and red radicchio,
salt and peps, a splash of cider vinegar, and a blop of vegenaise.
simple, but perfect, and powerfully tasty.
i want corn IN my face.
sweet summer corn is SO dope.
it barely needs anything to be totally awesome.
just boil it for a few minutes and it's ready.
how long?
until it's brighter yellow than it was when you started.
seriously, who times corn?
i confess, i put a pat of butts on my cob.
i'm like that.
you've been warned.
baked spicy herbed exxxtra-firm tofu!!!
they got dusted and crusted with:
cayenne, flour, cornstarch, thyme, mustard, sriracha flakes,
cayenne, coriander, and paprika, smoked and sweet.
that's all that it took.
plus, a piece of parchment, and a 400℉ oven, for like fifteen minutes.
served up with grilled caramelized onions and pickle sprankles????
come on now, if you're not about that life,
you might need to end yours.
not really.
what's wrong with you.
but, that 'fu is the business, and it's spicy, and crisp, and thick,
and with the onions, it's sweet and slippery,
and those pickles are crunchy and salty,
and all together, it's one right-on bite for your big fat face.
i did a thing, and it did right by me.
i love it when that happens.
barbecued tempeh!!!!!
the homemade sauce recipe is here.
a cup of broth, with GPOP, and a few tablspoons of agave,
with a generous glug of olive oil,
and a hard-boil in a shallow pan,
until the liquid is all absorbed by half a block of that three-grain tempeh,
split into 1/4s on the diagonal,
and you're on the path to greatness.
that's a thing.
and when yo douse the whole thing in that smoky sweet sauce?
holy sh!t!
now you're tasting summer even MORE.
a few flips, a little high heat scorch,
and then, obviously, MORE SAUCE!
too much is the right amount,
especially when you're reppin' the day with the most light of all-
that arugula has been my go-to bitter green lately.
it adds a special little sumthin'-sumthin' that elevates sweet things into
a whole other 'nother dimension of tasty treatitude.
no joke.
turns out, it's all true.
without the bittter, the sweet just ain't as sweet.
and speaking of too much of a good thing,
which actually makes it a great thing-
i made a cubic acre of pasta salad.
i did.
i like pasta salad.
i like it-like it, even.
and when cucumber and sweet bell pepper, and red onion,
and red and gold tomatoes,
and chick peas,
all hang out, in italian-style-seasoned dressing,
all over and in-between those rainbow radiatore rufflers???
that's the sexxxiest cold macaroni on the market, man.
and i will eat it like my life depends on it.
i will eat it all up as if my waistline is s'posed to blossom like the desert after rain.
i will eat the holy livin' heck outta that big ol' bowl like doing so
will bring havok and vengeance from me to my enemies like it's 1399 a.d.
word up.
i enjoy good food.
i enjoy the creation of it,
the presentation of it,
and the devastation of it.
you watch tv and crush brewskis to relax, mabe,
and that's cool, if you like being forgettable and ordinary;
but i'm here making holysh!tloads of  expert plant-based burly beauty,
with all the nourishing nutrients a growing boy coulod ever need.
and i'm still growing, guys.
outwards, upwards, forwards.
there's no time to waste,
and i'm not wasting any time.
it's all really happening,
and that's pretty damned cool;
never quiet, never soft.....
p.s. shoutouts to fancy deluxxxe root beer, too.
you might do well to remember there's beers that don't make you lame.
don't forget your roots.


the big B, bro.
at least once a week.
i'm just sayin',
breakfast is important,
it's especially important on a big day.
...and what else could you have, besides the big b, on a big day?
y'gotta keep it really real around here, and stay up, with those big ups.
get up, get busy, get it going, and get it together.
massive mealtime megatonnage is very necessary on that day off.
how else will there be enough raw power to perform to the pinnacle
of expertism?
and besides,
i love food so dang much, i get excited to get out of bed early,
just to jump up at the jump off and fire up all the burners on the stove.
and then,
if it's also the solstice, and summer is here!?!
well, damn, duders,
that's when the shamanic druid sap drops down deeply,
and seeps creepily into the universal interconnectivity of all things
for some people, that commonality threaded throughout the brightest day
causes yoga and prayers and sh!t......
but, that ain't me, man.
i'm on that warrior poet angle,
and instead of silent introspection,
i'm composing barbarian battle hymns in syrup and oats.
don't believe that?
see for yourself:

that's how you big B like a big boy, buddy.
the tofu scrambo has the baconish bits IN it.
way back when i was a kid, my first real friend, liam,
used to add bacon-bits to his eggs,
for a crucial breakfast after his paper route was finished.
i was thinking of him, and everybody else i never spoke to ever again,
and i guess what i took away from it was the throwback recipe for scramblin'.
i should've been a surgeon, but for all the blood,
because i will dissect and excise whole swaths of spirit and memory 
if it seems they've become surplus to requirements.
the lasting impression left by ghosts of days long gone
is one of flashburnt blur, shadows, and smoke-
the recipes endure bruh.
the recipes remain.
and that's something, at least.
it was two browned-up pink flaps.
....of fake baconlike canadian weirditude....
diced into little flecks,
combined with half a block of exxxtra-firm tofu,
turmeric, smoked paprika, pink salt, black pepper, Garlic Power, Onion Powder,
nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, and olive oil,
why is that so good?
i mean, for realsies, i could eat ALLLLL the scramborghini on earth, i think.
yum yum YUMMM.
F* yes
it makes the scram turn UP.
and when it's time to get TILTY?
you already know those fried tomatoes are the only route to TILTville.
rules is rules.
the breakfast regimen has taken shape.
and the good stays good, whereas the bad, and even the just-ok, all edited out.
there's no time for mediocre foodstuffs in my life.
i want hottness, new hottness, bigger hottness, and MORE hottness.
everything else can eat old butts.
...and how about those hashbrowns?
wordimus prime.
they're always expert.
this time with arugula to kick in some sharp and pungent leafy green nutrients,
along with texas petey's pee pee....a.k.a. that red hot ho' sauce.
one large potato, shredded, with red onion in abundance,
salted, pressed, drained, formed into party patties, and fried up black on both sides
on a hot griddle.
simple, albeit, time-consuming-
letting them drain prior to the big squeeze feels like it takes FORever.
yes. it IS worth it, obvi, or \i'd just make homeboy fries every time.
the grand griddle showboat.
the big action activation.
the boomfire flapjackin' attack.
that's what this is really all about.
those oatmeal ho'cakes are the TRUTH.
1 cup flour;
1/4 cup quick oats;
1/4 cup coarse whole oat flour(the old fashioned kind);
3 T sugar;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
3 T oat bran;
3 T vegan sour cream;
3 T melted earth balance buttery spread;
1 cup nondairy milk;
2 tsp vanilla;
add it, whisk it, and let it sit for a minute.
that's all there is to do.
so, why do they taste so F*ing rad?!
because oatmeal makes you a champion,. dummy.
get with it.
a medium-high griddle, a spatula,
and some love and affection are all you need from there.
the look good, but they taste great.
because of how coarse and manly the batter was,
i just freeformed 'em, drop-top style,
and as you know by now, that is not normally my thing.
however, in this instance, i think it was the right call,
as the buttery oaten crisp on the outsides needed a little rustication
to complete the visual on the plate.
....yeah, i care about things like that.
and then there's real new hampshire maple syrup,
and fresh juicy ripe and ready peaches,
AND plant-based airy and amazing whipped style 'cream'.....
from an expensive can of aerosol awesomeness.
that's how you get the big B to bring the thunder and lightning!
so, now it's summer,
and that's a big deal.
not just because there will presumably be nicer weather more often,
but also because i've got to get into my new thing.
rules is rules, neighbors.
and every summer, it's time to get expert at something new.
i s'pose we'll all find out together what's poppin' in the days and weeks to come.
it's all really happening,
and that's not just the best part,
it's also the whole point;.
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, June 21


rules is rules, buddy.
and on the solstice, (either one)
what is the rule about what we've got to do?
we've got to BURN.
it's mandatory we start a mutha'ucking trashcan fire,
from the depths of the recycling bin,
and with the intent to make a towering inferno at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
to start things off with all the magic and mastery we've come to expect
of an expert incendiary individual,
i stacked up six, ....that's right, count 'em-
one. two. three. four. five. SIX empty oatmeal containers,
each packed tightly with combustible cardstock and papers.
a whole bunch of corrugated matryoshka boxes to add as necessary.
every item was full of MORE stuff to burn.
because fire, dudes.
check it:

it's something i feel deep in my bones an' marrow an' that.
as if my white blood cells were white hot sparks,
and they were reinvigorated by the lengthy daylight
that stretched across the hours leading up to the expulsion
of all stockpiled potential energy into light and heat and smoke.
neighbors, it's a thing-
on the solstice, we burn away everything.
i think i was also likely doing myself a mischief.
i mean it.
that fire was flippin' HOT,
and there was absolutely some sort of contraband contained therein.
plastics, perhaps,
or some other bits of acrid and acrimonious additives.....
and the embers were skyrocketing around in a cyclone of caustic smoke,
trying to ignite the night with specks and sparkles of primal druid ferocity.
at one point, i might've miscalculated something,
because the fire was going sideways in high-def 360° surround assault mode.

i mean, i like getting lit on fire about as much as the next guy,
but that was alarming.
i doubt i'll have to mow the lawn anytime soon....
because i burnt a four foot circle down to a very well-manicured length.
fire as yard work?
i like it.
crabtree and i spanned a whole lot of time and space together today.
we trekked over the rivers, through the woods, up (and down) the mountainside,
and then we drove, and drove, to, fro, there, and back again,
running errands and making moves and hanging tough as a triumphant twosome...
and then there was dinner,
followed by a miles-lonng journey through the village of north conway.
i swear crabby hides a secret stash of hot pee to delineate our route.
never have i ever seen that much urine in my whole life,
and one time a rhino peed on a person next to me, from a dozen or more feet away.
real talk.
it was good to be productive in some way.
i've got other demands on my time,
and a sequence of linear event which will surely dictate the manner
in which i handle myself for the summertime.
it's here,
and there's lots to do.
in the meantime,
i smell of smoke,
and i feel alive.
a better fate than death awaits us anywhere,
and i spent the day putting that adage to the test.
it seems there just might be somethin' to it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, June 20


i've got two hands way way up,
for maxxxiuum-impact high fives,
to anybody who loves strawberries and chocolate at the same time.
that's real;
and that's because that combo is too damned dope to ignore.
strawberries are out and about in full-force,
and while i like to taste those little wild alpine baby-droplets
of native berry cuteness while i'm walking with crabtree,
through the fields and vales of the woodsly goodness they inhabit;
it's those big, fat heart-shaped superblarps that give me the feels
whenever i'm passing by their display at the grocer.
i bought some for pancakes the other day,
but i kept the rest in reserve for a big ol' burly buttery pastry tart.
no jokes.
i like to have some piecrustable dough at the ready, always,
just in case a ghostly galette creeps up on me, and needs to become corporeal.
if i've got berries AND dough?
this is what happens:

check out that fattie-boombattie barbarian braid action-
that's the lightning-striking viking stuff that dreams are made of.
hearts and stars and braids, they fade away......
oh, c'mon.
the best part about that beauty?
it took like twenty minutes to make!
add on another 'nother 20 minutes to bake,
and in under an hour,
i had my whole house smelling like a french romance,
sans fromage and hairy pits, obvi.
neither of those things hang out here.
melted dark chocolate, with a splash of soymilk to emulsify it,
spread heavily on the bottom of that pleated piecrust was a great idea.
i barely melted it, so it wasn't too wet,
and it wasn't too hot,
but it was still too dope!
and then, a pint and a half+ of strawberries, dusted with sugar,
and fanned out over all that chocoliciousness.
a little more sugar.
seriously, we're talking a few spoonfuls.
chocolate is sweet, strawberries are sweet,
and the sugar is just there to turn it up a little louder.
these things are hard to write out recipes for.
i mean, sure, i could just estimate what's in there,
but, what i like most about simple pastry treats like this
is that you ca just sort of throw everything in there until it feels done.
that's a thing.
a fat handful of chocolate chips and some vanilla,
a little soymilk, and low heat in a small pot.....BOOM!
that's black-bottom chocolate.
sliced strawberries, in whatever amount is on hand,
determines how thickly the center is gonna get stacked up.
and when it comes to the crust,
i'll go ahead and give you the recipe for that again,
because it's F*ing expert.
in your muhfuggin' food processor, combine:
2+ cups a.p. flour;
3-4 T sugar;
10 T vegan butter;
3-4 T vegan creamchee';
2 tsp vanilla;
pinch of salt;
very cold non-dairy milk, added a tablespoon at a time,
and pulsed until the whole thing is a crumbly mass that sticks together when pressed.
wrap it in plastic, refrigerate it for at least an hour,
but preferably overnight,
roll it out, cut it up, put it together, ill it up, and bake it at 400+℉,
for 20-30 minutes, depending on youropven and your preferred level of golden browning.
wordimus prime, kids, that's all there is to it.
it's easy!
when it was cool enough to cut into,
i did one other thing first-
bro, rules is rules,
and i'm not tryin' not to have sprankles.
shaved dark chocolate truffle, all over everything.
heck yeah!
they took the whole experience to eleven.
...and once again,
just look at those forged dwarven barbarian braids.
they're just so THIQQQ!
the day started with elite pie.
that's a great way to kick things off.
a very long (24 hour) bulk, and longer (24 hour) cold proof,
had me baking the sourest dough yet!
i love a good sourdough in the morning.
i've got a really crusty, really righteous high-gluten white loaf poppin', too.
i eat a lot of bread.
i'd probably eat even more if i was around longer while it was hot.
that's the truth.
hot fresh homemade sourdough bread is the cure for what ails you.
especially if the ailment is sadness over not eating hot fresh homemade sourdough bread.
the light failed early, under foggy-bottomed heavy clouds, and driving rains.
for realsies, i wasn't even trying to make dinner in sh!tty light.
no way.
i thought about a little pasta salad, but then i thought again.
it has to happen sooner than later.
i mean,
you guys know that rainbow magical macaroni, italian-style dressing,
and all the colors of veggies are exxxactly how summer should start.
and tomorrow is summer, officially.
oh, yes, it is obviously supposed to be terribly wet, and dark, and doo-doo buttery,
it will be grayish and lame for longer than every other day this year.
i guess that's something.
good bread, pretty pasta, long nights, hard times, and everything else in between.
it's all really happening, and it's all about to engage in a crucial summer.
i'm ready.
i hope y'all're ready too-
because whether or not you're prepared,
it's coming down fast;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, June 19


oven roasting makes them expert.
that's right.
oven roasting is the key.....
oh, hey dudes,
do you have any idea what i'm talking about?
oh, ok.
i'm talking about homefried potatoes.
more specifically,
red-skins-on butter-fried homeboy fries.
those are the ones.
and the key to expertizing them is to pre-roast the spud hunks prior to the big action.
i'll crank my oven up to 400℉,
drizzles those jauns with a little olive oil,
salt and pepper 'em,
and just let 'em come up to temp along with the oven.
oh! how i do so love a good golden crisp-up on my 'tatoes.
it's a super-fast slow roast, kinda-
letting the temperature just rise up from the jump-off....
who has time for preheating?
not me, not when it's potato time.
and potatoes for breakfast are very necessary.
in fact,
the overwhelming majority of potatoes consumed in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress
are done so before noon.
that's prime potato time.
here's the thing,
it's never just potatoes.
no way.
y'want them to be dope, but they can't be all you want,
because too much is the right amount-
too many potatoes is still JUST potatoes.
...and that's why i made myself an entire father's day nutrient-explosion!

the pre-roasty potatoes were sizzled up with onion and crumbled tempeh.
griddle-browned tempeh bits added a whole other 'nother level of new hottness to the mix.
and with smoked paprika and regular-A* paprika doing dounle duty to add some color,
and GPOP, a huge patty-pat of earth balance butterish goodness,
and a dash of parsley to flavor it up,
i had myself a side order of effing awesome....
a little arugula to freak it off at the end, and i was in heaven.
real talk.
they're so simple to make, a recipe would almost be lame.
use the force, neighbors, and the potatoes will homeboy fry themselves.
how about that scrambo?
i really have been on a tofu kick lately.
it's got all the stuff you think you want.
sauteed onions, sweet red pepper, poblano pepper and garlic-
black mutha-effing beans.
turmeric, and GPOP, and nootch, plus a dash of coriander,
a touch of cumin, and lots of black pepper,
all fried up in olive oil, until the tofu hit that sweet spot-
soft, but firm, but juicy, but not wet, and crumbly but not crumby.
it's all just about throwing the right combination of stuff in a pan, man.
and i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
besides, nate was still around, and i couldn't drop anything less
than the super-science on his face.
rules is rules,
and i have a reputation to uphold.
and then there's those panniecakes.
i mean, for really real,
my pancake game is futuristic,
that's no joke.
i don't usually mess with freeforms, either.
if yo've got pancake-shaping technology at hand, you should get into it.
i think that they might actually taste better when they're in shapes.
you DO see that my two favorite vegetarian monsters are in that fat stack, right?
triceratops AND hippopotamus?
F* yes!
i got the hearts and the circles and the animals,
and that was 100% good, and 111% delicious.
you know i rocked out with real new hampshire maple syrup too.
new england has a limited quantity of specialty sauce.
it actually has a limited quantity of everything.
so when the gettin' is good, you gotta GET IT.
deep in the heart of the woodsly goodsness, that locally crafted syrup is where it's AT.
i love it.
and i love big breakfasts,
and i love pancakes any time of day.
coconut oatmeal magic, with vegan sour cream activation,
AND bananas,
AND sugared strawberries?!?!?!
too much IS all i'm interested in.
1 cup a.p. flour;
1/3 cup coarse oat flour;
1/3 cup coarse fresh-ground unsweetened coconut meal;
dash of salt;
3-4 T sugar;
2 tsp bakey powder'
1 tsp bakey soda;
3-4 T vegan sour cream;
1 1/2 cup non-daity milk;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla;
3-4 T melted earth balance.
^ whisk it, rest it an hour,
and make sure you keep your skillet or griddle at medium high heat.
don't be in a hurry,
and don't flip too early.
those are amateur moves, and that's not invited to pancake hour, buddy.
make yourself a decent breakfast, once a week.
that's essential to reaffirm your self-worth.
i don't mean that spiritually.
not even one eentsy tiny little bit.
but, practically, it's a smart move-
if you can't nourish yourself like a champion,
you can't tap into that champion-level power, man.
use your head, and make some damned pancakes.
do it,
and see what happens.
i'm confident you'll thank me for the suggestion.
dogs are pretty dumb.
even the smart ones.
and crabtree isn't one of the smart ones.
for example-
last night while he stomped around in the garden,
he stepped on, and got bopped in the nose by, a startled little something or other.
i watched instinct evolve in an instant, too.
he traversed the spectrum of emotion
from surprise to curiosity to delight to destruction in seconds.
and then, despite me pushing and pulling him away from whatever it was,
he caught hold of it, and just ate it to sh!t.......
that sucks.
i found the remains of the little critter in the walkway this morning.
turns out it was an adorable little toad,
and i'm sad he's gone.
in a force-balancing comeuppance of equilibrium,
the dumb dog half-poisoned himself on toad pee.
he was a sloppy-headed vision-quester for the rest of the evening.
dripping and drooling and wagging his tail at the shamanic sights
blurring out from behind his beady triangular eyes.
even when it loses, nature wins.
that's a thing.
in truth, that's my fear-
that my instincts go from surprise to curiosity to delight to destruction,
and that the infinite nature of my battle-beastly baby boy-o is identical to my own.
i s'pose the secret is not to act in the moment.
no kidding.
i don't wanna be the happy harbinger of hard styles, guys,
but at the same time,
i definitely don't wanna be the toad, either.
there's got to be other tiers in this hierarchy.
i guess that's the thing-
i'm questing for that extra-omega-level otherness.
it's out there, somewhere, beyond the toad-killer dogs and the toxic-pee-pee defenses.
when i discover what and where it is,
i'll be sure to leave you a map, so you can come with.
...if you so desire;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, June 18


coming home after a day of trials and errors
to a kitchen that was suspiciously devoid of cilantro?
what's that all about, man?
well, it's about the wet leaves in tight plastic getting skanky.
for real, if your cilantro is skanky, don't make out with it.
i did have some soft white corn tortillas though,
and a whole mess of other ingredients, too.
no cilantro, but a firm resolve to persevere regardless.
what did i come up with, for me and my buddy nate?
toasty corn circles, browned and crisp,
with all the sexxxiness i could conjure as quickly as i was physically capable of.
check the teleport:

i had tofu!
i had cauliflower!
i had black beans!
i had that spicy, smoky red rice!
...and we ate five apiece.
the rice had bouillon and paprika and smoked paprika and cayenne and ho'sauce added in.
the cauliflower had all of that, plus black pepper, GPOP,
actual garlic, minced sweet onion, and jalapeno sprankles, too.
the tofu got seared in coconut oil,
and seasoned with coriander, cumin, chipotle pepper, turmeric, and oregano.
word up.
tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, pea tendrils, jalapenos,
sweet red peppers, yellow carrot, mixed lettuces, lime-marinated shredded cabbage...
y'gotta fix it up right.
i mean, i had company, man.
and is that lime-sriracha sour cream drizzled all over all of them?
... it is!!!
all of it, kids-
all of it happened,
and all of it was delicious.
lucky us, i guess...
if you have the time and the ingredients,
i strongly suggest you get your version of this a-poppin'.
you'll likely be glad you did..
father's day.
that's today.
i'm a dad, and that's cool.
i have a dad, and that's neat-o, as well.
i got some friends who've got some kids,
and i'm sure all them are gonna hang tough with all their little dudes today.
as for me?
i'm working.
just like all the other days.
besides, my children are hours and hours away.
living more interesting lives,
and becoming real life people.
i'm sure i'll get a text, maybe with a few emojis.
they sent me a package, so they're already insured against making a phone call.
father's day is one holiday i just don't see the point of.
mother's day? yeah. that's more than fair-
physically exploding a tiny human out of you earns you brunch and flowers.
but watching sports and mowing lawns and going to home depot?
shuuuut up.
F* right off, dads,
i mean, what are you even doing?
MY dad is in the hospital,
and his last words to me just might end up being:
"my meatballs are sizzling, so this is a wasted phonecall,
because i can't hear you, and i'm not trying to have burnt meatballs"
some of you might think that's a bummer,
and maybe for you it would be-
but, for me, that's a story worth retelling,
because it just goes to show that, no matter what,
rules is rules.
i come from a looooong line of dudes who just do what they do,
even in the face of doom.
and when it comes to my pops,
the dude can't be bothered with chronic illness.
especially not when there's food to make.
c'mon, neighbors.
that's real life right there.
it's all really happening.
if you're psyched on dadding- enjoy the day.
if you're psyched on your actual dad- enjoy your day.
if you're not psyched on either- enjoy the day.
and if you're indifferent to the whole scene?
enjoy the day.
this is all we get.
go after those sizzling meatballs for all they're worth,
and don't worry about anybody else;
never quiet, never soft.....


cookies that you cook?
cooking cookies is a nice idea.
gives legitimacy to the name,
even if that's only the case in the least number of practical instances...
if we'd started calling them bakeys instead,
we all would've sounded SO lame
cookies are always invited.
and the cookies i'm consuming at the moment are VIP backstage all-access jauns.
they're so flippin' tasty, they get special privileges.
that's right-
the no-bake glory is in no way to be underestimated.
....100% truth.
i mean,
they've for realsies got ALL the awesome bits,
and they're all going off, all at once, in the same time and space.
that's pretty effin' expert of you ask me.
and i like to moosh the batter into candy molds,
and form up some super-elite cuties, to boot.
kyootness counts exxxtra, kids.
check the teleport:

word up.
and, like, on some real talk-
when you make 'em smaller and sweeter,
you will eat way MORE in one shot than if they were regular size.
that's good news, because MORE is what we need.
making them was a *snap*, too.
let me just pause, and say, with conviction,
that putting an all-star hotlist mixtape of ingredients together,
for a super-official supergroup superset of cookie exxxplosivity was a GREAT idea.
here's how you too can keep it molto real, in your own homes:
in a small pot, on medium heat,
1 cup sugar;
1/2 cup non-dairy butter;
1/2 cup peanut butter;
4 T cocoa;
pinch of salt;
1/2 cup+ no-dairy milk;
melt it, bring it to a bubbly boil, for exxxactly one and a half minutes,
and add it to:
3 cups quick oats;
+ handful of manly oats;
1 cup unsweetened medium flake coconut;
1/3 cup chocolate chips;
1 tsp vanilla;
^stir it together, let it get cool enough not to burn you hands when you handle it,
and drop it like it's heavy as hell on a cookie sheet,
if you're exxxtra superfancy, and luxurious, and adorable,
put it into candy shapes,
or muffin tins, of maybe even cookie cutters on waxed paper,
and let it all set up.
you'll get those amazing little delights,
and you won't be sorry,
and if you're inclined to share them,
nobody will care that they're vegan,
but everybody will like you a little bit MORE.
.....one last thing-
if you're serious about being expert,
and you also truly believe that too much is the right amount,
you've gotta hit 'em with powdery sugary sprankles at the end.
anything less is bullsh!t.
that's IT.
for the last two nights, in a row,
my dirty dog has kept me up,
with whining and whingeing and general F*ery,
without anything nearly resembling a streak of consecutive restful minutes to speak of.
damn, bro.
i'm actually tired, and that's not awesome.
for real-
i'm the type to get a bit grumpy with less than four hours,
and i don't really think i'm being unreasonable when i say that
being prepared to powernap for half the ordinary human average
is NOT a selfish expectation......
crabtree is just excited that nate is here,
and he's showing off, and acting up,
and bad-guy dad is putting him in check.
it's no fun being the boss, because you're always the fun police.
luckily, and unluckily,
fortunately, and unfortunately,
i don't give any sh!ts about fun.
not one bit.
so, there's still order to be maintained, even if sleep is not riding shotgun.
rules is rules,
even when we have company.
there's a decent level of ruffian recalcitrance,
rowdy resistance,
and roughhouse rebuttal that follows.
it's a real brouhaha over here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
but it's also the most multi-tasked interactive participation i've had at hand
in a good long span of time.
i presume foreshadowing is the name of the game,
and i accept the terms and conditions;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, June 17


i'm reppin' cake for life, son.
that's real talk.
here's what i want from a cake:
sweetness without being cloying.
thickness without being heavy.
moisture but not rawness.
i want that somewhat spongy, semi-fudge, pudding-in-the-mix-type sh!t.
i know you do.
because that's what good cake has going for it.
and when i'm going after that perfect cake,
i'm going after it hard,
eyes on the prize,
hands holding on tight to the spatula,
with the oven preheated and the stand mixer whipping around like a dervish.
wordimus prime,
i've got no time for box mix b!tches.
no way.
i'm too busy with my from-scratch blast-off batch of burly cake-assault and chocolate battery.
...that's a thing.
i went after that cake scene, again.
and i made it better than last time, again.
rules is rules, man,
and we don't want it to only be as tasty as last time.
that's obsolete previous-level technology,
and i do believe you're with me on some other other fast-forward fresh-baked futuristic jauns.
am i right to think that?
i hope so.
i don't want yesteryear's best- i tomorrow's greatest hits.
and that would be better served with company to corroborate the  cake crescendo.
it's not enough for me to say it's the next level,
you've gotta taste it to believe it.
and hey,
maybe you're not about that visitation scene.
that's cool.
check the chocolate-cake-type teleport:

i got you, b.
without further preamble,
here's how you too can get super-deluxxxe chocolate cake activation
from the relative comfort of your own home:
preheat your oven to 350℉, on the convection setting if you're fancy,
or 360℉ if you're not.
in you handy stand mixer;
or, not quite as awesomely, your electric mixer;
or worse, your hand mixer;
or, if you are legitimately amish, or just plain hate yourself,
your pastry cutter and wire whisk-
whip the ever-lovin' livin' sticks out of:
1 cup organic sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/4 cup brown sugar;
1 stick softened vegan butter;
2 T vegan creamchee'.
combine that thoroughly,
and then add:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/3 cup tapioca;
1/3 cup cocoa;
3 T ground dark chocolate.
that'll make a  sloppy wet fudgy paste when it gets spun round in the bowl-
that's good.
now add:
2 1/4 cups flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 cup+ non-dairy milk.
aaaaaaaand whip it GOOD, neighbors.
when it's aerated as heck, and looks light,and fluffy,
spoon it over into your greased and floured non-stick-style 9" springform,
y'gotta bake it about 35 minutes, maybe more,
especially if the air isn't circulating in your low-quality ovenpiece.
it's ok. i believe in you.
and when it's done, and there're a few cracks in the top,
take it out and let it cool.
my frosting game remains the greatest variable.
this chocolate stuff was perfect though.
3 cups powdered sugar, plus a tiny salt pinch, 1 tsp vanilla, a stick of butterish,
1/3 cup cocoa, and roughly 1/3 cup of s'milk, added in small splashes.
it suuuuuuuuuuuucks if you make it too wet.
be careful.
and those mini chocolate chips?
that's some serious chocolate assault, son.
you know i didn't leave it alone.
i mean. c'mon-
too much is the right amount.
i gotta live by the code, bro.
so there's shaved 70% cacao dark chocolate bar sprankles up on there, too.
make a cake so expert it doesn't NEED frosting.
a well-made slice should be able to stand on it's own merit,
just by virtue of it's crumb.
and then add all that jazziness anyway.
that's the way of the future.
i have a temporary houseguest.
my friend nate,
who is also a tattooer,
is here to help out at white mountain tattoo this weekend.
should be loads of fun,
hanging out with my homeboy,
talkin' sh!t and makin' art.
i hope the weather and the clients cooperate with that sentiment.
i should've cooked us some radical vegan eats,
but i didn't.
we had pizza take-away last night with dennis.
and all of that was pretty right on.
here's the thing-.
i've got great big fat plans on my platter this morning,
and i have to say, it's heavy stuff.
i slept about seven seconds last night,
tossing back and forth,
and turning the sheets and my thoughts over and over
until the time i thought i'd had to recharge was replaced by the dawn's earliest lights,
and the restful slumbering i should've gotten had slipped away.
anticipating the next step in the plan
is apparently a whole lot more taxing than i'd like to show outwardly.
i guess that's just the thing, friends.
it's all really happening, one way or the other.
and like it or not, when it's time to make moves,
it's TIME to make MOVES.
it all starts today.
that's no joke.
from here, it's kind of race-
except it's not one you can win.
it's either the one you lose,
or it's the one you forever run and run and run-
i should probably do some stretches before i leave the house;
never  quiet, never soft.....

Friday, June 16


let's discuss, dudes-
if you use a bread pan to bake a cake in,
or you use a cake pan to bake your bread...
what defines it as one or the other?
i mean,
banana bread is basically cake, right?
at the least, it's a big rectangle of muffin,
which in it's own right is essentially cake with fewer manners,
and less refinement.
here's the thing-
i thought i was making cake,
but i used a long weird springform pan to do it,
and the consistency of the finished product is definitely muffiny,
and decidedly unbreadlike,
which, i'm compelled to concede,
makes it more bread than cake,
but in the banana-style, and without any bananas in sight, or inside.
i had an idea, and i ran with it.
it turned out way prettier than it tastes,
although it does taste good.
next time, i think i'll adjust a few ingredients, and take it to the next level.
maybe YOU wold love it the way it is,
so let's have a look-see,
and then afterwards, i'll tell you how to make it yourself.
check the teleport:

that weird long pan is awesome.....and not just weird.
it's fall-apart moist.
it's sweet, but also sort of adult-tasting. i think that's the graham flour.
it's got the textures sorted out. that's real.
the unsweetened flake coconut, and those freeze-dried bloobs took care of that.
like i said, i had an idea,
and i worked it out while i listened to some catchy, but super-dumb hip-hop,
where some very southern rappers said some very clever, but very dumb rap things.
hey, neighbors,
don't listen to a soundtrack that resonates like your last love-
that's the past, and that's not good for making treats.
on the ones,
get you some tunes that sound like your next love-
the big bouncin' rebound breakbeat bump-and-grind bass-boosted big action.
that's what's good for the bakery times.
real talk.
......shoutouts to hoes.
oh, c'mon.
i got the cakebread poppin',
and here's how it happened:
 preheat your oven 350℉. (i also had it on convection, which is the best, if you've got it)
in a medium bowl, smoosh together:
1 stick earth balance butts;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/3 cup organic sugar;
1/3 cup raw sugar;
1/3 cup brown sugar;
(honestly, 1 cup of dark brown sugar is so much easier,
i just used up the last of my stuff, but if you're exxxtra, go the exxxtra mile, man)
add in 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
3/4 cup unsweetened medium flake coconut;
and 1/4 cup tapioca.
whisk that up,
and add in the dryness:
1 cup a.p. flour;
1 cup graham flour;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1 cup freeze dried bloobs (so it doesn't get toooooo wet)
and then the last wet splash:
1 cup nondairy milk-
stir it up, get everything all mushed into batter.
add it to a greased pan-
and here, if you've got a weird breadform, that's the one you want,
if not, just go with the feelin'- you could even use a pyrex for a more traditional bread.
no matter what, bake it for at least 35minutes,
but very possibly as many as 50.
ovens are tricky, but if you put a pick in the center and remove it clean, it's ready.
do not ice it yet.
let it cool.
but when it is?
give it some sugar, baby.
i put the pulverized bloobs to it, and got that sexxxy stuff for mine.
it's powdered sugar and powdered freezieblueberries and vanilla and s'milk.
also, it's expert, and purple.
and then, well, you know what happens next-
coconut sprankles.
rules is rules.
.....what would i change about it?
i'd back off the graham flour, maybe,
and i'd maybe use my trusty stand mixer to make it fluffier.
the thing of it is, it's already pretty good.
i'm just hard to satisfy,
because i know i can make it better, bigger, fancier, and MORE.
too much is the right amount...
and while i'm pursuing that forever,
i'm content never.
yes, it's hard style,
but it's the closest to the path being the goal i'm likely to ever get.
it's friday.
that's cool.
i've got a typically full day ahead of me,
and that's something.
am i ready for it? not especially.
there's complicated tattoo action on the schedule,
naturally, it's huge, it's tricky, it's not pre-drawn,
and just to kick the last leg out before it even gets started?
.......it's on a dude.
and after i almost certainly fall behind on that geometric/celtic/tribal blackwork,
a whole mess of messy messes trickle down the day's doings immediately after, too.
never being satisfied isn't just for cake baking, bro.
i AM grateful that my job is to hang out and draw, for money.
but that's just it-
if i wasn't being paid, i would never ever ever ever draw 90% of this stuff.
shouts out to art mercenaries.
there's sure to be much much more of that in the coming months.
summer is our time to work.
the rest of y'all may be on vacation,
but i work harder during, and miss more of,
the sweet spot of summery sexxxiness.
it's all really happening,
and while summer isn't official until wednesday,
the chase is already underway;
never quiet, never soft.....