Saturday, September 30


this is it.
the last day.
and it's a saturday.
you know what THAT means?
those of you who have followed me for a bit
will know that tomorrow is an important day, for several reasons,
and for the first time,
i'm experiencing diminished joy over my happiest times.
yes. it's true.
what happens when two of your most favorite events collide, overlap,
and interweave their tight own scheduling constraints
into your already overbooked schedule?
ok, ok, ok, OK.
i think i'm getting ahead of myself.
tomorrow is the first. of the month,
AND it's a sunday.
so, as i just asked: DO you know what that means?
up here, in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
nestled snugly in the woodsly goodness,
a ways away from conventional holiday cheer,
but firmly entrenched in the magic of self-governed creative causes for celebration,
we have our own special calendar for warrior poetic active participation.
and when the first starts off in the top left corner of the grid,
it's time to bake a whole lotta bread,
and get your seitan simmered,
your tofu marinated,
and your beans mashed and formed into powerhouse patties.
rules is rules, after all,
and chief among them is that any sunday that is also the first of the month
starts off eight amazing days of dietary devastation and deliciousness-
sandwich week is here, kids.
and that's usually the best news ever.
the notion that too much is the right amount is being tried and tested
by a competing cause for autumnal awesomess.
tomorrow is also the start of maine's blue ribbon classic:
the fryeburg fair jumps off it's own eight days
of furious fresh-to-death falafel feasting, as well.
why is it that even my best vibes are dischordant?
yes, falafel does count as a sandwich.
yes, the fair is kind of out of the way these days.
yes, i hardly have time to make regular dinner most nights.
yes, i am conflicted and consternated and clutching at my own sparse hair.
yes, i want to create epic epicurean concoctions in keeping with tradition.
what's going to happen?
i don't know.
but, i'll wager it'll all work out the way it's s'posed to.
in the meantime,
i also made some pretty tight and TILTY cookies.
ginger on ginger with more ginger on top.
check it:

haha.......but for real though.
 the cookie game was smooth as heck.
nearly effortless, to be honest.
and it went a little somethin' like this:
preheat your oven to 375℉.
in a medium mixing bowl, cream up:
1 stick (8T) earth blance butterish;
1/2 tsp salt;
3/4 cup sugar;
1/4 cup brown sugar;
2 T agave;
1 tsp vanilla.
add 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
5 tsp ground ginger;
(i'd probably also add 1 tsp fresh grated ginger if you've got it)
1/2 tsp allspice;
1/2 tsp mace;
next, stir in:
2 1/2 cups flour;
1 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
3 T molasses.
now you've got cookie dough.
easy easy easy easy.
two dozen plus one of flattened golfball-sized freshness were spaced evenly apart,
and baked for 11 minutes on two trays.
when cool,
they got a slap-up of ginger-laced icing on top,
and a dose of color-coordinated autumnal sprankles.
that's how we do it around here.
moderation is an outmoded means of interfacing with the world we live in.
excessive excellence is all i want to even know about.
and these ginger cookies did the trick.
today we say goodbye to september.
too quickly, if you ask me,
and tomorrow,
we see where we can fit a whole lot MORE food, essentially eating at all times,
in between the already overfull minutes of every last day from here on out.
it's ALL occurring at alarming speed,
the velocity of life is ever-increasing,
and i think there's a sonic boom on the horizon,
somewhere between sandwich week and the 11th falafel-
although it may just be the sound of my pants bursting from overfilled shark gluttonous fatness;
never quiet, never soft..... 


see you, september....
what a crazy month, neighbors-
from the mad-dash scramble to get permits and applications sorted
well after the fact of actual construction;
to the signs and stickers and frames and flowers that followed;
to the savage scheduling spread-out;
and the tiny detailing that's still underway;
all the real-time tattoo activation that gets zipped and zapped throughout;
and bookending every day of busy blitzkrieg business,
there's still a ton of treats being invented, and baked, and eaten-
because too much is the right amount,
and anything less is pure bullsh!t.
damn, dudes,
it's been just about the most brutal and most fantastic thirty days
i've ever had happen in sequential serial numbers, from the first to the last.
the treats are expert AF.
that's no joke.
check the teleport:

that's that wu-TANG jauns, buddy.
because it ruled everything around me for as long as it took to literally eat the entire thing.
(which wasn't long at all)
red starkrimson pears are juicy juicers, and they have a fancy name, too-
guys, you know that toasty almonds are always invited to my mouth's makeout parties.
...especially if they're buttered, and zapped with vanilla and almond extract,
and a baby bit of brown sugar, too!!
a tiny bit of heat, a babier bit of vegan butts, and a splash of those wet concentrates,
plus a pinch of light brown love, and suddenly some already excellent,
but proportionately ordinary, ovals turn into beige wafers of wonder.
word up.
it's all about the crust, which frames the whole scene in crispy gold.
the new-new flaky cookie-pastry hybrid dough is pretty damned great.
in a bowl that'll fit it, cut your fats and your flours as follows:
1 1/4 cup a.p. flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
3 T sugar;
4 T vegan butterish;
3 T vegan creamchee';
then add in:
1 tsp vanilla;
3-4 T non-dairy milk, or more, depending on how crumbly you want your dough.
i used it immediately, too, with no adverse effects.
lucky lucky.
i mean,
the braids are tight, the leaves are sharp, the crust is crusty,
and all of it baked into that big baddie in 20 minutes at 410℉.
how simple is that?
i cut the pears into rings, because pears are superior to apples in that regard.
their core is basically just more pear, of the same consistency,
which, in turn, means more edible surface is contained in there.
and that's dope.
the brown sugar on top is there because rules is rules, bro,
sprankles make baked goods great.
that's a thing you ca't skip out on, unless you want to be lame.
and no lames are allowed.
except for the bread scoring tools;
but that's a whole other thing anyway.
there's only ever more to do,
no matter how much i get done.
it's slightly overwhelming much of the time,
then there are the glimpses of what's really poppin',
and it's all really pretty amazing.
it just is hard to see it when you're hip-deep in doing it.
there's a much bigger picture visible from outside the dervish whirlwind of devilish details.
i know it,
and when y'all notice it?
THAT'S when it feels like i've invested my time in a worthwhile fashion.
it's never finished, but it's always happening,
and i s'pose that's kind of the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, September 29


i'm almost always doing a lot of things, off the cuff.
i should probably think thrice, because twice doesn't seem to be enough thoughts.
and that's after disregarding my first instincts as completely and inexcusably
runaway trainwreckx-n-effects...
i caught myself several ties yesterday with a  mouthful of shoeleather,
and a tongue tasting like toenails, after a fashion.
self-inflicted sole-sampling is what happens when i'm multitasking more things
than my editorial mind can manage;
and that's when i say the things that spark the fires
that jailbreak ALL the werewolfen warrior spirits and memories
from the carefully crafted cages they're normally contained within.
too much IS the right amount,
IF you're ready for what comes down the pipeline
after an overdose of distracted action and reaction floods the system with infinite nature
instead of conscious consideration....
do you get what i've got going on?
when i've got a lot to do, and it's overloading my attention,
the original recipe for really-realness erupts,
takes over,
and that bigmouthed big-timing blowhard from deep inside
gets roused, and rises to the surface of the hot-fire-spit sound system.
i get overwhelmed, then i get distracted,
and the default d!ckbaggery that has been my defense mechanism for decades
kicks in to save and ruin) the day...
it's sort of mr. toad's wild ride meets the cain marko, the mutha-effin' juggernaut.
oh.....well, the nerds know, so i guess that's who i'm talking to.
y'just sort of barrel-A* into every allegorical china shop,
and then praise anything that stands up to the impact.
that's my home life.
that's my work life.
that's my everyday dogwalking disasterpiece theater of war and love.
it's tiring.
and honestly, when every day is a bareknuckle bullfight throughout all available hours
of interactive human contact,
you truly do need some sort of sugary sustenance to support the effort rewuired
to endure long days and hard styles and people who come to your place of business
expecting to have your undivided attention at their command.
(good luck)
i made a batch of really deep, rich, dense, fresh af chocolate hottness for my face,
and i'm glad i did, because that sweet sweet dark brown dopeness reined in all
the sharp-tongued sh!t that seemed to seethe on the brink of exxxplosion.
check the teleport:

that took a while to get where it needed to didn't it?
sometimes i have more to say than just giving out recipes you don't use, dudes.
melted butter in warm non-dairy milk was a key element in these.
that's how the gummy batter becomes fudgy brownies.
here's how you can make your own:
preheat your oven to 360℉
in your stand mixer, whisk together:
2 1/2 cups flour;
3/4 tsp salt;
1 cup brown sugar;
1/4 cup organic raw sugar;
2/3 cups cocoa;
1/3 cup chocolate chips;
1 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/4 cup tapioca;
on your stove top, over medium-low heat,
melt up 1 stick (8 T) of non-dairy vegan magical butterish,
in 1 cup non-dairy milk,
with 2 tsp vanilla.
add the wet to the dry, and whip it into the sticky, tacky, thickness
you've always known and loved.
i put mine in big bloxxx, but a regular-A* pan is just as good.
grease it, and bake it for about 25 minutes.
the good news about brownies is that the less you bake them, the better they are.
just don't overbake 'em,
or you might be kind of a jerk, with bad brownies, to boot.
the ganache scene was gnarly-
so let it suffice to say: the smash-lace on top was a stop-gap measure,
althouh the sea salt was a great idea.
salty chocolate tastes even more like chocolate,
and that's really good news.
that counts as sprankles, and we all know how i feel about that.
wordimus prime, neighbors.
today is the day.
just like every day,
also, kind of a little bit more so  than usual.
i've got good clients,
an above-average night's sleep,
and the weather is finally sort of fallish.
those are ingredients for making some savage stormswept raging gypsy magic happen,
and i'm just the sort of woodsly sorceror to summon up the ghost circles
and smoke rings that'll see us through.
it's all really happening,
and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, September 28


the classics, man.
i often disregard them.
i almost never ever put orange zest in my scones,
despite that being kind of a thing, y'know?
that's real.
and when you use cranberries AND orange?
that's when you really hit on the good stuff.
breakfast is better when scones are in the zone, bro.
check the teleport:

a quick couple of oven-hot terrific triangles, and you're good to go-
your day will assuredly be more amazing, by an order of magnitude,
than if you'd had some butt-nasty sucker-sh!t like eggs or whatever.
word up.
the big crystal sugar sprankles really turn the volume up on the flavor,
but honestly,
there's a 30% plot twist in there, too.
that's no joke, jerks-
spelt is singing backup on this track.
heirloom protowheat is my friend,
and we like to hang out on occasion.
tell you what-
i'll give you the details, and you can make some yourself if you'd like:
preheat your oven to 400℉.
in medium mixing bowl, coarsely combine:
2 cups flour;
4 T tapioca flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
1/3 cup spelt flour;
4 T crystalized sugar;
4 T plant-based butts;
2 T vegan creamchee'.
when that's all sorts of crumbly,
4 tsp fresh orange zest;
3/4 cup dried cranberries;
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
1/2 cup non-dairy milk + 1-2 T fresh-squeezed orange juice-
1/4 tsp orange extract;
1 tsp vanilla.
fold that, turn it, fold it again, and again and again,
and press the resultant dough on a floured surface, in a 3/4" thick rectangle,
and press MORE sugary spranks on top.,
cut it into a dozen wedges, and arrange them evenly on a baking tray-
freeze 'em for five minutes,
bake 'em for 20,
and enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee, asap.
they've got FLAVOR,
and they're not too dry,
and the layers upon layers of buttery crisp-crusted moist luxury are instantly apparent
in each and every bite.
if you're a fan of being expert,
this is the stuff you're going to want to munch up on.
i mean it
we got pins.
or are they buttons?
i don't care if you call them bye-bye nubs, bruh.
the point is, we have them:

...and at just a buck each, you can get a whole lot of them,
for all your coats and purses,
and still have plenty of loot left over for a slice of pizza next door.
that's tight, neighbors.
there are four initial designs,
with MORE in the works.
and on top of that,
i'm pretty sure we're about to have MORE and MORE and MORE
and MORE merchandise arriving damned near daily.
believe it or not,
there's a plan in motion, to saturate the whole region with superlative sexxxiness,
on skin, on fabric, on non-porous surfaces, everywhere....
if you don't get down and around with collateral hottness,
you're F*ing up.
we've got treats on treats,
you may want to come get some,
only if you're NOT an A*-hole;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, September 27


what do we do when it's tuesday, dudes?
oh, c'mon.
you know.
the most magnificent day of the week:
taco tuesday!
i get with that.
i get ON that.
i doo-doo that soft flour flapping foldover fresh-to-death freaky sh!t.
how could i not?
i mean, really,
rules is rules,
and superfly flavors are always welcome in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen.
real talk,
when i'm on some crucial taco vibes,
the flow of energy is borderline supernatural.
and when there's quick-mix pix, too?
the profile of compositional texture and taste goes to eleven
on some stratospheric out-of-this-world low-earth-orbital outer-space blood magic.
....and i like that a LOT.
check the black-on-brown-on-beans-on-beans-type teleport:

excuse the white-out wash-out of the photo (or don't)
but the pressure to get these F*ers into our faces was imperative.
black beans, with yellow and red onion, cumin, oregano, thyme, GPOP,
red, and orange, baby sweet bell peppers, jalapeno, AND poblano,
plus a hefty dash of smoked paprika, all sauteed together in olive oil,
as the main event.
nootch-boosted double-buttery refritas, with GPOP and peppers and onions
were the co-headliners on the same main stage of soft flour ferocity.
do you toast your tortillas?
why not??
you should know by not that that's the good-good for your face, ace.
i can hang out with a lettuce lattice woven throughout my meal,
if that added cool crisp element elevates the overall bigger picture.
sometimes tho,
that's not enough crispy coolwater crawnch.
that was certainly the case in THIS instance,
so, there are also pea tendrils, and cubed up baby cucumber bits, too.
it's great to get that raw uncut uncooked vegetable goodness alongside those meaty bean bits.
and vegan sour cream IS invited, and DID attend, as well.
tomatoes are for tacos.
that's a thing.
and when you put 'em to 'em,
you get a bigger, better, burlier, more delicious and rewarding exxxperience.
who doesn't like that?
word up.
i got cilantro on those jauns,
AND i got red onion sprankles on there, for even MORE awesomeness.
too much is the right amount, man.
don't you dare forget that you don't ever have to settle for a subpar taco supper.
no way.
you deserve the big deluxxe hottness, and with just a little baby bit of planning,
you can HAVE it.
and that brings me to my favorite portion of the program.
the quick-mix-pix!!!
this version has:
onion, carrot, radish, cucumber, and one verrry hot jalapeno.
plus, the brine bath of pink salted cider vinegar with organic sugar.
heat and time make for a fast-actin' masterpiece of tangy tightness,
to get TILTY AF with on top of those amazing circles of mexicanish beauty.
y'boi nate came through with the homemade habanero green apple lacto-fermented ho'sauce.
it's got flavor for days,
heat for ages,
and tang for posterity.
front of sharpness,
midrange crisp fresh flavor, and side-tongue lingering hot fire
all complemented the ever-lovin' livin' F* out of my beans and things.
lucky me, lucky us, lucky tacos.
i love it when active participation meets concentrated conscious creation.
that's synergy, bro,
and that's DOPE.
we had a full-blown busy day yesterday.
what a great feeling.
i saw some old friends,
i didn't immediately attack the white-privilege academics
who pontificated about their personal brand of blatant irrational do-goodery,
i tattooed three first timers,
and i made a bunch of appointments for the future.
plus, nate killed it all damned day, too;
we still had tacos at a reasonable hour.
that's a good one,
and that's all good news-
i can't accurately nor adequately express enough gratitude for all of it...
it's ALL really happening, and i'm having trouble containing myself;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, September 26


i got cakes on cakes, man.
that's no joke.
when i want a cake,
i just make and bake a cake.
it's that simple.
i mean, c'mon,
who's going to tell me not to cake it up?
so, when the feeling takes hold, the oven gets preheated,
and cake becomes a matter of fact.
in september, we use a lot of apples.
that's a thing that happens, because september is apple season, guys.
rules is rules.
and apples on cake is a good look.
i made myself a thing.
a damned good thing, actually.
and it came out better than i'd have anticipated, if i was the sort to anticipate.
what do you know about spice cakes?
me neither, but i think this is sort of that.
check the teleport:

apples and ginger,
cinnamon and allspice and nutmeg,
and a big ol' glug-up of blackstrap molasses.
y'gotta put the fancy to it.
for realsies, or else you're just effing around.
and who wants frivolous cakery?
not me.
i want the superfancy unnecessary jauns, but not the superfluous frippery.
that's the truth.
you wanna do a spice-up cake bake too?
here's what happened, feel fee to recreate, or not:
preheat your oven to 350℉
in your stand mixer, whisk together:
1 stick (8T) earth balance buttery spread;
1/2 tsp salt;
3/4 cup light brown sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
combine thoroughly, and whip in:
1 cup non-dairy milk.
then add:
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
4 T tapioca flour;
1/4 cup molasses;
2 tsp bakey kapowder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
mix until aerated completely, and pour into a 9"springform
(a.k.a the go-to single layer Folk Life cake circle.)
top it off with a ring of overlapping sliced apple,
and activate all the big crystal sugar sprankles.
i've found that pithy apples bake better on top of a cake.
crisp ones just get rubbery, but open-cell fleshed F*ers get rad, instead.
try a couple of your own, and decide for yourself,
i'm just sayin' about what i think to be true and preferable.
word up.
bake that baby-b!tch on convection, if you've got it, for roughly 40 minutes or so.
hey, maybe try the center, and make sure it's all-the-way-done, after 35 minutes, man.
turn off your oven, take out that cake, and let it cool.
when it's no longer a piping hot fluffbomb, decorate the top, if that's how you get down.
it's how i get down, no doubt-
i freaked it off with my signature cinnamaple betterthanevercreme frosting,
because MORE sweetness is good for you.
and anyway,
too much is the right amount.
that's a thing.
the crumb on this was akin to a fluffy muffin.
i did not expect that, but i sure was excited about it.
the sugar on top caramelized in places,
and stayed spranky in others,
so that the apples had alternate patches of sweet crispness,
and even sweeter squish melted across their surface...
all in all,
i give this autumnal treat a gold medal,
and i'll likely make it again.
that's a vibe!
we've got weird patches of work to do.
bursts, i guess you could call them.
when it's busy, it's more than we can manage in the time allotted.
when it's slow,
there's still tons to do.
the only issue is that art-making is fully immersive,
and much harder to stop and start between clients.
of course,
at home,
crabtree does his damnedest to derail all my best efforts to produce elite imagery
and illicit iconography for the luminous lexicon of AMPERSAND TATTOO.
that's a tough look, kids.
he needs attention, for sure, but, at a level i canot maintain,
nor, i believe could anybody else.
on the ones,
i walk him,
and i walk him,
and then i walk him some more....
so it's not exhaustion, but rather, something more like spite,
that keeps him from being cool about art.
who knew i'd have such a critic on my hands?
hard styles are my best-case personal style.
i s'pose he knows, and is being supportive of THAT if an obstruction in all other ways.
y'get what y'get and you don't get upset.
that's what they say,
and that's how it is.
it's all really happening,
except that some of it is NOT.
is that what real life feels like?
i think so;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, September 25


what the eff do you dudes even know about making meals that matter the most?
do you even hang out with homemade stuff?
no, i'm serious-
for real... have you ever had an interest in making magic for your mouth,
in many meditative steps,
instead of microwaving some mincey diaperturd prepackaged box-mix?
do you do that?
you do?
what's that, now, buddy? you ARE all about that?
i knew it.
nobody likes a lazy watermilkbaby-A*-hole,
but we all love the ones who chef that sh!t up for supper.
...and that's us, it turns out.
making all the pieces, and fitting them all together,
and then making ourselves something amazing, just because that's what we DO.
it's a combination of mindful intentions, active participation,
and determined inventiveness that'll see us through to the other side,
where all of the deliciousness comes together in a monumental crescendo
of unF*withable flavors.
that's no joke.
homemade just tastes better.
now get ready to get into some mediterranean-style FALL FLATBREAD:

all the amazing exxxplosive excellence you could ask for,
in one way-too-big rectangle.
which is, of course, just another way of saying, a perfect serving of september sexxxiness.
too much is the right amount,
and a reasonable portion is NOT what i'm trying to have, man.
you want some of this?
you think you've got the dedication to doing it that'll see you safely past the oven
and onto the serving tray/
it goes a little somethin' like this:
preheat your oven to 480℉.
in your stand mixer (which you love, i know) with the dough hook hooked up,
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour;
1 tsp salt;
2 T olive oil;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
1 T plant-based butter;
<1 gluten="" p="" tsp="" wheat="">1 tsp sugar;
3/4 cup warm water;
2 tsp bread machine yeast, bloomed;
beat it up for no less than seven minutes, more if you're feeling frisky-
cover it, and let it do what it doo-doo, dudes.
the dough rose while crabtree and i took a little early autumn drive
through the winding mountainous passes just past my Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i'll confess, i left my oven preheating while we rode around,as well.
i'm apparently very trusting of my haunted house's self-preservation instincts.
(....that's called anthropomorphism, and it's not exactly good for you, but in this case, it worked.)
before i prepared that dough,
i made some mutha-'ucking fresh-to-death extra-lemony sumac-spiked hummus.
that's right.
me and my chick peas were smashing hard.
hummus is so low-impact to make, it's almost super dumb to buy it, y'feel me?
in your fresh AF food processor,
1/4 cup tahini;
2 T lemon juice;
2 cloves roasted garlic
(that's 1/4" of olive oil ina covered clay cloche, in your preheating hot oven, until they're brown)
give that a genuine minute of pulp-up power,
add more lemon, if necessary, and a pinch of salt,
and give it another 'nother minute-
add 1 tsp sumac;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
1 tsp cumin;
1/2 tsp ea Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
3 T olive oil;
whip it up AGAIN.
now add:
15 oz soaked/cooked/canned chick peas;
3 T warm water;
and a drizz' more olive oil, if necessary....
whip that up until the blades are moving fluidly through the smoothest beigeness on earth,
and spoon that stuff into a smaller bowl, with a blast of olive oil,
and one more shake of sumac for good measure.
that's like a total of five minutes post garlic roast, which is really a passive action, anyway.
you gotta get out a rectangular baking pan,
and grease the bottom.
then y'gotta press the risen dough down to all four corners, as evenly as possible,
and spread the hummus on as thick as you'd like-
then, it's just a matter of dressing it for success.
to that end a big panful of grilled leeks are a great idea.
weird fancy onions are always invited to my flatbread parties.
hummus, baby kale, leeks, longway-halved sweet tomatoes,
and then a half a can (or one cup, for you purists) of even MORE chick peas,
pan fried in GPOP and smoked paprika picante, with red pepper flakes and a dab of oil.
that's tight.
from there, it's MORE sprankles than the pan can handle:
crushed red pepper;
black pepper;
and those mandatory fried garlic sprankie jauns,
because rules is rules,
and in the pizzaesque family tree, f.g.s. are what we do around here.
how do you even activate something like this any further?
how about a batch of grated block daiya-brand smoked gouda on top, bro?
if you aren't prepared to go to the outer limits of taste,
i don't understand what you're doing on earth.
i mean it.
we have to eat, or we die,
and if we need to eat to live, let's live it up.
vitality in victuals via virtuosity?
i'm all for that...
the oven baked this bad boy up for about 11 minutes,
on that superheroic convection setting,
with the circulation at omega-level,
and the results were stupendous.
te dough puffed up a bit, but stayed crisp;
the hummus and the chick peas were hearty as heck,
while the tomatoes stayed juicy, but absorbed all the other flavors.
....and you know i couldn't leave it alone, right?
damned straight-
radicchio ribbons, and fresh cool cukes, and a whole lot of lemon, at the end,
kept me reeling and rocking and moving and shaking with each and every bite.
it feels really GOOD to bring the heat and the light and the loud fresh hardness
to my oven and my table and my mouth like this.
for realsies.
i know i could just take it easy,
but i'd just be cheating myself.
and cheaters don't ever experience true victory.
that's a fact.
what the eff are days off?
oh, riiiiiiiight.
they're bullsh!t.
that's what the average everyday ordinary underambitious b!tchbags believe in.
i don't get down with that.
because worthy warrior poets worship WORK above all else.
there's always work to do.
that's the nature of the universe.
i mean, that mutha-'ucker is STILL expanding, faster and faster, since infinity, man.
and you're over here worried about a beach day?
weak sauce.
we're on that grind, and stack, and grind, and stack grind,
steadily progressing towards bigger, better, louder, faster, fresher, doper, and MORE.
that's sort of the whole point, right?
becoming the most., of EVERYthing.
we are doing what we love, and we're doing it as hard as we can.
every day, we get a little better, so we add a little more,
it never gets easy, but it keeps moving forward,
and if we're being honest,
that's really all there is in this world-
the steady, inexorable, inevitable crawl towards oblivion.
every other living thing understands that,
and does it's F*ing job until time is up.
nature wins, neighbors,
and siding with the infinite;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 24


for autumn's debut the other day,
i figured a good ring-in debut meal would be a big ol' batch of french style toast.
here's the thing-
i bake a LOT of bread,
and when my dudes don't come around during bake days,
i end up with a surplus of bread.
...and while i eat a ton of fresh-baked burly barbarian sourdough,
i physically can't keep up with the output my starter provides.
i hate wasting it, so i use it up, and that means lots of loaves,
but not enough mouths.
i guess what i'm telling you is:
i confess that french toast was a matter of mindfulness,
born of a disdain for being wasteful on the face of it,
coupled with respect for my masterful bake-up creations.
i wouldn't want to squander any of my superior sourdough,
and i wouldn't want to eat a sub-par brekkie either.
add in the equilateral daylight that's dispensed along the ley lines and horizons of
an equidistant sunbeam sun-up-to-sundown rundown,
and i've GOT to start my day with some expert sh!t.
that's a thing.
rules is rules, fools.
and on special days, we make the nicey-nice.
and by we, i mostly mean just me, but you get the picture.
check the teleport:

no joke.
the potatoes were big and thick and soft and skin-on like really real HOTbois prefer,.
with red onion all buttercrisped up, and scallion sprankles to sexxxify that sh!t.
and you know i bake them AS the oven preheats,
so that they're done when the oven reaches the desired temperature, right?
i don't have the luxury of waiting for preheats, bro.
i need those roasty toasty magic jauns STAT.
red, orange, and yellow sweet abby bell pepper bits, and red onion mince,
AND poblano dices?
that's the new new on my hemp-hearted, nootch-boosted,
GPOP'd turmeric and smoked paprika tofu scrambo,
which had the customary fried tomatoes and cilantro spranks too.
the rules are in place for our own satisfaction, man.
AVO-EFFING-CADO, with sriracha pepper flakes?
that's how worthy warrior poets make sweet love to the morning, neighbors.
when you grow up, maybe you'll understand.
that's all fine and good,
the really real big-time main-stage headlining superstar is the toast.
the 'batter' is a real stroke of eggless excellence,
and i'll give it to yo one more time:

1 cup of non-dairy milk;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
2 T nutritional yeast;
dash of salt;
4 tsp ground chia/flaxmeal;
1 T chick pea flour;
2 T agave nectar;
1 T melted vegan butterish.
whisked well, and rested until the chia-flax combo blooms.
a lazy long-lasting dredge-and-soak with inch thick slabs of slightly stale sourdough,
and a HOT pan with a coconut oil/ earth balance combo will see you through.
that's sorcery at it's most succulent.
and with banana slices on top?
that's got breakfasty goodness going to eleven.
....something which only gets even crazier with kapowdered sugary sprankles,
AND real new hampshire maple syrup,
AND that strawberry compote on top.
i mean, seriously,
don't be a biscuit-licker and try to front like that's not colossally tasty.
in a small saucepot, simmer:
2 cups sliced frozen strawbs;
1 T lemon juice;
1 tsp vanilla;
4 T powdered sugar;
1 tsp earth balance non-dairy butts;
3 T organic non-GMO cornstarch.
it'll get thick,
it'll be syrupy,
it'll smell better than you ever believed possible.
all of that will be a thing,
and you WILL add it to the tops of your toasts.
thank me later, but do it right NOW.
my old friends are getting old.
another 'nother one turned forty today.
life got ancient while we were bust F*ing around.
i guess i don't mind, since we don't have much choice.
time travel generally only moves in the one direction, anyway.
and besides,
when it comes to me and my people,
most of us chose NOT to become old and busted,
even if old and busted seemed to squat in our bodies trying to claim some sort of residency.
hey, it happens.
and that's fine.
we're not going down the road of weak-kneed whines and gripes.
nobody cares about that,
and there's no good reason to indulge in it, anyhow.
we're plunging headlong and headstrong into the future,
with all the exuberance of youth,
and a solid disregard for all the wisdom we've accrued over all this time.
everything is as new as you'd like it to be,
as long as you keep looking at it that way;
never quiet, never soft.....


browned, bruised, super-sweet overripe bananas.
when you're surprised by a half dozen of those blotchy oblongs,
you've got to make a decision about what to do...
and that decision is ALWAYS to make banana bread.
i mean,
what are you?
an A*-hole?
banana bread is expert.
in fact,
it's so good, the only way to improve it is to activate even more hottness,
with ingredients that are also excellent,
so that a synergy 'splodes across the oven,
and lifts the lusciousness off the charts, to eleven.
don't believe me?
look for yourself, loves:

these lil jauns have got a whole mess of magic within and without.
for serious.
that's unsulphured, unsweetened organic flake coconut on top,
and there's even MORE super-deliciousness packed throughout the main body
of each mini-bitty itty-baby loaf of buh-nay-nay-nunu nuance.
real talk,
these muthas were amazing.
if you're a fan of the sweet sweet cream-yellow flesh of these monkey-tubes,
and you can hang out with a hint of cinnamon,
in addition to fruit and chocolate???
then you're probably pretty cool.
also, you're probably wodering how to make these at your house.
i'll happily clue you in, kids.
preheat your oven to 365℉
in a medium mixing bowl,
8 T (1 stick) earth balance vegan butterish;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 cup light brown sugar;
2 tsp vanilla.
smash in:
4 very ripe bananas;
stir in:
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt (or vegan sour cream)
now, add in al the important activators:
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
1/2 cup medium flake unsweetened coconut;
1/2 cup dried cranberries;
1/2 cup itty-bitty mini dark chocolate chips;
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger to taste-
i've got the cutest small loaf pans, which i made sure to grease up prior to portioning,
but i filled the batter up halfway in two dozen of them,
and topped them with a pinch of brown sugar,
and MORE coconut, this time in a sprankle capacity-
because too much is the right amount...
a little bake-up for about 20-25 minutes,
and kaPOW!
you've got miniature magnificence ready to rock your effing socks right off.
they're soft and spongy,
they're hearty and rustic and full of tart fruit,
sweet nanners,
dark chocolate,
and those subtle fall notes from the spices,
plus the recent memory of summer in that tight and TILTY coconut.
i love it when a treat surpasses my expectations.
for realsies, my expectations for myself and my baked greats are F*ing HIGH.
word up.
the avocado excelsior is in effect at AMPERSAND TATTOO though.
we had a whole family in the spot yesterday.
that's dope.
some of my favorites brought all of their people,
and we had the whole spot poppin'.
a few first tattoos,
a couple add-ons,
and a great time with genuinely good people...
that's about the best case scenario a guy could ask for,
i mean,
besides enormous piles of loot for doing far less.
THAT'S about the best i'd ask for,
but in the interest of earning and deserving,
a day full of fun friends and family is pretty damned awesome.
i'm grateful for the way the days unfold.
i never know how happy to allow myself to get,
so i save it for the next day,
so as not to jinx it-
it's all really happening, but i'm respecting a 24-hour delay in delight,
just in case the harder styles and tougher times are waiting in the cut to catch me off guard.
contentment is a curse,
and i reject it as a matter of course.
i stay hungry on every level,
and when i rest, it's never ever on my own laurels-
i collapse from fatigue in mid-pursuit of my ever-elusive ambitions...
believe it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, September 23


i whipped up an early a.m. batch of blueberry muffins so good,
they make me want to do high kicks and berserker somersaults.
the thing is:
i'm not as spry as i was once....
so, instead of that, i ate about a dozen of them,
and was far too fat and full to flip out all over the place with jumps and sh!t.
at least that's why i tell myself i didn't do the tip-top-toe kicks throughout the house.
what brought on the muffinstorm?
my dudes were in town, and they needed breakfast,
and that's what really real hosts provide when they see a need that needs filling,
or an empty bellyhole that needs nourishing-
at least,
that's how it goes if you understand the concepts of gratitude and generosity, y'know?
you know.
so, i fed my friends with fresh-baked flavorful antioxidant dopeness.
and really, what else would i have done?
there's protocols in place in regards to entertaining after all.
just look at what i'm talking about, man:
shoutouts to these little heavies-
you guys like muffins?
word too!!
these big action babies are spongy, firm, buttercrusty,
and covered in light-brown sugary cinnamon-kissed streusel!
F* yes!
i recommend you make a batch yourself-
what do you mean: why??
because they're really good, duh.
here's how to have a whole tray of morning magnificence in under an hour:

preheat your oven to 350℉
in a medium mixing bowl, begin by creaming together:
3/4 cup sugar;
1 stick earth balance vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 T lemon zest.
stir in:
1/2 cup vegan sour cream;
2 fat cups of a.p. flour;
1 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 cup wild maine miniature blueberries,
(or any other not-as-good blueberries if that's what you've got, i guess);
1/4 cup tapioca;
and 1/2 cup non-dairy milk.
a quick fold-in, and stir-up,
and you've got a lightly lavender-hued berry blarpity batter, ready for baking.
greased muffin tins,
and a scoople apiece,
and you're well on your way.
rules is rules,
and muffins need streusel-
1/4 cup oatbran;
and 1/4 cup flour;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup light brown sugar;
3 T vegan butter;
cinnamon, allspice, ginger;
and a dash of lemon zest;
bake those little baddies for 20ish minutes,
and eat them right away.
your face isn't ready for this much hottness,
but it'll have to adapt, because once you tune up one,
you're gonna need another 'nother couple dozen immediately.
that's real.
that's what's up.
today is the day, duders.
we get our signs.
we get to zipzap some oldschool regulars from the old spot.
we've got Perfect Fall Day magic on our side.
and it's official.
autumn is here.
and not for nothin', the equinox was tight.
indian food, a dog walk, some vegan ice cream, and exercise after the fact...
that's a whole post-work evening's worth of good stuff.
i'm grateful for the company i keep.
i'm thankful for all the work i'm doing,
and humbled by all there is ahead of me.
it's all really happening,
which is kind of the whole damned point, isn't it?
everything is unfolding around us like it's supposed to.
there's a kind of comforting horror in that;
never quiet, never soft.....


peanut butter!!!
cacao nibs!
chocolate chips!!
real mutha-effers crave these things,
and they orchestrate instances wherein they collide in a crescendo
of crucial textures, flavors, and sensations.
...and that's NO joke.
i'm pretty much all about chocolate and peanut butter,
and i'm relatively competent and capable when it comes to arranging circumstances
to get exactly what it is i'm hoping for.
in this instance,
that's a whole mess of chocolate and a healthy heap of peanut butter,
at the same time.
check the teleport:

the new new pastryish dough was in effect-
more of a rustic galette style than a delicate flaky jaun, for sure.
with melted chocolate warmed up with creamy organic natural peanut butter,
and a touch of vanilla, and a splash of soymilk, and a scoop of powdered sugar,
the filling was on point as well.
because rules is rules,
i activated some exxxtras on top.
chocolate leaves, AND chocolate chip sprankles 
added a necessary decorative element-
i mean,
who the F* wants to eat ugly food?
lazies, unworthies, miserables, and doodoobabybuttfaces.
those're the sh!tbirds who get psyched on ugly food.
.....and they do NOT have a spot saved at the treats table, neighbors.
no way.
here;s what you ca do to make the things that make this into a thing.
well,  just try our best to keep up:
in a medium mixing bowl, cut together:
1 1/4 cup a,p, flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
3 T earth balance buterrish;
3 T tofutti vegan creamchee';
3 T cacao nibs;
1/4 cup light brown sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
chop chop chop that int a coarsemeal mess with a pastry cutter or fork-
then, add in your favorite non-dairy milk,
1 T at a time, until the dough becomes jusssssst sticky enough
to self-adhere with minimal effort.
that's when you turn and fold and turn and fold a whole bunch,
to make layers of fat and flour that'll bake up exxxtra sexxxily.
word up.
rest it for a few in the fridge,
roll it on on a well-floured surface, cut it, shape it, add those accents, etc etc etc.'re going to want to bake it in the 400 degree range.
i did it for 20 minutes at 410℉, but you can do it however you'd like.
the interior was another matter.
it can get grainy, and sort of sucky, if you aren't careful.
oh, i'm careful, man-
but that doesn't eliminate the need to be mindful of natural peanut butter's
temperamental infinite nature.
oils and dry spots and textural inconsistencies that all want to creep into the melted chocolate,
and hide out, in lumps and clumps, that eff up the consistency of your middle.
that's real.
and that's why you add soymilk as an emulsifier.
do it like this:
in a small saucepot, melt:
1/2 cup chocolate chips;
1/2 cup organic natral peanut butter;
2 tsp vanilla;
3 T powdered sugar;
3 T soymilk, with more added as necessary, once the peanut butts get thiccc.
stir frequently once the chocolate melts, to incorporate any rogue elements in the mix.
this stuff is really tasty, but it wants to get firm in a hurry, so stay on it with the soymilk, bro.
that's how you keep it pliable.
you'll figure it out.
i believe in you.
yes, i add sugary dusties, and chocolate lumps, and all that decorative delightfulness.
i mean, you know my style by now, don't you:
too much is the right amount.
i couldn't do less.
the only issue i have with MORE-ifying my life is the added hours of operation at work.
that's for realsies.
there's art to make,
there's cake to bake,
there's risks to take,
but first, the studio needs constant tending and attention.
......and we haven't even gotten the signs hung up yet, dudes.
i mean it.
nobody even knows where we are!
i'm actually worried about when they do, too-
that's a genuine concern.
not about the level of busy-ness for the business,
but for the quality of the work.
i didn't skimp out not once on the design of the studio,
and i do NOT want to start taking shorts on the clientele now that we're open.
straight street skidmark squits are not overtly uninvited,
but the place is designed to be luxurious,
not some ordinary, everyday, average, run-of-the-mill mess.
how do i keep the eliteness at eleven, and the exclusivity at a premium,
without being as rude and dismissive as all the ladies up the road?
no, for real, though.
i'm actually asking-
for over a year now,
i have been the day-saving second choice of clients who receive the customary
cursory, perfunctory, curt refusal of their ideas up the street....
they're grateful, and i'm grateful, but it's not that great, if you get where i'm going here...
and while i enjoyed the cointelpro of hearts-and-minds being won by a comparative narrative,
i'm immeasurably more interested in accruing clients with genuinely good ideas,
rather than just snatching up castaways and cutouts.
i'm open to suggestions, although i almost never ever use them.
just sayin';
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, September 21


sixteen years.
sixteen YEARS!
it's been sixteen years that i've been tattooing my very good friend dan dealy.
and here's the thing-
he's rad.
far more adventurous and accomplished and motivated than i am,
and in addition,
he's also a lot kinder, and more socially adept as well.
dan dealy is my homeboy, and it's as simple and complicated as that.
he came up to visit the new studio,
on a whirlwind roundtrip roadtrip through all of new england and new york,
for family and friendship and weddings and everything else.
here's another thing-
i'm by FAR the most out-of-the-way destination on the circuit.
it counts more, to my mind, and in my heart, that i saw his family during their visit.
mr. and mrs. and baby makes three,
and that's some magic number sh!t, for sure.
kaye is great, and always has been, she's got poise, dudes,
and that's a rarity and thus a delight each and every time we see each other.
and that beautiful, sweet, incredibly well-mannered little bitty bay girl of theirs??
noa serene is adorable, and that's no joke.
what do you do when your dudes are in town,
and you've missed them terribly?
you put a whole lotta hurt to 'em.
one more time, on the knee.
we started el pulpo an age ago, and when we get the chance,
we give him a tune-up, and terrorize a little cap-and-bend flesh.
it's sort of like a family thing.
we meet up and punish ourselves.
it's not like i feel good about blasting his body into submission.....
but rules is rules,
and i do what needs doing.
i'm grateful, always,
for the remarkable people that've found their way into my life,
and traveled along the same paths,
and kept in contact as those same paths diverged into wildly tangential time and space.
i know i'm lucky,
and i do not take that for granted.
what do yo do for someone you just did a blunt-force mischief to?
you make that miki-flicker a sandwich.
that's how i apologize for giving you what you asked for.
to be honest, i knew it was gonna happen.
(the sandwich, not the tattoo)
and in preparation,
i made a semi-sourdough banh banh bread batch in the a.m.
i did.
look at what i did:
BANH MIGOS (mama!....fa-mi-ly)
the bread started with an every-8-hours-for 36-hours-fed poolish,
which had all the hottness bubbling in it's sugar-boosted floury bubble-blops.
i had 1 1/2 cups of THAT live and lovely starter,
added to 3 cups of a.p. flour,
and two teaspoons of bread machine yeast-
plus a cup of warm water,
and 3 T of olive oil.
kneaded hard, for ten minutes, in my stand mixer with a dough hook,
until it was smooooooooooth....
i gave it a half-hour contertop bulk,
punched it down, covered it,
and put it in the fridge over night.
it still proofed again, with zeal,
and in the a.m., the latent bread machine yeast kicked in,
while the cut and shaped loaves re-rose while the oven preheated
to 420℉.
twenty minutes of baking, after a gentle brush-up wth olive oil on the tops,
and y'got loaves on loaves like jesus or somethin'......
how good were they?
pretty effin' good.
the flavor?
incredible, with just the barest bit of sourdough tang.
not too fat, not too light. toothsome, hearty, perfect.
good bread makes better people, man.
that's real.
what makes a banh mi so dope?
pickled pickly picks on picks.
heck yes.
i had some custom quickpix radish carrot and jalapeno!
i drained those suckers,
and used their sweet and salty brine to activate some pickled red onions, too.
that's doubly expert.
and i even added some crawnchy little dill roundies on the bottom of the thing.
too much is the right amount, bro.
that's a fact.
and when you add coconut-oil-fried superturbo exxxtrafirm tofu,
with a dash of GPOP,
and vegan mayo,
and hot sriracha stripes,
and cilantro,
and MINT!
the mint was so righteous, i couldn't have gone wrong.
banh mi is so high up on my list of good things,
and i couldn't help but share it with my good friends.
i do what i do for my dudes,
and i do it as hard, and as best as i can.
it's all really happening, which is great,
and it's all shared with my worthiest warrior poets,
which is even greater.
i can't say enough how fortunate i feel to have seen this extended family of mine,
an to hold that perfect little baby girl,
and to span time with those who truly care.
i know,
it's mushy,
but it's also the truth;
never quiet, never soft.....


i love a good ol' fashioned regular-A* panniecake.
i do.
like, a LOT.
or, at least,
i thoroughly enjoy the heck out of my non-ordinary activated,
expert approximated vegan version.
and when i can spread the word,
and spread some homemade compote,
and add some real new hampshire maple syrup, too?
you'd best believe i'm already standing by the griddle with a spatula ready to flip the eff out
and make a little flapjack stack attack happen asap.
wordimus prime.
i did that, and i'm happy i did,
because that sh!t hit the SPOT.
no, really, it did-
check the morning-glorious-type teleport:

the blueberries were precise AF.
TILTY to eleven, and tasty even more so.
you might need some of it.'s how to make it:
in a small saucepot, over medium-low heat, combine:
1 cup frozen wild little mini blueberries;
1 tsp lemon zest;
3 T cup powdered sugar;
3 T light agave;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
1 T non-GMO organic cornstarch-
that's gonna get thick and luscious and awesome,
and you're gonna wanna stir it a bunch, to keep it spreadable, and not clumpy...
and you're gonna wanna spread it heavy, because it's F*ing awesome.
and with toasted coconut sprankles????
that's some 2048AD joinx, buddy.
it's almost as if i was on some futuristic savant seance action.
i mean it.
these cakes were a joyous celebration of Folk Life, for realsies.
i'm lucky to have the time,
even if it comes at the expense of anything resembling restful slumber,
to create worthy investitures amongst the ranks of the most heroic breakfasts.
that's not even the half of it, either, friends.
on the ones,
the pancakes themselves got that good-good to 'em, too.
...that's no joke.
vegan sour cream, a little freshly-ground coconut,
and a whole lot of melted earth balance butter...
that's my current freeform add-in lineup,
all with the intention of making a fresher-than-fresh-to-death pancake-ulation sensation!!
in a medium bowl, whisk together:
1 1/4 cup a.p. flour;
1 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
>1/2 tsp salt;
3 T sugar;
4 T fresh-ground unsweetened unsulphured coconut;
1 cup non-dairy milk + 1 T lemon juice, stirred and rested 5 minutes;
1 tsp vanilla;
3-4 T vegan sour cream;
3+ fat tsp melted plant-based butter.
stirred, rested a little, and blasted onto a hot hot griddle?
that's how life turns into art, bro.
you've made pancakes before, so, i mean, keep doing that.
it makes you cooler.
that's real.
scrambo is always dope.
i feel like i write about it an awful lot, so i'll just say this about that:
hemp hearts are a must.
they've got aminos or something,
and they're full of other nutrients, and proteins, and whatever.....
it's all some hippie sh!t, but they make the scram better,
ad that's what matters most.
as always, i go heavy on turnmeric, with a hint of smoked paprika.
the GPOP is critical, obvi,
but, it's the nootch that really levels the whole thing up a notch.
there's lots of ways to crumble and fry tofu.
i'd recommend you try out some rougue angles yourself, and see what you come up with.
that's where the sorcery really occurs.
i had mine gettin' freaky-deek with radishes and tomatoes, and scallions, too.
i like tarts and crawnches and sharp bright zings....
it's like i'm eating sound effects, really.
a symphonic full-spectrum surround-sound feast for my whole entire head.
why would i want anything less?
i wouldn't man.
don't be dumb-
too much is the right amount,
and everything else is sleepybaby doo-doo-butthead wimpleberry watermilk.
which, while totally fabricated wholecloth,
sounds like some stuff you wouldn't want at your birthday party.
i.e. it's NOT invited.
walk-up wendesday was a success.
sort of.
i mean,
i only tattooed dudes all day,
i tattooed all day.
that's a defining example of win-some-lose-some.
movie checks?
tight hangouts with loose women?
however, as i was flying solo at the studio,
perhaps immersing myself in menfolk was the best way to keep the vibe comfortable.
nobody likes to feel unwelcome in a vulnerable position,
and we care a whole lot about that, as far as you know.
y'feel me?
check it:
AMPERSAND TATTOO is a safe place, man.
sure, if you're dealing with some gender identity issues or some sh!t,
or some make-believe hetero-equivalency problems,
like carrying privileged over-educated entitlement-guilt,
or any of the other assorted and myriad would-be-woke woes,
we're tolerant of all that too.
if you're down to be the dopest version of yourself,
you're invited.
if you're a close-minded, tight-lipped, ham-fisted, narrow minded F*faced necktard,
with the full force of north country insulated bigoted mediocrity behind you?
and that's my word, which is law in my sovereign studio space.
that means we want all the strong ones,
all the confident ones,
the curious ones,
the bi-curious ones,
the social-injustice-opposing furious ones,
the smart ones (especially),
and all the other other ones who believe in becoming something better every damned day.
y'all are our VIPS an' that.

it's safe place for free-thought, free-will, and free speech.
it's not a place for gentle words and soft language, empty platitudes, and cloying compliments-
it is a haven for hard-styles, heavy heads, hot hands, open hearts and minds;
and a refuge for refutation, rebuttal, and refusal of status quo ordinariness.
it's destined to be a demesne for debate, too-
as in;
it's where real talk meets real-ass art-making,
at a apex'd-up fulcrum of full-figured fully-operational full-frontal furious flavorful
Folk Lively FRESHNESS.
and if you can't hang out with descriptors, or with alliteration, or with tight vocabulary,
or inclusive discussions,
as well as dedicated, delighted, determined tattzappin' turned up to eleven,
there ARE plenty of other studios that'll stroke your fragile sensibilities,
and i strongly suggest you seek those guys out.
we're here is you're in search of something MORE.
that's our thing,
and it can also be your thing,
if you want it.
it's all really happening, and that's the best news i've heard all year;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, September 18


SMOKY (slightly chipotle'd) TOFU!!
i made myself a F*ing feast last night.
i did.
i got home late, again.
and i got right to work.
time was tight, and the hunger/anger level was through the ROOF.
crepes are great for that.
easy, exxtra-flat, super-thin pancakes?
that's dope.
and after a loooong day on nearly non-stop tattooing,
i needed a flippin' SAGA to satiate my starvation.
that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.
i came up with some epic edible adventure time, however,
so all's well that ends in shark-gluttony, as i always say (as of just now.)
check out the mediterranean mealtime mayhem i managed:

where'd i start?
with the red lentils, of course-
3/4 cup red lentil beans;
3 T finely chopped onion;
2 cups broth;
black pepper, cumin, dried mustard, ginger, GPOP, sriracha flakes, turmeric,
and the babiest blend of red pepper flakes, paprika, and star anise,
just to delicately deliver some exxtra-special flavorful flecks
of super-official fire to my face.
that took twenty minutes to cook up.
while that was going hard in the paint,
i had some hot coconut oil frying up a ferociously smoky tofu situtation.
that's 1/2 block exxxtra-firm tofu, cubed, in the oil,
with smoked paprika, regular sweet paprika, cholula chipotle ho'sauce,
and GPOP (obvi).
the slight coconut tones went right along with the seriously smoky redness,
and i have to admit,
when coupled with the red lentils,
the tandem protein scene was dreamy.
that's no joke.
i put kale AND arugula on there!
i had pea shoots;
unappealingly super-hot sharp AF jalapeno slices;
and homemade TZATZIKI, son!
1 mini cucumber, minced;
(about 1/2 cup), drained on a paper towel to keep it from being prohibitively wet.
2 BIG spoonfuls of unsweetened cashew yogurt;
1 large crushed clove of garlic;
1 tsp lemon juice;
1/4 tsp dill leaves.
^^^that's the JOINX right there^^^
all of that, all together,
had just about the best ratio of wet to dry, crisp to soft,. sweet to savory-
it went to eleven with every mutha-lickin' bite, bro,
and the crepes?
in a smallish bowl,combine:
1 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
2 T nootch;
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk;
2 tsp flaxmeal.
poured out in big spoonfuls on a big ol' very hot pan,
over and over,
six times in a row...
one flip, when the tops get dry,
and a plateful of goodness is ready and waiting for all that other other stuff.
and now it's time to get back to work.
i swear i haven't had a day to myself in months.
it may be some time yet before i get one, too.
today is the day.
just like yesterday.
busy business is big business around here.
and it's all really happening, friends.
stop by and become a part of it,
or, maybe just read about it at your leisure from a more comfortable place.
that's cool, too;
never quiet, never soft.....


do you guys even ever eff with black currants?
you don't?
too bad, because that's some good sh!t to eff with.
well, no, actually, i don't have any either....
i only have black currant jam.
but, it'll serve.
i mean, seriously, it's very sightly, slightly seedy, sweet purple blarps
of succulent secret berry delights.
no. really, though-
it's dope and it's thick, and despite being something i was previously exposed to
while over in britain,
this specific jammie-jam i've got is from france, i think;
it's in my latest galette,
which just so happens to also have the most elite crust i've made in a dog's age,
whatever THAT means.
(the dog's age, not the part about the crust)
i'm on some:
apples for september;
black currants for my face;
and brown sugar-laced new new for everybody else.
i wouldn't want to waste time would i?
no way.
effective efficiency is how i get my days underway,
and when i've got an exxxtra minute or two, i bake y'all a little treat-
go ahead,
check the big-bakey-style teleport:

i'll confess,
the photo is cropped to conceal an abnormality in the crust.
one edge kind of elongated, and it went slightly amoebic in shape,
rather than the original round i put in the oven.
it's cool, though.
it tasted the same- that weird lopsidedness was not a detriment to the flavor.
it's just blackcurrant jam on the bottom,
two macintosh apples, cored, and sliced,
and fanned around and over that sloppy slapped-down jamboree layer,
in three successive spreads to cover all the available area,
which was about 11", not including the foldover margin.
then, i hit it up with a secondary dolloped dousing dose of black currant .
that's all that's going on in there.
could that be easier?
i mean, besides leaving out one of the ingredients, obvi.
i moistened the dough, and shook on a whole mess of demerara sugar sprankles,
despite being generous with the brown sugar INside the actual pastry.
because rules is rules,
and the rules at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress clearly state:
too much is the right amount.
get with it, bro.
and what was this new dough all about?
it was about time i made some sh!t that looked like actual galette crust, really.
here's what happened:
in a medium mixing bowl, with a pastry cutter,
or more tiresomely: a fork-
cut in:
4 T COLD earth balance butterish substitute;
3 T COLD vegan creamchee';
1/4 tsp salt;
1 1/4 cups flour;
3 T light brown sugar.
add 1 tsp vanilla;
and ice-COLD non-dairy milk 1 T at a time,
fork cut into the crumbles,
until the whole mixture resembles very dry scone mix.
that'show you'll know you're ding it right.
next, y'gotta fold it, and turn it, and fold it, and turn it,
and then fold it, and turn it out onto a well-floured surface,
roll it into a rough round, about 3/8" thick (or whatever, man),
and put your stuffs into the center.
and when you bake it? bake it HOT.
like 425℉.
and don't get impatient.
give 'er a full 25 minutes worth,
and get that crust crusty, like the name implies.
just sayin'.
am i too busy?
but, am i busy?
hell yes.
the only real downside to my sexy new artistic enclave?
poor little crabtree is being somewhat neglected.
i'm so embarrassed.
that's my main man right there,
but he's too maniacal to come with me,
and i'm too pressed for time to walk him even more,
so that he might be less maniacal.
it's tough.
i gotta work,
and i gotta get those movie checks,
but when i get home, late, every day,
after leaving him alone MUCH earlier than i used to,
i can't help but feel like i'm the world's worst one.
especially when i get home, feed him,
then spend a few making myself a magnificent meal.
he's not the type of terrier to take that lightly,
and as a result, our evenings consist of a high degree of pent-up canine combat.
he's so fired up,
we frequently have a full-blown exercise session, for hours, and hours, after supper.
and that's a lot to handle,
when you're already handling a lot of everything else....
yeah yeah,
poor me, right?
i'm just letting y'all know how important AMPERSAND TATTOO is to me.
i'm failing at family time with my four-legged friend,
because making my work work harder by working harder is what i DO.
that's real life unfolding in real time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 17


the cinnamon swirls, tho!
you aren't aware?
for realsies??!
cinnamon swirl tops are the TRUTH.
i mean,
they're like half palmiers, overlapping and activating all
the protective talismans of total taste immersion,
like an expert shield wall of worthy warrior poetry,
and cinnamon,
on top of my numero uno favortite.
a fresh local macintosh apple mutha-btchin' pie.
oh. i made a pie.
take a teleportational LOOK:

y'boi right here is climbing all up into the pie scene,
and those cinnamon swirls are only adding to the eminence and excellence
of my powerful panful of apple cinnamon brown sugary big action.
i'll admit that my tendency towards overdoing things is why
they're not as defined as the could've been.
no, for real.
i took the buttery brown sugary cinnamon filling to eleven,
but the pastry only went to ten, if you feel me....
too much is the right amount,
but it might lead to overloads and overflows of blarped out caramel if you aren't careful.
...and i wasn't careful.
the swirls are only swirly in some spots,
and, while still incredibly flaky and buttery and crispy and sticky everywhere else,
they're more of a suggestion than a definitive structure.
next time, neighbors.
i'll get better and get it together next time.
until then,
lemme tell you a little more about a good pie-
i bake em at over 400℉.
like 415-25.
that's right.
i want my edges golden brown, bro.
and i've described in detail my piecrust about a billion times,
so i'm going to skip it right now-
the apples were exxxtra tasty this time,
and i think it's because i used butter AND organic sugar AND cinnamon AND ginger
AND agave AND vanilla in the pot with 'em.
i cook my apples enough to soften them,
and create a pectin-rich syrup to soak into the bottom crust.
i like the juice, but not if it's all sorts of wet.
for whatever reason, these jauns weren't inclined towards being watery,
and that was great news.
if you don;t let your apple blops cool a bit, your bottom crust will wilt and melt
and generally kind of suck.
that's no good, so be patient, and allow your apple medley to take it easy first, man.
eight medium apples should do the trick, but i'll wager nine is even better.
a braid around the rim always makes me more interested in a slice of this hottness.
i'm a sucker for a braid,
and i'm guilty of overdoing the things that i like.
so, braids happened.
and raw sugar sprankles on TOP of the cinnamon swirlies did too.
i go hard on the pie scene.
i really like pie.
i mean, c'mon, what's a lean, mean, mutha-ucker s'posed to do?
bring that weak sh!t up in here?
i don't think that's the right play.
i go hard on the pie scene.
that's my area.
we gave away TWO free tattoos yesterday.
that's right.
to celebrate completion of our amazing avocado death star,
we turned up our own giveaway to eleven.
because we had that sh!t up on instagram & facebook,
so it sort of made sense to separate them a little bit;
and also,
because we're always willing to do MORE.
real talk.
this new studio situation is more demanding than i thought it'd be-
and i thought it'd be pretty effing demanding.
and seven days of tattooing every week is a LOT.
i barely have time to grocery shop,
which could severely limit my cake production.
that's a harder style than you might imagine.
making and baking have been my saving graces for a little minute now.
and without all this fine food fabricating,
i might not've become the interior decorating despot in charge of my own spot.
no, for real, though-
all that intentional invention and attention carried over to the new studio.
without the cake, there could not have been our most magnificent bathroom.
weird, i'll admit.
but also not a joke.
it's all really happening.
we've got lucky winners,
we've got busy days,
we've got much to do.
there are far worse ways to span time,
and i think we're very fortunate for the immersive environment
and the attentive clients,
and the general attitude of gratitude and generosity we cultivate every damned day;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, September 16


y'better get that formuoli!!
hell yeah, duders.
because the formuoli is essential for activating those homemade ravioli jauns.
and when i decide it's time to doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
you can guarantee i'm fixin' to get molto busy with those sexxxy pasta pouches.
i showed you my pesto pizza.
y'know what was especially awesome about that?
well, i followed my true path and purpose,
and made more than i could conceivably need.
because too much is the right amount.
and that's good news, since i got to fire up a whole other 'nother powerful pesto meal
the very next mutha-flippin' day!
how dope was the dinnertime scene?
molto molto, of course.

from-scratch vegan pasta is great.
custom pesto is terrific.
juicy fillings and add-ons and sprankles are essential.
and all of it, all together, is the path, process, and procedure by which
really-real plant-based kitchen wizards do their thing.
....and you know i'm gonna do my thing.
some years ago,
this forum was a catalog and chronicle of my daily doings,
comings, goings, and happenings.
in a way, it still is.
i've just refined my daily actions and activities
to be infinitely more nourishing to my mind and my body.
i s'pose that is a natural, logical, evolution, isn't it?
after all, the prose and poetry of pain and suffering ma have been exquisitely descriptive
back when my world as i knew it ended, fittingly in 2012......
but the detailed accounts of my real-life fabulous feasting is a whole lot easier to digest
on just about every level.
i hope those of you who've been around since the jump agree.
and for all the newcomers-
thanks for reading, and maybe just avoid the archives from before 2014.
real-life documentarianism demands i keep the true-storytelling records,
but let's not dwell in hell,
and move forward like the bakery barbarians and stovetop savages
which we were always meant to be.
moving on,
who wants to make some pumpkin seed pesto??
you do? and you, too??
wordimus prime!
here's all you've got to do:
in your inestimably heroic food processor, blend up:
2 cups of fresh basil;
1/2 cup raw pepita pumpkin seeds;
a generous sprinkling salt;
1/4 cup nutritional yeast;
4-5 T olive oil;
2 large cloves of garlic;
black pepper to taste.
puree that sh!t, and let it marry and marinate for a bit.
it's good!
like, really really good.
make some, and you'll be glad you did...
and those tight and TILTY ravs?!
c'mon, man.
that's that good-good.
knead up:
1/2 cup flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/3 cup warm water.
flour up your board and pin.
roll it out, cut some 2" circles, (twice as many as you think you'll need, obvi)
and put the filling of your choice in the centers,
with a healthy margin for crimping both sides together.
i had some caramelized onion bits, and sauteed crushed garlic, and wilted shredded kale,
and i combined all of that with my custom cashew-garlic chee',
and made up the most exquisite middle-stuffs i've had in some time.
or, since the last time, probably.
what do you even know about this sh!t?
are you on that heavily salted water boiling up those little packets of tastiness
until the little effers float?
or putting a spoonful of hot pasta water in a bowl with a fat scoop of pesto
in order to make it slippery and sticky for optimum ravioli coating?
i hope so, because that's how you do it right.
pesto and ravs is a luscious combo.
but with those black-peppered pan-toasted pepita sprankles, on top?
and those fried sweet grape tomato joinx?
AND few baby kale leaves, too?
that's mandatory sexxxiness.
rules is rules, after all.
and when you've got triple exxxtras above the homemade everything else?
that's when your simple pasta supper goes all the way to eleven.
i don't want lazy food.
i don't want ugly food.
i don't want boring food.
i want that PRECISE  sh!t.
the kind of yumums that can GET IT.
if you know, you know.
if you don't, you're out of the loop,
and you need to get into the loop,
and stop being a poop-boat.
that's no joke.
we're picking winners today.
winners for the AMPERSAND TATTOO opening giveaway contest.
we've got to pick a random name from 600+ entrants.
that's a lot, bro.
in fact,
it's SO many,
we're going to give away a tattoo from EACH OF US!
because we're AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and we add on those exxtra-ands like it's cool, fool-
so there'll be one big winner.....& then, kaBOOM, another OTHER one as well!
that's right.
we doo-doo that real-A* sh!t.
we've been open a whole week,
and i still haven't seen you.
what're you waiting for?
come say hi, and have a slice of pie, guy.
there's the distinct smell of pizza in the closet.
you can come sniff it.
there're scented candles galore up in this b!tch, too.
we got all the good smells, fella.
that's always good news;
never quiet, never soft.....