Monday, July 9


a crazily busy saturday at AMPERSAND TATTOO
sometimes puts us in a weird position, in regards to time.
yeah, yeah,
there's never enough of it,
and we're always losing it,
and the prioritization of certain preferred procedures has us at a disadvantage.
for example,
i've not gotten myself a morning coffee since wednesday morning.
that's a big break in routine for y'boi.
it's F*ing sandwich week wherein instead of allllll the treats and cakes,
i've focused exclusively on bread and buns and big barbaric batches
of burly, beautiful, bountiful badassery for my bellyhole...
it's a lot, neighbors.
so, time's running out, every day. that's real.
and time is getting distorted every night. that's also true.
so, somewhere in between the launch into daylight,
and the gradual summertime descent into darkness,
there's got to be MORE of everything.
guys, too much is the right amount, and that's a fact.
...even when there's nowhere near enough time to do it all.
in all honesty, three nights a week i sleep less than three hours.
it's brutal, it's ill-advised, it's physically and psychologically draining-
but it's all really happening, man.
there's no way to fit MORE into every day without being MORE awake to do it.
and that's the double-edge, y'know?
i'm actually slightly less awake just for far longer.
and at some point after work, with my groggy noggin' numb and dumb,
and the promise of sleep lingering along the periphery,
i STILL had to make a sandwich.
word up.
rules is rules.
it should come as no surprise that dylan was around.
he's been great about really getting involved in the celebration.
in fact, he's been the best sandwich companion and active partiicpant
i've had around here in years.
no joke.
so, when we sorta started brainstorming ideas for a late-in-the-day late-in-the-game
seitan something or other, it was actually kinda nice to know that he was genuinely
invested in the spirit of the thing.
that's tight.
we ended up with something resembling a reuben, almost.
what it was, absolutely, was expert AF.
seriously, check the teleport:

WOW, right?
yeah, bruh....i know!
a rainbow of highly-saturated color and flavor,
all on buttery pan-toasted sprouted-wheat from-scratch sourdough.
after all, good bread makes better people.
that's no joke.
and another 'nother non-laughing matter is how flippin' tight the homemade seitan game is
here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory.
five slabs of my custom proprietary seitan hottness, sliced into strips,
and sauteed with a few glugs of olive oil, vegan worcestershire sauce, tamari,
and liquid smoke, along with a LOT of fresh cracked black pepper,
and a lil GPOP, to freak it off...
i mean, it's not science, is it? it's ad-lib improv, based on prior experience.
extrapolation? maybe.
i dunno what the right word is, but it boils down to a by-eye estimation of expertism,
and it browned up that wheat meat just right.
y'know what i did to that seitan?
i tossed it with a punch of parsley, and a shaved carrot's worth of orange ribbons.
check the teleport:

there's the bread, and it's great.
there's that smoky, peppery seitan, and THAT'S great.
there's pickles....those are always great.
there's pickled red onions, homemade, of course; all briny and slippery and sharp.
i love a good pickled O, dudes. so i make 'em.
these were exxxtra simple-
cider vinegar, pink salt, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds,
with half a big red onion barely covered, and brought to a boil,
before simmering until the pink overpowers the vinegar.
that's all you need.
BUT, that's not all there was to it!
obvi, i'm on that overload jauns, so i overloaded the whole scene between the bread.
and that charred purple and green cabbage!?!
first off, that's so F*ing good.
also, the char adds a complexity to those simple-A* leaves that can't be compared, kids.
if you can't leave a few wedges in a pan to blacken up in a squirt of oil,
and flip 'em once to guarantee maxxximum grill flavor?
you are weak, and you don't deserve to celebrate sandwich week.
that's a fact.
lastly, and most importantly,
that SAUCE is F*ing righteous.
turmeric, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and vegan mayo.
like, a dash of cayenne, a crack'em'up twist of fresh black peps,
a spoonful of yellow magic, and a shake or three of the smoky red sorcery,
in a fat scoop of vegenaise.
if you need to know what heroism tastes like, this is your spread.
seriously, it tastes likes high-speed search-and-rescue.
i dunno know what that means, since i'm probably in a sleep-deprivation hallucination,
but i DO know that it tasted fabulous.
sandwiches are analagous to my life, neighbors.
the outside is golden, and shaped by hand, with carefully crafted and prepared presentation.
the insides, while full of essentials, are a whole lot messier,
and more diversely dispersed, with seemingly incongruous ingredients
forming one essential whole that'd be total bullsh!t without any one of those disjointed
but interconnected  jauns interwoven within.
i need all the big action,
and i need all the superfancy complications that come with it.
that's just how it is;
never quiet, never soft.....

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