Wednesday, August 29


it's been the most batsh!t bananas (fruit bats, obvi) week.
and it's only wednesday!!
monday was a wild scramble to the finish line-
except the finish line kept moving a step or ten beyond wherever i was.
the day was long, the styles were hard, the times were tough,
and all of it seemed to continue on without end well into the wee hours of the a.m.,
which is to say, so late it was early.
that's no joke, and that's not cool.....
somewhere in there, despite the day being 92℉,
i still fired up the oven, twice, and brought the noise to the boys,
which is to say: crabtree and dylan,
while i sweat it out, and sweat bullets about everything else,
including how to lock up all the bullets.
i made flatbread buns,
i made tofu with herbs,
i used that custom homemade tomato sauuuuce,
and i heaped on an acre of leafy greenery to activate all the necessary nutrients.
i'm gonna have to ask you to check the teleport real quick:

the bread was expert.
the baked chee'-on-top blops were expert.
the secret onions on the bottom?
man, you already know.
that's my move, and i sweat my eyes out doing it, too.
do you see those fresh garden-plucked tomato slices?
roasted up with olive oil and black pepper and salt and rosemary?
F*ing elite.
and that exxxtra-firm af tofu,
with that very TILTY herb-crust?
y'all ain't ready, but here's the truth:
ground fennel seed, thyme, oregano, GPOP, pink salt, black pepper,
and non-GMO organic cornstarch-
fried in olive oil on high heat, giving no effs at all, until it was crisssssspy.
then, on parchment, in a FOUR-'UCKING-HUNNERD-DEGREE oven,
i baked 'em with that burly sauce,
and miyoko vegan magic mozzarella on top-
do you see those parsley spranks?
those are garden-fresh too, boo-boo.
if you measure spices, you're weird.
i just give em a shake-a-shake-a, and maybe a lil tappy-tap, and i'm all set.
try it.
you might be surprised at how good you are at it.
the bread was really good, too.
i confess i baked that in the early a.m., but still, it was ready for me when i got home,
and that's pretty cool, too.
1 1/2 cups flour;
1 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
3 T olive oil;
1 pkg regular-ol' yeast, bloomed in
2/3 cup warm water;
kneaded together in your incomparably useful stand mixer, with the dough hook hookin'-
risen for thirty, shaped, re-risen for another 'other thirty,
then baked, at like 375℉, for like twenty five minutes.
that's a heck of a sandwich, man.
and you know what?
i LOVE sandwiches.
i really do.
so, i had the nourishment to make my night forge forward like a champ,
and i used that to do that, and make it all as nice as possible on short notice.
sweet, right?
i know!
and now i'm pressed for time again.
this blog, as it exists at the moment, may cease to do so, soon.
i just can't do twenty-hundred things at once.
we'll see how it goes,
but there's a diminished return on keeping in detached contact with a limited readership.
time will tell,
but right now, it's too busy running out;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 27


buffalo cauliflower?
fired buffalo cauliflower?
ho'sauce-battered gluten free fried buffalo cauliflower??
that's what's good around here, neighbors.
last night, after a long day of tattzappin' at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
but before a long night of sorting and removing obstacles from my life,
i had to have dinner, and it had to be expert as heck, man.
i had a head of cauliflower, and a few different hot sauces, and an idea,
and this is what i came up with:

on a rainbow bed of maroon radicchio, and purple and green cabbage shreds,
these jauns were dominating the dinner game.
for serious, these spicy nicey-nice lil bites did the trick.
so, for starters,
i had very hot canola oil in a high-walled frying pan-
y'know the ones? like on teevee shows, where southern folks eff with chickens?
that's gross as hell, but the pan does the trick.
i had an inch and a half of oil getting high-heated for a bit,
while i got all the rest ready.
the batter was the best! that's no joke.
it was a little complicated, but i bet that it could easily be simplified, for sure-
in a small metal mixing bowl big enough to eventually hold
a whole head of cauliflower chopped into 2" chunks,
1/3 cup chick pea flour;
3 T tapioca flour;
1/2 cup rice-based gf 1:1 baking flour;
3 T texas pete ho'sauce;
33 cracks of fresh black pepper;
1 tsp ea. Garlic Powder, Onion Powder;
2 T nutritional yeast;
1 tsp paprika;
1/2 tsp sriracha flakes or cayenne;
1 /2 tsp ground sage;
1 tsp rubbed thyme;
2 tsp baking powder;
1/4 cup dill pickle brine;
1 cup warm water.
...guys, this stuff was elite!
and covering all those little florets, it stuck like glue, and got very crispy very quickly-
(i guess if you're not afraid of gluten, you could just use a.p. flour, and it's be fine, too?)
the key is to have the batter room temperature, and the cauliflower, too.
nobody wants to cool off the oil and make it take FORever to fry, right?
then, when they're super golden and good,
y'gotta use your spider (that wire ladle thing, and transfer them to a big bowl,
to toss with some custom vegan buff-stuff-
i doo-do that sort of sh!t for sure!
2 T sriracha;
1/4 cup frank's red hot;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1 T nootch;
1/4 cup vegenaise;
1 tsp hot paprika;
black pepper to taste-
man, y'all ain't ready-
regular buffalo is a'ight, but this sh!t right here goes to eleven, no question.
toss a few blops of it on those wild pipin' white-hot oily nuggies,
and you're good to go-
don't use too much, or they'll steam, and while the flavor will be incredible-
the texture gets a little soffffffffffffft.
be careful and you'll be fine-
MORE side sauce for dunkin' is the move, man.
that's no joke.
and MORE of the sauce, uncut and unadulterated means MORE flavor available
to exxxplode inside of your hungry head.
that's tight.
oh, yeah.
and also, if you DON'T garnish these bad boys with plenty of pickles,
you are definitely an A*-hole.
and nobody invites an A*-hole to their makeout parties, kiddo-
so eat a pickle and cut the crap.
those briny dilly cukes are essential to activate the maxxximum flavor profile.
don't get lazy, and don't get cheap on me, now-
the crunchy cabbage underneath, the salty pickles on top,
the spice and the tang and the hottness all throughout the cauliflower.....
if only i'd made a little vegan ranch, maybe?
too much is the right amount,
but being outta time is the current situation.
so y'get what y'get, and you like it, or not, but that's all there is to it.
that's how it goes- and on and on it continues into today;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 26


i used square chinese wheat noodles.
hold on-
i skipped ahead-
these days, there's literally no spare time-
i have all sorts of sh!t going on around here:
there are plumbing problems getting piped up.
there are space invasions getting mapped out.
there's little kid beds and cribs and sooooo many shoes stacked up around here-
oh, i'm serious as heckfire, homie...
i'm about to do a great big grown-up change-of-lifestyle upgrade,
complete with new people, in large amounts, living within the walls and halls
of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i already have the most terrific twosome of teens.
that's no question-
a pair of the most brag-about-able babes have already made this place more inhabitable-
my daughters,
harvest and maple are the pioneers of family togetherness-
and now we're just multiplying the number of participants, and seeing where that takes us all.
they set the standard, and i honestly don't know if i could've managed
without their brightness and lightness and loveliness to look forward to all the time.
and thanks to them, i've become a more adept and adroit activator of expertism.
it's good news, that-
because now i've got about three days to get this place in fighting trim,
so that a second set of small ones can experience the woodsly goodness at it's finest.
a sleepless, stressful, total upheaval is unfolding from a secret universal blueprint for
the next phase in Folk Livelihood up here.
that's a big deal.
so big, in fact, that i almost forgot to make dinner.
except, a man's gotta eat, man.
so, i took some of diane's tomatoes, and basil, and parsley,
and combined 'em with some of my own herbs, and stuff,
and made myself a magnificent mainara.
word up.
so, as i began to tell you up top-
i used square chinese wheat noods, dudes.
check the teleport:

i didn't give not one single F* about that pasta.
it tasted like pasta. maybe it wasn't hard semolina blah-blah-blah,
but it was hot, and wet, and soft, and supple,
and it held onto all the sauce like it was s'posed to.
indistinguishable from italian, under that tomato blanket.
that's no joke.
i had sauteed kale underneath, with a touch of GPOP, pink salt, and black pepper,
with a drizzle of olive oil to lube it up in the pot.
i had vegan buttered homemade sourdough bread for soppin' up any stray sauce, too.
good bread makes better people,
and better people scoople every shred of sauce.
i had those freshie-fresh parsley sprankles to make it pretty-
bro, rule is rules, and garnish is mandatory around here.
ugly food isn't invited if it isn't all that attractive, it needs accessories.
that's real.
the sauce was the superstar, though, kids.
really, i was very surprised at how expert is was.
here's the rudown, for those of you who like a rundown:
in a medium sauce pot, with a tablespoon of olive oil, on highish heat, sizzle up:
1/2 minced sweet onion;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
1 T nootch;
1 tsp ea. Garlic Powder Onion Powder;
1/2 tsp black pepper;
cook until the onions soften, then add:
1 tsp minced fresh oregano;
1 handful fresh hand-torn basil;
1/4 tsp rubbed rosemary;
1/2 tsp sage and thyme;
stir that all up, so that the herbs toast just a touch, then add:
1 T red wine vinegar;
3 pureed garden-fresh tomatoes;
3/4 tsp bouillon base;
half a small can of tomato paste;
turn the heat to medium, and stir it up, letting it bubble up and thicken and get all sorts of good.
leave the wooden spoon in there, guy.
everybody knows that's how grandma did it, and hers was probably the best, right?
add a handful of minced parsley towards the last few minutes of cookin',
when it's all thickened up and could use last blast of greenery;
and you've got what you need to do what you want-
provided what you want is a big ol' pot of powerful pasta sauce.
good sauce transcends your preferred style of pasta, buddy.
like, y'all could use square chinese jauns, and nobody would know if you didn't tell 'em.
that's the truth.
and i used square chinese jauns because i wanted to see if that was a thing.
they ARE spaghetti, bruh.
for sure.
i had those whole grain sourdough nutrients.
i had those dark, leafy greens going hard underneath.
i had that sauce bossing the whole plate around.
i even had those noods doing it and doing it and doing it well-
but then i had to get back into character.
i tossed seven coats!
like, seven coats i'd not worn in years.
and twenty-seven scarves.
as in, neck wraps that hadn't seen action since the early double-digits.
and nine pairs of flippity-flops. nine. that's eighteen sole-shaped flaps.
ALL donated to the bye-bye store.
i thought more stuff was the solution.
it's actually sort of the problem.
weird coats are not as interesting as weird art.
curiosities are one thing- an interesting wizard house is alright with me-
but a whole roomful of too many ugly hats is a whole other situation,
and one that i'm embarrassed to admit i found myself wading through last night.
i'm maybe just a little bit weird sometimes.
oh well, i'm remedying that at breakneck velocity.
let's see if i can move faster than the world;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 25


it stands for bean soup, y'poopheads!
pressed for time, falling asleep on my feet,
and wondering where the F* the summer went to-
that was my morning, day, afternoon, and night-
so i had to have something to boost my spirits and my nutrients.
i mean, really,.
when you're stressed to death, and can't catch your breath or a break,
what the heck do you even have going for you?
well, if you're me, then you've gotta rely on the ability to endure,
and the skills to make something expert quick-fast and in a hurry-
good food is better medicine than medicine, man.
and i dosed myself with a heroic booster shot of  mexican-style sloppiness.
wait. does that sound good to you?
it should, because what i was scoopin' on was ferociously flavorful.
black bean soup is in my top five dead or alive.
that's for sure.
and when you upgrade it all the way?
man, y'all don't even know the half of it-
check the teleport:

that quinoa has GPOP, black pepper, and wheat-free soy sauce in it-
boiled that way for subtle activation, and grand taste without even trying.
word up.
that's sourdough bread, from scratch, for dippin' too, dudes.
i don't play around when it's soup time.
no way am i half-steppin' half-correctly to my pots of power like a poseur.
that ain't me.
i had alllllll the flavors.
all of 'em.
wanna make it at your house?
it's pretty easy, really, if you don't suck.
just do all of this:
get yourself a small big pot, if you catch my drift-
and melt a tablespoon or two of vegan butter in it-
now add:
1/2 sweet onion, diced;
1 yellow carrot, sliced into discs;
1 orange carrot sliced into discs;
1 stalk celery, diced;
1/2 jalapeno, minced;
4 cloves garlic, minced;
1 cup red. orange, and yellow sweet bell peppers, chopped;
2 small italian peppers, diced;
1/2 sweet potato, cubed, skins-on;
saute that with:
1 tsp oregano;
1 T crushed fresh basil;
1 1/2 tsp cumin;
1 1/2 tsp coriander;
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
2 tsp ea. Garlic Powder Onion Powder;
3 T texas pete ho'sauce;
2 dashes liquid smoke;
1 tsp hungarian hot paprika.
sizzle and stir it until the herbs are taosting on the veggies and they're all softening slightly.
now dump in 2 15oz cans of undrained black beans,
and 1 cup of water;
next, toss in:
1 cup quartered baby grape tomatoes,
and 2 bay leaves,
and three handfuls of baby spinach-
cover it, and bubble it up on medium heat for half an hour.
...or longer, whatever. it's fine. as long as the 'tatoes are soft, you're solid.
garnish your bowl with peppers, and scallion sprankles,
and sprigs of cilantro,
and a big scoople of quinoa......
and spoon yourself silly with all that great big fat amazing fresh bright taste.
it's good.
and it's hearty.
and it's easy.
and it's dope.
this kind of one-pot, plus quinoa pot jauns is all you need to make a day much better.
and it's much much better when you're so SO full.
i slept like a well-fed and swaddled infant baby,
after a shower in my newly-improved replumbed anti-bummer bathroom.
first of all, that shower felt like a winning lottery ticket.
secondly, the pipes, they were a'leakin'.
but now, they're back on track,
and next up  with the help of some finish workin' carpentry skills,
provided by friendly, local neighborhood artisan craftsmen,
i may actually have some improved function in my faucets,
with a side order of aesthetics.
and after all that sleep i got,
i'm feeling refreshed, and more optimistic about the future.
i like that. a lot;
never quiet, never soft.....


too much is the right amount.
and MORE pizza is always better for you.
it took much much longer than i'd have guessed,
which had me stressed-
but in the end, it was a success, and worth the wait,
and both of these jauns be tastin' like heaven at the end,
so all is well from the oven to the table, man.
that's real.
nothing feels as good as great pizza tastes.
and great tastin' pizza is my specialty.
check the teleport:

one square everything, and one mainly margherite;
both were amazing, and that's no joke.
my dude dylan was here,
and we decided to go hard in the pizza department...
so, we did two different doughs, and two totally different styles of pizza.

that margherite was a classico, bro.^^^^^
for realsies.
and instead of just being basic as heck?
it also had beyond meat sausage on it, to turn it up to eleven.
i'll say this- i love sausagey flavors. truly.
however, i don't want to eat meat, because the idea of it is horrifying to me.
and those jauns are eerily meaty; like, they could really be dead animals-
that creeps me out, but i get the point, anyway.
i did a semi-semolina/bread flour crust, and it was a fluffer-upper, in a good way-
with crushed san marzano tomatoes,
miyoko mozz,
plus a shake of nootch, and cracked black pepper on top,
plus fried garlic sprankles (rules is rules),
and fresh garden-plucked baby basil leaves to boot?
if you don't know what being expert is all about, just look at it again,
and it'll all become apparent.
wordimus prime.
the dough?
1 cup semolina;
1 cup bread flour;
1 tsp sugar;
1 pkg fast-acting yeast;
3/4 +/− cup warm water.
kneaded in an upright mixer for ten minutes straight,
then allowed to rise for half an hour before stretching over an oiled pan, man...
baked at 480℉, on a stone, with a couple rotations,
until it's golden and good, neighbors.
the other other one?
y'all ain't ready for this:

this square pie is tight as heck...
the dough was bangin'-
2 1/4 cups flour;
2 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
1 cup warm water;
1 pkg fast actin' yeast.
-kneaded up like always, and immediately refrigerated all day long-
that's the move.
then the toppings really activate the whole thing.
and activation is the only way to go-
minced daiya mozz as the base.
then shredded spinach.
with caramelized onions, of course.
then i had two kinds of red ones AND sweets.
roasted on parchment with pink salt and olive oil.
plus, grilled asparagus, seared shishito peppers,
fried garlic sprankles forever,
and slivered baby grape tomatoes-
y'all can't handle that much hottness.
i'm serious.
it was a revelation of flavorful roller-coasterism.
pizza parties are the only parties i eff with.
like, if i had to pick a political party?
it'd be pizza.
for sure.
i'm over here on some vegan pizza mastery.
it's sort of my thing.
if i had the means,
i'd have a mobile pizza spot AND a dedicated radical vegan pizza eatery.
i'd have a cafe with pizza offered on the regular.
pizza with everything.
pizza forever,.
pizza pizza pizza.
i want all the pizza, and i wanna share all of it with all of you.
that's my motivation.
MORE pizza for MORE people.
everything else is just window dressing;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 24


i got problems needing solutions, son.
that's right.
plumbing problems.
money problems.
time management problems.
sleep problems.
man, i prob'ly got 99 problems,
and b!tches are like four or five of 'em, but that's not even my worry-
i'm worried about water pressure.
i hate not showering. hate it.
yes, that's a first world indulgence, and a total privilege,
but damn if i don't love that first and foremost of all the amenities of the modern world.
light, heat, climate control, internet, they're all pretty amazing things we just accept
without really thinking about-
but a hot shower?
a clean butt?
that's that goooooooood-good.
there's nothing better for me, personally-
because i can't enjoy anything else if i'm a greasy-dirty-humanity-exuding-aromatic ape.
the best food in the world tastes like sh!t if my hair is greasy and my skin isn't scrubbed up.
that's no joke.
but, dirty food goes well with dirty dudes-
and i know about dirty food.
the water in my basement, and the lack of water in my bathrooms is concerning-
but having enough water to make some rice?
alright, suddenly my day is getting a little bit better-
neighbors, lemme present you with a plate of that ol' dirty:

i don't always have time to get weird,
but i always have time to get expert.
i had onion, and jalapeno, and poblano, and baby sweet bell pepper,
shishito pepper, baby grape tomatoes, scallions, and spinach
all sauteing in a hot pan, with olive oil-
how much of each?
what do you like best? use the most of whatever that is.
i mean, really, it's a fast and dirty stopgap dinner measure-
there are no set proportions here, kiddo.
half a can of small red beans, rinsed, and half of a can of rinsed black beans, too-
double beans are good for you.
that's no joke.
when the onions start to soften slightly, you add the peppers-
when the peppers are giving off twenty kinds of good smelling steam,
add the beans and dump a few glugs of ho'sauce all over it all-
you'll also need to add GPOP, and cumin,
and smoked paprika and oregano- add a little black pepper and it's the BEST!
- but, that's just the beans, buddy.
the rice is righteous, too-
a tablespoon of wheat-free soy sauce, a shake or two of GPOP,
a little pink salt, and a dash of nootch, and you're solid.
it doesn't take a lot to make it good, as long as you make a lot of it.
too much is the right amount- that's how much you pile on your plate.
also, figuratively-
see earlier when i said i have problems,
they are almost all of my own devising.
choices have consequences-
actions have reactions-
causes have effects-
that's real.
and the way each day unfolds has a whole lot to do with the ways i choose to bend.
that's the truth.
my dog needs me.
mt studio needs me.
this big ol' ancient busted-up house needs me.
and my daughters need me.
and a whole new cast of characters need me, now, too-
the lineup is enlarging, from monologue to dialogue to discussion group to ensemble chorus-
everything is getting bigger and bigger quicker and quicker-
i'm moving forward, fast.
i'm making big ol' gigantic changes.
i'm mostly excited.
it's all really happening,
and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 22


my best little buddy turned three years old yesterday.
three years' worth of crabtree and me,
spanning time, having fun, going on small-scale adventures in power-struggling,
patience, playtime, and eating too much.
we really are tied to each others' fates, he and i.
it's wild, honestly, to think that it's been nearly three years since he and i first met,
and during our days and nights together we've sure seen some things.
throughout all of it, the long winters, the hot summers,
the longer hours and worse schedule at AMPERSAND TATTOO;
the fleeting meeting and greeting of a few lovely ladies who've graced our lives
with delicately darkened doorsteps and various states of disarray-
that has been free-flowing like lava around me and my terrible terrier terrorist,
we've been taking it all in stride, and taking ourselves none too seriously.
it's all really happening, and while it does, we endure it all, we embrace it all,
and we have sort of learned to enjoy it all, as well.
that's the best part about crabby, honestly.
the more there is going on, the calmer he gets.
he gets amped up, and then he gets over himself pretty quickly.
i love that.
he's my guy.
i'm his guy.
we're just a couple of guys keeping it real, and eating all the food,
in this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
just look at him, now:

man, he's dumb.
you KNOW i put the treats to 'im, too, dudes.
rules is rules, and anyway, without treats is it even a berfday??
so, i baked my milkman a batch of from-scratch gluten-free oatmeal sweet potato biscuits-
and he was F*ing off his head with happiness about them-
no, for real, he drooled an ocean, and did somersaults over these jauns.
check the teleport:

oh, and they're vegan.
and they're delicious.
and that's no joke.
i had one. was pretty expert.
does your dog like treats?
then make that little poopie poochie a tray of these, man.
preheat your oven to 375℉
boil a sweet potato, skin-on and cubed, until soft; drain and cool-
in a medium mixing bowl,
3 T coconut oil;
1 tsp xantham gum;
1/2 cup oat flour;
3 T tapioca starch;
1/3 cup bob's all-purpose rice-based gf flour;
3 cups rolled oats;
and that sweet potato-
mash it together, then stir and knead it into a dough-
let it rest in the fridge for thirty minutes,
then flatten it, on a 'floured' surface, and cut up your biscuits,
or whatever shape you prefer.
arrange them on a baking sheet, lined with parchment,
and give 'em 25 minutes in the oven....
that's all there is to it.
crimbo can't stop pacing near the bag on the counter.
he's agog over these goodies.
i like that.
i mean, he's my homie, so i want him happy.
that's what responsible adult pet ownership is all about.

THREE YEARS already, neighbors.
also, ONLY three years so far, friends-
if he lives another 'nother eleven, or MORE, of these solar cycles,
i'm gonna be exhausted forever.
at least i just read that exhaustion leads to more creative thinking,
so get ready for that, i s'pose.
no matter what, though- mundane or exotic, creative or banal,
this is it.
happy berfdays, healthy biscuits, and sleep-deprived thoughts;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 21


that's what we do around here.
it's true.
my daughters and i have been known to show connoisseurship regarding griddler cakes,
and as such, no ordinary flat flapjack will do.
that's the truth.
before we bounced off to Bread & Puppet for the grasshopper rebellion circus,
we had to power up with some serious syrup-slathered stuff.
and we did.
we hadn't been to glover, vt in a few years.
it was worth revisiting.
and we were met by all the worthy active participants from the studio, too-
nate and i were there, with harvest and maple.
dylan was there, with his friend, ally.
todd and kara were there.
ian and chantal showed up, too.
that's pretty cool, if you ask me.
we had a time, we saw the sights, the show was entertaining, and draining,
but the weather was lovely and the drive was smooth.
that's a good day.
but back to brekkie-
pancakes are where it's at.
i've listed the details for my patented oatmeal coconut jauns so many times over the years.
i'll skip it, and you can search it, if you really need it-
but LOOK at what i'm on, bro:

chocolate chips!!
real maple mutha-ucking syrup!!!!!
i want all the things.
i need all the things.
i had all the things.
and they were all expert.
good times with good people.
a powerful presentation fo art and ideas,
handmade and homemade and homegrown and grassroots and full of attention and intention.
good food to power us throughout.
made the same , with the same dedicated dopeness infused everywhere.
that's Folk Life, man.
...and it's good for you.
my least favorite part of any hello, really-
it stands for 'god be with ye'....
did you know that?
it's a linguistic transition, man.
god be with ye eventually became goodbye.
i felt that it was NOT good when i said bye to my beautiful babies yesterday-
i also felt like whatever god was on duty at that moment was not watching, either.
so, i dunno what kind of words i'd rather have used-
so long? it will be.
fare well? i hope so.
take care? please.
it just hit hard, neighbors- waving away to two grown women;
girls, still, in some ways, but not at all, really-

everything expert.
we had a homemade sushi night, even.
and they did most of it, and it was all F*ing headed to eleven too.
they're impressive,
even if they're sometimes just this side of underexpressive around their big mouthed big poppa.
it's cool.
we can't all be the loudest at once, can we?
and then, yesterday afternoon,
we parted ways, again.
and it was awful, as always,
and the long drive back in traffic was an ordeal in empty feelings, too.
maybe i got teary-eyed.
maybe there's a big, seething, swirling raging stormswept whirlpool of feelings flowing
around inside my cast-iron overwrought cage, kids.
i'm not sayin' that' what's up.
but i'm not NOT sayin' it either.
the transition from little to big,
from home to away,
from dependent to independent-
it all unfolded and unfurled right in front of my face.
i am grateful for the time we share.
i am greedy for more of it.
these two teens are the team i joined decades ago,
that i'm still and forever and always going to represent-
we three from the spearhead for all that follows,
and it's all really happening,
the grown-up growing, the growing pains, the painful goodbyes...
and the gods of the north and the gods of the churches and the gods of the old and the new,
all looking down and being with us.
we're not wealthy enough to pick and choose which ones,
so we'll say goodsbye if we've gotta, but i'm not one to let it rest at that.
what's next is anybody's guess, but the foundations have been laid,
so we're gonna have to all build SOMETHIN', it seems;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 19


harvest and maple and i.
we're bound together forever by blood.
and a werewolf curse, a shared surname,
and some similar facial features and mannerisms.
check it:

i mean, c'mon:

i love the hell out of these two jerks.
i really really do.
and honestly, i'm more than little bit sad as we share this last little bit of summer together.
oh, relax-
i'm not about to get all emo, bro. take it easy.
this may well be the last time we're all together at once in this place.
college and high school and world-traveling tourist trips,
and the trappings of time and space are not all aligned to allow for huge swaths of
great northern woodsly family togetherness anymore.
as they've gotten bigger, and better, and much more independent,
our days have been numbered, often in single digits,
as their futures branch off and brighten up, up, and away from our shared experiences.
so, for now, we're going to have to have the best time,
for whatever limited time we've got left together.
i just wanna say it once more, loud af, for the people in the back:
i am grateful for the time i've been given,
and for these two terrifics that have motivated me to be the best version of myself
for some time now, and for the foreseeable future, as well;
never quiet, never soft.....


the big B is what we do, dudes.
there's no time, and no room for any chumplestiltskin bummer brekkies for us.
y'heard me, bro.
me and my oldest kids have our things we get into-
and one of 'em is starting our mornings off like we're gonna do some lumberjack jauns.
we want the big deluxe expert morning glorious activation for our first-thing faces.
that's real.
i mean, it's not as if we're all just sitting around together eating cereal all the time.
in reality, our time is special because it's limited.
and in that limited time, we want to have the most awesome collection of moments.
that almost always involves the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory.
we're just like that, man.
and this time, we went hard on the hashbrowns,
and even harder on the french-style toast.
on the ones, we really did a thing this time....
check the teleport:

homemade bread, sliced into slabs, soaked in our custom eggless better batter,
and sizzled on both sides with a pitty-pat of vegan butter??!
shoutouts to being amazing at morning foods!
and the scrambo? s'dope.
and those hashie smashie potatoes???
maaaaaan, y'all ain't ready for that much shredded potato hottness....
alright, we'll begin with the toast, i s'pose-
good bread is key here. without it, you've got garbage on your plate,
and you're garbage as a person, and that's just how it is.
so, we had 5 fat slices of sourdough bread, baked from scratch at the beginning of the week
and headed on down the far side of fresh.
five of 'em, for your fat F*ing faces, friends.
(the batter could've soaked two more, for the record)
so, sprouted whole wheat is hearty as heck, and it makes for a very tasty toast, too.
that's no surprise, because good bread makes better people,
and better people using better bread make better everything.
in a sorta deep, sorta small mixing bowl,
whisk together:
1 1/2 cups almond milk;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 T chia/flaxmeal blend;
1 T egg replacer starch;
1 T nutritional yeast;
2 T agave;
2 T tapioca starch;
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.
let that thicken for at least fifteen? minutes- and then dredge your bread in it,
both sides, covered and soaked and allowed to sponge up all that thick blarpity batter.
i left all of 'em in there for a bit-
sourdough is heavy and it takes it's time wicking up all that flavorful moisture.
now, there are a few essential points of procedure to consider when cooking these-
1. the pan should be hot.
2. a little baby bit of slightly browned vegan butter will really turn the taste up to eleven.
3. don't flip 'em right away- they gotta get good and toasty or they'll stick and suck.
4. a few shakes of exxxtra cinnamon and a pinch or two of brown sugar NEVER hurt anybody,
so don't be scared to caramelize a bit on the top side-
seriously, the sugar will liquefy when it's time to flip 'em ,
so it also acts as a thoroughly-cooked-through indicator, too.
if you aren't using real maple syrup, you're effing up.
you know that's our move up here in real new england, always.
after all, rules is rules- and corn syrup isn't on the list, b.
these saturated sourdough slabs were great already-
but with those bananas and a little shake of ka-powdered sugary sprankles??
too much is the right amount, and these were the righteous-est in a while.
that scrambo is a crowd-pleaser, neighbors-
like, i'm always glad i've made it, every single time.
i've been using regular firm tofu, instead of exxxtra-firm.
i dunno if it actually makes a difference, but i think it does, so that's cool.
the thing is, it's pretty simple, so i'm always sorta surpised that it tastes so flippin' GOOD.
a block of crumbled slightly drained 'fu,
with a huge shake of Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder,
and a punch of nootch,
AND pink and black salt (just a little of each)
AAND turmeric and black pepper to activate it,
AAAND a touch of smoked paprika to freak it off, and make it better.
...which it does.
all sauteed with a little olive oil, and browned slightly on medium-high heat.
plus, a couple of cilantro sprankles?
guys, i'm just sayin'- it's basically a free victory, but it's still a victory,
and i'll take 'em where i can get 'em.
real talk.
it was ALL so F*ing dope.

those HASHERS, tho, brothers and sisters.
that's that good-good.
four shredded skin-on red potatoes;
one peeled, shredded white carrot;
1/4 thinly-sliced red onion, salted, squeezed, and drained...
the carrot is key. it adds firmness, and sweetness,
and helps with the crispy caramelization.
plus, red onion looks better in the 'browns, bruh.
i stand by that.
high heat, lots of oil, and a non-stick skillet are your friends here.
as are GPOP and black pepper.
more flavor is a great idea, so do that when you can, y'know?
y'gotta have a heck of a lotta patience too-
these aren't fast to make.
in fact, they should be the first thing you make, despite being described here last.
time is on your side, though.
if you can wait 'em out, you'll get the very best potato magic you've ever had.
and that's no joke.
also, you'd best believe that i freaked 'em proper with those scallion spranks.
mandatory exxtras, kids.
that's how we live around here.
today, AMPERSAND TATTOO is closed.
even though it's summer.
even though it's the weekend.
even though i need all the money, always.
even though it's normally against my nature to indulge in 'fun'....
the tattzappers, and the family, and the dudes who help out, are all headed to vermont.
after a prolonged absence from my life,
the bread & puppet circus is back on my radar.
and we're spanning time and sharing the experience,
and it's all really happening in the name of community-building for me and my people.
we're four short of a full squadron, to be honest-
...but that's just how this year seems to be, anyway.
revisiting old haunts is good.
and maybe cathartic, maybe energizing, maybe inspiring...
we'll see.
exhuming ghosts of the past is risky business,
but only half as risky as exorcising the haunted house
that i'm holed up in every damned night normally
i guess i'm on a reminiscent tour of the old days, cleaning house,
literally and physically, and removing the skeletons from all the closets,
real and imagined.
it's all really happening,
we'rekissing off and flipping off all the ode days,
and we're headed off into the future together,
me and you and everyone we know-
pooping back and forth, forever;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 18


harvest and maple and i have a few traditions that we observe whenever we're together,
and they're all pretty flippin' expert.
that's the truth.
food is a huge part of our shared experience,
and that has always been a common thread across all the time we've spanned-
especially breakfast times.
i mean,
breakfast has all the best foods, really.
pancakes, waffles, french toast- all of those are invited to the party-
but sometimes, we go sweeter-
and when it's time to really make myself remember just how bad for you
vegan things can sometimes be,
even if they're sooooo good for all the tastebuds and neuroreceptors that crave
all that bad-for-you-ness;
and even if you're saving all the little happy alive things that aren't you.
we go hard on the breakfast treats-
we make 'em look good, we make 'em taste good, we make ourselves feel great for a second-
then the sugar does it's work and tries to kill us;
but i'm just sayin', right up until then, it's so dope.
i'm not sad about it, even if i had a headache all effing day long afterwards-
check the teleport:

CINNAMON BUNS! (cinnamon rolls?!)
all that gooey goodness!
twice the drizzly icing!
tons of cinnamon sugary sweetness!
guys, too much is the right amount, that's a thing.
so i had three of them in a warm, soft, hot row-
but, full disclosure: all this eating with more nutritional responsibility,
and being s'much more mindful lately has put me at a disadvantage
when attempting to physically process these tempting spirals of cinnamony-ness!
these jauns were especially awesome, too.
i don't know why, exactly,
but i do know that we were all very impressed with the finished product.
i'll tell you what i did,
and you can see if you get the same results:
preheat your oven to 375℉
in a small pot, warm up over low heat:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1 tsp vanilla;
4 T vegan butter.
remove that from the heat when the butter is melted and set aside-
in your ever-dependable, indispensable stand-up mixer, dough-hook'd and ready,
3 cups flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1 pkg (1 T) fast-actin' yeast.
whisk it around once or twice, to blend it a bit,
then add the liquid butter/s'milk blend, and knead it for ten minutes.
cover and allow it to rise for 15 minutes-
then roll the dough into a rectangle on a well-floured surface,
and fill it with the freshie-fresh-to-deathness, dudes-
3/4 cup brown sugar;
3T powdered sugar;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
4 T vegan butts;
cinnamon, nutmeg, & allspice, according to your preferred proportions-
spread to the short edges, and along one long edge of your rectangle,
leaving a half an inch or more on one side to seal 'em shut when rolled-
you gotta start your spiral tight, and keep it that way as you wrap it up-
i like to freeze mine for five-ten minutes wrapped in plastic,
so that the long log you've made is firm when you slice it into individual bunzos, bro.
y'need a cast iron big'un, buddy.
yeah, like a 10"er. those are the good ones.
lined with parchment, for the easiest cleanup,too.
slice your chilled log in half, then those halves in half, then those quarters into thirds-
y'feel me? that's a dozen in a hurry.
nine on the outside, three in the center,
and thirty minutes in your oven,
and you're a superstar hero to all the hungry homies in your kitchen.
that's no joke.
y'gotta let 'em cool just a little baby bit BEFORE you ice 'em,
or you just get the worst see-though slime on top.
nobody likes that.
(if you like that, stop it, that's gross)
we did two types of glaze.
one is good, for sure...but that's not enough for me and mine, man.
no way.
we overdo it, or we don't bother at all.
cinnamon vanilla icing is tight.
it's just powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and s'milk-
but creamchee' glaze is magical.
that's for sure.
a scoople of creamchee', a splash of s'milk, and a big bowl of ka-powdered sweetness,
stirred into the thickness?
that takes the whole game to eleven in a heartbeat.
and once you know it exists, you're kind of an A*-hole if you ignore it.
y'can't act like you don't know once you know, y'know??
rules is rules, and being dope is a rule, fool...
guess who fell asleep instantly?
yeah, it was me.
i am so incredibly comforted when my small ones are here.
even though they're not small at all anymore.
it's just that i feel better when they're around.
and i'm so content when we're spanning time together-
so much so, i fall asleep!
talk about missing out.
except i don't feel like i'm missing them half as much as i miss them when they're gone.
we're having a time over here.
and it's a good time.
i'm glad about it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 17


they're here!
harvest and maple, my children, are in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
the place feels full, and so does my heart.
it's been longer than any of us would like, but now, today, it's all really happening.
family togetherness, and all the jokes and talks and shared information and ideas.
all of it.
me and my two terrific teens, spanning time, and occupying space as a team.
it's my favorite.
and it's the best.
and it's exactly the sort of thing that revitalizes all my energy,
and activates more powerful positivity, both mentally and emotionally,
for bigger, better days with these dudes...
plus, in anticipation of their arrival, i was up early,
rolling around about a billion thoughts in my brain,
so i di the thing i do to calm my mind-
that's right neighbors, i baked some treats.
that's my move.
and when i bake some treats, i use that process to put all my thoughts in order,
and come up with a solution at right about the same time
as i come up with a delicious finished product.....
(if that doesn't work, i just bake a whole other 'nother treat, man- we'll get there eventually)
so i did a thing, and i think it was a good thing-
check the teleport:

these little F*ers are expert as hell, kids.
but before we get into the specifics,
lemme throw a few shoutouts to king david for his kosher vegan blops, bro.
and a few more shoutouts to king arthur for his fresh-to-death flour.
i dunked each buttery ball into exxxtra coocnut flakes, which toasted to perfection in the oven.
i love when little things interconnect like that.
i do.
y'wanna know how you to can make a few of these orderly awesomes?
you do?
do this:
preheat your oven to 375℉
in a medium metal (aesthetic) mixing bowl, smoosh together:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick (8T) vegan butts;
2 tsp vanilla-
thoroughly combine those bits into a blarpity blob,
then add:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
2/3 cup coarse oat flour;
1 cup unsweetened unsulphured medium flake coconut;
1 tsp ea. bakey soda and ka-powder;
2 cups flour;
1 pkg. caramel chips.
knead 'em in, and all of it up into a dough,
and make lil 2" balls for all y'all-
i dipped 'em in the coconut, like i said, and it was dope.
i got 40 cookies out of this mixture-
and i baked 'em for 13 minutes, to perfection,
and honestly, they didn't need a single extra thing-
just as is, they went straightaway to eleven.
i love when that happens.
and now, powered by caramel cookies and family fun,
this day is destined to be as delightful as we can manage, and then some-
by this evening, we may very well be exhausted, but that's alright.
there's so much to do, and we've gotta pack it all in before we fall asleep.
i've gotta work, which is lame,
but rules is rules, and these kids don;t live cheap, bro.
just sayin', there are times to relax and times to work-
today is a workday, and i'm gonna work at it for all it's worth.
there's gettin' to get gotten, and imma git it.
we';re gonna go hard in the trio of triumph category,
with extra points for maximum crabtree inclusion.
for this moment, there are just us-
the future holds a whole lot more than that,
but right now,
we're spanning time as a small squad.
and that's just right for a friday in august.
i'm grateful for this time, with these people,
and i'm lucky as heck, and fortunate as F* that they're the good and kind kids
i knew they would be;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 16


flaky pizza crust?
holy smokes, it's the NEW new hottness.
man, listen, it's some other other business.
look at what i made, then i'll tell you what's poppin'-

the crust is the best-
the toppings are tight and TILTY af, too.
and when you squeeze those lemon wedges on top?
dude, that's the TRUTH.
we got kalamata olives on there! expert.
we got tomatoes on there!! expert.
shredded spinach? you bet!
and i got red onions and scallions for a double onion exxxplosion!!!
plus, instead of sauce, i spread on a fat shmear of hummus,
and that's dope as heck, bro.
real talk, it's F*ing delightful.
and there are fried garlic sprankles, too, naturally-
rules is rules, even when it's only barely pizza...
true story.
oh, you see that? well, yes, neighbors, thosa are mutha-funkin' GRAPES!!
on the ones, grapes DO go on sh!t like this, and they turn it up to eleven.
...but it's that crust that does the trick-
quick-fas, and in-a-hurry, i had myself a very fresh-to-death new thing.
here's the rundown:
in your stand mixer, always equipped with the dough hook, combine:
2 cups a.p. flour;
2 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
1/4 cup olive oil;
1 pkg fast-rise rapid yeast;
2/3 cup warm water;
2 T two-tone toasted sesame seeds;
2 T fire-roasted tomato flakes.
knead it for five to ten minutes, adding a little baby bit of exxxtra oil, too-
yeah, i actually drizzled some on top while it rose on the counter, as well.
that's real.
too much is the right amount, and that's no joke.
it rose for forty five minutes, covered;
then i stretched it out into that sexxxy circle.
then, while i waited for dylan to deliver the olives,
it rose a little bit more on the steel pan, man.
that's all there is to it.
it's crispy, it's flaky, it's rich, it's smooth (except for all the sprankles)
and it's reallllllly delicious, obvi-
with that much fat floating inside of it, it'd better be, y'know?
yeah, you do.
baked at 475℉, with a few turns to evenly activate the convection currents,
and a few minutes directly on the baking stones,
what you get is what you need,
and what you need is full-blown full-frontal full-steam-ahead hot fire fresh from the oven.
we got that.
and it is good.
harvest and maple will be here later.
that's the best news news, ever.
i spend most of my time missing them the most.
today is the day, however.
the one where we span time as a team,
and immerse ourselves in family togetherness like a trio of terrific and terrible,
triumphant and tempestuous truth-telling teetotalers....
and that's my favorite way to be.
i am excited.
i am MORE than excited.
it's all really happening, and it makes the round-trip to massachusetts,
before a late-day appointment or three at work, totally worth it.
i've got cookies baking,
and moves making,
and trips to start taking,
and all of it is unfolding along a well-creased fold in the secret universal blueprint
for me and all my people.
the circle is getting bigger, and the overlaps are getting better,
and spirit and memory and gratitude and generosity are all here,
weaving this fantastic woodsly goodsly Folk Life together all at once.
this is it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 15


tacoooooooooooooo tuesssssssssssdaaaaaaaaayy!!!!!
soft flour circles, toasted to a crisp- 
so they crackle on one side when you fold them into flipped flaps,
and embrace all the extra-spicy hottness in the middle.
yeah, neighbors, you really should know by now that i'm a big fan.
i mean, c'mon- vegan tacos are pretty flippin' expert-
even if they're just beans and salsa, you're winning-
and when they're MORE than that?
like, fancy-pantsy make-you-wanna-dance-y jauns?
well, victorious victuals are kind of my thing, y'know?
and this most recent installment was another 'nother big win for my face-
check the tofu-taco-type teleport:
word up.
all the veggies, and all the spices, in a super straight-up smooshed tofu scamble.
guys, it was such a joy to sizzle up and saute all the stuff-
and it was a one pan meal for a change 
(two, i guess, actually, since i toasted the tortillas, too)
but the scrambo was elite, and easy, and FULL of all the best things-
no, f'really real tho:
in a hot, oiled pan, saute-
1/2 red onion;
1/3 cup chopped scallion;
1/2 diced poblano;
1/2 minced jalapeno;
1/3 cup chopped baby grape tomatoes;
fresh cilantro and garden fresh oregano;
1/2 cup sweet baby bell peppers;
1 clove crushed garlic;
3/4 block firm, squeezed but not fully-depressed, crumbled tofu 
that's right, regular firmness is what's going on here.
oh, i know you know that exxxtra firm is my favorite, normally, 
but NOT for a scram-
i keep both on hand for just such occasions as this.
and i spiced things up with pink salt, and black pepper, 
turmeric, GPOP, a punch of nootch, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
stirred once in a while, over medium-high heat, 
until the bottom-most layer gets a little brown....
just like *that*, the scramburglar magic is ready for action.
and there's lettuce, and pea shoots, and chopped shishito peppers,
and pickled jalapenos, AND AVO-F*ING-CADO, 
aaaaand fire-roasted tomato salsa, as well.
whatcha know about doo-dooin' all the best sh!t,
and then squeezin' limes over the top?
that's how it's done, and that's how i did it.
sleepless, set-upon, and beset with strife,
rained-out, beat up, and worn down.
...that was how yesterday progressed.
in-between a whole lot of caustic conversation, 
i did a F*ing TON of tattoos.
that's the hardest, part, realy- 
sitting down and talking about some dude's day, and how their summer's been,
and what is likely to happen this autumn....
all while simmering in acid and exhaustion, 
with the conversational pace paused in fits and starts... 
and then there's all those hand-numbing, back-splitting tattzapps 
back to back to back to back to back,
just to perpetually beat up my already beleaguered body with all the worst kinds of bending,
and my shoulders hunched up in knots upon knots....
that's cool.
no. hold on, there's another little puzzle piece 'd like to add:
i also discovered a whole new leaky broken old house element,
whilst moving all the art and arstist's supplies from one end of the house 
to a whole other 'nother spot, from where it'll eventually need moving again, 
and that will likely be sooner than later.
i think they call that character?
yeah, man, MORE problems are what i was hoping for,
and MORE problems was what i found, without even looking that hard.
some days are less encouraging than others; 
but, and i do NOT mean this flippantly, that P.M.A. keeps me moving forward.
it could always be worse, and it probably will be.
which is good news, because that's how we get stronger and better.
i think that means i'm getting stronger and better almost every single minute?
i don't hate the sound of that.
...and i still made the nicey-nice for dinner.
if nothing else, there's always that.
i made two of the suckiest, ugliest loaves of bread this morning.
i did.
i fell asleep half on the floor, and lay there for far too long, it seems.
while i was in that coma, i also forgot to cold-prove the sourdough...
so it sat on the counter gettin' terrible and more terribler still, 
for hours and hours all flippin' night long.
two of the sloppiest overbulked bummers just came out of the oven.
the bummeriest ones in a verrrry long time, actually.
and while they're probably still delicious, 
they sure are unattractive.
sorta like me, right? word.
shoutouts to failure, and to staying ugly, but staying dope anyway...
it's all really happening all morning long;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 14


travis, and dylan were here, comin' correct with the active participation,
and all working together to help make a monstrous vegan meal for hungry dudes
who loooooove to cook.
maybe righteous plant-based culinary adventures in sexxxy food aren't for everyone,
and that's cool i guess.
but these guys were on board, tickets in hand,
and ready to ride the the prep-train to elite dinnersville,
decked out in total delicious delightful dopeness like a couple of experts
that's no joke.
food is a serious part of every day here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
the number one question i ask every day is:
am i so impossibly unlikable as a person that inevitably i'll die all alone?
but, then the second question, and the one i ask myself far more often, is:
what the effing eff am i making for dinner??
last night,
it was an @vegan_magic_time tag teamn exxxplosion,
and it as tight and TILTY as heck, neighbors.
y'wanna see what we came up with?
alright, check the tahini-and-tzatziki-type teleport:

hey-A, hey-A, that's what's good in the woods.
right off the hop, there's a mixed pickle tray.
that's so expert, and so mandatory for  positive falafel times.
y'all KNOW me and my dudes love falafels, right?
they're on the podium for best foods,
hotly contesting a silver/bronze place finish with tacos.....
well, falafels without pickles are also know by another name: bullsh!t.
because that's what they are when they don;t have the right stuff.
word up.
jalapenos, pepperoncinis, classic dill cucumber jauns, lemon,
mint, fresh thyme, and shishito hunks, all right there for dressing up the place.
that's right, we doo-doo that freaky sh!t for sure.
y'see the rice in the bottom right corner?
that's lemon and cilantro and parsley in it-
lots of zest and juice had it feeling most positively mediterranean, man.
i like that, and you might too-
we were having FALAFEL BOWLS, with the rice on the bottom.
what? why??
well, because breezy, our guest of honor,
is the gluten-freedom-fighter i've been baking for these past few months.
and y'wanna know what else's F*ing crazy? she didn't even have any falafel.
true story.
and those falafel were exeptional, kids.

and when you're doing the thing correctly, it looks like that.
here's what i did, not that you've gotta do it like that:
in your hugely appreciated food processor, pulse together:
1 fat punch of parsley;
1 equally obese blast of cilantro leaves;
a handful of scallion greens;
four cloves of roasted garlic;
1/4 red onion;
1-2 tsp cumin;
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander;
1 tsp ea. GPOP;
1 T sumac;
2 tsp thyme;
1 T egg replacer powder;
3 glugs of good olive oil;
pink salt, black pepper-
when that's sorta chopped up,
add 2 15oz cans of drained chick peas;
and 1/3 cup chick pea flour;
plus, 3 T tapioca starch.
add more olive oil if necessary, to emulsify the whole mixture,
and pulse it until it's combined, and still chunky...
i made a TON of 1 1/2 inch mini patties, and i rolled each one in a mixture of
chick pea flour and tapioca starch, with salt and GPOP added in....
then, dylan fried 'em up in a hot pan with a heavy dose of sizzlin' oil inside.
for how long? util they were finished, man.
i dunno the minute count-
those pans were really flippin' crowded, and we had two going at once,
because too much is the right amount,
and MORE falafel is all you ever want to have.
suffice to say, the three menfolk terrorized a horrifying amount of this meal.
and there's two sauces, too-
three if you count sriracha, which i do, and you should, too.
travis made some expert tzatziki.
i'm sure he'll list the recipe somewhere soon-
it was fantastic,
and there was sesame-seeded lemon-tahini dressing, too-
3 T lemon juice;
4 tsp tahini paste;
1 tsp sossamon sesame seeds;
1/2 tsp ea Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
2 T warm water;
fresh cracked black pepper, and a healthy shake of sumac, stirred and rested for a spell.
the veggies were crisp:
cukes, red onion slivers, sliced sweet baby grape tomatoes,
MORE mint, MORE thyme, MORE lemon-
all the things you'd need to satisfy a true falafel poet's connoisseurship.
and lemon-drenched super-sexxxy salad.
purple cabbage shreds, parsley, cilantro, and scallion, with alllll the lemon juice,
tossed and allowed to marinate-
the cabbage gets that unearthly glow, bro, when the acid starts to tenderize it.
it's dope.
try it again from another 'nother angle, friends:

i knowwwwww.
it's what we needed, and it's what we had.
regrettably, we lost the light in our epic undertaking, so we were standing on chairs
underneath the artificial jauns for the first time this season.
it's getting darker sooner, and the overcast rain-blast wasn't helping a damned thing-
yeah, i mean, we made it work, but i would've loved a little more natural glow, yo.
it was all awesome.
i have very few people i care about, so i really love it when there's overlaps of activation,
invention, creation, and a communion of ideas and abilities.
i do.
it's great.
it's usually about food- it's the oldest and best way to express appreciation,
and i do that as hard as i can.
it's all really happening, and i am grateful for the time i have been given
to create something that nourishes me, and my people,
and does no harm to anything or anyone else.
this was a lucky convergence of compatible companions,
and i count myself as fortunate to have been the one with the stove where it all unfolded;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 13


the sun did NOT come out at all yesterday-
and while it was lugubrious as heck out there in the grey, wet, disappointment
of atmospheric interference,
it was the perfect temperature for the number one attitude adjuster
that comes out fresh and hot from my oven....
i'm talking about pizza.
pizza forever, man.
pizza all the effin' time.
when do i want pizza? always, always, always, like, right now even.
how much pizza do i want?
dudes, i want ALL the pizza. i want MORE pizza. also, i want some pizza, please.
so, it was another 'nother pizza party.
but what was poppin' on my plate THIS time?
take a look:

it's been well established that potatoes on pizza is a good idea.
the first time i had 'em was at a roadside pizza spot outside venice, italy,
something like twenty years ago.
since then, the little spudlets have been perpetually invited to attend my pizza parties.
they're really good.
while my oven was preheating to 480 convection-activated circulatory fahrenheit degrees,
i had three small, red, skin-on potatoes halved and sliced into the wedges you see above,
oiled, pink salted, black peppered, GPOP'd, and smoked paprika sprankled,
to roast in the climbing temperatures until they were golden, but only slightly.
(they still had to bake ON the pie, guys, y'know?)
i grilled up a bunch of leek ringlets, with a glug of oil,
until they had a respectable level of char on 'em.
i'm kind of an onion-head, kids. that's real.
and all the onions and their relatives are welcome in my kitchen and on my plate.
so, in addition to the leeks, i had raw red onion strips and scallion greens, too.
that's how i like it- an overabundance of excellence-
too much is the right amount, right?
...heck yes it is.
saturday night's tomato sauce was expert- across the board it rocked all the socks.
and then sunday's upgrade took it to eleven,
and then up and out into a whole new dimension of taste and texture, too-
the leftovers were cooked in all of the reserved tomato juice,
but with another cup and a half of sliced grape tomatoes reduced down
to the thiccckest thickness,
and then pureed to a super smooth consistency-
like, really, how many of you need a recipe for success?
i laid it out, now forge your own path, buddy. you can do it, for sure.
also, i decided something- cooked sauce is acceptable on pizza.
i know, i know, purists will say that crushed san marzano tomatoes are the only way.
i've just eaten several pizzas that say otherwise, so i can't agree completely.
that's a thing.
and when i added a whole head of chopped broccoli, seared in oil,
and slightly steamed with a splash of warm water prior to the big bake?
damn, duders- pizza at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is an epic event, each and every time.
that's no joke.
i even had regular-A* pizza crust for the first time in a few minutes-
in my trusted assistant, the stand-upright mixer's big bowl, i combined:
2 cups a.p. flour;
2 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
1 pkg regular-ol' slow-actin' yeast;
3/4 cup warm water;
1 tsp fast actin' bread yeast.
that's it.
kneaded up for ten minutes, covered and proofed alll day-
it was a crisp thin-crust dough, and it did the trick, quickly.
i've got no complaints about THAT.
stretched and laid out on the seasoned, lightly oiled steel pan, the dough was dope
before it ever hit the hot stone.
expert is as expert does,
and i'm on that pizzaiolo jaun with all i've got to give.
double the daiya chee'? yes.
cheddar AND mozz, for that potato and broccoli and pizza blend.
anything else?
why, yes, as a matter of fact, because rules is rules,
there's fried garlic sprankles on there to keep the muh-fuhhhh'r really real.
yes, yes, and also, YES.
pizza is the brightest spot in a dark day.
every single time there's pizza, every single thing seems a bit better for it's presence.
righteous, elite, awesome radical vegan pizza is the thing i'm into the most.
and luckily, it's also the thing i have the know-how, wherewithal,
and ingredients to create the most often-
so i'm doing ok, bro.
it's all okay.
...and i've got the fullest day ahead.
and i've got a head full of to-do's and other assorted doo-doo, to do, too.
first things first, i need to get groceries, and the right time to do that is right when
the grocery store opens....
nobody is there besides one cashier and two old people, and me (so, three old people?)
without more fresh veggies, every day is bullsh!t, and i'm not trying to live like that.
i've got places to go, and things to find places for,
and places where things need to go full of things that need to go....
it's all really happening, all of it;
every last little excrementable item, is underway
in real-time 1080HD 360° surround-sound space-and-time occupying pressure
in between all the other other bits of my day that need doing.
gross grocery getting, grosser dog walks, slightly-less-gross tattzapps all day long,
delightful dinnertime, gross dog walk, and somewhere, maybe a little other exercise,
and whole lotta packing up, which really just means sorting and organizing,
in between bouts of removal of a decade's worth of history, comedy, and tragedy.
that's real life, isn't it?
some combination of all of the above?
so, there you have it.
today is a day full of real life;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 12


pizza party time is anytime i want, man.
that's a fact.
i'm in charge.
i'm the boss.
it's all my decision, dudes.
and whenever i'm allowed to indulge in my deepest-rooted darkest desires?
yeah, it turns out, i'm molto boring, bro.
it's ALWAYS pizza.
haha! .....but i'm serious, though.
last night, saturday night, all-the-way-lively,
i was home alone making pizza like a F*ing champion.
yuuuup! that's riiiiight.
i want all the pizza,
and then i want a little bit MORE,
and then, another slice or two for my face-
because on the ones, too much is the right amount.
i'm a pizza man, neighbors, right down to my core.
and the pizza i'm making is expert af.
check the pee-eye-zee-zee-ayy-type teleport:

that crust? elite!
the sauce? homemade, chunky, magical garden-fresh hottness!
the toppings? FAN-F*ING-TASTIC!
radical from-scratch freshness, with all the fixin's is where it's at.
and here's how it happened-

that's five halved tomatoes, blackened on a hot pan for a good long while,
with olive oil and salt, and refrigerated overnight.
i drained off the excess liquid, and processed the 'matoes to a pulp,
with a quarter of a red onion, and a whole carrot-
it's chunky as heck, and i cooked the whole thing while the oven was preheating,
and the dough was proofing-
i added olive oil, and garlic to the pot, first,
and then added a splash of white wine vinegar,
a glug or two of soy sauce,
and a punch of fresh-plucked basil.
when it was bubbling away, i dropped in a pinch of sugar,
and a spoonful of nootch, too.
...then, once it was all cooked through and gettin' thick,
i strained off the excess liquid, and let it cool so it would ruin the dough, bro.
that dough?
f'really real-
1 cup flour;
3/4 cup bread flour;
1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
1 T cracked black pepper;
3 T olive oil;
1 T yeast;
>1 tsp wheat gluten;
3/4 cup warm water, + 1 tsp bread machine flour, +1 tsp agave, bloomed.
all that gets kneaded in a stand mixer for ten minutes in a row,
until the dough is a stiff little ball-
cover it and let it rise, in the fridge allll damned day,
before preheating the oven to 480℉,
on that convection setting  if you got it like that,
and stretching the dough out on an oiled tray or pan, neighbors.
here's my move-
i freak it off first, over the baking stone, ON a seasoned steel pan-
then i transfer it to the stone directly for the last few minutes-
it makes everything better, and that's gotta happen.
who wants not-better pizza?
losers, that's who.
soy-glazed brussels sprouts? yep.
y'boi has the touch when it comes to those jauns.
first, i browned up some chunky garlic sprankles in oil in the pan-
rules is rules, and it's well-known those are mandatory around here-
and i moved those to the special fired garlic container,
but threw all my slivered sprouts into the infused oil.
good idea, right? yep. i know.
and i added a splash of water to cook 'em up,
and then doused 'em in tamari to turn up the tastiness to eleven.
they should be softened, but not mushy. that's gross.
and they're going in that hot  af oven right after, remember?
shredded spinach over that chunky sauce?
caramelized sweet onions over two fat handfuls of minced daiya mozzarella-style chee'?
really smart.
brown-on-purpose kumato baby grape tomatoes?
and how about MORE of those sprankles?
man, you KNOW that's the TRUTH!
with the freshest basil right from outside the door on top?
good pizza makes for great times.
that's a fact.
your saturday may have been amazing.
and really, i hope it was.
up here in the overcast and slightly chilly woodsly goodness,
mine was exactly, specifically, custom-tailored to my personal tastes,
and it was perfect,
is there even anything else to say?
oh, right;
never quiet, never soft.....