Monday, December 9


and as sandwich week officially ends,
i just wanna say:
too much IS the right amount.
seventeen separate sandwiches,
over eight days and nights.
is that excessive?
no way.
rules is rules.
and making a whole lotta magic in my kitchen
made the long days and longer,colder nights just barely more bearable.
for the last day, i made three different sandwiches.
and this one looks like pure elite expertism.
check the teleport:

purple cabbage, green cabbage, carrot sticks, and pea shoots,
with salt, pepper, and lemon juice on the bottom form that rainbow slaw
to crawnch around in your jaws.
and pickles are mandatory in a situation like this.
i made some hot chili oil,
which was garlic oil heated with cayenne, sriracha flakes, black peppercorns,
and dried chinese chilis, too.
spicy, yes, but underwhelming.
i'll get it right next time.
check this out, though:

mayo, yes, but with spicy jalapeno chips crushed all over the place.
that's a salty, crunchy upgrade, son.
i listed the bun recipe in the next post, btw.
so, these are sorta simple, but also, sorta F*ing rad.
three pressed patties of homemade seitan, one per sandwich,
is where you start.
you'll need a dredge, though...
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1 T nootch;
1 T chia-flaxmeal;
1 T ho'sauce;
1 T pickle brine.
and there's no point in a dredge without the seasoned breading, bruh:
1/2 cup + 2 T flour;
1 heaping T cornstarch;
sea salt and 2 tsp black pepper;
thyme, cayenne, sage, smoked paprika, GPOP;
1/2 tsp brown sugar;
a pinch of nutmeg...
one deep dunk in the wetness, followed by a firm flip-and press in the dry,
folllowed by another drizzle of the wetness,
and even MORE firmer pressing in the dry.
THAT'S how you do the thing right.
and then you gotta fry 'em, man.
i used HOT canola because i had it,
about an inch deep, in a high walled pan,
and it barely took any time at all to get crispy, crunchy, perfect patties for my face.

these'll only get better now that i'm figuring it out.
i have plans, neighbors.
i  could easily make another four or five sandwiches today.
but i won't.
and besides, while i do loooooove sandwiches,
my pizza count is WAY low right now.
it's over.
sandwich week was over the top.
now it's fully XI-mas time in the woodsly goodness.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress even has the tree lit up.
i credit that 100% to the redheaded sentimentalist who showed up
to care for my overall emotional wellbeing yesterday.
i'm bad at surprises.
my reaction is always dumb.
but that was a very pleasant surprise,
and i feel truly well-pleased.
looking at your XI-mas tree is good for you.
she knew it.
and now, i remember, too;
never quiet, never soft.....


on the last day of sandwich week,
i needed to get into the right frame of mind.
first things first, to prepare for the finale-
i made a great big batch of seitan on saturday night.
exxxtra-heavy-duty wheat gluten slabs, firmer than usual,
kneaded to the extreme,
and activated with a touch of vegan (and unnecessarily)
gluten-free chicken-style bouillon.
dudes, i'm telling you- i outdid myself on this batch.
a little smoked paprika, a lotta sage and thyme,
all the GPOP and nootch you could hope for,
and all the rest of the regular recipe....
but, it worked better, as if the sandwich spirits were cooperating.
ANYway, i used it to make two very different fried sandwiches.
and since i already had that amazing marinara from the meatless balls,
i went full-force into some seitan parm:

sauce on the bottom,
sauce on top,
homemade cashew mozzarella,
and a little more sauce,
with a fried, breaded, herbed-the-eff-up seitan cutlet or two in between.
that's not basil.
it's spinach, for aesthetics.

the bread was toasted in the oven with the rest of it, of course,
and that's olive oil and fire-roasted tomato sprankles all over it.
that's the move, man.
so, the bread is the awesome-
in your stand mixer, with a dough hook on it,
2 cups king arthur bread flour;
1/2 cup king arthur all-purpose flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
1 tsp sugar;
1 tsp malted barley;
3 T vegan butter;
1 pkg active yeast;
2 tsp bread machine yeast;
1 1/2 cup + 2-3 T warm water;
you know the drill-
beat i up for 11 minutes.
i covered mine after that, and put it in the fridge overnight to rise.
it got big, i took it out and let it re-acclimate
while the oven heated to 400℉.
i shaped 4 round buns and three long rolls,
to maximize everybody's sandwich experience for the day.
and i baked them for 22ish minutes, which turned out to be just right.
so, like i said, sauce,
and cashew cheese were in the mix.
and homemade seitan.
which was prepared like this:
4 cutlets of firm seitan, sliced into halves -like semicircles.
the dredge is:
1 cup of warm salt water, bloomed with 1 T egg replacer,
and 1 T chia/flaxmeal, stirred up and thickened.
the breading is:
1/2 cup of crushed cornflakes;
1/2 cup of crushed rice crispies;
1 1/2 T nootch;
1/4 cup chick pea flour;
1 tsp sea salt;
oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, parsley, cayenne,
Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and lots of black pepper.
can you guess what happens next?
that's correct.
dip the seitan in the wetness,
then press it firmly on both sides in the crOmbles,
a few flips, should get a nice thick crunchy coating.
and fry it up in very hot neutral-flavored oil.
dry 'em off on a paper-towel lined rack to degrease 'em,
then set up your sandwiches like you see here.

bake 'em at 400℉ until the chee' is meltish and the sauce is darker,
and the oils are bubbling.
just like that, simple simple, and you're amazing,
and your sandwich is amazing,
and your day might even be amazing, too.
i've got a lotta feelings about yesterday.
gratitude is chief among them.
good people all converged on the woodsly goodness,
and that made it better than the preceding few weeks, for sure.
i even set up my XI-mas tree.
and that was a big surprise.
i mean, really, when something nice happens,
i am speechless for a bit.
i'm still thinking about the experience.
i am grateful for the time i was given;
never quiet, never soft.....


sandwich week was incredible.
i mean it.
all those new sandwiches,
all those old favorites,
all the edible expertise draw from all the previous celebrations.
all that bread.
i mean, it's a LOT of bread.
but good bread makes better people,
and the sandwiches have been proof of that.
i finished off the week with a buttery sourdough toast breakfast trophy-winner.

toasty homemade radical white mountain white bread, naturally leavened,
stuffed with all the stuff you might want for breakfast.
since the oven was already baking breads at 400 luscious degrees,
i took the opportunity to toss a few red and yellow potatoes with salt, pepper,
curry powder, and olive oil for a crispy bottom base layer.
i also had some spinach, mostly for color, honestly.
over that, i pan-fried a few sliced red lentil seitan sausages,
gave them a gentle tamari/water steam saute,
then finished them with a glaze of real maple syrup...
sweet. savory. manly. custom. and all mine.
then there's a heap of salt and peppery coconut-oil pan-fried exxxtra-firm tofu.
but also totally satisfying.
and you know i made MORE tempeh bacon.

it's a big sandwich, for being just one halved sourdough slice.
so, how do you turn that up to eleven,
as if it wasn't already?

spinach, potatoes, sausage, tofu, tempeh bacon, aaaaaand gravy.
you know i saved all that thanksgiving goodness for situations like this one.
and that is how you make a glistening super-sexxxy sandwich for the last day.
everything was excellent.
and as far as sandwich week goes,
i'd definitely make another 'nother one of these.
it's just sandwiches, but it's also much more.
if you know, you know, if you don't,.
you're missing out;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, December 8


i s'pose maybe a little kamikaze was in the mix anyway.
the other day i said i wasn't gonna get all pearl harbor..
but then i whipped up some carrot-ginger dressing,
some wasabi-sriracha mayo,
and some homestyle teriyaki sauce....
what was i supposed to do with all that?
make a sandwich, naturally.
and so an epic japanwich was born.

there's exxxtra-firm planks of well-drained tofu,
fried in coconut and sesame oil,
with the sauce caramelizing on both sides,
and a crust of crushed wasabi peas and rice crumbs.
yeah, it's as good as it sounds.
the teriyaki is the TRUTH,
and there's no shame in saying i really did something great here.
so much awesomeness:
1/4 cup tamari;
1/2 tsp sesame oil;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 T toasted sesame seeds;
2 tsp grated ginger;
1 tsp agave;
1/2 tsp lime;
2 T rice wine vinegar;
2 T brown sugar;
black pepper, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
and dash of liquid smoke.
it's F*ing amazing, and that's no joke.
the wasabi peas and the rice crumbs (gf, from trader joes)
only add to the triumph of each caramelized slab of crisp-edged soybean sexxxiness.
and the slaw?
c'mon now-
you know i made everything gluten-free except the bread, right?
well, i did.

it's always a good idea to stay in practice.
so anyway, to slaw it up:
that's a fistful of snow peas, shredded,
a fistful of chopped pea shoots,
a squeeze of lime,
a drizzle of sesame oil,
and a spoonful of toasty sesame seed sprankles.
i know you see that carrot-ginger dressing lookin' right as rain.
a little chunky, but not lazy,
with so much big flavor in every zingy ginger bite.
wordimus prime.
here's how i did it:
in a speed-blender, combine:
1 carrot, chopped;
1 1/2" peeled fresh organic ginger;
2 T red onion;
1/2 tsp sesame oil;
1 tsp lime;
2 T rice wine vinegar;
black pepper;
1 tsp tamari;
2-3 T water, adjusted as necessary for proper emulsifying.
^^ you can do it, and when you do, you'll be thankful,
i had the rest on a salad afterwards,
and i was just as psyched as the very first taste.
the sriracha wasabi mayo was just those three ingredients,
and i'll bet if you like one more than the others,
you can create whatever proportions you prefer for the big action atop your own buns.
and the buns were no joke, either.
2 cups king arthur bread flour;
1 tsp malted barley powder;
1 1/2 tsp sea salt;
2 T vegan butter;
1 cup warm water;
1 pkg regular active yeast;
1 tsp bread machine yeast.
kneaded in an uprighteous mixer, with the dough hook affixed for 11 minutes,
then rested, covered, until it doubled, then divided into two round and two long loaves,
allowed to double again, oiled on top, scored with a lame,
then baked for twenty-five minutes in a 400℉ oven.
perfection is in the bread, bro.
a sandwich week ain't really sh!t without bread.
on the ones.

glistening hottness in all it's heavenly glory.
now that it's the last day,
i will admit that i am very impressed with my sandwich scene this week.
i did a lot, i baked a lot, i ate a lot, and i did it all to process
the seriously savage severe stormswept sword in my soul;
never quiet, never soft.....


banh means bread.
i just listed the recipe on the last post.
and speaking of posts,
i've officially surpassed my previous most posts in a year by a few already.
we can all thank sandwich week 
for coming through with the first week upgrades that i could write about
without falling all the way to pieces.
what would a sandwich week be without a banh mi, though/
i mean, it's one of the best.
and the way i work it, it might be better than most.
that's real.

too much is the right amount.
the jalapeno on top was SPICY.
the cilantro was cool.
the sriracha was SPICY.
the mayo was cool.
the quick-pickled radish and carrot were sweet.
the scallions were subtle.
the pickles were tangy.
the red onion was sharp.
the cucumbers were crisp.
the red cabbage was crawnchy.
the avocado was smooth, and the most ripe and ready.
the tofu had a little extra-agave-added teriyaki glaze
on top of the coconut-oil crispy skins and caramelized edges.
and the bread was buttered and toasted after cooling off from an early a.m. bake.

if you're gonna go banh banh,
then make sure you make some quick-pixxx for yourself, son-
1/2 carrot cut into 2" slivered sticks;
1 radish, sliced into halved discs;
enough rice wine vinegar to almost cover them in a small jar;
pink salt and sugar, to taste;
and a little water to immerse the veg all the way under with.
leave that overnight, and you'll have wizard sauce in the morning.
i mean it.
it's always just a little farty smelling, but once you drain it, you're a winner!
don't be fooled, they taste fantastic.

banh mi does something extra special to my anticipatory manners.
i just LOVE 'em.
even when the jalapeno is one of those really hot ones.
i still feel comforted as i hiccup through the heat.
here's the thing about sandwich week:
i'm making sandwiches no matter what....
but YOU should be making them, too.
i mean, on holidays, everybody does their version, right?
maybe i'm the only one?
i've been making extra sandwiches because i love making sandwiches,
but that's specifically NOT the point.
i'd always hoped that folks would get creative or inspired and bake bread
and think up themes and sandwich up their damned lives a little.
that's not what's happening,
and that's sort of disappointing.
there's something about winter,
or almost-winter that kind of feels like a relief.
i mean,
why wouldn't i get under all the blankets?
it's F*ing freezing all the time.
i'm not being a wastrel, i'm retaining heat.
and since i get up and it's dark, and i leave work and it's dark,
and the only real light i feel on my face is out on a walk with the dog,
why wouldn't i go to bed early?
it's dark. it's cold.
and it's heavy like a glacier.
i'm moving slowly, time is moving quickly,
and somewhere in between, i'm just doing my best to make stacks on stacks
of movie checks, to fund the next big things.
i have a bellyful of bread, but a heart empty of laughs.
i need more of what's good, and more of who's better.
that's what i've gotta get my hands on;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, December 7


i was gonna make a pearl harbor sandwich.
but, then i thought about it,
and maybe i'm just not all the way feeling that idea.
and maybe i'm not feeling a lot of things.
like my feelings.
today my dearly departed dad-type duder would've been 70?
that's something.
pearl harbor was a while ago, but also today.
i'm taking the time to think about the things i liked about my dad.
the recollection is important.
he's more of an anthology of stories than a traditional father figure.
that's the legacy he left behind for me.
a collected many volume set of intense instances.
mostly explosive.
occasionally inventive.
rarely inspirational.
and sometimes genuine in a way that surprised me.
that's what he left when he left.
...that and a bunch of tools.
honestly, that breaks my heart the most-
nobody wanted what he'd worked so hard to amass over the decades.
he had a full mechanic's shop of equipment,
and none of the surviving family could possibly care any less about it.
he was intentionally hoarding it in hopes of passing on the
usefulness of those tools.
tools are always useful....unless you don't fix things.
especially cars.
and i especially don't fix cars.
i'm sure there will come a time when i'm living on a woodsly woodlot,
doing manly farmish things,
and i'll think back to all that stuff my dad kept for us,
that i'll bet my ma gave away to whomever wanted some.
i mean, i definitely don't at the moment, so if it'll be of use,
i think that's the right way to honor the old man's accumulated wealth.
welders and sanders and grinders and buckets of bits and pieces,
as well as a menagerie of automotive ingredients from obsolete makes and models.
i've almost never used a tool on a car that wasn't supervised over by my dad,
and that was back when i was little and he was instilling his love of that stuff to me,
and it was having the precisely opposite effect.
it's funny how what we think is important is really so personal.
i mean, sure,
plenty of folks wanna eat hot dogs at sports things, so they can share that.
or go to concerts and sing along to their favorite song.
there are a lot of shared interests that can create lasting feelings of belonging.
and then there's the sad tale of the carocci curse.
throughout history, there've been fathers and sons in my bloodline,
all named albert,
all who just didn't connect with the one before and the one after.
it's a tradition, really.
and it comes from radical diversity within the species.
outlier extremists bursting to the expansive edge
of whatever is the opposite of the one before.
if i'd ever had a son,
he'd probably become a craft-beer and raw-beef enthusisast,
working 12 hour days in a cubicle, with a traffic-packed commute on either side.
why do i say that?
that's just how it works.
it's as if each son asked their father:
what's NOT what you like?
ok, then that's what i'm going to like the most.
and the thing is, that's us all being just like each other.
'i don't like what you like, but i want you to like what i like'
i plead guilty.
and although i try to be better.... and i probably am.
it can't be by a very large margin.
compound interest, multiplied by similarity and disinterest?
that's what my family tree branches are all about.
for real-
my great grandpa, albert, looked like an italian cobbler,
riding roughshod ramshackle motorcycles up mud hills
and blowing sh!t up with dynamite.
my dad's dad, albert, was a semi-civil servant sometimes,
in a full military american flag uniform, without any irony.
my dad, albert, was uncivil at the best of times, in crush velvet bell bottoms,
and a san francisco leatherboy captains hat,
like the heavy metal homos in judas priest and the entire cast of good times
had a jam session fashion show, and he was the model.
and that was before the yosemite selleck mustache and seven-strand ponytail.
and me?
well, between my too-tight pants and my too-small hats,
and these big hula hoop holes in my head, and all these tat-F*ing-toos,
i'm certainly no better.
and if we're being truthful,
i look like the amalgamated essence of all those sunsab!tches distilled and filtered
through a mercifully my-mom's-side body type...
they were all short and fat and bald, and i'm not short or fat, yet.
i'm the last male descendant in a direct line of bald, loud, antisocial socialite antiheroes.
factual fictional characters repeating the same patterns.
we have all been chasing the same thing.
the balance of love and legacy.
what we leave behind and who we leave behind, and if those can overlap at all.

me and the dude, my dad-
we spoke to each other like two total imbeciles,
really dumbing it down to the lowest of lowest common denominators,
outdoing the overall urban-accented ignorance of increasingly outrageous
and irritating interactions.
a brutal barbarian back-and-forth that's make a sailor blush.
and then we'd laugh.
because the truth of it was that we really did want to share something,
but neither of us knew how to do it like a person and not a cartoon.
these days,
without his big dumb mouth F*ing it up, i can see it a whole lot more clearly.
and i'm thinking about that on his birthday.
we shared our time as best we could and he never stopped trying to connect
it just wasn't ever going to be something different.
that's how curses work.
as a character, he's legendary.
an inexhaustible well of true stories about the wild warrior poetry
of lawlessness in the modern age.
as an example, he's a cautionary tale and instructional fable on almost every level.
i think he liked me as much as he could,
even if he was much happier being around my sisters
who resembled his vision more than i ever will.
my mornings are a whole lot quieter without his phone calls.
i wish we'd been smarter about the time we had.
i wish i had a use for one of those F*ing tools.
i wish and i wish and i wish, but the truth is that
it's easier to miss him than it ever was to be his son.
and i do miss him on days like today.
i think i've pearl harbored my heart with some sort of kamikaze nostalgia;
never quiet, never soft.....


i tried to make the sauce look sexy, but it was still too hot.
sometimes that happens when you're making too many sandwiches, man.
the reduced balsamic/soy syrup was still a little wet.
but that didn't stop me from enjoying the layers of intellectual flavor
in this sophisticated sandwich...
carrot spears, tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, sumac, and cayenne.
roasted next to some potato wedges,
and a batch of smoked paprika'd brussels sprouts.
that's expert.
dudes, look at what's poppin':

carrots doing their thing, with spices and brussies and everything else
makes me do a championship fist pump like i'm listening to 80's metal.
i took a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar,
and a splash of tamari,
and a glug of agave,
and simmered it to a rich thickness, and the reduction glaze was ready to rock my world.
so i drizzled it on a few slices of buttery warmed pear.
i also scored and boiled some chestnuts,
then took the meats out, peeled them, added a little olive oil, salt,
a pinch of sugar, and some water,
and made a F*ing elite pesto.

chesto-pesto for my face.
and i drizzled balsamic reduction on THAT, too.
the pesto not my face.
i used some parsley to green it up, and that was alright....
but then i got to work,
and made some tahini goddess dressing from scratch.
with dill, and toasted sesame oil, and tahini sesame paste,
and raw garlic, and a splash of tamari, and lemon juice, and salt and pepper,
and let me just say this- i  am a sandwich genius.
the depth of flavor and texture in this one was incredible.
it had a lot going on, and it all pulled its own weight,
and the results were another 'nother perfect winter sandwich.
i love it when it works.

everything cooperated.
i bet the whole world works better that way.
i spread a little vegan mayo on the bread, and toasted it.
that works pretty freakin' well.
extra crisp, extra quick.
i added potatoes to mine, too.
too much is the right amount,
and that's twice as necessary
and  necessarily super-fancy when it's sandwich week.
i try to make something that exceeds the ordinary.
and i share it with you.
that's magic.
that's really happening.
that's making me hungry;
never quiet, never soft.....


if you know how to make a worth-a-sh!t marinara,
raise your hand.
i'm not saying you should be punished if you only like jar sauce-
that's punishment enough.
but great marinara is essentially the thick tomato lifeblood of anyone
with italian DNA.
without a great sauce, you only have half of something good.
the sauce is molto important when you're making italian sandwiches.
that's a fact.
i made mine a few days ago,
so it could get better with time,
and i was NOT disappointed.
it's sandwich week,
and that means expertism is in full effect,
so you'd best be sure that the sauce is perfect.
otherwise, a meatless wheatless ball is gonna just suck balls instead
of satisfying the cravings of a madman.

a bed of arugula,
topped with caramelized onions,
and then four sauce-soaked spheres of vegan hottness,
straight from the pot.
the bread IS toasted at 400℉,
buttered, garlic powdered, black peppered,
and sprankled with minced daiya mozzarella chee'.
yep...minced, because rules is rules.
fried garlic slices do the trick, neighbors.
when you need extra extras, always go garlic.
that's the right answer.
if you need a marinara recipe, i guess use this one.
then make it your own.
same goes for the bread.
the same post has a decent recipe for that, too.

chick pea flour,
oat flour,
tapioca starch,
vegetable broth,
parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, GPOP, black pepper,
red wine vinegar,
and love.
blah blah blah.
i already linked all the recipes, so just know that i always do it a little different
every. single. time.
because that's how you make and have a ball, y'all.
and i always make meatless balls,
but these days, this time,
i've also been making a second sandwich every single day.
that's right.
classics, and adventures, back to back,
every damned morning.
i mean, just check the teleport:

that's pretty good.
and those parsley sprankles make it look better.
they're gluten-free, because practice makes perfect for stuff like this,
and when you have a gluten-free person who may need a few balls thrown her way?
it's always good to be prepared just in case;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, December 6

Gruß Vom Krampus

i don't like letting myself show what hurts.
sure, i write and talk about what's going on.
that's real life documentarianism.
but the painful parts....
i really don't like 'em. nope.
no, not at all.
the feeling that i've left myself exposed and therefore vulnerable
to renewed pain or jagged feelings from the events or words or thoughts
that dismantle my very fragile maintained day-to-day
is not a comfort.
in fact, it causes even more anxious tension....
because i always want to reel back that exposed raw truth,
and hide it away and box it up and bury it in the ground.
nobody gets it out of me like that redheaded fireball.
nobody sees it clearer.
and nobody knows how bad it hurts as well as she does.
i got four cornerstones of my life at odds,
and yet somehow,
she's holding down the fort on her end as if it was as natural as breathing.
meanwhile, i'm crying out of my actual eyes,
and doing what i can to choke it all back inside,
just so we can casually discuss adult life together.
and that kind of gentleness is what lures out all the big fat stupid hurt
and anguish that i languish in and lavish on my innate sense of inadequacy.
i've been beating myself up a lot these days.
i think that's maybe good?
i mean, growth and change are supposed to be uncomfortable.
so, on krampusnacht, i let santa's secret assistant,
that ol' black goat-demon,
suss out my weakness, and really hand out a full-inventory of
assessed inefficacy all about my negative self-talkin' self,
and then go right ahead and kick my A* right off.
i had a beautiful time the other day.
i'm editing all the details,
but it felt good to be there;
never quiet, never soft.....


what do you get if you're a spoiled brat?
you get the krampus to snatch you up,
and beat you and drag you to hell for a whole year.
and if you're a spoiled brät?
y'know, like you're really the wurst?
then *i'm* krampus,
 and i'll eat you the eff up, bro.
oh, c'mon.
you like it.
december fifth is the krampusnacht,
and i wasn't about to be weak sauce about it.
in fact,
i went hard as heckfire on a sandwich week spectacular.

one red lentil seitan exxxtra-large jaun,
blanched in a blend of vegetable broth, tamari, and malt vinegar,
which, when combined with hot oil, became a shiny glaze that made me go crazy
with taste sensations.
that's no joke.

and then there's that grilled red and green cabbage.
it was positively packed with elite levels of crispy, crunchy charred hottness.
dry-fried to blacked the edges,
then buttered and salted to really cook it up and give it some crunch.
too good.
those pickled onions wren't too shabby either.
a little radish to sharpen the texture and the bright bite.
and then the two condiments turned it up to eleven.
for really-real.
that's a custom blend of whole-grain mustard, malt vinegar,
cracked black pepper, and horseradish all over the top of that fat sausage.
and that's toasted dill and caraway seeded mayo, with dill leaf to really make a point,
all over the bread.
......and that bread??
mein gott, freunds.
this is that power rye for your eye.
1 cup king arthur bread flour;
1/2 cup king arthur white whole wheat flour;
1/2 cup bob's dark rye flour;
1 tsp diastatic malt powder;
1 tsp brown sugar;
1 T wheat bran;
2 T olive oil;
1 cup warm water + 1 tsp agave + 1 pkg fast actin' yeast;
1 tsp bread machine yeast.
all kneaded together to form a tight shiny ball,
covered and allowed to rise until doubled,
divided into great big thirds, and formed into hoagie loaves-
olive oiled and coarse sea salted, covered again, allowed to double again,
then baked for 25 minutes.
you won't regret eating one of these burly, hearty thiccc bangers, baby.
i promise.

and the you get a few baby dill pickles, and cut them into sixths,
and hook these F*ers up with just one more additional bit
of germanic awesomeness just to make sure that the naughtiness
you taste in every bite is worth it.
too much is the right amount.
that's the only way.
i made more sandwiches already than ever before.
because i have a whole lotta feelings to process,
and i know you know there's only one road that leads to problem-solving,
and it 100% goes through the kitchen;
never quiet, never soft.....


this one is almost a dessert sandwich.
it's got chocolate, coconut, peanut butter, and banana,
plus THREE slices of fried multigrain bread.
you get it.
you like it.
fried peanut butter and bananas-elvis style.
but also, chocolate, because black elvis is even better.

word up.
coconut oil and a hot press had that bread doing some kind of sensually
crisped-up coconut sorcery.

the toasty flavors really worked with those seeds and the heat.
i like when that happens.
a lot.
next up,
a blend of toasted unsweetened medium sized coconut flakes
and roasted chopped peanuts.
there's also the very extremely chunky all-natural peanut butter, too.
and the banana, which is just sliced up banana, but that's all you need.
and then there's the chocolate.
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips;
1/4 tsp vanilla;
3 T non-dairy milk;
1 T cacao nibs;
1 tsp cacao-
heated, melted, stirred up, and mixed in with 3 T coconut-peanut blend.

SO FILLLLLLLLLTHY, but just right.
it's a FAT slather of chunky butts on the outside edges, thendouble toasty 'nuts,
then banana,
then chocolate then bread, then the exact same things in reverse order,
so the peanut butter is at the ends and the chocolate is on either side of the middle slice.
something this simple shouldn't be so freaking awesome.
of course, it's got ALL the fat and sugar, so you still pay for it in the end....
but it's absolutely worth it for all that ENORMOUS taste.
i know i'd eat three of these no problem.
i have a talent for sandwiches that cannot be stopped,
and i won't either...
until monday, anyway.
rules is rules, and sandwich week is always eight days long.
a long december isn't just about adam duritz being a hell of a songwriter, man.
but a long week between bread is just the way it is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, December 5


because i really do.
british condiments are pretty wild.
a more-curry lovin' grey wet island i've yet to meet.
and chief amongst them?

y'see that?!?!
it's fantastic.
and just what is piccalilli?
it's dope as F* is what it is:
curry-pickled minced cauliflower florets, diced carrot, halved boiling onions,
and diced cubes of cut skin-on apple.
with malt and cider vinegars,
black peppercorns, dill seed, celery seed, mustard seed, coriander seed,
caraway seed, red pepper flakes, cumin seed, turmeric, curry powder, and salt.
i did a quick pickle, heated until the veg was softened (although i added the onions,
which'd been blanched and peeled first, for just five minutes of the hard bubble-up)
and then all of it was steeped while it cooled,
and then refrigerated in an airtight glass container for two more days.

the flavor is GIGANTIC.
the crunch is pronounced.
the color is intense.
and all of it is right there.
on top of a batch of bhaji pakoras, bro.
let me illuminate the big picture-
there's spinach,
then, there's pickled red onions.
in a quart pot, add enough apple cider vinegar to barely cover 1 red onion,
peeled and halved and sliced in thin strips, plus 1/2 tsp sea salt, and 1/2 tsp sugar.
plus a strainer immersed into the brine and add black peppercorn, mustard seed,
dill seed, red pepper flakes, and coriander seed,
boil until the onions turn soft and pink all the way through-
then allow them to cool completely before using.
then the PAKORAS do their thing.
they're gluten-free, in case i ever get to make them for my one and only.
y'wanna know what i did/
you got it:
1 cup finely chopped cauliflower, florets and stems;
2 T frozen peas;
1/4 cup sliced sweet onion;
1/3 cup chick pea flour;
1/4 tsp cumin seeds;
1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
1/2 tsp curry powder;
black pepper;
dash of ground dry mustard;
pinch of nootch;
shake of GPOP;
1 T tamari;
1/3 cup warm water-
adjust for flour and liquid as necessary, you'll want a thicker battery matrix holding
the veggie chunks in place.
toss it all together and that'll make some veggie delights
that you won't actually believe are glutenless and vegan
and so F*ing tasty in your face.
get a pan piping hot with a fat pat of coconut oil,
3 T, or enough to make a wading pool in the cooking area,
and fry them up.
they'll get brown, and the veg will get soft,
and you'll only have to flip them once if you do it right.
these are so good, you're gonna want the just all on their own.
maybe with spicy sauce and creamy sauce at the same time.
that's real.
and i HAD sriracha,
AAAAAAAND jalapeno/cilantro laced coconut non-dairy yogurt, too.
that's riiiIIIIiiiiight.
i know how to make a helluva F*ing andwich, buddy.

...but wait-
i almost didn't even mention that i roasted fingerling potato strips,
and got 'em crisssssssssspy as hell.
i'm kind of smart at food a little bit.
the bun?
oh, i already told you the other day how to do that.
i also toasted it because that's the right answer.
and i want to do the right thing.
the only time i ever even know for sure what that is is in the kitchen.
lemme tell you guys something.
get some.
make some.
eat some.
then do it again.
i know i piccalilli,
and i'm not gonna stop;
never quiet, never soft.....


a BLT is not enough.
it isn't.
rules is rules,
and during sandwich week,
the rules say: too much is the right amount.
so i grilled and pressed some fresh-baked slices of homemade sourdough,
and turned up the ordinary acronym to turbo-charged tremendousness,
and cranked the flavor up to eleven.
that's a fact.
check the teleport:

Bacon made of tempeh;
Lettuce mixture of spicy baby greens;
Onion, red style;
Arugula, a vegetable;
Tofu, fried up crisp in the bacon leavin's;
Hummus, for a creamy cement to hold it together;
Avocado, because i am NOT an A*-hole;
Tomato, because that's mandatory;
Sourdough, good bread makes better people.
plus fire-roasted tomato sprankles,
and cilantro for good measure.
like i said, too much is the right amount.
wordimus prime.
that's a BLT, elevated.

c'mon, now-
that's the way you create culinary communication.
it's the word and the deed and the TRUTH as it conjure it.
a magical monologue between me and the world,
taking what i have and making it expert, in small doses,
to stave off hunger, ennui, the doldrums, and despair, in some short term solution
to the deeper and heavier love of life and loss of liberty that loom always
over my shoulder.
i know it's conflict avoidance.
i know it's a brief breath away from the grief i feel most days.
but holy F*.
the inspiration is there, born from unresolved desires,
and passions that have been paused by distance and circumstance.

it's not just a sandwich, it's an exclamation.;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, December 4


a crȇpe is not a sandwich.
it's just a really thin pancake.
if you use one as a wrap, is it then at least a sandwich component?
i'm just sayin'-
a wrap is considered a sandwich, although i'm not 100% on board with that.
but what about an open-ended pita-crȇpe?
it sure tastes like a sandwich, i'll tell you that.
i made a big batch of gluten-free crȇpes, the better to hold all the good stuff
i had prepared for a megamorning glorious snow day feast,
all in the name of sandwich week.
i hope the purists will forgive the liberties i took.

i'm sayin'-
almost every single thing in these is made without wheat.
except those sausages.
i already had 'em.
they're my from-scratch breakfast blend,
browned, sliced, fried a little more,
then bathed in real maple syrup to boost the flavor fully off the charts .
reread that.
i glugged maple syrup onto the hot pan and rolled the hot discs in it to coat 'em.
then there's that exxxtra-firm tofu, in mini cubes for structure,
fried with a little onion, and GPOP, and nootch,
and pink salt and black pepper and smoked paprika, until it started to get golden brownish.
and the oven was already at 400℉ because i was baking buns,
so i tossed some skin-on potatoes with salt, pepper, GPOP, olive oil,
and a little curry powder, plus a touch more turmeric,
and baked them until they were soft-centered and crispy-edged.
also sauteed some quartered baby bella mushrooms, too.
that's right. i did.
extra meaty bouncy bits of breakfast burliness are good for you,
especially when it's hella cold out and snowing all over the place.
fried tomatoes are kind of mandatory,
and what's the point without mixed lettuce
now toss in some radish and red onion sprankles,
and that's a wrap.
and speaking of wraps-
without the crȇpes, you ain't got it like that.
so make some, man.
heat a 12" non-stick pan to a very hot hottness.
if you don't have nonstick, you probably aren't making good crȇpes.
just sayin'.
anyway, in a big mug or small mixing bowl, combine:
i 1/2 cup bob's gf all-purpose blend flour;
a dash of salt;
a spoonful of olive oil;
a spoonful of tapioca flour;
a pinch of nootch;
and 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, + 1/4 cup water, + more as needed,
all stirred up, with 1 tsp ground flaxmeal.
that's the batter.
you gotta drizzle a spoonful and lift the pan and swirl it,
or else you get a fat small dumb pancake,
and that's NOT what's good.
but these are very good,
and very glutenless, and it doesn't even matter because i can eat gluten.
i'm just being sentimental because i have a lot of feelings.
and i ate a metric ton of them today.
what you get is some new epic edible fantasy magic that defies conventional ingestion.

savory, sweet, crunchy, chewy, soft, supple, succulent, and dare i say it: sexxxy.
that's right.
i was letting my feelings get the better of me,
and when i'm feeling my feels,
sometimes (or almost all the times) a stray redhead-centric sentiment
slips into the kitchen and conjures up some hot fire like you see here.
ANYthing can happen on a snow day, bro.
don't think i didn't go out and get some metallic foil wrapping paper, either.
rules is rules,
and i may need a little push to get XI-mas started....but i'm still gonna wrap it right.
like these crȇpes.
you need the right wrap, or you're an A*-hole.
that's just what it is;
never quiet, never soft.....


a gluten-free vegan veggie burger that doesn't mush or fall apart?
no way, josé.
maybe i mean: yes way, though.
do i think i can i do it?
i already done did it.
it's precisely the sort of anything i'm referring to when i say
ANYthing might pop off on a snow day.
check it:

lentils, mushrooms, onion, roasted garlic, wheatless flour, and alllll the right spices.
best burger i've ever made?
b!tch, it might be.
do you want the recipe?
i'll share:
preheat your oven to 400℉
in your food processor, combine:
1 15oz can drained and rinsed lentils;
1 1/2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms;
1/4 cup red onion;
3 cloves roasted garlic;
2 T GF rice crumbs;
2 T GF oats;
3 T bob's all purpose gf flour;
1/2 tsp black pepper;
2 tsp peri peri powder;
2 tsp umami mushroom powder;
1 T nootch;
1 tsp cayenne;
1 tsp red pepper flakes;
2 tsp smoked paprika;
1 T tamari;
1 T olive oil.
pulse that into a crOmbly paste,
and shape yourself some fat patties.
now, it's about to get gluttonous, guys-
add 1 T vegan butter to a hot pan, and fry these thiccc boyz a few minutes on each side.
then, when they've developed a brown skin, bake them for ten minutes-
then give them another 'nother toss on the hot pan to get them even firmer.
these are the TRUTH.
and there's lemon-juice-kissed collard and cabbage slaw,
which is just those things all together.
and there's toasted pumpkin seed sprankles,
and a little red onion, too.
but what's really sexxxy are the roasted carrots-

olive oil and carrot spears and salt and pepper and Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,
in a single layer on parchment for twenty minutes in that already hot oven.
SO expert.
molto molto expert.
no joke.
the bread was great, too.
in a stand mixer, combine:
2 tsp sea salt;
1 1/2 tsp diastatic malt powder;
2 cups king arthur bread flour;
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp non-dairy yogurt;
1 pkg fast acting yeast;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
3/4 cup + 2-3 T  warm water.
kneaded using the dough hook for 11 minutes, pulled into a ball,
covered, allowed to rise until doubled,
divided into 4 equal balls, placed 2" apart, and allowed to rise, covered until they touch.
baked for 25 minutes, and rubbed with olive oil while still hot out the oven.
these buns do something extra special in your face.
and when buttered and pan toasted, they do something terrible to your waist.

the seeds add crawnch.
the burger is wholesome and terrific and big and yummy as hell.
the onion is bright.
the slaw is clean.
the carrots are sweet.
it needed one more thing-
sriracha mayo.
and then, it was perfect.
ultimate vegan GF burgers.
i told you-
lemme find out how to make GF vegan bread that's good,
and i'll retire somewhere warm while all my money woes disappear.
i'm missing out and i feel it in my whole body.
also, i feel SO fat in there, too.
that's six separate sandwiches already,
and it was only the third day of sandwich week.
too much is the right amount,
and not enough of the right people is kinda killing me.
my hands don't know how to be regular.
i'm having a hard time doing without,
and especially when i'm not grabbing ANY of the right places.
i know it.
i hate it.
i'm cold.
and i feel it everywhere;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, December 3


olive oil, y'all.
it's good for you.
and when you use it to activate a from-scratch loaf of focaccia?
well, you're just investing in your own well-being.
a sea-salt topped, buttery-edged, olive-oiled rectangle of terrific.
that's what i was working with.
i'm really overdoing it.
i don't know what else to do.
i made some sort of supersavory mushroom sandwich,
and it really left me barefoot, bro.
.....because it rocked my F*ing socks OFF.
is that grainy, chunky, whole-seed mustard on the bottom?
it is.
and is that a ton of wilted spinach over that?
it is.
and would those be french-fried onions by the heaping handful?
F* yes.
blackened tomatoes on top of those heroic thick portobello mushroom slabs
give it just a little slippery sweet in alternating bites of delight.
the mushrooms were sea salted, softened, and then upgraded, man.
olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and tamari, 
with a shake of GPOP to give 'em something to work with,
and then a dusting of nootch to really overload your tastebuds with greatness.
how about the aioli????
four cloves of pressed roasted garlic, a pinch of nootch, a literal drip of malt vinegar,
and vegan mayo, for the richest, dreamiest sandwich treatment in years.
this muthab!tch had 111% expert written all over it from the start.
and it began with the bread:
look at the texture of that buttery sweet golden good thang.
i have so much more of it, too.
here's the recipe.
too much is the right amount.
believe it.
i've made so many sandwiches that there's a lotta overlap these days.
and my memory isn't doing it's job like it used to-
so repetition is more frequent.
i've got variations on a theme here and there and everywhere;
and the weeks and the days and the sandwiches all sort of start to blur together.
that's okay.
they taste amazing,
and they tell a story.
food as a narrative of an artist's journey.
to be continued;
never quiet, never soft.....


a snow day.❆
that means ANYthing can happen.
y'know what definitely did happen?
i mean, OBVI, right?
and i worked, doing a few repeat clients, between answering emails
and cybermonday holiday shopping.
so, how did i manage to endure the day's doo-doo buttery slush, slop, ice, and cold?
i ate some of the most flavorful bread-bordered big action i've ever had.
no joke.

sandwich week is powerful stuff.
we got that good bread i wrote about yesterday.
it's really something.
and there's oil and salt and pepper and Garlic Powder and Onion Powder tossed
slivered fingerling potatoes, in red and white, roasted in a 400 oven,
to critical crispness.
those made this molto molto expert.
i have tempeh bacon in there, because i want it every damned day;
and caramelized sweet onion, too.
that's a double dose of rich, hearty, slippery, sweet flavor for your face.
the tofu?
that tofu was something new and exciting.
exxxtra-firm, wet, but drained,
dredged in a combo of:
non-GMO organic cornstarch, chickpea flour, salt, pepper,
powdered powerful pimenton pepper, dried shallot,
and fire-roasted tomato sprankles.

yo, on the ones-
when i'm having trouble expressing myself?
i make some F*ing wild food as a result.
i fried those up in hot refined coconut oil, and they got crisp, and fulllll of huge taste.
i toasted the bread,
i slathered on some mayo, i added romaine tops for roughage and color,
and some pickles, because this kind of thing demands pickles.
and i listen to what the sandwiches say.
am i a sandwich savant? i believe i very well might be.
it's almost like all the interpersonal acuity, intuitive social insight,
and navigable superficial interaction that ordinary people naturally possess
were all converted into making food that looks and tastes incredible,
and unique, and expressive in me.
my food is a much kinder and more authentic version of myself
than any bullsh!t performance as albie rock has ever been.
i'm not being weird, i'm telling you the truth.
complicated, conscious, conscientious, competent, compassionate, considerate-
that's what i am when i'm cooking.
all the loud, fresh, hardness is superfluous,
and i just say what i mean with spoons and pans and sh!t.
there's probably a way to exchange some of that,
i just don't even know where to begin.
with the bread, probably.
it isn't a sandwich without bread.
what are we talking about?
my very wealthy new neighbor improved his home a great deal.
yesterday, that cost me over six hundred dollars.
that's not a joke.
his vastly improved home, which serves as astark contrast to the eclectic,
eccentric dilapidation of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
is so much nicer now that he's take ownership that the actual town
was worried that plowing our road would harm his property,
and thus opted NOT to plow our publicly maintained road.
as a group, the rest of the homeowners (sans uncle pennybags)
petitioned the selectmen, and they determined that if he were to UNimprove
a section of landscaped yard, they'd be able to turn around and
maneuver the road and would therefore maintain the road this winter.
somebody, (not me), offered to pay for the 'repair' amongst us all.
and yesterday, the doorbell rang, and my horrorshow mudroom
had one of my other neighbors in it, with an invoice for six hundred plus bucks.
i appreciate being included in neighborhood events.
there's ONLY four homes on the street.
after NOvember being such a banner month for bammer months,
six hundred extra deficit dollars disappearing first thing was discouraging
when what i get for the money is exactly what i already had for free...
how long does drowning take?
it feels like almost forty-four years of slowly losing breath and getting swept away by
the flow of pressure and dark and cold are catching up right now.
thank F*ing goodness i was all sorts of full from sandwiches.
i let that hold down all the feelings of embarrassment about my old, busted house.
for a second, i saw that entryway through new eyes,
and i wanted to die about it.
there's costumes and cardboard, old comics and weird sticks,
wizard staves and recyclables,
a gardening bench with assorted half-art and craft crap,
paintings and foam and trash.
i'm overwhelmed a lot, and i shut out a lot, but i saw it, and now i can't stop thinking about it.
today is another snow day.
i need to burn half of what's in that room to ash,
as soon as i'm finished eating sandwiches;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, December 2


fresh baked semolina sub rolls,
buttered and toasted and ready to make some kind of magic
exxxplode across the universe and converge in an orgiastic concentration
of excellent flavor and intense texture right in your mouth.
y'can't have sandwich week without bread.
it's very important.
i gotta figure out how to make gluten-free vegan bread.
if i get that right, i'll be the wonderful wizard of sandwich sorcery.
i'm baking focaccia this morning.
yesterday, however, i was a hoe for hoagies.
check it out:

pan-seared slabs of red lentil seitan sausage,
fried with olive oil and veggie broth to get the right blend of steam, sizzle, and brown.
that's how you make it POP, papa.
with arugula and radicchio,
and gala apple sticks, for crunch, and sweetness, and bitterness, all in one place.
the bottom of the toasty bread is smeared with a slathered-on splat of
vanilla-kissed cider-stewed cranberry SAUCE.
as bosslike as ever, the sauce takes you to another level of taste.
and there's leeks, caramelized in a pan already full of tempeh bacon crackles-
that's flavor-flav on top of flavor, friends.
with toasted pecans for crunch,
and fried garlic chip sprankles.
you need 'em, and i got 'em, and they are something special.
unless you're terrible, or allergic to deliciousness, you already know.
and vegan mayo to lube up your whole life, on top of the buttery toastiness.

too much is the right amount.
always and forever.
it'll never be enough.
i mean,
it ALL goes together to make a big picture.
i have all this love in my heart, and nowehere to put it,
so i'm plating it up and devouring it.
i'm a wild thing, albeit the most boring one.
i will eat you up, though, because i love you so,
even if there's a sandwich standing in as a surrogate sacrifice.
that's better, anyway, on all counts, i think.
don't eat living beings, bro.
it's lame af.
but LOOK at all this amazing sh!t:

and that bread made each and every tastebud do a backflip.
1 cup of king arthur bread flour;
1/2 cup king arthur all-purpose flour;
1/3 cup semolina flour;
1 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1 pkg fast actin' yeast;
>1 cup warm water-
knead it for 11 minutes,
let it rise for thirty, divide it in 3, shape it...
let those rise on parchment, an inch or two apart, for thirty more minutes,
oil the tops,
cut some slits,
and bake 'em at 375℉ for thirty.
what do you get?
you get to eat the best bread.
that's a fact.
it's a snow day,
but of course, it's also NOT one.
i mean, ANYthing could happen,
but i'm wagering that even after saying the thing about the two bunnies
when i woke up yesterday,
whatever actually happens will NOT be expert.
it's the holiday season, and bad weather,
and nothing makes more people need to travel in the north
than a combination of those two things.
so, today i'll be at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
doing little tattoos and talking to moms who want gift cards for their kids.
i can't wait.
being cold and mostly by myself is a non-stop scene today.
there will be sandwiches, though.
and that's something to be glad about.
little notes to myself to remind me that i am talented,
even when it matters little to not at all;
never quiet, never soft.....


damn it fools good to eat a sandwich.
for breakfast on sunday, the first day of december,
i made myself something sweet.
and when you make all the things,
all the things make you right back, buddy.

oatmeal cinnamon-swirl waffles,
tempeh bacon,
red onion,
chick pea omelette,
fried tofu,
homemade red lentil seitan maple breakfast sausage patty,
real maple syrup.
stacks on stacks on stacks.
that's a lot of greatness to jump off the dock and into the wild, raging,
stormswept waters that make up the umami tsunami of sandwich week.
real talk.

there's a disc of cinnamon spiral pastry pressed into the center of every waffle.
that's fancy.
and the waffles are the best. just like they always are.
here's the recipe.
the chickpea omelette is just:
1/3 cup chick pea flour;
a dash of black salt;
a heavy shake of GPOP;
2 tsp nootch;
black pepper, turmeric, and smoked paprika,
and 1/3 + 2 T non-dairy milk.
stirred and fried and flipped once like a pancake.
the tofu is just sliced thin exxxtra-firm and fried in coconut oil.
a little s & p and GP & OP, too.
to turn up the flavor to eleven.
tempeh bacon is the TRUTH.
here's that recipe.
add that from-scratch red lentil seitan breakfast sausage,
and you're eating a miracle.
i added a little maple extract, and vegetable stock, to further activate the intense flavor
of that powerhouse of protein.
it's got all the spices, all the flavor, a great texture, and with the fry-up,
it only gets bigger and better.
this is how we do it.

lettuce and onion and real maple syrup all combine to make something great even better.
too much is the right amount.
that's the only way to get out all the feelings and fill up on more of them.
it's a massive megadose of emotional expression, and repression,
in succession.
the breakfast sandwich is becoming kind of a thing.
i really like it.
and i will be doing it again next time.
i pickled some cauliflower this morning, with carrots and boiling onions
and curry powder and all the pickling seeds, in malt vinegar.
i know, neighbors.
it's all a process.
my whole F*ing sh!t-hot mess of a life is a looong drawn-out process.
i'm methodical in what i do,
and patient in ways i don't give myself much credit for-
probably because the far more obvious impatience i express over
every minor inconvenience is much more visible in the day to day.
i'm getting a little better at being better,
but i'm feeling like a failure at almost everything...
except sandwiches.
i'm a superhero at those;
never quiet, never soft.....