Friday, May 31

PIZZA FOREVER!

sourdough eggplant sausage pizza.
all vegan,
all homemade,
all the things i want to fill my whole fat face with.
and i did.
and i loved it.
and that's a fact.
dudes,
look:

YOOOOOO!!!!
that's what's up.
i started the dough by making a little doo-doo starter the day before.
yup.
1 cup of flour,
one cup of water,
one half cup of starter-
stirred and allowed to bloom for more than twelve hours.
it's very bubbly, it's very active, it's all fired up.
i added that to another cup and a half of flour,
two teaspoons of sea salt, two tablespoons of olive oil,
a spoonful of vital wheat gluten,
and a teaspoon of dry yeast.
kneaded up in the stand-up mixer with the hook attached, for eleven minutes.
how wet is it? pretty wet.
how structurally sound is it? perfect.
it's great, man, no jokes... i let it proof from 11 pm to six pm the next day.
and it's got all the oiled-bottom seasoned-steel-tray hottness you'd expect,
and twice the crispy crusty tang of that sourdough you might not have expected.
-
once you've got your dough stretched,
and the oven is preheatin' to 480℉ of convection magic time,
you absolutely have to make sure your eggplant is on point.
i have a formula i follow:
-
*
MELANZANE!
-
the dredge:
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk;
1 T chia/flax seeds;
1 T nootch, whisked and rested for ten minutes.
-
the breading:
1 cup crushed cornflakes;
1/4 cup brown rice krispies;
1/4 cup chick pea flour;
1/4 tsp pink salt;
oregano, basil, thyme, nootch, red pepper flakes, black pepper, parsley, rosemary;
dried shallot flakes;
-
the eggplant:
2 small thin-skinned mini italian jauns, slice 1/4" thick.
dunked and herb-crusted and fried in 1/4" of very hot hot veggie oil.
get 'em golden, get 'em right.
flip 'em once.
put 'em on paper towels to soak up some of that grease.
you got it.
*
the radical vegan homemade pepperoni?
man, it's easy easy.
here's the recipe.
-
and crushed tomatoes,
and minced mutha-effin' daiya because rules is rules,
and if you don't mince it up, you're making big mistakes with your life.
and caramelized onions AND fried garlic sprankles, too.
i mean, c'mon, that's what we do, because that's how it's done.
and it's SO dope:

RIIIIIIIGHTEOUS is an understatement.
fresh parsley? expert.
basil leaves? expert.
that's the move.
for real- freshie-fresh basil on top is F*ing mandatory.
don't make it worse, make it better.
*
i make pizza.
i make sourdough.
i make sourdough pizza and it does things to me.
mostly good, except for maybe my midsection.
eh.
it's a fair trade.
i'm replenishing my soul, at the expense of my waist.
but i didn't waste any.
in fact, i shared half with dylan.
that's practically a diet.
half a pizza?
that's light af.
yup.
i'm over here taking it eas and going hard at the same time.
tomorrow is june?
aight.
i'm ready.
sugar back on the menu at least for the first.
it's gonna be good;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, May 30

TOO MANY

is eight medium sized pancakes too many?
maybe.
but then again, maybe not.
but, if you add a couple of roasted potatoes, the is it too much?
yeah.
and that's a good thing.
right?
you know the rules:
too much is the right amount.
i was all over the place yesterday.
i think the heavyweight platter of powerful breakfast nutrients
is all that saw me through any of it.
thank goodness for all those flapjacks, neighbors.
look:

MMMMMMMMM.
dudes,
i sizzled 'em up in lots of vegan butter.
yes, that's what i did.
actually, coincidentally, i hadn't added any fat to 'em anyway.
...that was by accident, but with a happy ending.
these rough 'cakes were exceptionally delicious, though.
that's no joke.
here's what i did to make 'em happen:
-
*
GRIDDLEJAXXX!
-
in a medium metal aesthetically lovely mixing bowl, combine:
2/3 cup king arthur flour;
1/4 tsp sea salt;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla;
3 T real maple syrup;
1/3 cup coarse oatflour;
3 T thick rolled oats;
3 T coarse-ground unsweetened unsulphured coconut meal;
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut-almond milk.
whisk it up and rest it for fifteen minutes.-
heat up a skillet to medium-high heat,
and add a pat or tow or three of vegan butter for each batch of 'cakes you make.
yeah, man.
they got pretty bubbly pretty quick, and that oat-matric of hearty, tasty, grainy hottness
held up to the heat like a champion.
they're golden,
they're sorta heavy, but not dense.
they're buttery as heck.
they're totally expert and that's a great thing.
hmm?
yeah.
i guess i knew i was gonna have a lot of feelings.
so i ate them all up in advance.
with exxxtra butter and even MORE real new hampshire maple syrup.
...........and a couple of potatoes, for added emphasis on emotional ingestion.
-
*
ROASTY BREKKIE POTATOES!
-
get yourself some parchment.
and a baking sheet, and put the former on the latter.
turn your oven up to 450℉....it doesn't have to be preheated,
the potatoes will roast as it gets hotter.
-
wedge up a couple of spuds.
i used a russet and a red-skin jaun.
toss 'em into a mixin' bowl,
with 1 T olive oil;
1/4 tsp ea Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
1/4 tsp turmeric;
pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
get 'em all coated up, and arrange 'em nicey-nice on that papered tray.
then just let 'em get hot and crissspy in the oven.
they're done when the whole house smells like perfect potato power,
and the tips are jusssssst a baby bit darker than the golden centers.
i mean, unless you like 'em burnt.
then jus bake 'em longer. duh.
c'mon man.
don't be dumb.
-
so, starches and carbs are what i crave.
discomfort food is all i need, nerds.
the more i have of them,
the more i'm held down by a weighted blanket on my interior.
and when you've got a heavy heart, what's better than a heavy breakfast to slowly
digest over a thousand years, like the muh-fuhh'n sarlacc, boi?
ha!
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
*
is there even a sun anymore?
i dunno.
it came out twice this year, and that was cool.
i had the flippin' heat on last night.
the heat!
it's late may, man;  and that's SOOO lame.
but it is also SOOO cold.
and i can't hang out with that.
don't fret- i'll be just as bummed when it's hot as hell all summer too.
it's the infinite nature of the dissatisfied to want MORE always.
i understand it with every atom in my body,
as they share electrons with the outside world,
trading off their energies in every direction in search of something better.
nature wins.
every time, no matter what.
and i'm just allowing the elements of my endless composition to behave according
to the secret universal plan that was etched into the billions of nuclear centers
from cells to structural molecules and so on...
i'm a lover and a fighter and a maker and a taker and a breaker and a baker
and a builder and a wrecker....
i know of just about one other person who shares the same intensity,
and when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object,
you know what happens right?
EVERYTHING;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, May 28

DIRTY DAWG PØLSER

dawgs!
well, maybe they're a little more like sausages.
y'know?
i mean, on the day that we celebrate the military's fallen warriors
by eating hot dogs,
i'm also gonna show a little respect for dead animals
by not using them in any of my food.
instead i'm over here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress making another 'nother
batch of from-scratch burly, spicy, very expert sausage dogs.
yup.
of course, i'm not the type of fella to just munch up a plain tube.
nope.
no way.
however, i am the type of dude who makes a whole lotta homemade hottness for my face.
that's real.
so,
i made sausages, buns, pickles, mustard, and remoulade, and put it all together
for some especially extra-extra dirty dawgs.
check it:

PØLSER!!
that's danish, dudes.
hmm?
yeah.
that's fully loaded.
look closer:

C'MON!
F* yeah.
you want to know how to make all this stuff?
alright.
let's begin with the bread:
-
* 
BUNS!
-
preheat the oven to 400℉
-
in your reliably awesome stand-up mixer, with the hook attached,
combine:
2 1/4 cups king arthur flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
2 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
2 T olive oil;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
1 pkg rapid-rise fast-actin' yeast;
1 cup warm water.
knead all of that up for 11 minutes, wet your hands, ball your dough up,
and knead it more for another 'nother five minutes-
let is rise for twenty minutes,
flour it, divide it up into six long slices.
arrange 'em half an inch apart on a floured baking tray with the sliced sides UP.
let 'em rise, hit 'em with a lil baby bit of Garlic Powder and Onion Powder.
now bake the whole tray  for twenty minutes.
y'all aren't ready for buns this soft and firm at the same time.
they're incredible.
*
and those PØLSE?
neighbors, you don't understand.
they're exxxtra-flavorful.
i make a pretty mean sausage dog,
but these were exceptional even by my own standards.
-
*
DAWGS!
-
in a small saucepot, with 1 T olive oil, saute:
3 T minced onion;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
1/2 cup red lentils;
1/2 tsp ea. GPOP;
1/2 tsp oregano, basil, smoked paprika, thyme, sage,
black pepper, crushed red pepper, fennel seed;
1/4 tsp rosemary;
1 T nutritional yeast;
2 T tamari.
add 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth, bring it to a boil;
reduce it to a simmer, and let it bubble gently for fifteen minutes.
-
in a mixin' bowl, stir up:
1 cup vital wheat gluten;
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour;
1 T tapioca flour;
pink salt;
1/4 tsp oregano, basil, smoked paprika, thyme, sage, rosemary;
1/2 tsp fennel seed;
1 T olive oil.
-
hmm?
yeah, that's right.
double spices.
too much is the right amount.
now add the lentils to the flours, and knead 'em up.
i rolled out eight big sausages from this dough,
and rolled each one in water, wrapped them in foil with twisty crimped edges,
and steamed the whole batch for fifteen minutes.
...
and when i cooked 'em up?
i used four of them, unwrapped, with a little olive oil, and a quarter cup of water.
dudes!
they were so soft, with that grilled outside 'skin'.

f'really real, they're amazing.
i'm seriously pretty psyched about 'em.
*
the mustard?
custom.
that's 2 T grainy mustard;
1 T horseradish dijon;
1/4 tsp toasted mustard seeds;
1/4 tsp toasted caraway seeds;
1 tsp malt vinegar;
two heavy shakes of black pepper.
...yo!
that's that boomfire.
*
and how about a ferocious remoulade?
i mean, if you're gonna make one, make it ferocious.
-
*
REMOULADE!
-
in a small pot, combine:
1/2 white carrot, finely minced;
1 tsp minced onion;
1 clove crushed garlic;
a little baby bit of celery seed, mustard seed, and dill seed;
cover all that, barely, with malt vinegar, and simmer it up until the carrot is soft.
drain it, pat it dry, and add it to 1/4 cup of vegan mayo.
with black pepper;
1 tsp finely minced scallion greens;
and 1/4 tsp ea ground dried shallot and 1/4 tsp ground dried fire-roasted tomato.
c'mon, man.
if you need an expert sauce, you can make one just like this.
*
the pickles?
it's legit just thiiiiiiiinly sliced cukes and radishes,
covered in apple cider vinegar and pink salt,
and marinated for a few hours.
that's it.
you'll be surprised.
-
and then there's fresh onion, and french fried onions,
and shredded purple cabbage and parsley sprankles, y'know?
...for color.
*
guys,
i also had that pasta salad.
listen up.
if you can't hang out with pasta salad?
you're making a mistake about your life.
that sh!t is the TRUTH.
i actually made THREE versions.
yup.
i made a brown rice version.
gluten-free,
with red, orange, yellow, and green bell peppers,
cucumbers,
red onion,
parsley,
black pepper,
tomatoes,
and chick peas,
with gluten-free italian dressing.
mmmmmmmmm.
then i made one with tri-color ruffles of real semolina pasta,
but with NO onions.
yeah.
flavorless, for the kids.
and lastly, i made this turbo-elite fully formed fresh-to-deathness,
with the onions, and the real wheat pasta, and all the veggies.
word.
THAT'S the one.
so, i put in a lotta work for a little lunch,
but it was worth it.
*
i worked half the day at AMPERSAND TATTOO, too.
i do that.
and i drove across new hampshire, as well.
i also do that.
i spanned time with some loved ones.
i spanned time with my thoughts.
i ate well.
it was a full day.
and today's bound to be another one;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, May 27

THE BEST!!

whoah!
i combined two of my top three foods and made myself
a number one dinnertime experience.
now, does my oven no longer heat up in anything that resembles efficiency?
yes.
and do i get a little bit aggravated at the wait while the firebox takes FOREVER?
also, yes.
and, did i have low expectations of the last minute dough i kneaded up?
well, yes.
but was it flippin' amazing and invigorating?
F* YES.
neighbors, i've made it before, but i've never made it like this-
FALAFEL PIZZA!
a truly expert exxxplosion of enjoyable dopeness for my big dumb head.
FALAFEL? expert!
PIZZA? expert!
and what happens when you put 'em together? it's basically magic,
mystery, magnificence, and mastery.
check the mediterranean-supersexxxplosion-type teleport:

WOOOOOORRRRRRD!!!!
there are a LOT of elements involved in this production.
it's not a simple meal.
it's a superfancy, complicated, multi-tiered empire of awesomeness.
-
it all begins with good bread.
i mean, without it you don't have anything gong on.
so let's discuss that dough-
-
*
SOFTIE PIZZA DOUGH!
-
preheat your oven to 480℉
-
in your trusty upright stand mixer, with the dough hook attached, combine:
2 cups + 3 T king arthur flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
3 T olive oil;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
1 pkg active dry yeast;
1 T two-tone toasted sesame seeds;
4 tsp dried shallots;
1 cup very warm water.
knead it all up on low power for seven or eight minutes.
and here's the thing- with we hands, give it a scrape, and ball it up by hand ,
then give it another 'nother five minutes of kneading.
yuuuup.
now you've got something good going on.
let it rise, and while i's doing it, let's make some falafel, dudes.
-
*
FALAFEL!
-
in your food processor, let's get it on-
1 drained 15 oz can of chick peas;
1/2 tsp cumin;
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed;
1/4 tsp sumac;
pink salt and lots of cracked black pepper;
2 T lemon juice;
3 T garbanzo bean flour;
1 T king arthur flour;
1 T chia/flaxmeal;
1/4 cup parsley;
1/4 cup cilantro;
1/4 of a red onion;
3 cloves peeled garlic;
2 T scallion greens;
a heavy shake of GPOP.
pulse it up until it's a coarse pulpy mash.
i mean, i LOVE it.
and if you're making 1" balls, you'll get a LOT of 'em.
fry 'em up in a shallow pan of hot vegetable oil.
you don't have to get 'em all the way browned all over-
they're going into a 480℉ oven after all.
loooooook at 'em, though:

C'MON.
-
now, let's discuss how we're assembling this bad boy.
i stretched the dough out on my favorite olive-oiled well-seasoned thin steel pan,
and i spread the surface with hummus.
yup.
hummus first. because that's the 'sauce', y'know?
how much did i use? i dunno. a healthy shmear, for sure.
then a half cup of shredded purple cabbage,
and a quarter of a red onion, slivered up.
i had a fat handful of quartered sweet baby grape tomatoes, so i tossed those on there.
and a big dose of chopped parsley.
fried garlic sprankles?
yes.
rules is rules.
and then alllllll the falafel, arranged up in a cute pattern,
and a bunch of pickled jalapenos dotted amongst those crispy balls.
i baked it up with a few turns until the puffed up crust was good'n golden.
with my A*-hole oven, i don't know how long it took,
but you know what a good lookin' crust is s'posed to look like,
so pull it out when it looks like that.
obvi.
and then there's still even MORE sh!t going on.
uh-huh.
too much is the right amount.
that's a thing.
so, what else is there?
well, on the post-bake side of things,
there's scallion greens, cilantro leaves,
pickles,
shredded pepperoncinis,
exxxtra-lemony tahini:
-
1 T tahini paste,
1 T lemon juice,
1 T warm water,
sumac, black pepper, and GPOP...
stirred and stirred and stirred into a thick consistent liquid.
-
drizzled all over the top.
and sumac sprankles for the WIN.
with exxxtra pepperoncinis and lemon wedges to turn it up even higher than eleven.
- my buddy dylan was here to experience it.
i'm glad for that.
it'd be a damned shame for another human being not to taste some of this epic hottness.
f'real.
*i* can say it's amazing, but it's better to have corroboration on those boasts, bro.
the only downside was only getting to eat half the pizza.
it's fine.
i don't need more pizza inside me.
whatever.
check it out one more time:

FALAFEL PIZZA IS THE BEST THING ABOUT TWO GREAT THINGS!!
i eat a lot of pizza.
i don't eat nearly as much falafel,
but i might have to start making this more regularly.
every F*ing flavor is elite.
every dang texture is a delight.
everything about this bad mofo is expert.
and that's no joke.
so that was MY sunday night.
we'll see how memorial monday goes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, May 26

DUMPS EVERYWHERE!

when it's dump day, it's a great day.
the weak-sauce waterbaby weather wanted to ruin my night,
but a massive dose of dumps did their job,
and put me asleep with a satisfied belly inside the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
even if the outside environment of the woodsly goodness turned wet and ugly.
do you even know how good radical plant-based vegan dumplings are??
i mean,
they have all the megahottness that a one-plate meal could realistically contain,
plus dippin' sauce.
that's pretty expert.
and i made 27 of 'em,
and i ATE 27 of 'em.
uh-huh.
too much is the right amount, man,.
check it:

DUMPS ON YOUR FACE!!!
sesame-bottomed, so s'chuan, sichuan-oil glazed fried veggie dumps,
with scallion, cilantro, and pea shoot sprankles!
i had to toast some sossamon sesame seeds, but that only takes a second.
y'ever wet your dumpy butts, and dip 'em in seeds?
it make's 'em extra delicious.
that's no joke.
and they were already destined to be very tasty.
that's right.
the filling was damned good from the jump:
-
*
DUMPY FILLIN'!
-
in your food processor, combine:
1/4 onion, chopped;
1 medium carrot, cut into smaller chunks;
1/4 small head of cabbage;
3 cloves of peeled garlic;
1" chunk of skin-on organic ginger;
a handful of pea shoots.
add all that into a medium-sized pan, on high heat, with a dollop of sesame oil,
and saute the veg until it begins to soften.
add to that:
1/2 cup veggie crOmbles;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
black pepper;
2 T tamari;
2 T rice vinegar;
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed;
1/4 tsp ground mustard;
brown that slightly, and you should have a very ground meaty-lookin' mash.
cool it off, and set it aside, and get yourself some dumpling wrappers-
i make mine, because they're more delicious, and better in every way-
-
*
WRAPS!
-
in your upright stand mixer with a dough hook affixed, combine:
1 cup + 2 T king arthur flour;
1/4 tsp sea salt;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
sriracha flakes;
1/2 cup warm water.
knead it up, adding more water if necessary.
you should end up in a small tight ball of shiny dough.
rest it, covered, and then roll it out on a floured surface,
cutting out 3" circles.
and like i said, i made 27,
and i filled all of them with a fat spoonful, pinched, crimped, folded, and dipped 'em.
then i fried 'em up like i new exactly what i was doing.
...and i did.
they need to be arranged in a big skillet
with a blend of sesame and olive oil, on high heat,
and allowed to sizzle for two minutes.
the trick to exxxtra-sexxxy dumplings?
i crushed a clove of garlic over them while they sizzled,
then i added 1/3 cup of water to the hot pan, covered it, and let those thirsty pouches
soak up the steam.
when that was all gone,
i turned 'em onto their sides, and drizzled them with sichuan red oil, bro.
yup.
that's that cranked-up-to-level-eleven-upgrade.
f'real.
-
*
HOMEMADE RED OIL!
-
*this has no black vinegar, kids. i hate it
-
combine;
1/2 tsp sesame oil;
4 tsp vegetable oil;
1 clove crushed garlic;
1/4 tsp sichuan peppercorns;
4-6 chopped dried red chilis;
a dash cayenne;
lots of black pepper;
a little crushed red pepper flake;
a dash or two of hot paprika;
stir it and let it marinate for fifteen minutes or more.
i made it before i started the dumps.
*
that sauce spread across my whole scene really tied the whole thing up in a fancy bow
and allowed an even bigger better flavor to emerge for a maxxximized experience.
-
all that was left was to plate 'em up,
and prepare a SAUCE to dip all my corners in.
-
*
DIPPIN' SAUCE!
-
1 T tamari;
2 tsp rice vinegar;
1 clove crushed raw garlic;
1/2 tsp sesame oil;
1/2 tsp monkfruit sweetener (no sugar remember?)
GPOP;
black pepper;
1 tsp scallion greens;
1/4 tsp toasted sesame seeds.
...

dudes- c'mon.
you've got savory filling.
i mean, it's FULL of flavor.
you've got fancy flour flaps with a hint spice and a bunch of seedy crunch.
you've got red oil heat.
you've got SAUCE!
and then the sprankles chime in with a hint of bright fresh happiness.
maybe twenty seven was overkill.
maybe it was perfect.
they went down smooth, so i'm not sweating it, buddy.
dumpling day is always a good day.
rules is rules,
and they clearly state that it's impossible to be in a bad mood
when you're eating dumplings.
that's a fact;
never quiet, never soft.....

HOMIES

i just loooooove potatoes.
shoutouts to my body for not giving a single F* about me
and luring me to potatoville every day.
i decided to forego refined sugars for the month, as i've mentioned.
my body decided to replace 'em with alllll the starch.
or at least, i crave 'em, and i make 'em pretty often these days.
check it:

HOMIES!!
mmmmhmmmm.
that's that new-new, neighbors.
roasted skin-on russet wedges,
tossed with tasty bits of spice and activated with scallion sprankles
and a lil bowl of smoked spicy ketchup.
they're what i need in my life every day.
i've talked about them before, and recently at that.
they just keep gettin' better each time, tho.
the oven was gettin' hotter and hotter on it's way to 460℉ for bread.
and that's the right scene for a potato dream to unfold, bro.
-
*
HOMIES!
-
in a mixin' bowl, combine tow russet potatoes, cut into wedges, and:
1 T olive oil;
1/4 tsp turmeric;
1/4 tsp smoked hot paprika;
dash of cayenne;
fresh coarse-cracked black pepper;
pink salt;
2 shakes each of Garlic Powder and Onion Powder.
toss that whole bowl all around to thoroughly coat every 'tater,
and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking tray-
roast those baddies until they're as crisp and golden as you prefer.
they yellow turmeric is a tricker, tho- so test 'em with a fork.
could be twenty minutes, could be forty, i don't know what you like,
and i don't know if your oven is any good either.
be patient, it's worth the wait.
*
really, eating more potatoes is good stuff.
it's like a big cuddly hug for your insides.
...and that's sorta nice.
i think that if there were more potatoes in everybody's life,
we'd all probably be a lot happier-
maybe not smaller in the middle, and probably not necessarily healthier,
but way way happier, for sure.
i know that they've been making my days better.
so here's a big two-handed hang-ten high five to tuberous veg.
thanks for the mood boost, spuds;
never quiet, never soft.....

FLEURS

me and my markers and a lotta lines.
that's what most days consist of.
i did a big ol' flower-powered bouquet on madi the other day:'

big flowers and little flowers and happy mutha-F*in' flowers everywhere.
you want flowers/
i do that.
you want black and grey lines all over the place?
i do that, too.
you need a day to enjoy,
and art to take away with you forever?
well,
let's not get carried away,
but you can come get a nicey-nice tattoo at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
that's what we're here for;
never quiet, never soft.....

TATTERDAY

whenever i'm tattooing skulls on people,
my day is a little bit better.
and if you add in a flower or two?
it's downright great:
so shoutouts to fun tattoos.
also,
skulls are the one thing i don't get tired of tattooing.
so that's cool, too.
but, i don't ONLY tattoo skulls.
i do all the other stuff, too:
yup, i'll carve into an old timey panther.
i mean, it's a classic.
very dissimilar imagery, but all just tattin' and tooin' when it comes down to it.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is where we make it all happen.
there's no shortage of style.
heck,
some lady walked in just to tell us the studio looks 'classy', 
and 'better than the stereotype'...
that was sweet.
she certainly wasn't getting a tattoo, 
and she never even allowed herself in past the entryway, 
but it was nice all the same.
she might've just been lookin' for pizza through the wrong door or somethin',
but i'll take a compliment from wherever they're dishin' 'em out, y'now?
ha.
anyway,
we're ready for another big summer.
i suggest you make your appointments sooner rather than later,
or else we might run out;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, May 25

SMILES!!

this baby is HAPPY!

mmhmmm.
little lilli smiles.
she only does it for her mama,
but that makes sense, right?
she's the source of all good things in that baby's life.
a couple of cute ladies, beaming bright?
i'm into it;
NQNS.....

Friday, May 24

HOLY CRUST!!!!

daaaaaaaamn, duders.
sourdough supersexxxiness from the future?
did it, baked it, ate it, LOVED it.
guys,
f'real.
you know by now that i'm so all about pizza.
but this crust?
it's the TRUTH.
better than average, better than good, better than i deserve.
check it:

HOLY SH!T!!
so, the toppings are all good:
chopped spinach.
crushed tomatoes.
caramelized vidalia onions.
oven roasted potatoes! tossed with olive oil and pink salt and black pepper
with GPOP for a little exxxtra excellence.
and parsley.
oh,  and minced daiya mozarella.
rules is rules.
if you're using full sized shreds, you're bad at vegan chee'.
there. i said it.
-
fried garlic sprankles? OBVI, bruh.
always with those jauns, for maxxximum flavor.
and lastly, arugula.
fresh leaves of that sharp and bitter salad.
-
but, that crust, boi.
that's the breakout superstar.
bubbles?
got 'em.
mini surface blistering?
F* yes!
fluff and crisp and flavor for days and days.
probably like seven days, but definitely NOT weak.
yeah.
-
*
SOURDOUGH CRUST!
-
1/4 cup sourdough starter, bubbly and hungry.
2 cups king arthur ap flour plus 3 T flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
4 tsp olive oil;
1 tsp bread machine (jar) yeast;
1 cup warm water.
add it all together, and just let it sit for fifteen minutes,
then knead it in your stand-up mixer on low for 11 minutes straight.
it'll be a shiny tight ball before long.
wet your hands, push it all in a sweet little heap,
and give it another 'nother 5 minutes on slightly higher speed.
now you've got gluten strands fully-formed and psyched to rise up
and overthrow your previous expectations.
i let mine rise for thirty minutes, punched it, kneaded it back into a ball,
covered it,
and let it slow proof for a full 36 hours.
then, i stretched it out onto an oiled, seasoned steel tray
while my slow-af oven preheated up to 480℉.
-
this crust did everything i'd ever hope to have happen.
damn.
one of the most delicious i've ever eaten ever.
and that's no joke.
*
pizza, bruh.
eat more pizza.
eat way more vegan pizza.
make it yourself, make a lot,
make 'em big, and load 'em up with all the good stuff.
i might eff around and have another one this weekend.
that's right.
too much is the right amount.
so naturally, MORE is what i need.
what do you have to lose by getting good at making pizza?
right?
you're only going to have a much better life with another pizza in it;
never quiet, never soft.....

CAKES!

damn dudes-
oatmeal cakes were a good idea.
check 'em out:

MMMMMMM.
mostly oats, a little coconut, a small dose of wheat flour,
cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla....
and of course real new hampshire maple syrup.
obvi.
rules is rules, and the cakes are only expert when they've got that on top.
f'real.
strawbz?
yeah, neighbors- i F* with strawbz when they're juicy and fresh, for sure.
that's garnish, though-
the heart of the matter is look at how brown those hearty mancakes are.
like, look at that burly cakey morning hottness though!!
they're full of power for a big day.
i think that's probably a real thing.
wanna know how i did it?
okay.
ready?
here we go:
-
*
OATCAKES!!
-
in a medum sized mixin' bowl, combine:
2/3 cup coarse oat flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
3 T ground unsweetened coconut meal;
1 T oat bran;
2 tsp chia/flaxmeal;
1/4 cup king arthur ap flour;
2 T unsweetened plain coconut yogurt;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 1/2 tsp baking powder;
3 T melted vegan butter;
1 cup + 2 T unsweetened coconut-almond milk;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 T maple syrup.
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.
stir that all up, and let it soak up the s'milk.
you'll get a thick and rowdy batter.
that's what you want.
-
now, get a big ol' skillet, or better yet, a griddle, good and hot-
and pour a few ladlefuls out.
y'know how to make morning cakes?
when the circles get bubbles in  'em, flip 'em over.
i made six. they felt like ten. they're very oaty, and very filling.
and with butter and strawbz and MORE syrup,
they're also totally expert.
that's a fact.
***********
does it rain every damned evening?
it does!
does that eff up all my dog walkin' plans, every night?
it does!
does that in turn spoil our time together?
sorta.
here's the thing-
we make the best of what we've got,
and when he's got no light to work with?
he gets very sleepy.
and that's a good thing, because a high-energy shark-bullet shooting around
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is never all that much fun.
sure, running in wild circles through every room is funny at first,
but he just keeeeeeeeps it up, forever.
after a few laps, it's not as cute.
after fifty laps, it's like watching a slower, non-competitive nascar race.
after that?
well, after that it's more of a chase-
i'm the one in pursuit, trying to wrestle him into stopping,
and crabtree is running full-bore, trying to escape the whole entire time.
ha.
i think he would call it 'playing'.
but then again, he's very dumb.
there are clouds and sun outside right now.
it's grey and gold and i like the way it looks.
it's humid, but that's better than being cold.
these mountains are slowly figuring out that it's spring, just in time for summer;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, May 23

30 DAYS!

today is the day.
yup.
that sweet little baby girl, lilli vanilli, is one month old today.

holy sh!t, that's too fast.
she's big.
she's alert and inquisitive.
she's vocal.
she's hungry.
and she's kyooooot!!
if it wasn't for the incredible nurturing nuances of her mama, breezy,
who knows what sort of average infant she'd be?
no jokes.
but,
while it's very possible that nature wins in the long run...
right now the regimen and routine and the care and the attention she receives
has created a perfect small baby.
a freakin' month, man.
that's crazy!
and her eyes are takin' in ALL the info,
and she's got miles of smiles for her mama,
and about a billion "gentle" head pats from her sisters and brother.
y'know about them?
my pizza partners?
c'mon.
they're the pepper prince and princesses,
they're cheese chiefs,
they're crusty little youngin's,
and they all form a voltron of adorable affection.
and after they're off to bed?
it makes me miss the holy livin' hell outta harvest and maple.
that's the truth.
big kids are busy doing big kid stuff.
heck, they're not even really kids anymore.
and i miss that, too.
harvest is gearing up to go back to europe, again.
maple just got a one-act drama scholarship and an honor roll medal.

i mean,
i'm over here stretchin' pizza,
and lettin' my homie cohen be the sauce boss,
and meanwhile those grown-A* girls are making plans for their futures.
that's a timeline that really spans across decades of interactive participation.
i'm spanning time pushing a swing, throwing a ball, and monitoring the trampoline.
lilli keeps busy under her noisy light-flashy playmaker thingy.
and that whole time,
i've got a daughter at work,
and a daughter about to graduate, too.
i have so many feelings, neighbors.
SO many.
i've sorta stopped eating them, at least.
and only sorta. i'm just managing the meal plan a little better.
or, i'm eating twice as much as i need to,
but only one eighth as much as my feelings would prefer.
is that progress?
i'm not sure;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, May 22

R&B!

rice and beans, neighbors.
yup.
normally, i bet you could get away with literally just those two ingredients.
but not at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, my friends.
nope.
no way.
we need that big deluxxxe exxxtra-expert activation over here.
f'real.
so when it's time for that R&B, y'boi makes sure it's got every damn thing.
no, for really real, though.
check the teleport:

RAINBOW CONNECTIONS, BRO!
two kinds of beans,
two kinds of rice,
so many different peppers, a couple of onions.....
man, you could have simple sh!t for dinner.
you could also be a limp lame lil bihhhhh.
that ain't me, duder.
i'm on that too much is the right amount thing over here.
what'd i do?
i did the following:
-
*
R&B!!
-
in a 1 quart sauce pot, boil up:
3/4 cup jasmine rice;
1/4 cup sprouted red rice;
pinch of pink salt;
1 1/2 + 3 T hot water.
if you've never made rice, look on the bag of rice for directions, i guess?
weirdo.
-
drain 1 can of black beans,
and 1 can of pinto beans,
and divide each in half.
-
in a medium sized nonstick pan, saute:
1/2 minced jalapeno;
2 T finely chopped red onion;
1/2 cup quartered baby grape tomatoes;
2 T poblano;
2 T minced cilantro stems;
1/2 tsp GPOP;
2 tsp nootch;
1/4 tsp cumin;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed;
pink salt, black pepper,
and 1 T olive oil.
when the veg wilts, add 1/2 of each kind of bean,
toss to coat, and simmer for five minutes on medium heat.
-
add your rice to a mixing bowl,
and stir in:
1/2 cup yellow and orange bell pepper, chopped;
1/3 poblano pepper, chopped;
1 red chili, diced, nicey-nice;
1/4 cup raw red onion;
3 T minced fresh cilantro;
2 T scallion greens, thinly sliced;
2 tsp tiny-mincey jalapeno;
-
add the beans, mix it up,
and you've got some sort of level-eleven dirty dirty delight all ready.

c'mon!!
with AVOCADO, and lime on the side, for maxxximum activation,
i think you'll agree, beans and rice is usually pretty fresh,
but this version is the TRUTH.
i never want anything less than the big action, man.
...and that's no joke.
***********
it's gettin' pretty green out here.
hmm?
oh, i know-
we're late to the game in the woodsly goodness.
y'all have already had all the blooms and whatever.
good for you.
i'll bet we appreciate it more, though.
just sayin'.
the wind whipped through the woods all flippin' day, and night,
and buffeted our branches and boughs with brutality
for hours upon hours.
i HAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE the wind.
always have.
i'm guessing i always will, too.
i mean, really-
-
             dear the air,
                   
                           stop doing that.
                           for real, it's lame.

                                         thanks,
                                                    xo,
                                                         albie
-
ha.
man it was annoyingly irritatingly awful outside.
the skies are still and calm today.
i like that.
we'll see if there's a storm in anybody's heart, instead.
the risk of a hurricane is high every day around here.
even when there're zero clouds in the sky.
it's an occupational hazard of warrior poetry i suppose;
never quiet, never soft.....

OATS!

i really love oatmeal.
it's true.
thick, hearty, manly oats are what you need to power up a big day.
and if you happen to have a bunch of pretty fancy bits to make 
it look and taste better?
well, you should probably do that.
a sand-colored clump of wet cereal grains is fine, i guess.
but a colorful, flavorful arrangement of edible excellence is SO much better.
check it:
PORRIDGE!
mmmmmmm.
1/2 cup steel-cut scottish oats + 2 T thick rolled oats;
2 tsp vegan butter;
1/4 tsp vanilla;
pinch of pink salt;
1 1/2 cups coconut-almond milk-
brought to a boil, and simmered with a lotta stirring 
to get that blarpity consistency you know you love.
-
plus apples, 
and real new hampshire maple syrup,
and strawberries,
and raisins,
and coconut,
and cinnamon.
it's so simple, but it's so dope, y'know?
yeah.
if you need all the fuel for a big day,
or you just wanna feel the most full,
this is the one.
***********
the thing is, i have a smoothie every morning.
with fruit and vegan powdered energy exxxplosion dust.
i don't need a big breakfast,
i've already sipped on one first thing.
however, i WANT more breakfast, all the time.
breakfast and dinner have all the best food.
lunch is bullsh!t, and i couldn't care less about it-
but brekkie? i'll take second breakfast and elevensies, always.
and if you're gonna load up then really go for it.
a piece of toast with peanut butter? 
c'mon.
you ca go harder than that.
a doublesized bowl of oats and a garden of fruit on top?
with ethically vampired sweet concentrated treeblood?
now you're talking;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, May 21

ZZZZZZZZZ

sleeping beauty.

she's such a dear, sweet, calm, lovely little lilli lady.
it's wild that her routine keeps her SO well-tempered.
she sleeps soundly,
and when she's up and not eating,
she's alert and wide-eyed and taking in all the environmental info around her.
for a teeny tiny, she has a lot of expression in her eyes.
and they're lightening up.
will the be brown?
will they be hazel?
they're getting pretty werewolfen in the cinnamon honey mango range,
but we'll still have to wait and see.
she's too young for her smiles to be anything but gas, probably,
but they're still such sweet expressions.
i can't wait until she smiles from actual delight,
and not just relief.
ha.
she's four weeks old today.
and she's a real beaut.
she gets that from her mama, because you know that ain't me;
NQNS.....

MINIS!

who needs twenty four pretzel bites?
everybody.
...i mean, c'mon-
what are you?
an A*-hole?
soft pretzels are the hot move in 2019,
and two-bite tasty boys are a perfect addition to the club.
mmhmm.
check 'em:

CUTE!
mini twists, all sea salted and ready to go.
how good do those rich brown outer shells look?
perfection.
the recipe is right here.
the only difference?
cut the risen dough in half,
then in half,
then in half,
then in thirds.
everything else is just more of the same,
in order to get MORE of those precious pretzels.
too much is the right amount, after all.
-
and this time, instead of going the traditional route, with busted musty mustard,
or the fancy path to vegan creamchee' with scallions,
or even the seeded butter direction,
i opted to use my head, and my heart, and bulk up with burly peanut butter.
yeah!
creamy natural unsweetened real peanut butts,
with chopped roasted unsalted peanuts,
AND toasted two-tone sesame seed sprankles.
damn, neighbors.
i wasn't sure that the pb prez nug expertism would translate to the soft version.
but it sure as sh!t did,
and the entire experience got turned up to eleven as a result.
did i eat too many?
always.
i HAD to: rules is rules.
i shared some with dylan,
i gave half a dozen to the kids,
and i came home and had three more.
they're just too dang good to abstain or eat responsibly.
***********
it's windy again.
it rained a whole bunch. again.
i drove all over the state, early and late, again.
at least i've got lots of dots to tattoo later.
but i've got NO idea what i want for dinner.
i guess tacos, right?
i mean, today is that day.
we'll see.
i can't say i'm feelin' it.
also, i hear my clothes are too small.
does that mean my body is getting too big?
or that my dryer is too hot?
or both?
i'm twenty days off of refined sugar,
but i've even enough starch and fruit for that to definitely not matter much.
maybe the future is just fatter?
it's feeling that way around the waist.
i'm not wasting away,
and i'm not wasting time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, May 20

POUTINE EXPERTÉ

i can hang out with potatoes.
they're basically good no matter how you make 'em.
and if you've got expert potato makin' skills,
they can be a transcendent force for good in the world...
..or at least a righteous ingredient in a real level-eleven vegan poutine!
yup.
vegan poutine is not a new thing. you can get it at a few places, somewhere-
not around here, 
but in areas where veganism and information are slightly more celebrated
however, 
right now, in the woodsly goodness,
an unbelievable spiced-chip boomfire bowl of heroic hottness 
has arrived to take your potato experiences to a whole other 'nother new level.
that's right.
gluten-free vegan muh-fuhh'n poo-teen, bruh.
the fries are expert.
the curds are expert.
the savory brown gravy? ummmm.... expert!
ha!
all the things were F*ing amazing,
and when they joined forces i almost died of delight.
the weather was fading to a rainy black bummery downpour scene,
(although the temperature was warm for once)
so i was racing the light.
dudes,
natural light can't be accounted for by the o'clock-
not when the weather is being april a whole month later, y'know?
ANYway,
all the elements converged right before the skies opened up.
check the teleport:
POUTINE!!!
damn that's doooope.
i know y'all can see how that chee' be lookin'.
fresh to death, for sure.
and you already know about those well-seasoned supersexxxy russet fries.
no?
well, you will in a minute.
and the gravy?
look, neighbors- a great gravy is the make-or-break with this meal.
f'really-realsies, you better miss me with that watery weak sauce.
i want hearty, thick, deep, dark, dope barbarian blood on top-
so long as it's made out of vegetables, obvi.
ha.
-
so what's the path to satisfaction?
revenge, usually.
but what's the path to satisfying poutine?
it starts with the spuds, buds...
-
*
CHIPZ!
-
slice three fat skin on russet potatoes into thick strips.
you can use other potatoes, obvi. i just had a big bag of russets to work with.
add 'em to a medium sized mixin' bowl along with:
1 T olive oil;
1/4 tsp turmeric;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
1/4 tsp paprika;
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder;
1/4 tsp Onion Powder;
a little pink salt, a lotta black pepper,
and dash or two of cayenne, and also one or two shakes of ground sage.
-
toss 'em until the're all coated with herby spice, 
and arrange them on a foil-lined baking sheet, 
and fire them into the oven, which you can simultaneously begin heating up to 450℉.
they'll slowly roast while it gets hot.
and you can tell they're done when they start to get crisssp at the tips.
you make 'em however you like 'em- 
i like mine with that golden brown skin, and not just because of the turmeric.
good potatoes are the foundation from which all poutine begins.
*
the next item is the chee'.
i'm always a little suspicious of curd blops when they're vegan.
they don't always have it goin' on.
however, there's a lotta recipes for cashew chee' on the internet.
i looked at all of 'em, and then i combined my favorite bits into one.
-
*
CHEE' CURDZ!
-
in a high-powered ninja/bullet/whatever blender,
add 1/2 cup raw cashews;
1/2 cup boiling water;
1 T nutritional yeast;
1/4 tsp sea salt all together, 
and give 'em a minute with those superfast spinning blades to emulsify.
to that pureed pulp, add:
2 T tapioca flour;
2 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
1 T lemon juice;
1/4 tsp ea GPOP;
and more salt, probably.
another minute with that whirling rotor, and you should have a thick, creamy,
melted milkshake mixture ready to go.
add it to a small pot, on high heat, and stir it around until it sets.
it's thicker, sticky, and stretchy, but definitely firm as well.
that makes it easy to spoon hunks of stretchy, squishy chee' into the 'tatoes.
guys, this blend is really effin' good.
and they aren't too much of any one texture or taste.
i'm pleased, for sure, and i'll be making this again, and again.
*
all that's left is the gravy,
and without the gravy, you ain't sh!t, bruh.
the make-or-break big action activation is right here.
-
*
GARGANTUAN GRAVY GOODNESS!
 -
in a 1 quart saucepot, with a fat pat of butter, on medium-high heat saute':
1/4 red onion, chopped;
1 medium carrot, chopped;
1 stalk celery, in 1" chunks;
1 bunch green onion bulbs;
1 T nootch (nutritional yeast);
1/2 tsp GPOP;
dried sage and thyme;
1 T dried shallots;
1 tsp trader joes umami mushroom powder;
a dash of pink salt, and a lot of black pepper.
cook that down until it begins to caramelize,
and add:
1 T malt vinegar;
2 T tamari.
toss all that, and let it reduce over medium-low heat, for five to ten minutes,
or until it gets a bit syrupy.
add 2 cups vegetable broth, and bring it up to a boil,
the simmer it on medium for fifteen minutes or so.
longer is good.
my oven is tired, and slow, so while it was taking it's time roasting those potatoes,
the gravy was cookin'.
have y'all ever made a slurry? 
it's simple, take a ladle full of this soupy stuff, and pour it into a small container.
add 1 1/2 T organic non-GMO cornstarch,
whisk it all up to remove any lumps, and pour it back into the pot.
that's gonna make this into a rich, luscious, viciously viscous gray-vee, boi.
mmhmmm.
now, drain the chunky veg out, over a second pot.
it's a transfer, y'feel me?
all the wet goes in one, and all the used-up fiber gets trapped in a sieve.
toss that stuff, or compost it, or whatever,
but put the liquid back on the stove to thicken up.
i tasted it, add a touch more thyme and sage, and just a splash of tamari,
but otherwise let it reduce a bit, until it had the perfect chocolate-sauce consistency.
look:
the color! 
the texture!!
the flavor!!!
i told you at the top: expert.
yeah. that's right.
*
potatoes are for happiness.
there's an old up-here poutine-region saying: 
'potatoes three times a day makes a man happy'.
maybe i didn't dole out the doses correctly-
i had three potatoes, all a once.
i can't say i'm especially happy
but that's also a lotta pressure to put on a root, so i guess that's fair.
hmm?
well, parsley and green onion sprankles ARE mandatory.
rules is rules,
and that much beige rage wasn't gonna cut it.
a little exxxtra garnish is always a good idea.
if we just keep a very narrow field of vision,
things are lookin' good.
the peripherals tell a whole other story,
but the potatoes are gorgeous;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, May 19

HOMIES

i'll eat three potatoes.
i don't give a sh!t.
but they'd better be flavorful.
i mean,
if you hate flavor, you're probably a jerk.
that's a thing.
especially with potatoes.
if a spud is expert with minimal effort,
then it's gonna be exxxplosively elite with a little work put into it.
mmhmm.
check the teleport:

HOMEBOYFRIES!
dudes,
these jauns were a revelation.
and easy?
it was just a little cuttin', and a little tossin', and some baking,
and the whole thing was ready to rock my socks off.
three potatoes, russets, wedged up.
tossed in a bowl with olive oil,
and smoked paprika, and pink salt, and lots of cracked black pepper,
and cayenne, and hot smoked paprika,
and GPOP, AND some turmeric.
i had that, and a quarter cup of chopped red onion,
and a few quartered sweet red bell peppers,
all flipped around and coated in the spicy hottness-
baked in the oven until they got to that golden crissspy outer excellence.
mmmmmmmmmm.
i had the oven preheatin' for a loaf of homemade sourdough-
...that's 460℉ of convection heat.
and the single layer i arranged, on foil, were roasting as the oven got hotter.
no wasted time.
just breakfast boomfire for my face.
and obvi, i had to also turn it up just a little bit more.
i'm sayin'- too much is the right amount.
scallions and cilantro sprankles took it to eleven.
...and that smoky spicy ketchup?
alright.
ketchup is usually a bummery bullsh!t condiment.
but with smokiness? and heat?
it adds a little bit of something good to the mix.
for now, i'll allow it.
it's organic no-sugar ketchup, with sriracha and liquid smoke.
nothing special.
i added sriracha flakes.
i added a little smoked hot paprika.
i was just messin' around, but it was still pretty good.
-
what?
it's just potatoes?
hey now! you shut your gosh-danged mouth.
it's never just potatoes.
it's saturday morning majesty and it got me up and at 'em.
the rest of the day was determined to bring me to my knees.
life, love, work, communication, concentration....none of that was going well.
but, at least i started with potatoes.
i might have to have some today, too.
especially since everything that was wrong yesterday didn't magically
fix itself under the light of the full moon.
everything is hard. everything is heavy.
at this rate i might not have nearly enough potatoes to even make it just until noon.
fortune has it's own path, i'm just fumbling around trying to find it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, May 18

SLEEPING BEAUTY

what a beautiful baby girl:
c'mon.
s'cute.
i'm just gonna leave that right here.
i'm pretty much positive it's impossible to have a bad day 
when you can look at a magic cherub like lilli.
so, really,
i guess all i can add is: you're welcome;
NQNS

WEATHER!

i've got a few sniffles brewing in my deep nostril area.
that's what you get when you snuggle up to a whole gang
of little sick ones.
mama and two out of three kids have that nose unit feeling rough,
and now, so do i.
yesterday, it rained a whole bunch.
and that was cool.
today the freakin' wind has been blowing nonstop since before dawn.
yup.
under the weather is the theme for this weekend.
-
it's the middle saturday of the month,
and i've got just one tattoo on the schedule, and it isn't very large.
that's a sad sour salty side effect of the latest outbreak of cancellations.
it's also an unwelcome but common occurrence in may.
f'real.
the may is historically a dry-spell month for y'boi.
college kids are back, but aren't making summer money yet.
summer people are waiting for their kids to get out of school.
the weather is a total butthole,
and whenever it isn't raining or frigid (which is admittedly rare this year)
the mutha-F*ing bugs are ravenously biting all the bloody holes they can chew
their way into on everybody.
word.
may is NOT invited.
we've got belated april showers every week,
and winter's echoes are here....it was snowing on the peaks a couple of days ago.
plus, today's wind is definitely fired.
like, pack your sh!t and go, bro- nobody asked you to blow through and bum us out.
seriously,
let's get some sunshine and some warmth up here in the woodsly goodness.
i've got fires to light, and leaves to rake, and whole rooms to clear out.
there's a sumptuous sunroom full of allocated exxxtras,
and all that stuff has been sitting over the winter and into the spring,
so clearly, it's non-essential equipment and as such can get tossed, donated or burned.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress needs a lotta TLC,
and that starts with stripping some of this superfluous stuff out of the house.
*
sorry for not having a picture of food.
i wasn't feeling it.
i had red lentils and tricolor quinoa, with GPOP and turmeric.
that isn't pretty.
i added a whole head of steamed broccoli.
that didn't help much.
i tossed two veggie burgers on top.
my iron, and my protein and my vitamin D were off the charts,
but my food matched my mood-
...ugly.
***********
AMPERSAND TATTOO smells really good.
and it looks F*ing cool, too.
there's no reason my house should be anything less.
so, tonight, instead of making fancy dinner,
maybe i'm gonna light some candles, vacuum the rugs,
and maybe wipe off a window or ten....
spring cleaning is a real thing,
it's just harder to stimulate the urge to start when it still feels like winter.
ha.
*
am i rambling?
maybe.
did i have three types of caffeine yesterday?
definitely.
did that help me stay awake?
indeed it did, and it kept me motormouthing my way through the whole entire day-
and it kept me revved up and roaring,
right up until i cruised to the top of dundee hill,
and tucked myself away in the rain,
soaking in the spirit and memory of my most favorite road
in the whole woodsly goodness.
that was sorta nice.
hey! did you know it's a full mutha-effin' moon tonight?
F* yes it is-
and as such is there a wild werewolfen warrior poet
pushing his way up and out of my pores,
shapeshifting from the sparse-haired and hapless homebody
into a berserker barbarian battle-beastly bigmouth?
yup.
straight out of my cast-iron roiling boiler,
there's thousand degree blood pumping from my nose to my toes,
and i can feel the electricity tingling from my soul to my soles to my scalp.
i'm all fired up,
i'm all ready for another 'nother saturday of serendipity and cultivated coincidence.
i've got blood, love and rhetoric, all at once, coursing across time and space
on a collision course with circumstance and consequence.
-
the recap:
weather: terrible.
may: lame.
food: ugly.
house: dirty.
work: barely.
attitude: anxious.
moon: full.
it's all really happening.
it's not much, but it feels like a lot;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, May 17

CUTENESS!!!

little teeny tiny itty bitty baby feet!

AAAAAAAAAAH!!!
this little lilli bean is too dang cute.
she's a squinky, squeaky, squirmy little squiglet,
and i love her to pieces.
there's something about your baby's miniature fingers and toes.
seriously,
if your heart doesn't want to jump out of your chest and explode in glitter fireworks
when you see those teentsy little nails?
you're no good, and you need to get your punk A* some professional help.
babies, neighbors.
i can't stand it.
how does anybody contain all these huge feels,
especially for such little people-ish bundles of discovery.
everything is new to them.
every. single. thing.
and they're just sleepin' and eatin' and slowly becoming something a little bigger,
in small sips and spans,
while we stare at their perfect faces.
...and her perfect face makes my knees rubbery and my eyes wet.
a whole wild gang of sweet children, and their sweet mama, all in pajamas,
and me with too-tight of pants on, dancin' around and enjoying ourselves.
it's good.
it feels good.
it IS good.
they're all good, from the source to the latest installment,
i appreciate their gentle hearts and their sweet souls.
i didn't know i could rekindle so many huge emotions,
so many long years after harvest and maple showed up.
but here i am,
and it's all really happening, all over again.
love doesn't come easy to me, but i feel it so strongly all these days.
i'm just saturated in gratitude for the few truly great people in my life.
i have those wild, raging stormswept savage gypsy werewolfen
nearly-full moon feels, i guess;
never quiet, never soft.....

TOASTED!

sourdough slabs.
lime-kissed, pink salted, black peppery, sriracha flaked mashed avocado.
tomatoes.
radishes.
pumpkin seeds.
pea shoots.
shredded carrots.
purple cabbage.
that's how you do avocado toast like an expert:

F* yeah!
it's like a fancy salad on a bread plate on a regular plate.
i like it a lot.
it's the bread that makes it go to eleven.
that exxxtra good bread, man.
it makes everything so much better.
and fresh veggies are always invited.
it's good for you:

WORD.
i'm just sayin',
what else do you even need?
it's got all the good stuff, and good stuff what your body wants;
never quiet, never soft.....

THROWN!

cohen threw up.
awwwwwww, man.
hmm?
i mean, it happens.
he got out of preschool early for feeling under the weather.
and what with me being his very special homeboy, i went to pick him up,
and on the ride home he was mostly okay.
but, we had to go back out again to scoop up embry from school,
and then he wasn't so okay.
however,
after he got it up and out, he was back to being okay again.
how ok was he?
*THIS* ok:

hahahahaha.
what's wrong with me?
seriously, he just threw up an hour before....
was i trying to get vomit on my face?
and on cali's head?
no way.
but i also wasn't about to miss an opportunity for big fun, either.
f'real.

i'm sayin', they were having a blast,
but i was suddenly braced for a barfatorium explosion!
haha.
man, i act like i know what's up-
but really, i'll risk airsickness for a plane ride on my jumbojet feet.
-
lilli was busy looking at lights next to us,
the boy and i spent a minute with his littlest sister:

C'MON!
all the big boys have to be nice to little girls.
rules is rules.
we made dinner, we played on the swings,
we laughed, and we danced,
and we spanned time like a whole family of experts.
i'm forever grateful for this opportunity to learn so much more about myself,
and to get to know this group of good guys.
...no bad guys, bro.
breezy has really made a magic batch of babies,
and i really like those little dudes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, May 16

CRABTREE!

he's dumb.
he's half deaf.
he's my homeboy.

yup.
it's crabtree the terribly bullsh!t bull terrier!
it seems like he's been an especially snuggly affectionate little dude lately,
and i feel like shouting him out,
instead of my more common shouting AT him.
he hasn't gotten any smarter.
he doesn't sleep any later.
he's always hungry.
he never listens (mostly because of the deaf thing, i hope).
but he's my little guy,
despite making zero percent of my time management effective in the least.
babies are better.
kids are cooler.
women are far more wonderful.
and somehow he's still happier to see me than anybody else.
that figures.
he doesn't even get to have any of my expert cooking.
it's just the same dry dog food every damned day,
and yet he's STILL psyched.
never in my life did i think i could really love an animal.
i mean, being vegan, i technically show love for ALLLLLL the animals.
i'm sayin' like on a personal level, day in and out, as a family member.
sure, he's like a miscreant little brother.
i always wanted a little brother, so i guess you get what you get;
never quiet, never soft.....

CARCIOFO!

artichoke hearts!
they have somethin' special going on.
if you like 'em, you already know-
if you don't, you maybe just need some help to appreciate their merits.
i took a can of 'em, drained 'em,
dredged 'em,
breaded 'em,
fried 'em,
and put 'em on a pizza.
mmmhmmm.
check the teleport:

HEARTS!!!
and spinach,
and caramelized onions,
and cooked manly marinara,
and homemade cashew mozz',
an fresh basil,
and fried garlic sprankles,
and arugula on top.
too much is the right amount!
-
so, how'd i make the artichokes?
like an expert.
duh.
c'mon.
don't be dumb....but here's a recipe-
-
in one bowl combine:
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk;
2 T nootch;
2 T ground chia/flaxmeal.
stir it up and let it thicken.
-
in another bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup flour;
2 T fine cornmeal;
1/4 tsp ea GPOP;
dried oregano, basil, thyme, sage, black pepper, pink salt, smoked paprika;
2 tsp nootch;
-
drain 1 can of whole artichoke hearts (that's like 6 ish)
halve them, pat 'em dry, dunk those hunks in the wet,
roll 'em in the flour,
and let 'em hang out for a second or two while you fire up 1/4 cup of oil
in a pan over high heat-
fry 'em until they're crispy, flippin' 'em to make sure there's no raw flour,
and drain any excess oil off whlst they cool on paper towels.
that's the move.
*
the dough was standard, but with one upgrade- exxxtra wheat gluten.
uh-huh.
a teaspoon of that binding protein made a world of difference.
the crust was crisp and bubbly and dope as heck.
it proofed all day, and it baked at 485℉.
that's two cups of king arthur flour, 2 tsp sea salt, 2 T olive oil,
1 pkg active yeast, 1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast, and 1 tsp gluten,
with a cup of warm water,
in your stand-upright mixer on lowish speed,
with the dough hook corkscrewin' around,
for 11 minutes, before a covered all-day bulk rise in the fridge.
it's how home dough gets done, duders.
*
the chee'?
easy easy.
1 1/2 cups raw cashews;
1/2 tsp  sea salt;
3 T nootch;
1/2 tsp ea. Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
1 tsp lemon juice;
3 T tapioca flour;
1 cup boiling water,
all in your food processor, pureed until creamy,
without any gritty nut chunks-scrape it down if you've gotta, but get it consisitent.
add that to a small pot, and stir it over high heat to thicken it....
it happens quickly, so be alert.
this is it.
hearty vegan homemade chee' in a hurry.
for being so simple, it sure does taste great.
*
if i'm using breaded fried anything on a pizza,
i want cooked sauce.
mmhmmm.
that's a thing.
cooked sauce makes it feel like it has more body,
and has more balance,
and i think i'm decreeing that that's the right move-
and you know i LOVE i good decree.
rules is rules, and marinara with fried food is one of 'em.
i think that's a good usage of mandatory standards, neighbors.
i could do it with just crushed tomatoes, but then i'd be F*ing up,
and i'm not that kind of A*-hole.
...

WOW!
and there's lots of spinach on the bottom,
arugula on top,
dark green basil in between...
yup.
i like vegetation, bruh.
caramelized onions? don't mind if i do.
they're the best ones for pizza, at home,.
restaurants make 'em too marmaladey, and i don't endorse that.
save the slime for snails or some sh!t, b.
f'real.
-
my dude weird dylan enjoyed this with me.
i was glad for the company.
it'd been a minute.
and new pizzas taste better when shared.
i think that's also a thing.
***********
after a brutal weekend of bummery bumhole booty bammer tattz,
and also the alarming absence of attendance at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
i had no cancellations the last few days.
in fact,
i took a few walk-ins while i was at it.
mmhmm.
i'll always make time for new clients,
and for a little extra movie check magic time.
a grand don't come for free, but one grand also isn't enough-
and acting too busy to work harder is NOT dope.
in fact, it's kind of a bullsh!t move.
when is enough enough?
never ever ever EVER.
the object is forever gonna be MORE.
that's just how it is around here.
however,
saturday is WIDE open.
and that's not especially cool at all.
maybe something elite will arrive between now and then,
but more likely, it'll be something else.
hey, man...they pay the same, so i'll be glad for whatever it is.
i like my job. i like making art. i know those aren't the same thing.
i'm still grateful for the time i'm given to do both;
never quiet, never soft.....