Monday, September 23

PIE TIL I DIE

i'll make a F*ing pie for every first day of fall forever.
i think it's a good idea.
and i think pie is pretty great any day.
but especially on the premier of apple-magic season.
so i did that:

see?
that's good for you.
it'll keep the doctor away for ten days.
uh-huh.
that's ten apples, but it goes to eleven.
that's real.
and served up with that no-extra-sugar added vanilla non-dairy ice cream,
and coconut whipped cream?
that's a LOT:

uh-huh.
i don't even know what else to say.
making a pie is quaint and sweet and new englandy and all-american...
honestly,
it's a distraction and not a triumph.
well, to be even more honest, the pie IS incredible.
that's a fact.
but that's not surprising, as i make a helluva good pie.
i just needed to see is doing what i do best even feels good anymore.
the short answer: nope.
the long answer- not much feels very good anymore, but i thought i should give it a shot.
it's perfect.
it's just not enough.
-
i'll give you some recipes, and you can do whatever you want with 'em-
-

CRUST
-
in a food processor, pulse up:
10 T vegan butter;
3 T vegan creamchee';
1/4 tsp salt;
1/4 cup sugar;
2 1/4 cups flour;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk...
pulsed until crumbly and sticky,
wrapped, rested for a whole day, rolled, braided, cookie-cut, etc etc etc.
that's pie crust at its best.
and you'll wanna bake any pie at 425℉
-
*
APPLES
-
peel and core and slice 10 macintosh apples,
put 'em in a 2 quart saucepot, with:
2 T vegan butter;
2 T maple syrup;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 tsp nutmeg;
1/4 tsp allspice;
dash of salt;
1/3 cup quick oats;
2 tsp vanilla...
cook 'em on low until they're softened and the oats are thickened
and the whole of it is a thick sloppy aromatic apple jammie-jam.
so there you have it.
-
i baked this one, with a little olive oil brushed on top,
for twenty-seven minutes.
that's a random number, but it worked out.
now you know how i cope with life.
poorly, but in front of an oven.
***********
i'm not sure if i need to share more food i've made.
i'm not even sure that the personal anecdotes are relevant to anything.
i'm also not really feeling like the poorly-photographed tattoos are
what i should be showing anybody.
i guess what i mean is-
i need to figure it out.
all of it.
all that's happening, all that isn't, all of it.
lilli is five months old today.
that's a very big deal.
way more than a pie.
but where am i?
headed to work.
why?
because i don't know how to do anything else.
this is it.
fall.
fall off the rails,
fall off the trees,
fall and fail and fall harder and fail often.
where's the success? where's the aptitude? where's the competence?
in a pie?!
sh!t.
even my success is failure, if you back up far enough to see more.
there aren't enough apples on earth to fix what's wrong here;
never quiet, never soft.....

FALL DOWN

it's official.
it's autumn.
it's fall.
we're all falling down.
...and we very likely can't get up.
neighbors,
this is usually when the big action happens up here in the woodsly goodness-
changing leaves, and pumpkins and apples,
straw bales and mums, fairs and festivals,
and that general crispness to the days and nights.
today however i'm not really getting any of that.
maybe it'll get better later.
or at least, it'll be more autumnal eventually-
maybe not even this week, but some time during the next three months...maybe?
i don't know.
it might not get better.
this may be the start of something much worse.
but before it all falls apart,
and we fall off and fall out and fall through,
i have made a perfect apple pie.

yes.
rules is rules.
everything is awful?
make a pie.
nobody can get together to get it together?
turn on that F*ing oven.
bad days, long nights, hard times, bad vibes, what-the-eff-ever-else-ain't-okay....
make something, and fast, before the enemy mind takes over completely.
now, hold on.
i expect to make a LOT of baked goodness this week.
i've lost my way,
i've lost the light,
i've lost the plan.
i've got this expert pie, and that's not nothin',
but it isn't enough.
not nearly.
-
i bake things because the outcome is controlled.
and i need that.
it's fall.
today.
the very first day.
a new day.
i'm not feeling it,
but that's still what's going on;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 22

TREE TATTZ!

y'ever start a tattoo forty minutes behind schedule?
y'ever walk into work with puffy eyes and a thick throat,
but you weren't sick or hungover?
y'ever wonder what your client, who is getting his first tattoo,
must be thinking as he looks out at you in your car in the parking lot
animatedly talking to thin air with wild hand gestures?
yeah.
me too.
and then i barreled in like a wrecking ball,
wrecked and wreaking mayhem and havoc with my marky markers,
and i drew on and blasted off a big ol' tree for this kid's FIRST tattoo.
yuuup.
wanna see?
here:

one shot, one tree, one moon, one aquamarine crystal,
drawn up and tatted on and sent packing with time to spare.
why
because i had to put the oversaturated battle batteries to some kind of good use,
and i figured since he'd been awkwardly waiting for my phone call to end,
with no contact from me, despite being able to clearly see me....
maybe i should try to make it seem like i have some kind of professionalism.
(i may or may not,but i did go hard on this tattoo all the same)
i'd almost give credibility to the idea of a tortured artist being more creative,
except.........here's the thing.
i took advantage of the fact that he couldn't start without me,
and that's not the best foot forward.
and i tried to create a better experience despite starting off way behind schedule,
after i tried unsuccessfully to create balance or the semblance of it between
two out of many worlds i live in.
yeah.
i'd love to tell you that i'm one of the aesir
traveling between the layers of the world tree-
but that ain't me.
i've just got separate and unequal shares of spirit and memory
fractured and fragmented across a prism of whatever the opposite
of rose-colored perception is.
y'feel me?
no? 
well, look man-
i've got my work life, at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and all the albie rock you could ever handle happening therein;
i've got my home base at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, and too much old,
broken, busted, cold cavernlike dwelling and dwelling to do within those thin walls,
including dragging crabtree around and hoping that will ever feel easier,
and desperately trying to be excited about all the things i used to be so excited about,
and wishing that still felt good;
i've got the weird and wintry stormswept aches and pains of my past stretching
from downstate new york to western massachusetts these days,
with silence and violence and the distance that distance and age
create between family members slowly and subtly overlapping in flowery
asterisks of ven diagram spiral;
and i had the thriving and growing and glowing little lives in the middle of nowhere,
new hampshire, getting bigger and better in the secluded oasis of small town american life.
that's a lot to account for.
and every day, the one thing that actually makes any of it possible is tattooing.
the curse of being a tattooer?
once you're in it, what the F* else are you ever gonna do?
like a mafia where you basically put out a hit on yourself,
and then also do the hit on yourself, just by doing the thing you do.
so shoutouts to tattooing for creating every interaction,
and also ruining every interaction i've had for twenty years.
that's a hard-styled biodome of closed-loop recycling if ever i heard one.
the ebb and flow of all my life has one baseline that stays steady and consistent-
work.
work work work work work.
the highest highs and lowest lows weave through the one constant that keeps me alive.
i. go. to. work.
and that's it.
sometimes, i do it while i'm broken in body,
other times when i'm broken of heart,
and occasionally, when i'm broke, broken in spirit,
and disconnected from the collective soul of the secret universal plan.
i'm not very spiritual, kids.
but i tapped back into some art making outlets yesterday,
and dug deep with more silence than i usually allow,
and made it work, at work, at least,
and worked as hard as i could for as long as it took.
why?
because when all else has gone wrong,
and all is lost, and all of that sort of sad sh!t is everywhere?
working more always feel right, because that math makes sense.
being sad doesn't generate revenue,
therefore it's a luxury,
and luxuries are expensive.
emptiness isn't going to pay for itself;
never quiet, never soft.....

BYE BYE DÜDIBOI SUMMER!

this is it.
eighty degrees outside, fahrenheit.
that's hot.
and by this evening, the days will be less than half full of light.
honestly,
i've already felt like the dark days were here to stay for some time.
now, that'll be true in a physical sense, as well.
sweet.
the outsides are hot as heckfire, and the trees are starting to turn,
and the golden glow of the mountains is tarnished at the edges.
y'know what that means?
it means today is the last day of summer.
that's that.
the end.
the final punctuation mark on the story of this year's big profitable push.
mmhmm.
now,
we head into that other part.
yeah.
the fall part.
the fall apart part.
the fall apart apart part.
that's what's really happening.
that's what's going on on this equidistant equinox of balanced light and dark
and life and death and happy and sad.
or anyway,
the day is balanced fifty/fifty,
but everything else is skewed towards the downsides
in increasing increments and inclemency,
and the elements are all aligned to malign the math that no longer makes a whole number;
instead, there's just a hole, and it can get in line and take a number
and wait it's turn to be dealt with in the long litany of loss and lament and lambast
that has been at the heart of the tug of war between young and old and august and december.
it's a beautiful beautiful beautiful day,
and that has to be enough because that is all there's gonna be.
too much is the right amount.
i believe that.
but that doesn't create unlimited quantities,
just the desire for MORE.
and today is the last day, so we're all out of summer.
we're all out of time.
and we're going headlong and headstrong into nature's smartest stunt.
dying for a while, but looking GOOD as she fades away.
we'll get a full-spectrum goodbye before she leaves, in leaves,
and then it's just grey all day for half a year.
goodbye DÜDIBOI SUMMER.
you sure felt bad, and looked stupid, and took forever to get anywhere,
and still somehow didn't.
it seems only right that it ends hot after it started cold,
and that there should've been more, and better of all of it.
that's the whole story;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, September 20

HASHERS!

four shredded skin-on potatoes,
salt, pepper,
and thinly-sliced shallot....
how's that sound?
good i hope.
and what do you get when that's what you've got?
well,
if you're an expert,
you'll probably have fried up a plate of hash browns.
i mean,
that's the best answer.
....yeah.
and also, YEAH!!
check the teleport:

f'real-deal DÜDI BOI summer's end spuds for your morning.
starch?
got it.
salt?
lots.
buttery goodness?
heck yeah.
crissssssssspy edges???
c'mon, man.
what am i?
an A*-hole?
OBVI, there's crissssspness for days.
that's how you make a hash brown.
otherwise, it's just sad potato.
-
anyway,
y'gotta salt and drain the potatoes,
and mix in the shallot, and let it all sit together, salted, in a strainer or colander,
to draw out the extra moisture.
they get soggy if you don't and that's not invited, man.
-
then, you HAVE to squeeze away all the excess water,
and potatoes hold a LOT of water.
so be prepared to squeeze a few times, and marvel at all the sad,
grey bummerjuice leaking out from between your hands-
then,
form 'em into whatever shape you like-
i'm a circle guy.
always have been,
and i made 4 thickish circles from 4 potatoes and a shallot-
-
i had a hot pan, a pat or three of vegan butter,
and a slow sizzle going on,
when i added this quartet of excellence,
and i put a pat on top of each one, too.
mmhmm.
these'll hold a heck of a lotta fat,
and salt,
so don't be shy.
more cracked black pepper,
and attention are all they really needed.
when the bottom is brown, flip 'em over.
duh.
then do the same all over again.
i added a glug of olive oil at the end of the thing,
and that got 'em shiny, and golden, and good,
and made me happier to eat 'em all up.
-
hot sauce?
not necessary.
ketchup?
no freakin' way.
garnish?
no thanks.
straight-up potato morning glory.
that's all i needed, that's all i had,
and i enjoyed every single bite.
just immersing myself in a simple something for a change.
i should do that more.
i should do more, more.
i should do something anyway.
i'll have potatoes to start,
but i need an awakening asap.
my eyes are open, but i'm still asleep.
*
i want sandwiches.
and i want apple everything.
the apples can wait until sunday, though.
that's when autumn happens,
and even though the weather up here is hella fall,
rules is rules,
and i don't eff around with apple exxxplosions until the time is right.
and the time is sunday.
so i guess i'll have to heft myself into a heap of between-bread comfort.
that's how it has to be, so that's how it will be;
never quiet, never soft..... 

CURRY!

half an onion,
two teaspoons of coconut oil,
an inch of minced ginger,
three cloves of chopped garlic,
a teaspoon of cumin,
a half teaspoon of coriander,
a half teaspoon of turmeric,
a quarter teaspoon of black pepper,
a half a teaspoon of paprika,
chili powder for days, cayenne and a fancy chili one, too....
two heavy shakes of GPOP,
a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg,
and another dash of cardamom....
all of that, toasty and sizzling, in a 2 quart saucepot,
is going to make your house smell incredible.
-
oh, hey guys, i'm just reminiscing over my quick-curry bowl from the other night.
that's how it all started.
it ended up like this:

WORRRRRRRRD.
once the spices were activated, i added half a diced jalapeno,
and a cup of chopped fresh tomatoes,
and a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes,
and the juice and zest of a lemon,
and let it start to bubble a bit on high heat.
THEN,
io added a whole 15oz ca of rinsed chick peas,
and simmered the whole dang bucket of hottness for twenty minutes
on medium-low heat, while it did its thang.
did i add scallion?
yes.
did i add cilantro?
i did.
did i adjust the spices a little,
and maybe even add a shake or two of flaky coconut?
yes yes yes.
and what's up with all that other stuff?
well, i'll tell you-
the rice is basmati.
the shoots are pea sprouts.
there's exxxtra jalapeno, and cilantro, and scallion,
and a bunch more freshie-fresh baby grape sweetie tomatoes.
all the flavors, temperature, textures, etc are represented.
i blasted it with a lil baby bit more lemon, just because,
and then i added half an AVO-F*ING-CADO,
because they elevate serotonin, neighbors,
and i really need more of that.
that's a huge portion of spicy, chunky, exotic action,
and i ate every single solitary last scrap of it.
that's what i do.
and i do it like a champion.
*
i'm baking bread that looks F*ed up.
yup.
it is COLD in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and that's no bueno for naturally-leavened bread.
so, it had precious little bulk before baking,
but it leapt off the stones with heroic oven-spring.
i called it.
i was right.
it looks dumb, but i'll bet it has molto excellent flavor.
that's me,
i am what i eat.
i'm a LOT, and i look dumb, but i'm alright on the INside.
that's the best i've got.
and i'm going to gorge myself on half this loaf
before i walk crabtree the dog.
i do that, too.
i love fresh bread,
and i believe that good bread makes better people.
that's the best i've got on offer this morning,
so i'm gonna do the best i can with what there is.
is it enough?
not even kinda;
never quiet, never soft.....

LILLIGIRL!

who doesn't like that bath,
but kind of likes the bath,
but also kind of isn't as psyched right after the bath?
the most beautiful almost-5-month-old on earth, that's who:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
this baby is so freakin' happy all the time,
that every time she makes that old italian guy mobster face,
i pretty much totally fall apart laughing.
jeez, she's pure joy.
but she can't hang out with after-bath time.
why is she so great?
a schedule.
a regimen.
a routine.
does she know if she's three minutes past her house when she should
completely be in her house?
she does.
how?
because she's got a system in place that keeps her happy happy.
y'see that kid?
that's mama's face, but papa's eyes.
i love it.
i love her.
i love 'em all over there;
NQNS.....

GFVB!

gluten-free vegan brownies.
breezy is gluten-free;
i'm annoyingly vegan-
and we both love brownies.....
so we both win.
and a double win is rare so we'll enjoy one wherever it pops up.
check it:

YEAH, BOIIIIIIIIIII!!
y'wanna make a batch of super-fluffy, extra-chocolaty, chocolate-chippy,
almond-tinged, soft, rich, deep, fancy brownie magic?
word.
here's the recipe:
-
*
GFVB!
-
preheat the oven to 375℉
-
in a medium-sized mixin' bowl, cream together:
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter;
1 cup brown sugar;
1 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/4 cup cocoa;
1/4 cup unsweetened medium-sized coconut flakes.
mash it all together, and stir in
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla yogurt;
3 T tapioca flour;
1 cup bob's ap gf chick pea flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 cup mama's almond blend flour;
1/2 cup bob's 1:1 gf flour;
1 cup mini dark chocolate chips;
1 cup coconut-almond blend non-dairy milk.
yup.
stir it up, make sure there are no lumps, and lay it out evenly
in a 9" x 11" greased rectangle pan,
and bake it for 25 minutes or until the center is fully-baked through.
use a tester, man.
c'mon.
-
they wanna stick to the cake cutter, neighbors.
beware.
you're gonna wanna be careful so you don't shred the edges.
otherwise,
these are freaking great.
like, really soft, airy, delicious dark chocolate cakey little joys.
and that's all i really need, sometimes.
*
i made them for the lovely lady,
because i like to do that stuff.
your favorite little old bakery boy is over here whippin' up
all the treats for the sweetest treat i ever did meet.
y'ever feel like you could break on the inside just inhaling
the good air that a person is surrounded by?
that's a thing.
i feel it around this magnificent mama bear,
and the best i've got to offer is a made-up recipe for wheatless cake.
i do what i can, but mostly, i spin around in circles.
i had such direction in my life-
trajectories, man.
i don't even know what i mean.
the brownies were good though;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, September 19

SOURDOUGH!

a couple of cups of king arthur bread flour,
and a few teaspoons of sea salt,
and a small spoon of sugar,
and a glug or two of olive oil,
and half a cup of sourdough starter,
and 3/4 cup of warm water.....
hmm?
is that a weird way to start a blog?
well,
imagine kneading that up one night, and letting it proof for a day and a half
in the refrigerator before making a pizza!!!
how's that for a weird way to start dinner??
haha!
thirty-six hours of sittin' around makes for a realllllly rich tangy crust though, neighbors.
check it:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!
word.
naturally-leavened slow-fermented super-hottness
is one way to make the magic happen for sure.
and this one was magical.
with the vegan meatballs and peppers and caramelized onions
and parsley sprankles,
and cooked sauce,
which really boosts the flavors up even MORE.
yesss.
so good.
how about that garlic?
y'like that?
me too.
slabs of garlic, fried in olive oil,
then the oil was used to caramelize a whole sweet onion,
then the vegan chee', which in this instance is daiya,
was minced before being spread...
why?
because rules is rules,
and the exxxtra seven seconds that takes makes the whole pizza
a billion times better.
seems stoopid not to, but what do i know...
besides how to make pizza taste good, i mean-
because i sure as sh!t be knowin' how to doo-doo THAT.
right?
right!
-
what's so good about cooked sauce?
like, manly marinara?
....nuthin'.
it's pure expert awesomeness.
i love it.
dudes,
get yourself some fire roasted tomatoes or somethin'.
or look at half the recipes i have cataloged on this long-running blog,
and make some, bro.
i mean, the info is there,
all you've gotta do is like, scroll down.
yep.
and then make a mean mutha-f*ing pizza, guy.
PIZZA.
SOURDOUGH CRUST!!!
SAUCE!!!
yeaaaaahhhhhhhhhh.
not a lot in this world makes me feel good,
but pizza, especially fancy pizza, does the job;
never quiet, never soft.....

NOT THE SAME

blackish and greyish and greekish and poorly photographed?
i gotcha.
here:

yup.
one extra large and in charge sisyphus pushing rocks.
huh?
you were thinking of something more american?
like a haircut lady?
oh.
alright.
here:

uh huh.
what's the best part about doing all the kinds of tattoos at AMPERSAND TATTOO?
never getting all the way bored with the same stuff.
what's the worst part?
never really getting elbows-deep into any one style.
however, there's a consolation prize.....
i do get paid to do even the ones i would never curate a photographic record of.
ha!
it feels good to have clients who trust the process and wear the results forever.
it also feels good to get those movie checks from the most basic
and generic and unremarkable jauns, too.
i mean,
when the check comes for all the pizzas i'll eat the next time
i'm in wolfeboro with the family,
i'll be thankful for those bambams being spun into gold on the spot.
but more importantly,
the cool tattoos,
and the fun tattoos,
and the better clients who know what's good and choose to come see us?
that's what has made september bearable so far.
well,
that and all those sandwiches early on.
a few cool tattoos and a lot of bread
and i'm ready for whatever comes my way;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 15

TATTZ!!

i did a pretty sweet little frog tattoo.
there's mushrooms, too.
that's a nature tatt, bro.
and that's cool.

see?
and i did a dagger, too:

they aren't the same style, at all.
and the back of this dude's arm was NOT gonna twist the right way for my photo,
so i took the bendy one, and i don't even care.
i was happy to do both types of tattoo,
and so psyched to get to draw up some stuff with no real input for the clients.
i love that.
cooler tattoos make the work day a lot better.
i appreciate it, and i want MORE of that.
come get some cool tattoos at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
that's where it all really happens;
NQNS.....

BLUEBERRY'D

there was no sunshine yesterday-
not one little teeny tiny bit.
but i wanted some because i was feeling blue-
so i sort of compromised and made some sunny blueberry magic.
yep.
i baked 'em up, and i put extra bloobz on top, 
and i added flaky coconut sprankles to turn 'em up a bit.
MORE flavors and textures?
always.
shiny, buttery, brown sugary, fruity, nutty, and soft!
i mean, check 'em out:
YES!
i made 'em quickly, it wasn't a lot of effort, and they were totally worth it.
mmhmm.
-
*
BLUEBZ!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together-
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter;
1/2 cup sugar;
1 /2 cup brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 lemon zest;
1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut.
-
add:
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt;
1 cup wild maine bloobz;
2 cups king arthur flour;
3 T tapioca flour;
1 tsp ea. baking soda and powder;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
spoon it into as many greased muffin cups as you can manage-
i had twenty, and i ate at least seven.
i added a spoonful of frozen bloobs and MORE coconut, 
just because i wanted MORE.
baked for 30 minutes for total awesomeness.
that's it.
that's the whole thing.
now you've got some sweet bloobers.
they're practically sunshine in your mouth.
*
sunny days and cold nights and the mid-september chills.
the leaves are changing up here.
the temperatures are in the forties when i wake up.
it feels like fall, but we've still got one brisk week of DÜDI BOI SUMMER,
even if that's just a technicality at this point...
i'm excited.
like, for real.
i am almost ready for sweaters,
i'm already wearing dad shoes,
there are pumpkins everywhere,
and i want to eat allllll the apples.
this is it.
a few fast-actin' months of coolness, then we're deep into the coldness.
enjoy it while it lasts, because it doesn't last long;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, September 14

PIZZA!

dudes,
it'd been a damned minute since i made food ON bread,
instead of between bread.
yup.
after sandwich week, and a bunch of pasta beforehand,
i needed some of my special friend,
my go-to circle of sweet victory,
my comforting weighted blanket of crust and sauce and chee'....
mmhmm.
pee eye zee zee ayy.

that homemade pizza magic is what i always really want in my mouth, man..
it was too long overdue.
and here's the thing-
the top was incredible, but the skeleton was not poppin' like it should've.
y'feel me?
it was whack crust, dudes.
ugh.
what a bummer.
homemade vegan sausage pepperoni mayhem is great.
the minced daiya chee' is the only way to do it right.
caramelized red onions for richer color makes my eyes sparkle.
fried garlic sprankles? rules is rules, fools.
and the last of the fresh garden basil takes the top to eleven.
all of that, plus crushed tomatoes and shredded spinach for added nutrients.
the pepperoni was spicy, salty, smoky, a little sweet,
and fully activated with exxxtra black pepper.
that's homemade red lentil seitan sausage (recipe)
sliced, and heated with 1 T olive oil,
1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1/2 tsp hot paprika;
1 dash liquid smoke;
1 T tamari....
bubbled and sizzled and soaked through with all that exxxtra hottness.
that was great.
-
but the crust just didn't do it.
it didn't rise enough, it wasn't full-bodied or flavorful enough,
it just didn't rock my socks off.
it acted as a plate, it held all the toppings in place,
but it lacked all the satisfaction i craved.
first homemade pizza in a minute,
and it didn't get the job done.
that's life.
half awesome, half disappointing.
i was full, but unfulfilled.
there you have it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, September 13

GLUTEN-FREEBIES

chocolate chocolate chip gluten free vegan treats.
i didn't forget how, man.
i was just focused on sandwiches for a minute there.
anyway,
i made this hot fire for my lady:

sweet.
because breezy deserves all the treats for all that she does.
which happens to be everything important.
and meanwhile i'm baking cookies to show some appreciation.
you wanna make some?
aight.
it's pretty straight forward-
-
*
GF CCCC'S!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
in a mixin' bowl, combine:
1 cup sugar;
3 T powdered sugar;
1 stick (8 T) butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup unsweetened flake coconut;
3 T cacao powder-
thoroughly blend all of that good stuff, then add in:
3 T coconut yogurt;
2 T agave;
1 cup bob's 1:1 baking blend flour, rice based;
1 cup mama's gf almond blend;
1/2 cup gf oats;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
1/2 bag mini  dark chocolate chips.
form 2" flattened balls,
1" apart on a baking tray,
and bake'em for 13 minutes.
kaBOOM.
just as easily as can be,
you're a cookie monster, neighbors.
quick, easy, wheatless greatness.
championship sh!t.
you're welcome for all these recipes.
SOMEbody should make some use of 'em;
never quiet, never soft.....

I DUNNO

it has been all food all the time,
and i have been writing things down that resemble recipes for a while now.
still blogging.
still cooking.
still working.
still doing the same sh!t day in and out,
over and over and over.
and that's just what's going on.
i made some tortellini a ways back.....
look:

yeah.
there's tempeh sausage crOmbles in there.
here's that recipe.
and there's fried garlic slices,
just oil and garlic and heat and time.
and blackened tomatoes, which are my FAVORITE little tomato magics-
that's just halved tomatoes, seared and oiled and salted and delicious.
and arugula, which is tiiiiiight af always.
plus, veggie broth, with carrot and fire roasted tomato sprankles and shallot.
all sauteed together, and the broth was bubbled up all around them.
with cracked black pepper and pink salt, and LOVE.
how dope is that?
look:

C'MON.
whole wheat pasta wrappers?
...they're great.
here's the original recipe,
just substitute king arthur white whole wheat flour for the all purpose.
see?
it's just easy easy cookin'-A* havin' stuff for your face.
can you believe it?
it's all the same same same, just different.
i need food. i need an outlet for creativity,
and i need to DO something that makes me feel better,
so i cook my my nights away.
where's it lead?
to my waistline, mostly.
how do i make it work for me?
i dunno.
...and that's the problem.
i just don't know what to do with my whole F*ing life.
i'm damned near useless in the viable skills department,
and i've been spoiled and soiled by twenty years of F*ing around.
so, i cook, and i write about it,
and it all leads to more of all of it.
there's a precipice i'm standing on, and it's scary as heck to look out
into the unknown future that's right out in front of me,
waiting for me to step away from the stove;
never quiet, never soft...

Wednesday, September 11

BACK IN AUGUST

in the days leading up to sandwich week,
i was eating a lot of homemade pasta.
i forgot to write about some of that.
maybe i'll start now-

yeah!
i've got that spinach semolina sexxxiness for your face!
thick ribbons of fat tagliatelle,
homemade manly macho marinara,
and all the exxtra veg.
pan-seared and slimeless is the only was i wanna have portobello mushrooms on my plate.
for real, i hate a slimy mushroom,
so i lightly salt 'em, get 'em all browned in a hot pan, and then,
when the moisture is mostly gone, i'l hit 'em with a little drizzle of olive oil.
otherwise, you're just getting those butt-nasty slippery bummers,
and i do not hang out like that.
blistered baby grape tomatoes, in red, orange, and brown?
F* yes.
i want all the lycopeine, neighbors,
more tomatoes means more power.
i think there's a special-meter, like from video games, somewhere in my body....
and instead of hit combos filling it up,
it's always just the sauce count.
whole tomatoes count, and fully-formed tomato sauce counts double-
clearly i was building towards some kind of megadose with this dish,
if memory serves, i was glowing afterwards, for sure.
and let's not ever forget just how much fresh garden-plucked basil turns up
the flavors in a bowl of pasta.
for real.
what's in the sauce?
well, it goes like  this:
-
*
SAUCE!!!
-
saute one shallot and 2 cloves of garlic in 1 T of olive oil,
add:
1/2 cup quartered sweet baby tomatoes,
and-
2 tsp fresh oregano leaves;
1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary;
1 punch of fresh torn basil;
2 T flat leaf parsley;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1 T nutritional yeast.
add in:
1 T red wine vinegar;
1 T tamari;
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes;
1/2 cup water;
1 tsp sugar;
a shake of sage, thyme, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.....
cover it, bring it to a boil,
then reduce it to a simmer for at least twenty minutes.
MORE of course will greatly improve the overall hottness of any sauce.
in fact,
i've been known to make sauce a day in advance,
just to really get the maxxximum tastiness out of a pot of the stuff.
yep.
that's smart.
also,
those pasta ribbons?
with the spinach?
mmhmm.
expert.
-
1 cup of king arthur flour;
3 T semolina flour;
2 T olive oil;
1 tsp sea salt;
2 tsp spinach powder;
1/3 cup warm water.
kneaded up in a stand-up mixer to really beat the sh!t out of it,
and make sure its fully formed into a shiny ball of tight gluten strands.
-
i gave it the customary 11 minute marathon whack-up.
rested it for twenty minutes, lightly oiled and covered,
then rolled it out on a well-floured surface,
rolled the thin rectangle up with flour to keep it from sticking itself,
then sliced FAT spirals off of the whole log.
i've done it before, and written about it a lot,
but every time, it's just too damned good.
i mean, literally two minutes in a vat of salty boilin' water has you eating
the best homemade pasta you could imagine,
and that's what we all want, isn't it?
no?
well, it should be.
that's my take on the thing, anyway.
*
i like pasta.
i love pizza,
i need sauce and bread.
that's the truth.
i'd never had as deep a desire for italian food as i do these days.
that's where my tastebuds are at, i guess.
it's all right there-
flour and tomatoes and salt and olive oil.
what else do we even need?
love, i guess, and not much else;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, September 9

FEELIN' FROGGY!

on the second anniversary of the big action and active participation
that is AMPERSAND TATTOO,
i did another 'nother jobstoppin' hand tattoo on dylan.
yup.
you may know him as weird dylan.
...and why is he called weird dylan?
because he's out here doin' wild sh!t like this:

GENTLEMAN FROG AND SKULL!
i don't know why most of you aren't getting way F*ing cooler tattoos.
i mean, really, those basic bummers aren't doing much for anybody.
well, i mean, they DO pay the bills, and that's cool,
but c'mon, kids.
get better tattoos.
get funner tattoos.
get cooler tattoos.
there's so much hottness out there waiting for us to enjoy.
let's focus on that.
the real stuff.
the good stuff.
the leaping bullfrogs with mustaches and cravats,
the pink underlights,
and the form-fitting fresh-to-deathness.

i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
there's a whole lotta cool tattooing that exists in the world,
and we have heaps of it at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
let's be exceptional together;
never quiet, never soft.....

GRAND FINALE!!!

national ampersand day!
sandwich week!
put 'em together and what do you get?
F* yes-

the ampersandwich!!!
what better way to close out eight days of glory and power
than stacks on stack on stacks on stacks?
it's a DÜDI BOI dagwood of epic vegan proportions.
i mean,
look closer:

C'MON, MAN!!
really real mutha-uckers make 'em bigger, better, larger, and in-charger
and that's no joke.
what's IN it?
everything.
y'all might've thought i was playin' when i told you:
too much is the right amount.
but as you can see,
i really brought the noise this time.
it's a GRAND finale, not some sad weak-sauced-up watery diaperbaby bullsh!t.
wanna read more about it, neighbors?
ok.
-
*
AMPERSANDWICH!
-
alternating layers of thin-sliced organic 21 grain bread
& organic white whole wheat
&
lettuce, tomato, red onion, tempeh bacon, & chicken-fried seitan
&
oven-baked fresh-cut fries, spicy pan fried seitan, & pickles
&
hummus, cukes, pea shoots, & sprouts
&
AVO-F*ING-CADO, red onion, & purple carrot
&
fried tofu, cucumbers & tempeh bacon
&
vegan mayo, tempeh bacon, lettuce, & tomato
&
a cherry tomato & a pickle on top!

-
that's it.
sandwich week is over.
what's for dinner tonight?
lettuce, probably.
i'm turning into a loaf of bread after eight days of all those carbs.
but i DO still have ideas for a few more tasty sandwiches...maybe tomorrow;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 8

ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!

two F*ing years!!!
yup.
today is the day.

it's national ampersand day.
for real.
and that's the day that AMPERSAND TATTOO opened its doors,
two years ago already.
word up.
it's been a wild ride so far-
i mean,
there's been a LOT of life lived in those two years,
and thousands of people have come through the doors.
there's a new baby, and big love, and alll the feelings.
there's so many new cars, because we're stylish af.
there's awards,
rewards,
wards (like in D&D),
and swords all over the place.
and let's not one of us forget that nate has grown in leaps and bounds,
from the broke and broken new guy,
to the fast, furious, and fresh tattzappin' tron we know and love and appreciate.
yeah.
we've made new friends,
we've done some sick wolf tattz,
some sexxxy pieces,
some monumental bambam bummers,
and in between,
we've been enjoying the atmosphere of worthy warrior poetry
and expert excellence that the studio exudes in every corner.
that's real talk.
the ups and the downs and the roundabouts are all really happening,
but they're happening in a place that feels like an avocado-colored castle-
the west coast avocado kind, too.
the good ones.
i'm grateful for the time i've been given.
i couldn't do what i do without the close ones in my life,
and i couldn't do anything without all the interesting, invested, and intense clients
that we've cultivated in these last three hundred and thirty days.
from here, ANYthing could happen,
and i'm looking forward to the future as it unfolds.
also,
there's STILL no pizza here;
never quiet, never soft.....

BRRRRRRUNCH!!!!

on saturday mornings we have the big B.
of course, when it's also sandwich week,
there are rules we must observe.
so,
i'm over here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress stackin' stacks on stacks,
to accurately and reverently enact a morning ritual that celebrates
the sentiment of the weeklong festivities.
look:

YES!!!
that's 3 waffles, and three different facets of breakfast, all on top of each other.
i mean, c'mon:

WOW!!!!!
there's maple tempeh bacon,
and AVO-F*ING-CADO,
and a sultry chick pea silken tofu omelette scramble,
and a crispy, buttery hash brown,
and real new hampshire maple syrup,
and microgreenery and lettuce and those FIRE oatmeal waffles.
dudes,
too much is the right amount.
and this is that, to eleven.
-
it isn't always that i'm blown away by a sandwich.
unless it's this week,
then it's sensory overload all the effing time.
and this time?
this morning glory?
this megatower of terrific?
well,
this is the TRUTH in excellence of execution all the way to the top.
word.
-
the tempeh bacon is glorious.

make some:
1/2 cup of water;
2 T tamari;
1/2 tsp maple extract;
2 T maple syrup;
1/4 tsp ea GPOP;
1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
2 shakes of liquid smoke;
black pepper and LOVE, son.
-
the hashbrowns?
holy sh!t they're expert.

two shredded potatoes;
2 T red onion;
salt, and pepper.
drained of all water with a hard squeeze or three, and pressed into a circle form
(or freeform if you're not awesome)
and sizzled up in a hot pan with a pat of vegan butter on the bottoms,
AND a pat on TOP, too, bro.
yeah.
it melts into the 'tato, and by the time you flip it to crisp 'em up?
you're a freaking miracle worker of flavor.
they just brown up.
like the name says.
hot pan, fat, starch, time, done.
-
the omelette is something else tho.
like, it's that new-new, and it's definitely a thing.
-
*
OMELETTE SCRAMBO!
-
1/2 block silken tofu;
1/4 tsp ea GPOP;
black salt;
black pepper;
1 T nootch;
1/4 tsp turmeric;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
3 T chick pea flour.
pureed together, with 2 tsp olive oil stirred in,
and pan fried like an egg, dudes,
with the scramble too eerily accurate.
i added fire-roasted tomato sprankles and dried shallots to make it sexxxy.
and you'll know when it's done, because it's OBVIOUSLY done.
that's really all there is to it.
how freakin' dope is all this?
i mean. c'mon.
and nothing is that hard to make either, which is nice.
-
do you have a little circle waffle maker?
no?
well, do you have a 4-square one?
i'm sayin'- you can probably figure it out.
anyway,
the waffles were also super simple.
WAFFZ!
in a small mixin' bowl, combine:
1/2 cup all-purpz king arthur flour;
1 T brown sugar;
1/2 tsp sea salt;
1/3 cup oat flour;
1 T unsweetned cocnut yogurt;
3/4 cup non-dairy milk;
3 T melted vegan butter;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 1/2 tsp bakey kapowder;
1 tsp vanilla-
stirred, rested, and poured into exxxactly 6 perfect waffles.
you can't beat that!
-
and real new hampshite maple syrup and avocado and lettuces and all of that
make it SOOOOOOO dope.

right??
i could've made it less overboard,
but i respect and honor the make-believe traditions i created.
i'm really messed up in the head, i'm realizing.
there's probably a whole lot more to say about that,
but even the fun principles i set for myself demand total adherence,
and that causes a whole lotta problems for everyone all the time.
i rep a hard style,
and it's slowly shrinking my life into a small ball of weird idiosyncrasies.
just what we all wanted, huh?
ummm, sure;
never quiet, never soft.....

NEW BANH!

sandwich week saturday spice edition!
yup.
i made fancy special bread, again.
i sliced up some thin cucumbers,
and i halved and slabbed a perfectly ripe avocado,
i laid out some pea shoots,
sliced a fresh, hot, jalapeno,
clipped some mint,
pulled some cilantro,
and plucked some thai basil, too.
mmhmm.
i was organizing my plan of attack,
and i'm glad i did,
because too much is the right amount,
and that's the only amount this week can tolerate.
so, instead of making two of the same sandwich,
i made two versions of the same sandwich.
just, bigger and better, so i could have a big bite of each.
yup.
check the teleport:

BANH BANH BANH MI-OH-MY!!
wordimus prime.
all the good things, and all the flavors, all together
in addition to what i mentioned up above,
i pickled some carrots and radishes, because rules is rules,
and that's a key element to this jaun.
-
*
PEEKOOS!
-
cover up your sticked carrot (mine's a sexxxy purple one)
and your sliced radish (these are called the easter egg variety)
with a 50/50 blend of rice vinegar and white vinegar,
add a pinch of sugar and salt,
and let 'em soak it up.
it doesn't take long at all, but if you do it in the morning,
they'll be way better by nightfall.
-
vegan mayo, and sriracha on the bread are mandatory,
toasting the bread in a hot pan with some coconut oil is strongly suggested,
but optional.
the bread recipe is one post down from this one.
check it out, along with the other other banh mi.
yeah.
-
and that leaves the tofu.
-
*
TOOOFUUUUUUUU!!
-
simply exxxtra-firm fried tofu, in coconut oil is great.
but i wanted something MORE.
so once it was all golden,
i drizzled it with:
1 tsp sesame oil;
2 tsp rice vinegar;
1 T tamri;
1 t agave;
1/2 tsp lime juice.
and THAT turned it up to 11 in a flash.
a soaking simmery sizzle staurated those slabs with sensational sweet sour savoriness.
and that's expert as a muthafuhhhhh, bro.
real talk.
i realize that i assume a lot of culinary skill in these descriptions,
but really, if you wanna be cookin',
chances are you know a little already.
if not, eat a sadder sandwich man,
this isn't sandwich weak, y'feel me?
word up.

LOOK AT THAT DRAMA!!
that's not for bush-league laughable amateurs.
nope.
that's warrior poetry in motion, boi.
and you need that A-game for a worthy barbarian battle-banh mi.
-
and that's saturday.
day seven.
sandwich week.
you'd almost think that was it.
...if you didn't understand how it works around here.
it's EIGHT days of sandwiches.
a beatles week.
that's how i loooooooove sandwiches.
and that's the only way to do it right;
never quiet, never soft.....

SISTER NANCY!!

y'all ever listen to reggae?
man, i do, and often.
why?
probably because i'm old now, i think.
it's super easy to ignore, and most of it seems so much less hippy
than the rest.
plus, y'girl sister nancy wrote a hook that inspired generations of hip-hop heads.
yup.
if you know, you know, and if you don't?
well why don't you use the device you're looking at this on to find out, dudes.
c'mon.
we're living in the future over here.
and sister nancy definitely influenced the F* out of this sandwich:

YOOOOOOO!!!
that's a BAM BANH MI LAM!!
get it?
no?
a jamaican-style  banh mi, bruh,
jerk tofu!
mango-habanero salsa!!
smoky-lime-sriracha mayo!!
cucumber and avocado and cilantro and little green sprankles.
sandwich week is for the people, give praise and thanks.
lemme tell you about that salsa:
-
*
MHS!
-
marinate the following all together for at least an hour:
1 fresh squeezed lime's juice;
dash of salt;
2 T finely minced red onion;
2 tsp coconut sugar;
1 diced ripe juicy mango;
1 mincey-minced up red hot habanero;
1/2 lime zest.
and DAS IT!
BAM BAM!! (it's pronounced bomb bomb, neighbors, what'agwan?)
*
the bread was specialty jauns, just for this occasion.
-
*
BANH!
-
knead up:
2 cups king arthur bread flour;
1 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
2 T melted vegan butter;
2 tsp sea salt;
1 tsp coconut sugar;
1 pkg active yeast;
1 tsp bread machine fast-actin' yeast;
1 cup warm water.
i didn't even bloom the yeast first-
i just ran it like a champ, with a dough hook on my stand mixer,
and beat it up on low for 11 minutes,
then let it double in size.
while it was rising i preheated my oven to 400℉.
-
you're gonna wanna punch down your dough, divide it in 4,
and stretch out long loaves, arranged on parchment on a baking tray,
an inch apart.
they'll rise up and get together and that's a good thing.
-
i oiled the tops, slit 'em, and let 'em rise another half an hour.
and when i baked 'em?
i hit the oven with a few tablespoons of boiling water 2x.
like, once after the first five minutes, then again at twenty minutes,
and at 25 minutes, they were golden and great.
-
did i toast the loaves whole in the oven later to warm 'em up?
i did.
did i then split 'em, and pan-toast the interiors in HOT coconut oil?
yup.
that's expert, kids.
like, crusty and soft, and ready for a slather of smoky sriracha-lime-mayo!
yes.
that's 1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
a dash of cayenne;
a dash of Garlic Powder;
a teaspoon of sriracha;
2 T of vegan mayo;
a dash of lime zest;
and a teaspoon of lime juice.
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
it's wet, but it's DOPE.
i drizzled some on the bread, and some on the veg, and i am pretty psyched about it.
-
....and how about that jerk tofu?
crispy-edged, spicy, aromatic, savory, and sweet.
just like you want it to be.
what's the deal?
it's like this:
-

JERK TOFU!!
-
first, toast up the following spices:
1/4 tsp ea:
cumin, coriander, nutmeg, ginger, smoked paprika, dried chili pepper powder;
1/2 tsp ea: thyme, dried parsley; paprika, crushed red pepper, cayenne, black pepper;
1 tsp Garlic Powder;
a dash of cinnamon...
add that to some some brown sugar (like 1 1/2 T),
and add salt to taste.
i took half of this blend, added it to 2 T organic non-GMO cornstarch,
and dredged 4 fat slabs of exxxtra-firm tofu in it to coat 'em all the way up.
they look SO good with those spices on 'em.
fried on a HOT pan, with raw coconut oil ready to sizzle up,
you'll get a crispy-crusted great-smellin' set of rectangles in no time-
did i also hit 'em with a little lime juice and extra paprika?
yup.
i like it like that.
one flip, when the spices are browned af but not burnt,
and the interiors won't get too dry-
that's expert.
-

and with cucumber, and AVO-F*ING-CADO,
and pea shoots, and little spranks, and that SAUCE, and that SALSA,
and a whole lotta cilantro??
daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
that's how you make 'em know they belly full, but them no hungry no more.
big ups, massive.
-
i made too many sandwiches already,
but today's the grande finale,
so i'm relieved af and excited, too.
what's for dinner tomorrow?
prolly a sandwich.
i still have at least four more BANGERS on deck.
ha.
too much is the right amount, and there's no escaping it, kids;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, September 7

FILTHY JOSEPH!!

what the eff is a sloppy joe?
apparently it's a big butt-nasty mess,
which could probably be better,
and that's what i'm all about.
so,
instead of finding out about sloppy joe,
i decided to forge my own path,
and upgrade to a couple of FILTHY JOSEPHS.
yeah!
check it out:

Wu-TANG!
buttery soft and toasty buns!
crispy roasted then pan fried potatoes!!
wilty spinach!
white onion penstils.
hmm?
what are penstils?
well, when i was a kid, the first time i experienced little onion bits on a hamburger
i freaked the F* out.
i'm talking tears, disconsolate distress, borderline tantrum sh!t.
why?
because i didn't know what they were-
and i decided in the moment that would be know as, you guess it: penstils.
so,
some of those,
and a whole big batch of that tempeh-based crOmbly messiness.
all together that's actually a really damned good tasting sandwich.
and good tasting sandwiches are the only ones invited to sandwich week.
obvi.
-
whats IN this slovenly giuseppe?
man, a LOT.
you want the list?
ok.
-
*
FILTHY JOSEPH!
-
in a 2 quart saucepot, with 2 T oil, on high heat, combine:
one half of a sweet onion, minced;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 cup chopped baby sweet tomatoes;
1 8 oz block of finely chopped tempeh;
when the onions get clear,
add 1/4 cup each diced red orange yellow green pepper;
1 tsp cumin;
1 tsp hot paprika;
1 tsp ground coriander seed;
1 tsp guajillo or whatever dried pepper powder;
2 T tamari;
2 shakes of liquid smoke;
black pepper;
1 cup vegetable broth;
1 cup crushed tomatoes;
1 T brown sugar;
1 T maple syrup;
1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce.
bring it all to a boil,
then simmer it for an hour.
mmhmmm.
it's just a pot of stuff.
adjust the spices as necessary according to your personal tastes:
i added two glugs of ho'sauce and some cayenne, too.
and i finished it off with a tablespoon of chopped parsley
and another one of fresh cilantro,
plus a tablespoon of chopped scallion, as well.
dudes!
it's really good.
and simple.
and it's almost ugly, if it weren't for the white onion sprankles,
and the exxxtra scallions, and the spinach (to make it healthy),
and those crispy salt-and pepper fries.
yeah.
the fries do a certain special kind of somethin' to it.
that's real talk.
i mean, i've been making fries all week-
what's better than bread? potatoes AND bread.
just what i needed.
mmmmmm.
olive oil, salt, pepper, parchment, and a 400℉ oven.
that's all you need.
i finished mine off with a high-heat skillet flash fry,
after i toasted up the brea, for that little exxxtra-crissspy action,
just because OVERdoing it is the ONLY way.
rules is rules.

THAT'S what i'm talking about!!!!
the bread was beyond awesome, and i made four buns,
two for the joses and two for buffalo cauliflower.
the buttered tops and bottoms, fried in a glug of olive oil,
really had me feeling a special kind of way.
a fattie-boombattie toasted bun is one of the most satisfying pleasures on eath.
for real.
here's how i did it THIS time:
-
*
NEW CRUSTIES!
-
in my stand mixer, using a provided (a.k.a permanently affixed) dough hook,
i combined:
1 cup king arthur bread flour;
3/4 cup king arthur all-purpose flour;
1/4 cup +2 T king arthur white whole wheat flour;
1 tsp sugar;
1 pkg active dry yeast;
1 pkg fast-actin' yeast;
2 tsp sea salt;
1 cup warm water.
i kneaded all that up for 11 minutes,
formed it into a tight shiny ball, covered it and let it triple in size.
while that was going on i preheated my oven to 400 luscious degrees.
i punched down and divided my dough into four even pieces,
and arranged them on parchment to re-rise again for thirty minutes.
i drizzled 'em with oil, slashed a few steam slots in there,
and baked them for twenty-five minutes,
adding hot water to the baking stone i keep in my oven,
to improve the crust a whole bunch with that steamy dreaminess.
mmmmhmmm...
what did i get for my trouble?
the best damned bread i had all week, SON.
hahahahaha.
word up.
-
and there you have it.
MORE sandwiches.
i'm full.
i'm always full.
but i keep eatin',
because that's what the objective is.
i dunno if i'm doing it right,
i just know that i'm doing this for just another day and a half,
and then it's broccoli and lettuce and sh!t six days a week for the rest of the month.
we'll see if that's true or not,
but right now, i think that's the right idea;
never quiet, never soft.....

BUFFZIES!!!

sandwich week is comin' correct, kids.
there's just been SO many sandwiches,
so much food,
so much bread,
and so many masterful flavors and textures,
each one better than the last.
it's just been a steadily building exxxplosion of improved expertism,
and that, in turn, has been steadily building my waistline
into a wider and wobblier version of the original.
i may actually look worse than i did on the last day of august,
and i don't even necessarily feel better for all i've nourished my soul with soul food,
but my tastes have been indulged to the fullest levels allowed
by the limitations of my senses and the decadence has been a worthwhile experience.
i mean.
c'mon man, fourteen months since the last sandwich week?
that's lame.
and i think my fondness and the long absence have created a bombogenesis of
bread and stuff that goes to eleven.
and that's the truth.
last night, for the friday night delight,
it was time to really get things crankin',
and make some deluxxxe buffalo cauliflower.
check it:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOORD!!
with jalapeno potato crissssps on the side,
and a well-buttered hella-toasted bad-A* bun.
these jauns are actually almost too damned delicious.
i don't need this many sandwiches.......
but i want this many sandwiches.

how do i make buffalo cauliflower this F*ing awesome?
it's not as hard as you might thing.
you just do this:
-
*
BATTERZ!
-
turn your oven up to 375℉
-
in a medium-sized mixin' bowl,
mix up:
1/4 + 2 tsp + cup chickpea flour;
2 T non-GMO organic cornstarch;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1/4 tsp black pepper & cayenne pepper;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
1 T nutritional yeast;
2 T texas pete ho'sauce;
1/3 cup non-dairy milk;
2 T pickle brine...
that's the batter-
roll your bite sized florets chunks around in there until they're totally covered,
and lay 'em out on parchment on a baking tray, and place them in the oven
for ten-fifteen minutes.
when the batter looks solid,
take your caulinuggies out, and put them in large bowl,
and add in 2/3rds of the buff' sauce and toss 'em until they're coated...
rearrange 'em back on the parchment,
and turn the heat up to 400℉
that's the stuff.
another ten minutes in there, and you'll have somethin' expert.
then,
you hit 'em with another other 'nother blast of cooked buttery buff activation.
too much is the right amount.
that's all y'all need to know.
but that's not even it, which is wild as hell.

and for the record dudes:
THIS buff sauce is the big activated busy businesstime action, bro.
you want a recipe?
i got you:
-
*
BUFFFF!
-
1/4 cup vegan mayo;
2 tsp nutritional yeast;
1/4 cup frank's red hot sauce;
1 T sriracha;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
black pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, hot paprika,
and dash of smoked paprika;
1/2 tsp vegan worcestershire;
2 tsp pickle brine.
is it great?
it IS great.
spicy, creamy, smooth, tangy, vinegar-sharpened boomfire for your face.
-
the last 1/3rd of the sauce?
well,
i want you to add 2 T of vegan butter to it in a small pot,
and maybe another dash of frank's,
and heat it up until it gets dark and lovely and viscous.
the cooked finishing sauce turns the whole deal up to 11.
truth.
it's a simple exxxtra, but it makes SUCH a difference.

right?
that's lookin' tiiiiiiight.
and that grange?
y'know?
that's vegan ranch, from scratch.
and it's F*ing expert.
you want the new-new?
i got it, and i'm gonna share it:
-
*
GRANGE!!
-
you just need a little bowl and a spatula, and then you mix together:
1/4 cup vegan sour creme;
2 T vegan mayo;
2 T non-dairy milk;
1 T pickle brine;
2 tsp lemon juice;
1/2 tsp lemon zest;
3 cloves fresh raw spicy crushed garlic;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
a heavy dash of  paprika;
1/4 tsp coarse cracked black pepper;
1ish tsp dried dill;
4 tsp minced fresh flat parsley.
mixed and mixed and mixed until it's a chunky, zesty, creamy magic SAUCE.
and that's what y'all're gonna want.
-
the bottom salad is just right-
radicchio, slivered celery, and cilantro, together, lookin' goooooooood.
and red onion, extra sharp, for a crisp slap across the top.
and the sauces, and the baked cauliflower,
and that bun.
bro.
the bun is what absolutely makes this the best ever.
it's a very soft, very light, very well-toasted buttery brown-edged victory.
neighbors-
the buns are heroic.

yeah.
olive-oiled tops, proofed to a big ol' risen roundness,
baked up and browned,
then split, and toasted in a lightly oiled pan......
i know it's a LOT of fat,
but it's the MOST flavor i can even imagine.
damn.
i'm happy about how good these were.
i'm sad (and relieved) they're gone, though.
i'd still be eating if there was still something to eat.
and i don't need to do that.
so many sandwiches, so much joy, and so many residual repercussions.
i'm making magic happen, and i'm staling for time.
monday, the world returns to normal, and all this big fun is over;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, September 6

BRAIDS!!

super-sexxxy braised soft pretzel bread?
sandwich week is not for you if you're not for that.
i mean it.
you've probably seen my soft pretzel scene before.
these have it all, only bigger.
yup.
here's the basic recipe- i just made six big braids out of the same dough, bro.
mmhmm.
i had to make 'em large and in charge so i could fit alllllll this stuff:

WORD.
i mean,
these big bad bossman braids had it ALL.
a blt is some sort of legendary sandwich for its simplicity,
but i ain't with that, kids.
nope.
too much is the right amount,
and if i'm gonna do it?
i'm gonna overdo it, and hard.
f'real.
so these have hummus,
and red onion,
and fried tofu,
and mixed greens,
and sprouts,
and microgreens,
and hot-house juicy tomato,
and AVO-F*ING-CADO,
and a load of extra-mapley tempeh bacon,
and THAT'S how you doo-doo that freaky sht, son.
no jokes.
by this point in sandwich week,
i think we all know what's up,
and just scrolling along will have most of the stuff's recipes here or there.
so,
i'll skip all the little bitty details,
not because they aren't important but because i want you to look at my food,
and i want you to go back and look at allllll the days of this wonderful weeklong
weird food-fetishism.
yup.
i said it.
so look:

GOLDEN!!
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress has great morning light,
but it only affords limited lumens in the kitchen these days
due to the thriving treeline a the perimeter of the property blocking all the sun.
awwww.
but i'm the type to take the photoshoot to a different spot, man.
uh-huh.
rules is rules,
and if it doesn't look good, it isn't good.
yep.
but, really, tho:

c'mon!
that's what i needed to start my day-
a HUGE masterwork of morning glorious goodness,
100% vegan,
100% delicious.
111% expert.
what else even is there to say?
just this:

loud, fresh, hardness for your face;
never quiet, never soft.....

TEXAS?!

yooo!!!!
how about a brutally burly barbarian black bean burger?
yeah?
yeah!
that's what's up.
but what if i put pink bean chili on top?
is that cool?
it is?!
yeah!!
okay, i think i'm getting the idea.
so, if i put a bunch of spicy stuff on a homemade jaun,
and activate it all with turbo-spicy crispy fries,
would that be...........expert?
look:

YUUUUUUP!!!
SO expert.
hey, don't go getting too worked up about it, but that's a soft store-bough bread.
yeah. it is. and it works, so i'm not sweating it at all.
we got crispy green lettuce.
we got crawnchy purple cabbage.
we got caramelized onion.
we got pickles jalapenos.
we got cilantro sprankles.
and all of that adds up to an ultra-activated accoutrement complement.
this isn't some ordinary semi-southwestern selection for suppertime, though, neighbors.
nope.
this is muh-F*in' sandwich week,
and that's where the real ones come to show and prove.
hahahah.
it's literally only ever been just me.
which is sad, in a few different ways, but i'll live, man.
the thing is, i had the oven cranking for other stuff,
so i baked up some crissssspy seasoned spicy fries:
that's three potatoes, split into sticks,
drizzled with olive oil,
and tossed with an absolutely subjective sampling of:
cumin, coriander, GPOP, black pepper, pink salt, smoked hot paprika,
and turmeric and cayenne.
uh-huh.
coated, arranged in a single layer, and baked until their spicy skins were golden and sexxxy.
that's great stuff. i made a lot. i ate them all. that's what i DO.
*

the chili was also pretty freakin' good stuff.
i had one finely minced small white onion,
one even finer minced small carrot,
one and a half cups of chopped sweet baby grape tomatoes,
three cloves of garlic,
a spoonful of cumin, a spoonful of coriander,
guajillo pepper powder, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme,
and two tablespoons of smashed-up cilantro stems simmering on the stove
long enough for the onions to get translucent over high heat with just a little oil.
to that i added one cup of vegetable broth,
one cup of crushed tomatoes,
a glug of maple syrup,
a splash of tamari,
a shake of liquid smoke,
and a 15oz can of drained pink beans.
a bay leaf, some fresh cilantro, and a long slow low bubblin' spell
had me all sorts of savory and salivatin' over this stuff.
there's a lot IN it, but there's not a lot to making it.
and that's nice.
so, that was thick and rich and spicy and smellin' hella good,
and that's the sort of thing we all like, isn't it?
i think it might be.
*

and then there's the burgers.
dudes,
i've gotten increasingly distant from the veggie burger making scene.
i'm never ever really all that psyched about 'em.
however,
inasmuch as i don't like making them,
i really enjoyed eatin' these ones.
i looked at a lotta recipes,
and then tried to make something from what i could recollect.
want the details?
alright:
-
*
BURGZ!
-
1/2 caramelized onion;
3 cloves roasted garlic;
1 tsp ea Garlic powder Onion Powder;
3 T tamari;
1/3 cup breadcrumbs( i used gf rice jauns);
2 dashes liquid smoke;
3 T parsley;
3 T cilantro;
1 cup dry-fried black beans;
1/2 cup toasted walnuts;
1/3 cup chickpea flour;
salt;
black pepper and a dash of cumin and paprika and thyme and sage to taste.
i pulverized all of that in a food processor until it was a semi-chunky pasty mess.
then i let it sit for thirty minutes,
before i formed up 4 BIG patties, and fried them, on medium-high heat,
with a generous dose of oil,
and a splash of water when the outside started looking dry.
i wasn't expecting that, but the interiors were still soft and hearty and neither dry nor crumbly.
so it worked.
and they tasted good.
and that makes me happy always.
and when everything got layered up?
it went to eleven.
duh.
c'mon, man.
i'm not tryna have a bad time during sandwich week.
.
.
.
...but i AM.
i have all the details of real life falling apart all around me.
it's okay, man.
i'm not looking for sympathy, i'm just sayin'-
outside of the tippity-tappity edited typing of this unidirectional missive
about my magnificent meals,
there are even more massive misgivings about every other single thing.
so, it's like destiny's dominoes are tumbling all day,
but not in any discernable sequence-
i can never predict where the disruptions will begin,
or which direction they'll avalanche and launch in,
and that's weird, because that's exactly how real dominoes DON'T work.
and meanwhile i'm eating a LOT of food and a LOT of bread,
and i can't say for sure that that's a good idea,
but maybe neither is anything else,
so i'm making it through until monday,
and then a new plan has to get formed up for the fall and the winter.
none of it feels good, but the sandwiches TASTE great, so at least there's that;
never quiet, never soft.....