390 Bough Down to Wytches (SSEY it aint so) a la tamarind treed mole w/ green chili unstuffing

Dear Internet,

22.11.2014 >... our b-day. Same day as JFK + Huxley's d-day. Now xactly 1 year older than our dad when he departed. The last day or 2 spent schlepping SSESes back + forth to the P.O. w/ our loaded roller bag ... resembling Robert Smith/Sean Penn in This Must Be The Place ... + more bungeed on top. Each 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' weighing in at 1 lb 4 oz ... too heavy to drop in the blue bins ... could probly get away w/ it but big boxes (for distributor) need us take to P.O. anyweigh. SSEY ublilckly speaking to hit the streets on Jan 5, 2015 (our dad's b/d-day) but if read u this + want a copy let us know.

Before the schlepping—stray inking, punching holes + cutting corners ... personal touches added to ea copy of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' ... wont elaborate, suffice to ssey each book objet unique + #ed ... to challenge notion of copy.

Here lies the remnants of bits removed ...retrazos swept off the cutting room floor:

Probly only the 1st batch of 200 have us the patience to personalize as such, so if u want a custom «copy»... actually, before the official launch split us overseas to live out of a suitcase for a long spell so paypal buttons won't throw us up, so if intrested let us know before 21 Dec.

23.11 >Pharmakon saw us last night in Bushwick. We dig her music (if u can call it that) but live we cant get too xcited bout watching some 1 pushing a button to trigger pre-recorded tracks .... fiddling w/ knobs at best. A few openers in the same vein ... geek hipsters tweaking buttons on a console then screaming unintelligibly into a mic. When 1st got us into industrial music in the early 80s we hoped it'd go the direction where people made noise w/ real things (like Test Dept + early Einstürzende Neubauten) but seems since it just merged w/ electronic music (tho Chardiet did «play» a piece of scrap metal in 1 song, probly more to appease Luddite haters like us).

Before the show ate at Xixa ... 1 of those foodie world fusion places, inspired mostly by Mexican (tho the chef = a NJ Jew named Jason). Guess we must've ordered a lot of things, cut he brought us out a complimentary dish ... which had foie gras in it—rather presumptuous that we wouldnt take offense (our 1st time eating it, must admit thought it tasty).

Been reading Karen Green's Bough Down ... we want to like it ... we like the idea of it + how it juxtaposes image + text ... + the language of it ... + how it spells nothing out (sposedly about grieving for her suicided husband), but at the same time just seemed a vague + impenetrable wall crafted to look nice but mean nothing. Hypocritical of us we know, as complain us when we read a book «about» sumthing or that spells it all out. Not sure what we getting at ... sorta like when u like a band's sound so they get your ear but then they dont know how to write songs so in the end it dont stick. Seems true in a lot of fields these days ... too much emphasis given to style + not enough to substance.

Occasional bits struck chords, especially the Czech dentistry-related 1s like:

«My filling fell out one night while he cried. I found it in my pocket later and tried to soften the edges with a nail file by the His and Hers sinks.»

And the miniature images come off great (albeit a bit hobby-shoppish, more craft than art).

4 micro-images from Bough Down

Late morning rode us our bikes down to 45th street—where left us off on our last Maphattan walk ... ticked off 45th thru 40th.

route for 23.11—40 thru 45


looking at an air craft carrier from 45th + 11th

Stopped to get representative street meat (shrimp actually) at the Pakistani Kwik Meal cart—our favorite from when we worked in the area last decade ... still there, tho the chef Muhammed Rahman (who learned his chops at the Russian Tea Room) has since retired.

Trudged thru the thick of it ... Times Square + Port Authority area ... what John Oliver calls «the single worst place on planet earth» ... + we (+ most every 1 that has passed thru) would have to agree (w/ the cross Bronx expressway a close 2nd)


outside of Port Authority


going down into the Lincoln Tunnel


Hell's Kitchen


theatre district


near UN on east side





detail at Chrysler building entrance

Whenever we see the Chrysler bldg we think of Matthew Barney + Cremaster 3 ...



Met Life, Grand Central + Chrysler


NY Public Library

41st street («Library Way») lined w/ plaques w/ quotes from writers ... since couldnt find us Joyce, this 1 from Beckett:


Croatian church nestled amidst the chaos

... across 44th street where worked us for 3 years (28 W. 44th) ... same building that housed The New Yorker from 1935 to 1991, wherein they had a hand-cranked elevator cuz they leery of technology. Down the street from the Algonquin where Dorothy Parker + her peeps famously hung out. Speaking of, saw us Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994) recently ... pretty stupid movie, tho Jennifer Jason Leigh did well as Dottie. Last time set our foot in the Algonquin when the NY Tyrant + us got invited to some banquet Salt Hill put on ... sposed to inspire up + coming graduates about the publishing industry. Mostly we + the tyrant got drunk + advised them to consider taking up another career.

when we worked on 44th our window looked out on this scene (edge of Grace bldg left)


back into Hell's kitchen ... what's left of it


After, bellied up to the tapas/oyster bar Colmado in Gotham West Market ...

Colmado in Gotham West Market

24.11 > just the other day we commented to our better ½ how in all our years of running we've never tripped + fell down ... not that we bragging, more just astonished that in the billions + billions of steps not 1x has there been a glitch or snag. Not just running, but walking (sides for our bushwhacking days when we factored controlled falling in as forward progress) ... it came up in the context of our Maphattan walks, seems we've seen people trip + fall on their face a few times or run into each other (sumthing else we've never done) ... well, we must've jinxed ourself cuz today while running way up north we tripped over a loop of wire that snagged both our feet so we flew thru the air + landed hard right on our chest + splayed arms (at least managed to keep our head up) ... at the only point in our run where we crossed an intersection so paying more attention to the cars than our feet ... thankfully not dashing in front of a car but skirting behind some asshole not stopping for us. Fell flat onto muddy + gritty asphalt, knocked the wind out of us + scraped + bruised ourself up, but otherwise OK. At the furthest point of our run too, sum 5 clicks out, so after walking it off had to run/hobble the 3+ miles home. Today unseasonably warm (70°F near end of Nov ... tho a day or 2 ago below freezing) so didn't have to worry bout freezing our ass off, but also meant we only had a T-shirt so arms got scraped ... earlier saw some guys running w/o shirts + seemed tempting, but good thing we didn't as then our whole chest (where in the last post showed us off our tats) would've been 1 big scab probly. Even still, all welted + gristled.

25.11> Saw The Wytches last night. They rocked, but the sound sucked (at Mercury Lounge).

The 1st band The Teen Age sucked ... just like their name. The 2nd band Lodro was pretty good, or at least they looked good doing it. ½-way thru The Wytches set got word of the Ferguson non-indictment, so put a damper on things. In a room full of mostly white hipsters nodding their heads, feeling safe. Feelings of anger ± fear undoubtedly in the air (or at least bubbling beneath), but perhaps different (from a white perspective) ... deep resentment at ever being born in this country (witch we went into in the last «guilty of being Chaulky White» post...) ... fear of what will become ... the gun violence + über militarization terrifies us most + only getting worse + worse yes if u happen to have darker skin. A huge divide growing between those w/ power (or that think they have power cuz they given a badge + a gun (+ then sum)) + regular joes + free spirits trying to mind their own business. Cops focusing on petty shit (stealing cigarillos, or the kid brutally beaten last week for jumping a subway turnstile—at the same Myrtle avenue subway stop we at 2 nights ago). Cops trying to create order by force, by enforcing, rather than trying to keep the peace like they sposed to—letting things just continue on the path of least resistance. An age old problem sure but escalating ... sumthings gotta give. Took the train home to Harlem + walking around this a.m. most in our hood seem more sad + disappointed than angry ... regardless of skin tone (or sexual preference, etc.), a sinking feeling that our country has failed us + will increasingly continue to do so.

Fuck America.

26.11> Gearing us up for the holiday to commemorate our ancestral pilgrims pillaging Native American land, biting the hand that feeds. Actually cooking this year ... perhaps the 1st time we've cooked for guests, in America anyway. Decided to give turkeys a break this year ... seems silly every 1 kills + eats the same animal on the same day. Here's our planned menu:

—tempeh in tamarind mole
—green chili cornbread stuffing
—roasted garlic + shallot mashed potatoes
—spinach + rucola salad w/ shrimp, avocado + shaved parm
—curried lentils/peas w/ walnuts
—spicy cranberry/pomegranate relish

Already got a head start on the tamarind mole last night ... whipped up a batch + used some to simmer w/ chicken breasts, green beans + pumpkin. As always, never us follow a recipe or make the same thing x2. Here's roughly what went into the mole: {tamarindo (mucho), roma tomatoes, poblanos, guajillos, chipotles, habanero, chocolate, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, plums, almonds, peanut butter, cranberries, black sesame seeds, sesame oil, olive oil, all-spice, ginger, oregano + other spices}. Probly forgetting sumthing. Forgot to get pumpkin seeds—that would've completed it (got sum now to sprinkle on top). Plantain also a nice addition ... but couldn't find (not like we cant go a few blocks north into Washington Heights where it seems plantain all they eat ... but we lazy).

The fresh stuff (poblanos, habanero, garlic, tomatoes, etc.) we roasted ... this stove-top roaster thing (hecho en Mexico) has become a permanent fixture of our stove, we use it most every meal.

roasting the poblanos

The dried things (chipotle, guajillos, plums, cranberries, cinnamon stick) we brewed up in vegetable broth to soften up + get the juices flowing. Oh, threw some celery into the mix for the broth sake ... ideally u'd use chicken broth (for that matter make your own), but 1 of our guests eats no meat products.

All of this we threw into our Breville processor (another invaluable tool we use w/ every meal) + whip up into a rich paste. Voila, not as difficult as people think ... at least not the lazy way we do it. The hard part actually, getting the tamarind paste. U can of course buy the paste (witch we have on hand), but saw sum fresh pods + couldn't resist. To get the paste u got to boil the peeled parts for a sec then push thru a fine strainer ... a messy + finger-licking good endeavor.

garlic (courtesy of Stanley Crawford), ginger, tamarindo, dried chipotle + guajillos

That 1 little dried chipotle at the bottom all it takes ... those suckers hot. That, along w/ 1 habanero ... normally might use a few, but since we had guests erroring on the side of medium spice. Come ttomorrow we'll dollop over fried tempeh then sprinkle w/ pepitas + crumbled goat cheese.

Also made green chili cornbread ... sum of witch we ate last night, the rest we left out to get stale to make stuffing (tho technically not «stuffing» since not stuffed into anything). Also a cinch—just toss all this into a metal bowl + mix: {diced green chilis, butter, milk, eggs, corn meal, flour, baking soda/powder, cheddar cheese, a can of cream corn + spices} .... the green chilis from our 10-lb batch from Hatch we got a few months back at harvest time ... if u cant get frozen or fresh, use canned or substitute jalapeños (roast 1st) or actually (never tried it but) probly good w/ roasted poblanos. Pour the mixture into a baking dish + into the oven.

... then for the unstuffing (if u can resist not eating it all), cube it up + let dry out, mix w/ sum leftover bread (in our case sourdough rye), then fry up w/ olive oil, broth, onions, red peppers (as antidote to the green), celery, scallions, hard-boiled egg, parsley + spices. Not that we've gotten to this part yet, might morph into sumthin else when all said + done.

Happy turkey day, pilgrims.

 > 391 > Concurrently + literaturely—gold-rushing our autobio-psychoge(ne)ography


[  (ɔ)om.Posted 2014  derek white  |  calamari press   ]