benzodiazepine withdrawal diet.

"Stopping a benzo 'cold turkey' without medical assistance is not recommended." -American Addiction Centers

No shit. Putting this out there for other desperate people. I can recommend the following. It could be strictly coincidence, timing, "throwing everything at the problem", etc. But I was in a situation where my symptoms were all just unpleasant...this very good resource takes the trouble to list them:

symptoms may include anxiety, panic, insomnia, muscle spasms or tension, nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, seizures, hallucinations, short-term memory impairment, trouble concentrating, clouded thinking, mood swings, agitation, drug cravings, twitching and weight loss due to a decreased appetite. 

I had all of them! Except seizures, and no real hallucinations but everything just looked like it was moving a little when it wasn't.

Anyway things were not improving, and then I started eating like this and let's say a week later I'm much better. Like I said, maybe no correlation, but I can tell you that the eating of the foods themselves did successfully provide moments of relief, I guess that normally would've been "pleasure", it just seemed like "less bad".

So for five days I only ate the following foods, for either their tyrosine content or dopaminic (probably not a word) properties:

Eggs, salt, lean beef, miso, chilies, peanuts, cucumber, salmon, herring, dark chocolate, almonds, kiwi, blueberries, ginger, pickles, yogurt.

And I would try to have a green or beet juice here and there for vegetable content. After my stomach started functioning again I added cheese, for this reason. I was just trying to feel better. And it mostly worked. I tried a lot of things. I tried very expensive CBD oil with varying degrees of success, but it turns out that just smoking weed is way way cheaper and worked better, except for the terrible heart racing episodes.

Oh and, really, do not drink alcohol. At first I thought that it was making my symptoms go away, but no it was really just getting ready to lower my elevator 100 floors lower into the center of helllllll. So, while it may seem like a good idea, especially if you have to function in public, for say a solo guitar gig or something...a good idea it is not.

Anyway, I'm not perfect yet, hands still shake when I button my shirt or peel a potato or try to play guitar carefully. But my RLS is mostly gone, and I slept 5 hours last night. You know what may be working? Magnesium. I've tried it before with no detectable results, but I've been taking it every day for a week and I've been sleepy before midnight the last four nights in a row or something. Insert thumbs up.



This is the Surinamese peanut butter you want. Spicy but not too hot. No weird over-coriandered aftertaste. I'm putting it on celery sticks but you might want to make peanut butter cookies out of it, no joke.



search for pleasure dome 2.

I can't tell what's going on, but this is another kind of home run.


salmon burger with hoisin mayo, miso butter, roasted sweet potato, cucumber pickles, jalapeno, peanut.


2 tsp hoisin
2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp miso
2 tbsp butter
1 sweet potato, sliced like potato chip thin
grapeseed oil

cucumber pickles
pickled jalapenos
peanuts, chopped



search for pleasure dome.

Well, your host is having some kind of pharmaceutical problem again that is only made marginally better by pushing a pleasure button, when he can manage to locate one. Believe you me we will be launching a Nostromo-like salvage mission to go in there and methodically detail the recovery process should there be one and maybe even learn something from it this time, but for now let's just thank our lucky lucky stars, shall we, for in a moment of true inspiration/desperation I have found/developed a super surprising, healthy-ass pleasure button. Check this shit out. I think it's "Southern food". Maybe it would need to be trout or catfish or catfish instead but you feel me.


blackened salmon with kale and sauerkraut slaw + blue cheese and peanut.

4 x 125g salmon
2 1/2 tbsp paprika
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups of shredded kale
1 cup fresh sauerkraut
2 scallions, diced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
3 tbsp cider  vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard or piccalilli
1 or 2 tbsp agave syrup
I guesss you should probably put some mayonnaise in here, but we'll try it without

the necessary amount of blue cheese, crumbled
a handful of dry roasted peanuts



romantic + vegan + food.

I actually Googled this the other day because nothing was immediately coming to mind. Oh I know romance isn't about the food it's about the beer, joking, but certainly we can all agree that there are foods that are more romantic than others, for example poor broccoli, jeez. Smoked mackerel. Turnip.

I think the dish in the photo above would satisfy just about anyone's ok I didn't realize this sentence was going to sound so half-assedly perverse if I started it that way. I'm trying to say this was a really good date night dinner. It is this carrot osso buco + these roasted garlic mashed potatoes + this rosemary gremolata (plus pine nuts). The gremolata would be good on just about anything. The carrot itself is sweet but has been braised in a broth of  red wine and mushroom powder for a long time and has totally absorbed those flavors. The potatoes are, well, garlic mashed potatoes. Vegan mods include oat milk and olive oil in the potatoes instead of milk and butter, and oh two strips of lemon zest in the carrots, which I guess is just a mod isn't it.



bless your heart.

I have other things I should really be doing, but felt compelled to share. So I was out on TripAdvisor for a moment because tomorrow La Nelson is visiting Amsterdam, where I myself am for a few weeks visiting creatures like the above cuddly bundle of joy, and you know I just wanted to you know brush up on what's what here since I imagine I haven't had a restaurant meal in the city in a long while I think.

So I'm checking out some nearby places that are pretty unique to Amsterdam that I used to go to and I'm brainstorming a bit and whatnot and I think, oh yeah, wonder what ol' Japanese Pancake World is up to these days. Case you don't remember they serve okonomiyaki, a much-loved substance of this blog's earlier days, sometimes debatably referred to (is it wise to highlight a word your spellchecker disagrees with, wtf "debatably", that's a word you asshole) as the Japanese equivalent of pizza, not because it tastes anything like or has a single ingredient in common with pizza but because it's all over the place and comforting and commonly eaten late at night after drinking, like dude omfg I'm wasted i need a slice or something etc. In any event, it almost always contains seaweed and/or optionally, dried fish. It will definitely remind you of the ocean, which come to think of it is not even really La Nelson's bag in the first place so it probably shouldn't even be on the list in the first place.

MY POINT BEING: the second TripAdvisor review out there could almost be a troll/parody but I'm pretty sure it's not, the reviewer is from Atlanta after all where, bless their ignorant fucking Trump-voting little hearts, by and large they know absolutely fuck all about the rest of the world (thinking about, among many other things, last November's visit to L5P, where we met a lovely young man who was pretty sure Holland was in Norway or Denmark, despite our insistence to the contrary).

By the way sometimes you just have to love Urban Dictionary's succinct and vulgar accuracy, describing the so very Atlantan colloquialism of "bless his/her/their heart" as "(...) the most Southern 'fuck you' there is. Can be put at the end of a phrase to nullify any cruelty." I guess the trick to said nullification would be to not insert additional cruelty between the "bless" and "heart" portions of the euphemism. Ah well.

Anyway, TripAdvisor review. Here it is:
We went here because it was rated one of the top 5 pancake restaurants in Amsterdam. It's a nice little place, but the food was horrible. So bad neither of us could finish ours. First of all, the pancakes we got smelled like dried fish even though we did not order any seafood on our pancakes. This was very weird and unsettling. Second, the pancake was mushy, more like dough then a cooked pancake. They had way too much ginger on them. The flavors didn't meld. They were terrible. I lost my restaurant-choosing privileges after this meal. Avoid this place, the food is horrible. 
First of all, I have eaten these pancakes and they are 1) large and 2) not cheap. I would looooooved to have seen rob1270's face after he took his first bite, chewed like 1.5 times, maybe 2 times, and then slowly looked down at the enormous rest of the pancake he had on his plate.

And this is why not to have a restaurant. And this is why some people shouldn't leave the house. Thank you rob1270, that will be all: absolute shittiness of people and the diabolically cruel double-edged-swordness of the Internet that I helped give to everybody confirmed for the quadrillionth time this month.




In an effort to increase my dopamine levels, I'm looking at burger porn. Well that's not the whole story, I plan to be eating more protein and yeah just wandered off into the dangerous part of the internet where they have pictures of protein between two pieces of bread.

Well OK, it's just that after so much goddamn experimenting with trying to make a truly delicious veggie burger that felt decadent, I look at this list and I see one thing that compels me to make a note. Well two things. OK three: 1) cheese, 2) sauce, 3) onions.

Here's the list, good luck. And remind me to steal some ideas from Block 16. And Mott Street. After looking at this i just grabbed whatever and made a curry-rubbed steak burger with hoisin-aoili, pickled jalapeno, galangal creamed spinach.....just go mess with your forgotten Asian condiments.




This is the soup that we should've made an extra 8 liters of. One Italian guy tried it, then immediately came back and ordered another cup, and then proceeded to order everything else on the menu over the next hour. Not braggin', just sayin'. That was one of the nicest compliments of the day because it's what I would've done.

So this is pretty classic Dutchified pindasoep I think, it tastes very much like the one I've eaten the most of, from Soep en Zo in Amsterdam (come to think of it, I may have eaten there more than any other Amsterdam restaurant...can that be true?). This recipe is something I can take very little credit for, it was all Nelson's doing except for the hearts of palm and the seroendeng. If it's not dark enough for you, I'd add a shot of ketjap manis.


surinamese peanut soup. 

1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 plantain, more green than brown, diced
1 cup palm hearts, diced
5 allspice berries
1 bay leaf
1 or 1.5 liter water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 madame jeanette/habanero chile, whole
300ml natural, smooth peanut butter

1/2 cucumber, julienned
1 cup dark celery leaves (selderij), minced
seroendeng (an Indonesian condiment that's in every grocery store of any size here, basically toasted coconut, roasted peanuts, salt, sugar, ground coriander and probably a few other things)

Apparently you can just throw everything except the peanut butter in a pot for 45 minutes, turn it off, add the peanut butter, make sure it melts/dissolves, remove the madame jeanette, and serve with the accouterments.