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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble

Rain, Shine and Macaroni and Cheeze

When we arrived back in Black Mountain a couple weeks back, we were greeted with more rain than we had seen in our two weeks of New England. And then, the rain didn’t stop. For days. We wrung out of socks. We kept our windows closed. We rationalized that the patter of storms on our tiny tin house was actually helping us sleep better. But, truthfully, we were damp.

So we did what any teeny tiny folk band would do in our situation: we made the spiciest bowl of vegan, gluten-free mac’n’cheeze we could (the recipe, for those of you who asked, is below). If our toes couldn’t be warm, at least our bellies could be. And then we drove up to play a show in Virginia.

Mallory’s recent specialty– jalepeno zucchini vegan gluten free mac’n’cheeze. Anyone interested in an R&T cookbook?

Sometimes songs feel like play, sometimes they feel like work. Sometimes they do nothing at all; lately, we’ve been feeling all of those. We were warned that transitioning from Weekend Warriors to Full Timers was going to influence our general enthusiasm at showtime. Most of the time for the last six months, it’s been a godsend: play a set, do some dishes, play another set, eat dinner in the parking lot in the comfort of our own home. Ideal.

But, as much as we begrudged the heat of July and August, the turning leaves and the chilly nights are reminding us that winter is around the corner. After one long damp week in an only moderately insulated home has us rethinking a few plans. And the homebodies in us are craving a bit of a time to dig into all those half songs we started as we’ve driven nearly every corner of this United States this year. So, maybe a little time spent back in Nashville with some family will be our January. Maybe a few weeks in Thomas, WV. Maybe Asheville. The R&T is scouting out residencies in exchange for a warm bed without wheels underneath, and we are taking suggestions. Just be careful, though: inviting a folk band in is synonymous with trying to uninvite those pesky vampires. Except, we probably won’t drink your blood. Just your tea.

That’s where we are to date. Still happy, still healthy, with a few hiccups, a few itches, and a new hitch after we found out our first one became a death trap over the course of 6 months. Sometimes we wake up late and we worry we aren’t doing enough. Sometimes we wake up early and feel like we are doing too much. Sometimes the late afternoon light in a grocery store parking lot where we’ve been sleeping is enough to keep us going. Sometimes a welcoming audience is enough, too. But even if neither of those things are present, there’s something even deeper– something that goes beyond wet shoes, beyond good-or-bad performances, beyond the big question mark that is our winter– that will keep us going nonetheless.

Parking lot life isn’t so bad.

Come say hi. Say hello. Be good to your neighbor. Be careful when approaching little campers in parking lots so as to not startle big dogs. Call your mother. Look both ways before crossing the street.

All our love,

The Rough & Tumble

(Mallory and Scott and Butter)

P.S. That recipe we promised:

VEGAN GLUTEN FREE MAC’n’CHEEZE (from Tumble to you)


1 c raw cashews – soaked for a minimum of 2 hours

1 c veggie broth

3 TBSP nutritional yeast

3 TBSP fresh lemon juice

3 tsp dijon mustard

1 jalapeno (we keep the seeds in for more spice– seed and de-vein it for a less spicy version)

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

dash of smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 small zucchini, coined then quartered

8 oz small shell GF pasta (preferably pagodas or other sauce-grabbing shapes)


Combine drained cashews, broth, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, spices, jalapeno in blender. Blend til extra smooth. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Prepare pasta in a large pot according to instructions. Drain, put aside.

In the same pot, saute in (your choice of) 1 TBSP oil the onions, after a minute adding zucchini on medium-high heat (I use coconut oil as my favorite).

Lower heat the low-medium, add blended sauce. Stir til hot.

Add pasta, mix in with spatula.

Eat til you’re full, but then eat more because it’s so good and you still have at least another hour until you arrive at your show in Virginia for the night.

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