Saturday Tweets: Cheap Heaters, Paper Airplanes and Lost Ornaments

I made soup out of a Halloween pumpkin and it didn’t completely suck


Our neighborhood of tiny, overpriced bungalows is the place to go trick or treating, for some reason. A record keeping neighbor counted 300 trick or treaters at his door this weekend. He had collaborated with another neighbor on an elaborate, coordinated display: Mount Olympus vs. Hades. Up on Mt. Olympus (one side of our street is 30 feet higher than the other), Zeus wielded a shiny cardboard lightening bolt, while down below the devil dealt with those 300 kids. I made a mental note to up our Halloween decor game next year as all we had was one hastily carved pumpkin and two uncarved pumpkins.

The next day, surveying the trail of candy wrappers on the sidewalk, I felt a little guilty about those uncarved pumpkins. I resolved to eat them. An NPR story, “Do We Waste a Lot of Pumpkins We Could Be Eating?“, tipped me off to an Epicurious Curried Pumpkin soup recipe that uses coconut milk and hot pepper flakes. The recipe takes advantage of the fact that you could make delicious soup out of cat litter with coconut milk and hot pepper flakes.

Of course that same soup would taste a lot better made with a kabocha squash. And Halloween pumpkins make great worm food. But I was reasonably pleased with the soup, especially after it had mellowed in the fridge for a day.

How was your Halloween? What do you do with the leftover pumpkins?

067 Wild Drinks and Cocktails With Emily Han


Our topic this week is wildcrafted drinks and cocktails with writer, recipe developer, educator, and herbalist Emily Han. She is the author of Wild Drinks and Cocktails and the Communications Director for Emily’s website is During the show we discuss the difference between “wildcrafting” and “foraging” and how you can use easily foraged herbs, fruits, pine needles and flowers to make shrubs, switchels, tonics and infusions. Emily also shares her easy distillation method and advice on what to do with all those prickly pear fruits!

If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

A Plea to End Daylight Savings Time


Peterborough Cathedral sundial. Image: Wikimedia.

Can we please stop this changing the clocks business? I swear I’d support a Kim Kardashian presidential bid if she’d make ending daylight savings time a campaign platform.

Anyone who keeps chickens knows that this time change nonsense has nothing to do with farming. The hens look to the sun as their cue to start their working day. The same goes for the cats who are, as I write this, staging a loud protest in the kitchen to let us know that breakfast is an hour late.

It’s bad enough that our clocks are an abstraction of solar time. Why do we need to add another layer of abstraction by changing our clocks rather than adjusting our lives to the passage of the seasons? This is the time equivalent of taking honest labor, abstracting it into money and then turning that into a collateralized debt obligation. As the layers of abstraction accrue, we lose touch with the rhythms of the rising and setting sun. We lose sleep. We piss off the chickens and cats.

Get working on that campaign, Kim.