Discover the Magic of Home Milling this Saturday

16143523_1759207331073209_4121298538141635098_o

In my opinion, way, way too many home bakers don’t know about the benefits of milling your own flour. If you’re in LA this weekend and are interested in getting more intimate with your flour, there’s a fun event at the King’s Roost featuring Paul LeBeau, who will be debuting a revolutionary new home grain mill called the MockMill. The MockMill attaches to your Kitchen Aid and is considerably less expensive than other home mills. Please come, if just to taste what bread made from freshly mixed four tastes like. I’ll be interviewing Paul for the podcast live in front of an audience. Plus you’ll have a chance to meet Guy Frenkel, the baking genius behind this Instagram account. Here’s the 411:

Home Grain Milling Raffle, Meet and Greet at The King’s Roost

Southern California Farmers, Millers and Bakers are meeting up in Silverlake to learn about home grain milling with Paul LeBeau, Managing director of the German mill maker, Wolfgang Mock. We are raffling 2 MockMills along with various locally grown whole grains donated by California farmers. While there is no charge for raffle tickets or the event, we will sell raffle tickets for a third mill and grain basket to benefit the California Grain Campaign, the effort to require 20% of farmers market baked goods to be made with local whole grains by the year 2020.

When and Where:

Saturday, January 28 th , 2-5pm
The King’s Roost
3732 Sunset Blvd, LA, CA 90026
www.kingsroost.com

Organizers:
Guy Frenkel of Ceor Bread, Erik Knutzen of Root Simple, Leyna Lightman, and Roe Sie

Who
Local farmers, millers, and bakers will be there to meet with Paul LeBeau. Paul is the managing director of German based home mill manufacturing company Wolfgang Mock. They have designed an affordable, compact, stone mill attachment for the Kitchen-Aid and, like Roe Sie, the owner of The King’s Roost, they believe that every home should have a grain mill.

Why
To share the benefits of milling fresh flour at home. Benefits like making fresher healthier more nutritious foods for less money, while supporting the local economy, increasing food security and decreasing our impact on the environment.

Where
The King’s Roost in Silver Lake is LA’s first and only urban homesteading store and learning center. We believe it is the only brick and mortar store in the country that carries a full line of home grain mills. We provide classes and supplies not just for milling and baking, but also for chicken keeping, bee keeping, soap and candle making, brewing, fermenting, and aquaponics.

For more information contact: Roe Sie at [email protected]

096 Photographer Babs Perkins: The Land, People and Cheese of the Balkans

balkan-cheese-stories-10
Listen to “096 Photographer Babs Perkins: The Land, People and Cheese of the Balkans” on Spreaker.

First of all, a big thanks to Eric Rochow of Garden Fork. He wanted to do something for Kelly and me, so he set up an interview, guest hosted and edited this episode of the podcast. Please consider subscribing to Eric’s Garden Fork podcast and YouTube channel. Also take a moment to leave a review of the Garden Fork podcast in iTunes and share his podcast and YouTube channel in social media. And Eric has a great suggestion: if you want to do something for Kelly consider donating blood. Thank you Eric Rochow!

Eric’s interview is with photographer and writer Babs Perkins, who documents disappearing foods in the Balkans with a emphasis on cheese making. In the conversation Babs and Eric discuss the politics of cheese in the EU, the challenges of doing a documentary project in the Balkans and the cross cultural values of sharing food. As you listen to the podcast I’d suggest you take a look at Perkins’ stunning photos on her website:

Cheese Stories: Bosnia

Cheese Stories: Serbia

The incredible natural beauty of Bosnia

And those strange concrete monuments put up by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito.

@babsperkins on Instagram

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. 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.

Save

Root Simple’s Favorite New Year’s Eve Cocktails

394d5d89ead24b2fa1b3e34553eee242
While you’re ringing in the New Year we’ll most likely be snoozing. Kelly and I rarely celebrate the evening, since neither of us function well the next day if we’re up past 11. And even if Kelly weren’t recovering from open heart surgery, she has an unfortunate allergy to alcohol that prevents her from drinking. But, perhaps earlier in the evening I might make one of my favorite, if unimaginative, cocktails.

Denizens of the snowy regions of the world may object that two of these cocktails are considered appropriate only for warm weather. But we do live in Los Angeles where it can be hot in December (though not this year, so far). Personally, I like these cocktails regardless of the outdoor temperature. Here’s my three favorite:

pegu_club_postcardThe Pegu Club
This was the house cocktail in the 1920s at Burma’s Pegu Club, a gentleman’s establishment for British Army officers and government officials. The cocktail faded into obscurity only to be revived during the heady early years of the vintage cocktail revival of the aughts. The cocktail went viral and even inspired a new Pegu Club in New York. It’s simple and easy:

1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce orange curaçao (or Triple Sec if you’re cheap like me)
1 teaspoon lime juice
Dash bitters
Dash orange bitters

Shake with crushed ice, strain and serve in a cocktail glass with a lime twist. The Angostura bitters will give the drink a pleasant, pink tinge.

3456c75a85c2efedbd38fe94b79dcdba
Negroni
Named for Count Camillo Negroni, who supposedly asked a bartender to replace the soda water in his Americano with gin, the Negroni has become ubiquitous at many hipster bar hangouts and has many variations. I keep it simple:

1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari

Stir into a glass with ice and garnish with an orange slice.

Manhattan
2 ounces Rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet red vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Place the booze in a shaker with ice, stir for 30 seconds and strain into cocktail glasses. Here’s the important part: garnish with the classy kind of cherries, not those bright red ones. What you want are marasca cherries such as the Luxardo brand, imported from Italy. They are dark colored and delicious but should not be stored in the fridge.

And take my advice for a decent New Years Day: stop at two cocktails the night before!

Happy New Year everyone! And many thanks for your kind wishes! Hope you all have and abundant and happy 2017!

Jas. Townsend’s 18th Century Cooking

The recovery journey for open heart surgery involves three things: pain killers, a recliner and a flat screen television. Thanks to our new TV’s ability to access the internet, we’ve fallen into a deep and unlikely YouTube hole: Jas. Townsend and Son’s 18th century cooking videos.

Jas. Townsend and Son is the most unlikely business I can imagine. They manufacture and sell 18th century clothing, cookware, camp equipment and housewares though a brick and mortar shop in Pierceton, Indiana. Founder James John Townsend is one of the most prolific and accomplished YouTubers I’ve encountered. His cooking videos feature professional lighting and sound (rare in the YouTube universe) and look like something PBS would (should?) make. And Townsend has produced over 500 videos giving Kelly and I a chance to spend many evenings catching up on the finer points of pemmican, hardtack and pickled smelt.

Neither of us are historical reenactors, though Kelly sometimes accuses me of trying to relive the 1990s. But you need not be into historical reenactment to appreciate Townsend’s well researched videos. You can tell he’s having a good time making them too.

Kelly wanted me to highlight the portable soup video I embedded above. And note that it’s just one of four videos on portable soup! There’s also a fascinating series on 18th century breads.  If Townsend’s video output isn’t enough for you he’s got a website containing the recipes and videos called Savoring the Past. Does Townsend sleep? I’m glad he doesn’t because we’ve both been enjoying his creative output.

And, lastly, a note on Kelly. She thanks you all for your kind comments, thoughts and prayers. Getting over a surgery like this is no picnic. It’s more akin to eating hardtack and suet by the side of a meager fire (thank you Townsend and Son for the metaphor). It will be awhile before Kelly can blog again but she wants me to tell you how much she appreciates your support.

Jennie Cook’s Bedda Chedda: a Vegan Cheese that Tastes Great

img_7457While I’m not a vegan, I have a fondness for some of the tricks up the vegan cook’s sleeve: things like dehydrated crackers and cheese alternatives. Many times they don’t work, tasting like someone tilted the random contents of a health food store’s bulk bins into a blender but, occasionally, you end up with a breakthrough new food concept such as Jennie Cook’s cashew-based “Bedda Chedda.”

While Kelly was in the hospital our very kind neighbor Jennie Cook who is a caterer, author (and guest on episode 50 of our podcast) dropped by many trays and tubs of food so that Kelly’s mom and I would not need to cook or eat out. Jennie is a rare master of both meaty and vegan fare. In addition to the delicious jambalaya, mac and cheese and many other items in her porch care package, there was a tub of “Bedda Chedda.”

I liked it so much that I made a batch myself last night. You can find Jennie’s Bedda Chedda recipe here. Note her admonition to add the liquids first. The end result will solidify more once you refrigerate it. Like most successful vegan foods it doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t. While it really does taste vaguely of cheddar, consider this to be more of a delicious cracker spread. I guarantee if you make a batch of this for a holiday party it will disappear much faster than the eggnog.

And let me also note that for someone in the midst of a family crisis, one of the best ways to help is to drop off food. Thank you to Jennie and to beekeeper Amy and to the many people who offered us food during a very difficult two weeks.

Save