Campfire Cooking: Fish in Clay (& Vegetarian Options!)

...same: insulation. We’ll talk the grass/veggie technique at the end of this post. For cooking a fish in clay, the first step is to find clay either in the wild or, in the case of this workshop, from the local art supply store. If you’re buying the clay, it doesn’t matter what kind–so go for the least expensive type. If you are harvesting your own clay, just make sure the ground in that spot you’re digging in isn̵...

Continue reading…

Realities in my past

...growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him? No, thank you, he will think. Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the thing...

Continue reading…

Choosing the Perfect Tortilla Press

...blog that covered the restaurant’s recent closing described it as, “like ‘Taco Tuesday’ at an elementary school in Kansas.” One of the many reasons the food at this place was substandard was the store bought tortillas they used. For some reasons, few Mexican restaurants here make their own tortillas. Tired of substandard Mexican fare, I resolved to make my own tortillas. Thus began Root Simple’s “Taco Tu...

Continue reading…

Easter Lessons

...d the bloom. The bloom is washed off in industrial egg production facilities because the eggs have to be washed and sometimes bleached to get the filth off them before they go to market. So bloom is never an issue when dyeing store-bought eggs. I’ve never tried dyeing our own eggs before, and I believe the bloom was interfering with the dye’s adhesion. If I try this again, I will give the eggs a thorough washing first. What do you thi...

Continue reading…

Worth Doing From Scratch: Corn Tortillas

...that’s easy and economical. Now you should be suspicious of any tortilla making advice dispensed by a gabacho. Let’s just say it’s easy and the results are way better than those dry tortillas you buy at the store. Some things I’ve learned: I have a cast iron tortilla press that works great but my Mexicano friends in the know suggested a wooden press. Making masa from scratch is a huge amount of work and I’ve done j...

Continue reading…

Root Simple Video Podcast Episode 3: A Tour of Our Straw Bale Garden

...d hand water the plants to make sure they have enough nutrients. Leave your questions in the comments. And you can download a copy of this video here. And note that the Root Simple Video Podcast is now available in the iTunes store for free here. Subscribe and you can play our videos on your iPhone, iPod, iPad and iScroll™ (ok, made up that last one). Thanks to Ari Kletzky for donating equipment to Root Simple!...

Continue reading…

On the documentary, Fed Up, and giving up sugar

...t lack of exercise, is behind rising obesity rates as well as the rise in type 2 diabetes and a host of related diseases–and most worrisome–how sugar is hidden in almost every prepared and packaged food on grocery store shelves, especially those marketed as healthy, low fat products. They also describe sugar as an addictive substance, pointing out that given a choice, lab rats choose sugar over cocaine. Call me a rat and give me a whe...

Continue reading…

Build a Solar Dehydrator

...dry things out in the sun. Solar dehydrators work by increasing air flow to dry out the food. The one we built uses a clever strategy to get air moving without the use of electric fans such as you’d find in your typical store bought electric dehydrator. Our solar dehydrator is constructed out of plywood and consists of a heat collector containing a black metal screen housed in a box with a clear plastic top. This screen heats up on a sunny...

Continue reading…

Vertical Micro-Farming

I was at Cal Poly Pomona the other day and saw this interesting display. The school has several small farm plots that demonstrate innovative or new practices, from hydroponic lettuce to intensive mini-orchards and now this strange setup. They sell the produce at the adjacent farm store. From looking at it I can tell that this setup is meant to utilize vertical space and grow vegetables in a small footprint. Water drips down from the top, irrigat...

Continue reading…