How to Roast Your Own Coffee in a Stovetop Popcorn Maker

...(freshly roasted coffee beans out-gas CO2). Unlike many home “artisinal” food methods (we probably need to retire the “a” word), home coffee roasting saves money and you get a much better product than store bought coffee. Of course quitting coffee would also save money but you’ll have to ask Mrs. Root Simple about that one–I’m an addict. If you’re in the LA area, you can take Ian Riley’s home...

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Vital Farms: Pasture Raised, Organic Eggs at Whole Foods

...of “Coco’Mon” coconut oil. Such are the indignities one encounters on the downward arc of a career in reggae music or romance book cover modeling. Out of the nearly 2,000 exhibitors of, frankly, health food store junk food, one stood out: Vital Farms, purveyors of eggs from pasture raised hens. The overwhelming majority of eggs in this country are laid by chickens crammed into small cages or, arguably worse, crammed into big sh...

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Cheap and Natural Handsoap–and a rant

...y less for each full dispenser of soap, and you’ll have the comfort of knowing your soap is all-natural, safe and free of additives. *** Rant Warning: Speaking of which, I saw the most appalling thing in the grocery store today and I had to rant about it: The Lysol® Healthy Touch® No-Touch Hand Soap System. This is a twelve dollar, battery operated (4 AA) soap pump fitted with an electric eye, so it spits out soap when you pass your ha...

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Some Thoughts on Mead

...We tasted a lot of homebrew meads along with commercial meads.  Many of the homebrew meads were excellent. All of the commercial meads tasted like camping fuel. I was, frankly, surprised that anyone would go to the trouble of labeling, distributing and selling some of the awful store bought meads we tasted. I tried yet another horrible commercial mead at the natural foods convention I blogged about on Monday. In my opinion, the best homebrew mea...

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How to Make Soba Noodles

...activities best learned in person, yes, there is a series of youtube videos you could use to figure out how to make soba at home: And, I do urge you to give it a try. The noodles we made in class were may times better than store bought soba. And, once you get the basic moves down, soba is quick to make, healthy and tasty. If you live here in Los Angeles you can sign up for the Los Angeles Bread Makers Meetup group–we’re going to as...

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A Review of Williams-Sonoma’s Agrarian Line

...pscale retailer is selling chicken coops and canning supplies goes to show how much things have changed in the past ten years. I take this as a good sign. Perhaps some of those Weck jars will trickle down to my local hardware store. Maybe Rem Koolhass will design a chicken coop for Ikea (though I pity the poor chickens who will have to live in it). And, someday those uptight HOAs will be so thick in goats they’ll resemble a small Afghan vil...

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The Kingdom of Bolinas

...Bolinas is a series of picturesque organic farms, including Gospel Flat Farm which runs an honor stand along the road. When we visited they had some nice looking beets: And a quirky mobile facility: Bolinas also has a free store: With its own unique signage: And a multi-denominational alter thingy on the main drag: With yet more creative signage: The list of former residents reads like a who’s who of American art and poetry. It̵...

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Whistle Stop Book Tour of the Northwest

...ewcastle. But heck, we’re not complaining– we’re thrilled to be able to head north into your gorgeous lands. San Francisco Events: Friday, April 29, 7 PM: Speaking at Book Passage Corte Madera Book Passage Store–not the one at the end of Market, the one on the other end of the ferry line: 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925 Saturday, April 30, 12 PM: Meet us at 12 noon on the lookout point of Sutro Heights Par...

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Water Conservation

...water. 6.3% faucet Turn off the water until needed when brushing teeth or shaving. 5.5% leaks This is a no-brainer, but something everyone seems to forget. Fix leaks immediately! The knowledgeable folks at your local hardware store (not the idiots at Home Depot!) can tell you how. .6% dishwasher Run your energy efficient dishwasher only with full loads. And incidentally, a study conducted by the University of Bonn in Germany concluded that dishwa...

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