The Museum of the American Cocktail

We get a lot of press releases here at Root Simple. I cast most into Gmail’s purgatorial nether regions but when one came in from the Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) I knew that I had to investigate further.

MOTAC operates out of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in New Orleans. Luckily for us Angelinos, MOTAC sponsors weekly events in our fair city and is rumored to be opening a San Pedro venue next year.

I’ve attended two free events in downtown LA, one a tasting of the spirits made by a Central Coast distillery, Calwise Spirits, and another tasting of the many offerings of the venerable French distillery Combier which still uses a facility designed by Pierre Eiffel. Note to self: remember to spit out the spirits when you do a tasting of 20 bottles or the next day won’t be all that productive.

If you’re interested in MOTAC’s Los Angeles events you can sign up at the bottom of their page here. As a generalist (to a fault) I have really enjoyed meeting MOTAC’s expert cocktail enthusiasts.

The Rye Revolution

At last the rye revolution has arrived! We have nothing to lose but our fake supermarket rye loaves. I’m happy to say that the Los Angeles Bread Bakers is hosting a class with the rye expert, Stanley Ginsberg tomorrow, Saturday the 7th of October. There’s still space in the class if you’re interested. Head here to sign up. If you live elsewhere or can’t make it, Ginsberg has penned what I believe to be the definitive book on rye baking, The Rye Baker: Classic Breads from Europe and America. In the book Ginsberg covers every imaginable rye recipe from around the world, from loaves to crackers to scones.

Since it’s hard to find good rye loaf even in a big city, learning to bake your own rye really pays off. The unique chemistry of rye, especially when leavened with a sourdough starter, also means that a rye loaf stays fresh longer. Due to all that’s happened in the past year I’ve had to put baking on hold. When I get back into it I’m going to focus exclusively on rye.

Being the Change: Peter Kalmus Book Appearances

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Peter Kalmus, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and our guest on episode 39 of the podcast, has a new book out, Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution. In the book Peter shows you how to slash your fossil fuel use to 1/10 the average and still live like royalty. If you’d like to hear Peter speak you have two chances:

Wednesday Aug 9, 7:00pm: Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena
Friday Aug 11, 7:30pm: The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles

Hope to meet some Root Simple readers at Peter’s talks!

Erik to Speak at South Pasadena Beautiful on June 3rd

IMG_0170I’ll be delivering a talk/rant at the on Saturday June 3rd in the South Pasadena Library Community room at 4:00 pm (refreshments at 3:30). In addition to the usual subjects of chickens,¬†bees,¬†vegetables and the home arts I’ll touch on some hot button issues I find equally important:

  • Tree care in a drought
  • Creating walkable/bikeable communities
  • Gardening with native plants
  • Throwing neighborhood parties
  • Why hay hooks are the new hipster fashion accessory (just kidding)

It’s freeeeeeee! The South Pasadena Library is located at: 1115 El Centro St. Hope to see some Root Simpleistas on the 3rd. More information here.

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