It's that time of year again! The kids are getting ready to head back to school, why not take a few courses yourself?  

I've just added a whole bunch of classes. In addition to  the usual ones-- like handmade soap, soy candles, sauerkraut, pickling and  kombucha-- I've added  2  brand new courses  that you've been asking for:
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First, there's  Sprouted Grain Bread.  Experienced whole meal  bread bakers who  want to go to the next level will love  this class. If you haven't yet taken my 100%  Whole Wheat Bread class, I highly recommend taking that one as an introduction before trying your hand at sprouted grains. I am teaching that intro class two times  before the  sprouted grain class happens on Sunday, Sept 18th.

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Second, there's my new Vegan Yogurt Making class. I've been experimenting with a few recipes to develop a yummy dairy-free yogurt. We'll try a couple in class, and we'll even make some home made muesli using fresh oats you'll roll in class.

Click  here   for course descriptions, dates, times  and registration.


Click  here  to see the classes in a calendar format. 

See you in class!
 
 
Kids wanna garden, cook, and make stuff, too!  That's why we're bringing a slew of new workshops just for them.
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The holiday season is madness... but instead of adding to your load, we can help!  The youngsters need gifts for teachers, and friends. Drop them at The Roost  to make clever, creative presents from upcycled materials while you take care of all the other stuff on your list. When you come back for pick-up, your young ones will be happy and inspired, plus we'll knock out some charming homemade gifts with them in the meantime.

Kids Holiday Gifts and Crafts:
 Saturday, December 12th: 2-4pm
Wednesday, December 16th: 4-6pm

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And then, beginning in January, we offer an ongoing slate of  kids workshops in gardening, cooking, and DIY projects. Soapmaking! Succulent gardening! Button art! Wholegrain baking!

We've scheduled at least one class per week after school, rotating which day every week (Tuesday through Friday) so that even if your child has soccer or ballet or karate at the same time each week, there are sure to be some workshops he or she can attend.

Check out our calendar  here  to see the  offerings for December and beyond. Registration is available in the  online store   or by visiting in our retail shop. 

Please help us spread the word, so we can  build a robust community of creative and engaged children making, growing and cooking stuff.
 
 

Countless workshops,  classes, and more!

We're finally installed in our new roost on Sunset Blvd, near Sunset Junction  in the heart of Silver Lake. It's a terrific spot-- a  warm and welcoming  environment with a teaching kitchen and creative workshop space.  Please come visit! We stock homesteading supplies  and the inspiration for D.I.Y. adventures of all sorts; plus we're thrilled to announce a mouth-watering schedule of new classes and workshops.
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Ever get the urge to make your own candles, soap, lip balm, body butter, or bath bombs ? How about ferment your own root beer, cider, ginger ale, kombucha, yogurt, vinegar, kefir, or home-brewed beer? Grow your own sprouts or mushrooms or sourdough starter? Pickle stuff? Make cheese? Tofu? Truffles? Keep bees, aquaponic gardens, or chickens in your yard? Mill, bake, and cook with whole grains? Design with succulent plants?  Concoct fancy cocktails? Upcycle old junk in creative ways?

We're now offering classes in all these luscious subjects... and more!  
Classes for adults meet on weekends and sometimes evenings during the week. 
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Our kids' workshop calendar has greatly expanded, as well!  We now provide after-school classes every week on a rotating schedule to make time for each kid's  busy schedule. Young folks can learn to cook (including lots of no-bake recipes), garden, and  recycle things to make cool new stuff and  creative gifts. Most classes are for children aged 6 and up, and parents are encouraged to drop off their kids, although sticking around to watch is always fine, too.

Visit our shop to pick up a calendar, or check out the listings  here.  We're always adding more, so check back regularly to see what's new.

We encourage pre-registration, as some classes fill up fast. Pop into the Roost to register. Tickets to all events and full course descriptions are also available in our online store  right here.

Don't forget! The gift of DIY makes a terrific present! We offer gift certificates for single workshops, series of classes, any item in our store, or  cash-value in any amount.

Thanks for your continued support, and see you soon at The Roost!
 
 
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WHAT: Swap food and make friends!
WHEN: Saturday, May 16, 11AM
WHERE: King's Roost Patio
HOW MUCH: $10 per  person; kids accompanied by grownups are free


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We're thrilled to announce the Eastside Food Swap, hosted by The Kings Roost with special guest, The True Spoon.

The Eastside food swap is a community event celebrating homemade, homegrown, and  foraged foods. This event aims to bring cooks, bakers, gardeners, and foragers together to  swap their edible creations, share stories, and develop new friendships. 

This event is open to anyone who pre-registers through The King's Roost (in store or  online) The only other requirement is that you bring something you made, grew, or  foraged yourself.  If you're bringing kids, please plan to supervise them. There is a $10 fee  to participate.

Most importantly you’ll be bringing food to swap. All swap items must be homemade,  homegrown, or foraged by you. Think preserves, baked goods, fruits, vegetables, herbs,  spices, condiments, marinades, and beverages. You can bring a bunch of one thing or  multiples of a few different things; 10-20 swap items are suggested (bring as many as you  may want to trade for and bring home). Keep in mind that swappers will be examining  and picking up your goods, so be sure to package them in a way that protects the food  and makes it clear the amounts you want to swap. When applicable, it is recommended  that you include food allergy information. If your food swap item is delicious, let it be  known by providing samples to the other swappers. Since swappers will be trading at will, attractive presentation and cute packaging is a great idea to make your products visually appealing.

All swap participants adhere to an honor code;  they agree to using the highest  cleanliness standards in their own kitchens and gardens to prepare their swap items. 

Swap participants also must agree to the following terms before registering  for the Eastside  Swap. By participating in these events, you are acknowledging that the food items being  traded are not necessarily prepared in commercial kitchens or spaces inspected by any  Government agency. By participating in these events, you are  also acknowledging that you will use the highest standards of safety and cleanliness in  food preparation.  

By participating in these events, you assume all liability; specifically, you agree to not hold liable food swap hosts, swap venue owners/providers or other swap participants.

If you have any questions, contact Celeste@thetruespoon.com!



 
 
This week I'm excited to bring you one of my favorite DIY projects-- SPROUTS. It's so easy and inexpensive to sprout grains, seeds, legumes, it doesn't take up much space, and the return on your effort is HUGE. Sprouts are densely packed with vitamins, minerals, trace elements, micro-nutrients, and all kinds of healthy stuff. They're versatile and delicious on salads and sandwiches,  as garnishes or snacks.

You can use all sorts of containers to grow your sprouts-- jars, tubs, trays. I have lots of options in the shop if you want to get started. In this week's video, I show you how to use a simple stacking garden system, with draining trays and covers that double as soaking bins. It's efficient and effective and will require a space on your kitchen counter no bigger than a dinner plate.

Growing your own sprouts, wheat grass, and micro-greens is anywhere from 20-100 times less expensive than buying them in the store... not to mention, the ones you grow will be even fresher. Have a peek!
 
 
When you  get right down to it, what the heck *IS* yogurt in the first place? Yogurt is milk that has been cultured with one or more strains  of lactobacillus-- bacteria that eat sugar, turning it into lactic acid. That's where yogurt gets its tangy flavor. 

Why would we want our milk full of bacteria? Good question. 

Like a bunch of other fermented foods, yogurt contains beneficial  probiotics. These tiny organisms live naturally in our gut, helping to break down our food and making nutrients bioavailable. They also crowd out the harmful bacteria, helping to maintain a healthy digestive track. Lacto-fermentation is a natural food preserver, and it's responsible for many of the delicious and nutritious foods  we love, like  cheese, pickles, beer, sauerkraut,  kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and even sourdough bread.

Making yogurt at home is fast and easy, and you end up with a pure product that contains none of the added sugar, corn syrup, flavors, colors, thickening agents,  preservatives and chemicals that are often found in store-bought yogurt. All you need is milk and a starter culture-- which is about a half cup of your favorite yogurt to kick things off.

Warm your milk, add your cultures, and let nature do the rest. A yogurt fermenter makes your job even easier, maintaining a steady 95 -100 degrees F while your yogurt incubates. But even that is optional as long as you have a warm spot to let your yogurt get going. Watch this week's video to see just how easy it is to have homemade yogurt!


 
 
Here in Los Angeles, we’re in a severe 5-year drought.  Watering your in-ground garden uses a lot of water, and might not be the most efficient use of this precious resource. When you have your own garden, it’s easy to waste water. Overwatering doesn't just use more than you need, it also washes away valuable nutrients in the soil. But under-watering can be just as bad! Have you ever had a great crop of veggies going strong, then lose it all because you got busy, you had a momentary lapse into forgetfulness, or an irrigation line broke?  For people on the go, growing food can be a lot of work and a drain on water.

Well, there’s a better way: aquaponics. If you’ve ever wanted to grow your own organic veggies but simple don’t have the space, water, time, or decent soil to work with, consider an aquaponics system.  It's like hydroponics... plus fish to fertilize the water and feed your plants... which in turn clean the water for the fish. A very cool symbiotic system.

In this week’s DIY video, Roe introduces you to the King’s Roost aquaponics system. It’s a soil-free, environmentally-friendly, self-watering,  low maintenance, water-sipping, super efficient, high-yield organic gardening system that not only gives you fresh chemical-free vegetables, but whose “by-product” is fresh, organic protein in the form of sustainably raised Tilapia! No more frozen tilapia that’s been shipped thousands of miles from an industrial farm in China where they have been fed who-knows-what.

The video below covers all the basics of aquaponics. Stop by the store to learn more or to pick up your aquaponic supplies. We'll help you get started and and answer all your questions.

 
 
If you're into baking and haven't yet discovered the pure joy of cultivating your own yeast, you are in for a treat.

The commercial yeast you've been buying in stores is manufactured, processed, refined and dried out.  You spend money on the stuff, when countless strains of feral yeast abound right in your own kitchen! All you need to do is lure those little organisms into a jar, keep them happy, and feed them. They'll reward you by creating tastier, healthier, vibrantly natural and flavorful  baked goods... AND they'll save you a bit of  dough (HA!) in the meantime. 

You may even find that the loved ones in your life who suffer from wheat belly, gluten sensitivities and other  grain-related maladies are better able to tolerate baked goods that are made with wild yeast instead of the commercial variety.

All you need to begin is a jar, some water, and a bit of flour. Watch the video below to learn how it all works... and pick up  a secret shortcut with pineapple juice!

Catching and keeping yeast is an art form that becomes pretty addictive over time. Crazy as it may sound, you'll become attached to your little yeast colony, learning its idiosyncrasies and individual moods as you play with flavor, texture, rise time, and moisture levels.  Let us know how your personal yeasty adventure is going... or stop into  the Roost to get a jump start with some of our own starter anytime.

 
 
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We've gotten really into making homemade soda at our house lately. Let's be honest-- sometimes, the stuff we get excited about here at the Roost (growing fava beans! making tofu!  composting chicken crap!) doesn't really turn our kids on. But making soda? THEY'RE DOWN WITH THAT. There are so many delicious  varieties-- your salivary glands will explode just imagining them. Honeydew mint? Vanilla pear? Pomegranate basil? Balsamic date? Homemade tonic water? Sour cherry cola? Cocoa chile tingler? Sparkling apricot nectar? Raspberry white tea spritzer? Lavender grape migraine buster? TOO MANY TO NAME. And if you're at all like Trish and me, the exotic cocktail possibilities just increase the excitement geometrically. Check out this great book at our store-- it's all inside.

And your kids can get onboard, not just because all kids like soda and because the flavors and combinations are endlessly exciting and intoxicating, but because these recipes are fast and simple.  So they can create them with you and enjoy the process of making something from scratch. You can play with different types of natural sweeteners and the quantities you use. These drinks are healthier, lower in sugar, completely free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. You don't even need a soda machine, CO2 cartridge, or seltzer water to make them.

We'll start things out nice and easy with this homemade ginger ale recipe. Very basic and straightforward.. Making ginger ale yourself is so fast and such a no-brainer, you may never buy ginger ale again. But just wait. In the weeks to come, we have countless soda secrets to share. So cut your teeth on this one. And if you go down the soda rabbit hole like we have, let us know your favorite flavors and best discoveries. We'll trade secrets.

Bottoms up!
 
 
In celebration of National Granola Bar Day this coming Wednesday, we're making quick and easy granola bars from scratch. They contain only six ingredients and don't even require baking.

Here's what you'll need:

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups raw almonds
2 cups pitted dates
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup honey 
OPTIONAL: 1 cup chocolate chips

You can toast the oats if you feel like it, but that's optional. And beyond that, no oven is necessary, making this an especially great recipe for kids to whip up. Feel free to try all kinds of substitutions-- maple syrup or agave can replace the honey.... walnuts, pecans, macadamia, cashews, or other nuts can take the place of the almonds.... butterscotch, carob, white chocolate, or yogurt chips can be used instead of chocolate-- or leave them out altogether. You can add sunflower seeds, chia, flax, coconut, dried cherries, blueberries, or cranberries. Get creative and let us know what recipes work best for you.
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Watch the video, and in under three and a half minutes, you'll have the full scoop. Wanna taste? Come to The King's Roost from 5-7pm on Wednesday, January 21, for National Granola Bar Day. We'll be serving up champagne and several different flavors of our own homemade granola bars. Better yet, if you bring samples of your own granola bar recipe for others to try, we'll give you a free pound of fresh-rolled whole oats for your next batch!

HAPPY GRANOLA BAR DAY TO ALL!

 

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