A happy place for bean people

A selection of the contents of my first Rancho Gordo Bean Club box.

Well, hello there. Long time no see! I remembered that I had a food blog and thought it might actually be fun to come back and start writing here again. Partly this is because I finally caved and joined the Rancho Gordo Bean Club, and am now in the throes of experimentation with a vast quantity of fabulous heirloom beans. I’ve had a few hits and a few misses already, and I really should be writing this stuff down.

A photo from Rancho Gordo’s farmer’s market stall in San Francisco, in 2010.

For those unfamiliar with Rancho Gordo, it’s a Napa-based company that specializes in fresh heirloom dried beans, plus a few other items like spelt, hominy, Mexican chocolate, Mexican oregano, and fancy vinegars. I heard of them through the blogosphere many years ago, and had been taking advantage of our trips through California to stop at their stall at the Ferry Building in San Francisco to stock up on beans (once I filled a suitcase with them.) Then they closed their SF shop and I was bereft, until I heard about the Bean Club where every three months you get a box of 1-pound bags of beans, different ones every time. Perfect! Of course, that coincided with a New Yorker article on Steve Sando, the owner of RG, which of course meant that the club, which had just been reopened to new members, filled up instantly, but I got on the wait list and am now a proud member. Which means that after two quarterly shipments I now have far more beans than we normally eat. Whoops.

So far I have made a salad of tiny black lentils with lemon juice, yogurt and tons of herbs, several pots of white chili and one of red, a very boring version of Smitten Kitchen’s pizza beans (not Deb’s fault, I was lazy and simplified the recipe too much), a really tasty white bean and farro salad, and the best pork chili verde I’ve ever eaten. Definitely time to start taking notes. And if you have a favorite bean recipe that you think I should try, lay it on me!


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