Saturday, June 26, 2010

Steve Sando and his Magic Beans. Rancho Gordo Visits Sonoma!

      It seems that I've been hearing about Steve Sando and Rancho Gordo Beans from everyone. Paula Wolfert spoke and gave a demo there. Italian chef Judy Witts Francini of Divina Cucina also was a guest. My friend, chef and cheesemaker Sheana Davis, carries Rancho Gordo Beans at her shop Epicurian Connection which is just down the road from me. Everyone has been raving about this Rancho Gordo place in Napa, but somehow or other I had never made it over to the "Other Valley" to check it out.
     This weekend Rancho Gordo came to Sonoma. It only took me three tries to get the date right. Sheana told me that Steve was coming so of course  I showed up last weekend. Sheana and I had a great time but there was no Steve since I'd gotten the date wrong. Somehow, I then got the idea that Tuesday was the big day. On Tuesday, I visited again. Again, coffee was drunk, cheese admired but no Steve. Sheana then informed me that even though she loved seeing me, Steve was actually coming to her store on Saturday the 26th.
   So I came over there bright and early and boy howdy, there he was!
 Steve explained what led him to the world of heirloom beans (it was tomatoes) how he finds the beans he grows, who grows them and just how much fun the world of beans can be. He explained the various sorts of beans that he carries, including a variety favored by Thomas Keller of the French Laundry.

There were samples of beany delights.
 And I couldn't resist buying a bag myself as Meatless Monday is right around the corner.
Sheana also had other guests this morning. Lunita Farm was in the house.

   I hadn't heard of them before. Then I discovered why. Lunita Farm just started this spring. They're  a small, sustainable local farm down on the outskirts of town near Schellville, and they mainly distribute their produce through  CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
  One of the Farmers gave me a grand tour of all the goodies.

And of course I had to buy some kale to go with the beans.

 So that was my morning. Since then, I've been experimenting with a cabbage dish which will appear soon, and I'm going over the top with a dessert tonight. I have one more step to go since the company arrives at seven. I'd better hit the kitchen!


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