It's no secret that I love beans. I grew up on pintos, mostly, but a bean of some kind was usually around in various soups and sides. For his birthday two years ago, I gave my little brother a brown t-shirt that says "Powered by Frijoles", and I have to say, I should have gotten myself one too, since I'm jealous when I see him in it.
GOP ordered the same gift box that I ordered, and got hers just slightly before mine. I'm guessing a friendly competition will ensue to see what we come up with. She is lovingly saving some beans for planting in the spring...but since I'm somewhat disheartened by the lack of sunlight (and thus growth) on my backyard plot, I don't know if I will be that virtuous.
Since I've been fortunately employed in the home for the past several years, I love experimenting with different methods of doing familiar things, and already the Heirloom Beans book has given me some good new things to try.
I think there are a lot of interesting places in the world, culinarily speaking, and if I were able to travel more, I think I would still have this opinion: We in the Americas have some pretty diverse and amazing foods! My Gram took that idea a bit farther when I remember her often saying "There's a little bit of all the world in Wisconsin." Maybe that is a little more true for the gardeners like her (that could even occasionally cultivate melons up in the high zone 4 region), since the heart of most places is directly related to the foods consumed there.
While I may feel a slight pang of guilt from the ordering the local foods of California instead of Wisconsin, I am still overwhelmingly happy to support Rancho Gordo on the quest to propagate more people into the bean eating population. And not to over look the completely amazing packaging!
Those Christmas Lima's in the upper left are my first project, I'm planning them for dinner tomorrow with pork and savoy cabbage, an amazing looking recipe from the book. Sometimes, I think an obsession with an otherwise overlookable thing is just what I need. The Rancho Gordo descriptions of beans online do not fully compare with the natural pattern and beauty of the real thing. A true miracle to find the flat, purple and cream beans actually in my hand.
My next order of business will be to order a clay pot cooking vessel. For some reason, it is infinitely easier to depart with my money for this kind of thing, than for say, clothes or plastic trash bags. I have the same t-shirts and jeans for the past 5 years, and while that sometimes is frustrating, I just have to buy BEANS! and now CLAY POTS! Please check out the Rancho Gordo blog for some great links to clay pots from a couple of recent posts - I'll probably end up ordering from one of his recommends. For now, I'll have to be satisfied with my my LeCrueset 5 1/2 quart round oven... which I do love, and use almost daily. I'm sure an obsessive and pictorial tale will follow my first dining experience with Rancho Gordo, so stay tuned. I know I'm not going to be disappointed.