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2012: It's Been a Very Good Year


We've been getting slammed with orders at Rancho Gordo so the blog has taken a back seat to fulfillment issues. Today is our last day for ground shipping and you can just hear the air being let out of the tire, so to speak. Relax.....just a bit.

I had a great year and hope you did, as well. Photos help knock the memory around and these are some of the highlights of our professional (and my personal) year here at Rancho Gordo.


After a brief lapse, thanks to some nasty raccoons, I have chickens and eggs again. I've gone from 18 to six to none and now five, which seems like a manageable number.


I've always loved risotto but this year I think mastered the grain, using a clay pot, of course. Shrimp risotto with Oregano Indio is a winner.


In 2012, I took a second trip to Veracruz and I can firmly say it's my favorite place in Mexico, until I go somewhere else new. But really, you have the beaches, the food (which is really different) and salsa music.


I think Veracruz wins.


This was also the year I became obsessed with chipotles en vinagre. Smokey chiles in a sweet pickle, using our piloncillo and even our vinegar. What a winner.


Having made this condiment a few times, I think our piloncillo is essential but the other flavors may outweigh the banana in our vinegar so maybe it's better save it for a ceviche or salad.


2012 is also the year it seems my children grew up overnight. I miss their cuddly kind of love but the conversations are so much more interesting as they face adulthood. I'm really tickled.


Another year, another trip to Texas and I just love the place more than ever. As a bleeding heart San Francisco Bay Area liberal, I'm supposed to hate the place but it's impossible. I'm addicted.


4th of July was spent in Calistoga, the nearby town that gave us our start. We marched in the parade and introduced Miss Heirloom Bean 2012.


You win some, you lose some. Susan Sanchez, our general manager, returned to her native Kansas City with her husband Miguel. It was a hard loss as Susan's personality was a key part of Rancho Gordo. Under her watch, we really grew and flourished and we miss her tons, despite our abandonment issues.

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I was so proud to have been asked to speak to Mexicans about beans! The MesaAmerica conference in Mexico City was like a weeklong lovefest. I was surprised to realize I've come to know most of the players in the Mexico City food scene. I felt like a star and it was hard to come back down to reality.


I would declare 2012 the Year of the Ingredient. Who would have thought xoconostle would be available in our markets? What's missing? Not much. I even saw the vegetable huazontle here in Napa recently.


Speaking of ingredients, there's nothing I'm more excited about than our stoneground chocolate. It's making waves!


Finally, I'm most proud that you can buy Rancho Gordo things in Mexico. I'm sensitive to the fact that I can be like a bull in a china shop and I need to tread lightly in Mexico but on the whole they've been welcoming and happy to help spread my word about indigenous products and Mexico's role in feeding the world.

Now, let's kick some butt in 2013!

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