Normally this blog is personal and about what I'm cooking up or playing in the dirt. Please indulge me a little as I show off some of our newer and more interesting items for the holidays. I'm not giving up on the chatty entries, but I know a lot of you like knowing what we're up to. I've talked about it already but the hot ticket this season appears to be the Cassoulet Gift box. This sampler features two pounds of new-crop Cassoulet beans, grown in the USA from French Tarbais seed, and a copy of the new book, Cassoulet: A French Obsession by Kate Hill, published by Rancho Gordo Press. Rather than suffer French prices, which can run up to $30 a pound when out of season, we took seed from France and produced this bean with our distinct terroir here in California. Tarbais beans were developed by generations of farmers in Tarbes, France. The original seed is a New World runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) and most likely originated in Mexico. Out of respect for the French farmers and terroir, we're calling the bean Cassoulet Bean. We think in order to call it Tarbais, it should be grown in southwestern France. Just in time for our Cassoulet bean harvest, Cassoulet: A French Obsession is a wonderful book full of lore and recipes so that you can have the most delicious winter yet. A great holiday fantasy is to sit around a table with selected good friends, approved family members, good wine and a huge cassoulet, piping hot from the oven. With Kate’s book in hand, this fantasy is within reach. Order the Rancho Gordo Cassoulet Gift Box now.