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The Rancho Gordo Blog — Mexico

Happy Harvest: Frijolon Gris

gardening heirloom beans In the garden Ingredient Spotlight Mexico Misc oaxaca On the Road

Happy Harvest: Frijolon Gris

It has been a long time since I played in the garden. I have not been a good steward of my land and as we got busier and busier over the holiday season, I left my precious Oaxacan runner beans to fend for themselves. We experienced a very wet season, followed by several nights with freezing temperatures and the mornings have been foggy. You would have thought my forgotten bean crop would be a goner, but you'd be wrong. Mid-February and this is my harvest. I looked and I saw a few funky pods. When I opened them, the beans...

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Jesús Helguera, Our Calendar Artist

cromo mexicano Holiday at Rancho Gordo jesus helguera mexican art mexican calendar art Mexico Misc rancho gordo

Jesús Helguera, Our Calendar Artist

One of the first things I did when I started Rancho Gordo was to offer free calendars every year featuring almost exclusively the art of Jesús Helguera. I love the idealized, often policially incorrect, images of post-revolutionary Mexico. There are some real problems but there's a clear sense of Helguera's patriotism, and loads of campy good fun. I asked Karla from our customer service department to do some research on Helguera so we all could know a little more about him. She used an uncredited book I have, Jesus Helguera (1989, Galas de Mexico) for much of the information. -...

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Guisado de Lupe: A Delicious Tomato Surprise That Will Make You Flip

canela Clay pot cooking guisado hidlago In the kitchen Mexico On the Road Travel in Mexico true cinnamon Vegetarian

In Hidalgo, a meal with my pal Lupe is essential. She is a great cook. I would almost describe her cooking as colonial. She prefers good olive oil to manteca (lard) and while she's fiercely patriotic and loves all aspects of her Mexican culture, there's a European sensibility to a lot of her dishes. When we were filming the article that featured the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project for Sunset Magazine last year, Lupe made this dish and it's forever haunted me. She told me it was from Michoacan and called Minquiche. I've done some research and there are similar elements but...

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Dealing with prickly pears

* In the garden In the kitchen Mexico nopal tuna

My cactus has gone nuts this year and I have dozens and dozens of prickly pears and a constant stream of paddles. I'm thinking of selling the pears at market but how do you clean them? After a little web research, it seems that a culinary torch works best. I had pretty good luck with a burner from my range. One of the sites suggested water afterwards and the stinging in my hands makes me think this is right. But whatever the pain, it's worth it. You can eat the tuna, seeds and all, and it's a great snack. You...

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