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The Rancho Gordo Blog

Vacacita beans

In the garden

I bought about a pound of beans called Vacacita in Mexico City this spring. I planted them very late here in Napa (July 1) but they came up by the 8th. The plants are as healthy as can be and there are some white blossoms but so far no beans. I don't think they're going to produce. I have some back up seed for next year when hopefully I can start earlier. The few flowers will be eaten so it's not a total wash.

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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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Chilaquiles with poached eggs

* chiles In the kitchen

Sunday mornings I normally feel pretty out of it after doing the farmers market in San Francisco on Saturdays. A fellow vendor described it as "market hangover" and I know exactly what she means. Once I spent the whole day in bed watching bad TV and the longer I did the less I could move. And the worse I felt. Good food is a motivator to get out of bed. This morning I made chilaquiles. Early this week my friend Grant was over to film some cooking demos for the website so I had some extra chile sauce made from...

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Dinner Party inspired by Frida and Diego.

In the kitchen

I used to be a fairly good host but life took over and I tend to take the easy way out these days. One pot, not too much time, not too much trouble. Maybe you will join me in questioning my sanity. What's the point of working so hard if not to also enjoy breaking bread (or fresh corn tortillas) with dear friends, new friends and loved ones? Am I working six days a week in order to "enjoy" a Trader Joe's frozen pizza and declare it "not bad, considering"? I want to see the people I like across my...

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