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augustiner | Jun 14, 200801:56 PM     23

i'm teaching myself how to cook beans, starting with a simple diana kennedy method for mexican pot beans in their own broth. made a batch last night with rancho gordo's ojo de cabra, or goat's eye beans. they turned out fairly well, no thanks to me. the beans are just high quality.

today i stood by their stand at the ferry building farmer's market and felt kind of overwhelmed by the rather large selection of beans. i grabbed a pound of rio zape, which, according to the label, is "a rich, dense pinto-like bean with hints of chocolate and coffee." hrmph. really? being where i was, i wanted to carry my bag up to the blue bottle stand and demand that they match my beans with one of their roasts. i mean i had already almost stomped on a small child that tried to steal the last sample of a pluot from me (on accident, of course, me almost stomping a child, not her rushing in my path trying to outright steal MY pluot! parents these days!) so i was no longer in the mood for saturday tourists, and no patience left to ask detailed questions of the rancho gordo folks.

so...i'm asking you guys what your favorite rancho gordo bean varieties are, and what general uses they are best suited for. not asking for recipes. wrong board for that. and this is probably the wrong place to wonder why i can let slow-cooking roasts and such just be for the hours they need, but with beans i have to hide my salt bowl from myself, and every fifteen minutes i poke at them with my wooden spoon going, "why, why aren't you ready, you little bastards?!"

oh, and today they had their fresh tortillas. any thoughts? i usually just walk down to la palma on 24th for tortillas and the like.

i did once grab a bag of dried chiles de arbol from their stand, and they were so fragrant! i just stood there, smelling the bag for a few minutes. mmm.

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