The Sweetie and I landed at Oakland airport last Thursday night and drove up to Napa in the dark, so when we awoke the next morning to see fields of wildflowers and California poppies in bloom on the meadows surrounding our hill-top rental house, I felt like I’d been reborn into a floral Paradise.
That night, I did a pressure cooker demo at my friend Steve Sando’s beautiful new Rancho Gordo shop, where he sells (and mail-orders) remarkable heirloom beans in a hip neighborhood of downtown Napa. We were celebrating the 20th anniversary publication of COOKING UNDER PRESSURE and had an enthusiastic crowd. I cooked the farro risotto with scarlet runner beans that I contributed to Steve’s book, appropriately named HEIRLOOM BEANS.
The next morning, I did a pressure cooker demo hosted by CUESA at the fabulous Ferry Plaza Market in San Francisco. CUESA’S mandate is to teach healthy cooking using local, sustainable produce–a goal I enthusastically endorse. The produce looked gorgeous! Among the many high-quality fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and breads I spotted at the market, I saw these unusual kale flowers. The sign advised to cook them in a little olive oil with garlic. Sounds good to me.
After a book signing and discussion at the charming cookbook store, Omnivore Books, we headed back to Napa to officially begin our vacation. Please stay tuned for more postcards from Napa.