Friday, September 9, 2011

The Nights the Lights Went Out in Baja

Another day of over 100 degree temperatures sent guests at Rancho La Puerta to the pools, or the indoor gyms.  I spent the day at the pool, reading, and playing with my camera.  Just before leaving at 4 p.m. on the shuttle bus to La Cocina Que Canta, the power in our casita went out.  Unaware that the entire Southwestern region had lost power, the students and I trundled over the wash board road to the cooking school.  The driver had said he thought that the school had power, but in my mind, I was already juggling the menu around in my head to figure out how we would cook the fish, and roast the vegetables. 

When we arrived at the school, there wasn't any power, and no gas for the ovens and stoves......but, no problem!  There is always a way to get food on the table, and we used the wood fired grill for the cooking portions, and the rest was done as "raw" food.....with such amazing produce from the garden, it's simple to prepare the recipes without cooking.  Here are a few snaps of our time in the gardens with Salvador and the our meal which was superb....a bunch of great cooks got on the bus to ride back to the ranch after power was restored.

  Salvador in his element; this man has a love affair with this garden, and it's no wonder the produce is so amazing. 

 Dinner served; fish packets with heirloom tomato salsa
 Originally a corn and zucchini saute with basil, we turned this one into a salad with a bit of white wine vinegar
 Freckles lettuce in the garden
 White gazpacho with avocado corn relish
 Freckles, magenta, and baby lettuces, orange balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh figs
Harvesting onions

Harvesting corn
As I leave this place I am more inspired than ever to search out local farmers' markets, organic, sustainable produce and to cook with a love for the ingredients.  If you have not been to Rancho La Puerta I'd rate it as a bucket list item---even if you just come and enjoy the grounds, and the relaxation. 
Until next week, I wish you buenos tardes from Rancho La Puerta.

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