Make the ‘Bean Scene’ in Encinitas this Saturday!

crowds at the lima bean festival in Encinitas, California

The bean scene was lively at the 2013 Lima Bean Festival held at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum in Encinitas, Calif.

Time once again to make the bean scene! I’m referring to the sixth annual Lima Bean Festival and cooking competition put on from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 27) by the San Dieguito Heritage Museum at 450 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, California. Folks, when other tasting events can run you upward of $35 a pop, this is a nicely priced alternative at $15 adults and $5 kids (for advance tickets) or $20 adults on event day. Buy them at www.sdheritage.org/limatickets.php.

And the cuisine on call isn’t just lima beans — other legumes are in play, in

everything from soups to stews to yes, desserts (one winning entry was chocolate lima cake!). I’m helping judge the cooking contest again this year, and I can attest that some of the goodies are truly imaginative and very tasty. Food will be served from 12:30-2:30 p.m. So come on out, check out the plant and flower silent auction, bring the kids for some petting-zoo fun, and enjoy a quality afternoon for a good cause. Visit www.sdheritage.org or call 760-632-9711.

And speaking of beans … we’ve just returned from a trip to the UK, about which more later. Part of the “full English breakfast” is baked beans, seen on many a hotel breakfast menu to accompany eggs, bacon, sausage and grilled tomato and mushrooms. The Brits also enjoy nutritious beans as a quick, inexpensive dinner option over baked potatoes.

While we were vacationing there, I read a newspaper story about funds being restored to a before-school nutrition program. “And so,” said one of the school volunteers proudly, “this morning we were able to provide every youngster with a breakfast of beans on toast.” Sounds odd to us, but this carb- and fiber-rich meal is as much a morning mainstay there as cereal and milk or toast and jam to us.

It’s a good idea to bring beans into your menu any time or place. Check out the “bean scene” in Encinitas on Saturday for some inspiration — who knows, maybe you’ll enter the cooking contest next year!

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