Barn Dance @ Pie Ranch

Every third Saturday of the month, Pie Ranch hosts a work-day and barn dance at their Roadside Barn south of Pescadero, right on the very scenic Highway 1. Starting a 1 pm, you are welcome to help lend a hand in the fields and then at 5 pm to share a potluck meal.  You can also join a farm tour at 3 pm.  At 6pm, the real fun of dancing, spinning and dosey-doeing begins.

We have been trying to make it out to this barn dance for the past few years and finally managed to get our act together and head to Pie Ranch with a group of friends.  It was the prefect food (and dance) adventure.  The potluck was a lovely spread and our contribution of Brazilian rice and beans (recipe below) was well-received and disappeared in a hurry.  It got terribly (over)crowded on the dance floor after 8 pm, as throngs of students from Stanford and UCSF showed up.  (Note to self: better to attend barn dance when college is on break).  Until then we had a fantastic time following the instructions of the dance caller.  The children somehow had an easier time following the instructions than the grown-ups. 🙂

The songs were all unfamiliar, but catchy and great fun to dance to, especially a particularly catchy “Russian tune” called “Sasha”.  We need to head back or find other barn dances to go to – more dancing is required!

Important information from Pie Ranch Website:

  • Come check in at the Roadside Barn upon arrival to find out where the work day activities will be taking place.
  • Please leave dogs at home. (We love dogs too, honest, but it is really not a good event to have dogs present)
  • Be careful turning into Pie Ranch from Highway 1.
  • Park at the Roadside Barn or in the field directly behind the roadside barn.
  • Bring water bottles, clothing layers, sunscreen, closed toe shoes, and sunhats.
  • Bring work gloves, tools, and enthusiasm! (We have gloves and tools for you to use too).
  • Please bring your own dishes and utensils for the potluck. Every bit of clean up help is greatly appreciated!
  • To keep an inclusive, family atmosphere, the potluck and barn dance are alcohol-free events.
  • The dance is $10-20 (sliding scale) to compensate Pie Ranch, the County Line Pickers (featuring Jim Davies, bass; Joni Davies, guitar; Josh Lane, mandolin; Ken Clarkson, banjo; Jon Young & Nancy Vail, fiddles) and dance caller, Andy Wilson.

Here’s a short video of our fun adventure to Pie Ranch:

Brazilian Rice & Beans (adapted from Blue Kitchen)


Serves 2 – scale for potluck

1 cup dried Pinto beans (I used 1 can black beans)
1 cup uncooked rice
1 small onion diced
1 large clove garlic, chopped
chopped bacon, about 1/2 cup
1 small red chile pepper, seeded and chopped [optional]
olive oil
1 bay leaf [optional]
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
cumin powder, a pinch
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup water


  1. If using dried beans, soak overnight and then boil for 40-50 minutes depending on type of bean used.  We used canned black beans and that sped things up
  2. Cook half the chopped onion, garlic and bacon [and chile pepper, if you’re using it] in a little olive oil.
  3. Season it with salt, cracked black pepper, bay leaf and cumin powder
  4. Add tomato paste and fry for 1 minute
  5. Add the cooked beans/canned beans to the onion mixture and fry for a minute or 2.
  6. Pour in 1/2-3/4 cup of water and bring to a boil.  Then simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes till the beans thicken.

Dogs, Pies & Cookies

How much can you eat in one day?  Quite a bit apparently.  With Ria and my parents in tow, we drove to our favorite ‘hood these days – the Mission – for an eating expedition.  The conversation in the car with Ria was priceless and had us in splits.

Me to Ria: ” We are going to eat some hot dogs”  What are hot dogs made of?”

Ria: “Dogs.  Nanu (Grandpa), hot dogs aren’t really hot they are just called hot.”

Thanks for the information Ria.  I may have failed as a parent – so much for being a food “snob” with a foodie kid.  I may have to give up writing this food blog.

Fortunately for us, Rosamunde doesn’t use dog in their hot dogs and is a pretty fine establishment.  They also had the World Cup playing on big screen TVs (much to Ria’s delight). While we enjoyed our dogs, fries and potato salad, we talked about the World Cup and wondered if the guys around us were playing hooky from work.  Somehow, I think the point of the match (Japan v. Denmark) was lost on Ria because she was rooting for “Argentina & Duke”!!!!??????  At least, it was a pleasure watching her chow down on her chicken and cherry gourmet hot dog.

Mission Pie is around the corner and we are such a group of fatties we had to stop by for just one piece of luscious, moist walnut pie.  I have one rule – don’t share dessert with mom because she inhales it.  I broke the rule and lost the battle after one bite.  We have already made plans to go back for more soon – banana cream pie next time! 🙂  Mission Pie is a great place to take the little ones as they have yummy treats and a kids corner with alphabet magnets and kid-size tables and chairs.

Since we had promised Ria cookies, we could not pass on Anthony’s Cookies right down the block on Valencia.  Somehow more cookies than were needed were ordered, and consumed. Anthony’s might just be cookie heaven.  Plans once again were made to take some home next time to make ice-cream sandwiches with home-made condensed milk vanilla ice-cream.

Next stop: GYM.

A wonderful food adventure in the Mission and most of all a memorable day with family.  We’ll be back!  Hasta La Vista.