This post is to commemorate the incredible, long-standing generosity of our friend Lan Kauffman. For those of you who have worked at the Mill Valley Farmer’s Market, you are surely very familiar, but for those of you who have not, you may only be aware of her as a mythological being.
Lan grew up in Vietnam, but has lived here in the bay area for many years, raising a family and working as a social worker among other things. Every Friday, for the past five years or so, Lan has shown up in the morning to take home some produce, returning a few hours later with some really remarkable dishes including anything from BLTs to Vietnamese meatballs (what Obama ate in Hanoi she tells us). Often times she comes back an hour later with dessert for us, often French style tarts (filled with figs, apples, pears, or mulberries) that she has perfected the art of making. If she doesn’t have time to do so, she has at times apologized only to return with a pint of ice cream. And sometimes she brings a pint of ice cream and a tart. Often she likes to bring us her own produce from her garden, most recently mulberries and home grown tomatoes! If that isn’t enough, when Ginnette, a fellow vender who makes us amazing breakfast sandwiches every week, is away for a market, Lan will take it upon herself to also make us breakfast too! This week she made us an incredible frittata loaded with Green Gulch chard. Sometimes she will hang around, helping customers and cracking jokes for hours on end.
I am continually awe-struck by Lan and really don’t know how to express my gratitude fully for her generous way of being in the world. She is always taking such great care of us! She is a legend here at Green Gulch and I thought I would confirm for you all that she is real.
Lan and her Mulberry Fig Tart with Nick, Tanja, and Max, July 2016