Friday, January 26, 2018

Orcas Island Nature Up-Close

From the sidewalk the dark green leaves of this shrub were all you saw. Only when I got right up to it, did I find these tiny white flowers. In January.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Orcas Island Food: Brown Bear Baking

The quickest and easiest way to describe Brown Bear Baking is that I loved it so much if we lived on the island I’d be fat and diabetic. Crazy happy, but unhealthy. It’s a small shop with very limited seating and it was jam packed both times we went in. And still, one of the owners, David, was trying to bring in a kiddie table from outside to give more people seats. He was so friendly and high-energy that you couldn’t help but smile back. Having said that, the noise level from little kids in all states of mind, would have made me batshit crazy. But he was like the calm in the storm. The exuberant calm. 

Happy Zen attitude aside, David was also pitching all the many delights the bakery had that day. Not that he had to pitch hard. Just one look was all I needed to know this place and I were going to be best friends. J was more embarrassed then anything mainly because I grabbed his arm and squealed, "Kouign Amann, Kouign Amman!! Just like in the Great British Baking Show. No one makes that!" OK, so I may watch too much food television.

As you can see there is no chance of picking just one item when you go in. Everything looks delicious and is delicious.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Orcas Island: Jay Blackinton

On the off chance you stopped by and saw my post about Ælder I could not leave the subject without a separate post about its chef and owner Jay Blackinton. If you looked at the photos of our meal and thought ‘interesting, but how twee’ then you missed the point of this man entirely and its why I’m back. First of all, I’m not even sure he’s 30 yet, but he has discovered his passion in life and in eating at his restaurant both J and I felt like we were having an experience that went far beyond well-seasoned ingredients. Jay embodies the credo of respect for the land, for your food and where it comes from. There is nothing twee about someone who works on a farm in the morning, growing and harvesting the food that he’ll then work to prepare for guests at night.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Orcas Island Food: Ælder

When you head out on vacation to an island—and not a tropical, island in an exotic locale, mind you, but something more down-to-earth where most people go to kayak, hike, and watch whales, you don’t expect fine dining. Which is why discovering Ælder was one of the best things to happen to J and I since we moved to Washington state four years ago. Our meal there was so good we went back the next night and J is still talking about the experience. 

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