Archive for July, 2012

Lavender Festival, San Juan Island

A beautiful, bright, and sunny day on San Juan Island and there is a lot going on this weekend. Farmer’s market, art show, salmon sale, and lavender festival.  I rode to the lavender festival at Palindaba Farm with a few friends and this is what I saw.

It was just beautiful.  Rows and rows of different kinds of lavender for a few acres.  During a cooking demo (more on that later) the nice old man next too me said that they owner wanted to open a farm but wanted to grow something different to avoid competition with other farms.  I guess no one was growing lavender because there is a whole lot of lavender here!  So many different types.

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I bought some of their famous apple rhubarb lavender pie a la mode with lavender vanilla ice cream.

They even had crafts.  All sorts of things to make and buy, and the woman who made soap had leftover soap shavings you could make a soap ball with.  She was very nice.  I was really going to put a donation in the donation jar until I realized I had forgotten my wallet… >.<








It wasn’t very large or but some arts and crafts vendors, some food, music, massage, and some demos.  There was a cooking demo and the chef was preparing samples of all these dishes with lavender:  Lavender hazelnut biscotti, blueberry lavender cobbler, apricot glazed lavender duck, and roasted apricot with raspberry and goat cheese.

It was funny, cuz as the demo was going on a man with a beard sat in one of the plastic chairs in the back where one of the legs was broken and completely fell over backwards.  The nice old couple were telling me that he was the owner of the farm and if it happened to anyone, probably best if it was the boss.  haha

I would have stayed longer maybe, but my ride had to go.  I wasn’t able to check out the store but they also have a store in town down by Friday Harbor so I will try to check it out before I leave.Lavender Fields are Foreverrr!


I’m here in Washington and what is Washington known for??  SALMON!  durr

San Juan Island has that typical island feel, a bit slower, laid-back, and nicer.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t escape the island pitfalls…  Expensive everything… gas, goods, and of course, food.  There are two grocery stores in town, Friday Harbor Marketplace and King’s Market.  FH Marketplace is the one most people go to because it’s cheaper, although a little off the main street.  King’s is more expensive and has more of an upscale feel with eager young teens in polos waiting at the end of the checkout line to bag your goods.  However, my trip just happened to fall right on one King’s summer salmon sale!

Is that not one of the most beautiful things ever?!?  There were all sorts of salmon: Sockeye, King, smoked, jerky, filet, and whole fish with the head off.  I had initially thought that the sale was at the usual seafood section in the store, but my local guide (driver, and boss) enlightened me and took me out to the back parking lot where they had a whole salmon selling operation set up.  Giant tubs of ice displaying all of the above.  I got some sockeye that was recommended to me and it was $7.99 a pound.  The most striking thing about it is the color!  This ain’t no farmed salmon now.  It is practically glowing orange.  Apparently, sockeye is the most orange-y of the bunch.  I picked up that nice looking filet and a small piece of spicy salmon jerky at $16.99 per pound and made out like a bandit.  It was only around 4 but I literally felt like I had to eat my salmon as soon as I got home I was so excited (and actually hungry for some reason).

I cut it roughly in half.





Seasoned with salt and pepper and pan-fried that baby in butter.  Just to get the pure salmon besides the fact that I have no other ingredients.  Actually, I had to use someone else’s salt and pepper…


The final product.

Perhaps a bit crispy…  The pan may have been a bit too hot, but I almost finished that entire piece!  Add some corn and dinner done.


I might even go back and get some more muahaha.  I have one week left to stuff myself with as much salmon as possible.  It’s not even worth getting the stuff on the east coast.  Better to fill my salmon quota here in Washington at the source.  Not perfectly cooked, the center could have used a bit more heat, but delicious anyhow!




Washington STATE!

A symbol of Washington state: Rainier cherries.

Only, perhaps, my third time to the west coast, I have finally come to Washington state!  Hailing from the DC area, I feel the need to include the word ‘state’ after as people (aka me) could be thinking of Washington DC?  It is probably just my east-coast-centric mind.

Wikipedia tells me that Rainier cherries were developed at Washington State University so they literally are a product of the state.  (Other interesting facts include that about 1/3 of the harvest is eaten by birds, which may be a reason why they sell for as much as a dollar apiece in Japan!).  My real question is: Why are they called Rainier cherries?  Are they named after Mt. Rainier?  If Rainier is a person then who is he/she and why is everything named after him/her??  What’s in a name?  That’s really the only part of that Shakespeare quote I can remember… sorryz.  Lit was never my strong point.

Besides the name, I can’t really get over how freaking pretty these cherries are!  A golden peachy-red that is reminiscent of sunsets and ‘sex on the beach’ drink you just want to dive into.  I’ve seen them at the grocery store before, but never was able to convince myself to buy them because they were more expensive than the red ones.  HA!  No more since I’m in Washington!  The state that is…  I got almost 1/3 pounds of these beauties for about five bucks.  My intuitive powers predict that I’ll be eatin a lot of Rainier cherries while I’m here.