the ability to dictate your own menu, linger over a glass of wine without the worry of taking too long, and connect over a meal you prepared with someone you love.
In the beginning of our marriage Marc and I would go out to eat often and of course with age comes wisdom (you hope) ... because now ... we love slow and thoughtful dinners in.
While on our Orcas Island we spent most of our evenings in. Sitting on our deck with local beer, playing cards, and watching bald eagles nest in the trees that surrounded our vacation rental. I knew the Orcas had an abundance of small farms so we made it our sole intention to support the local farmer while there. On our last day we wanted to make a dinner sourced entirely from the island so we set out for a drive that would include lots of stops so we could collect our island bounty. Our first stop was at Black Dog Farms where we picked up veggies, greens, and a bag of snap peas that had no chance of making it home.
After Black Dog we stopped at a farm stand and picked up flowers, then popped into the island's local brewery for a growler of beer that we used to wash down our Buck Bay oysters and steam our clams. We asked for tips from the farmers and they happily shared their favorite recipes with us. Is there anything better than talking about good food?
It would have been easy for us to shop at the supermarket but we wanted to support the Orcas farmers. We cherished the conversations we had at each farm learning bits and pieces about the island, about what we were eating, and the island itself.
Our dinner was fresh, local, and incredible. I swear we were drunk because we could taste the terroir of Orcas Island in each and every bite or I may have added a little too much beer to our clams .... ha!
I firmly believe our trip would have been entirely different had we shopped at the supermarket. We cut out the middle man and went straight to the source. Each farm, the local bakery, the brewery ... all had a place at our table. Our meal that evening was more than special ... quite frankly it will be a meal I will always remember. The fresh crab tasted so sweet that no butter was needed. The clams were cooked just right and the oysters were devoured and drizzled with tabasco. The dill danced with the purple potatoes and the apricot pie that cooked in the oven was simply ... the icing on the cake.
So my advice ... while on vacation take the time to dine in, create a meal that tells a story with each bite, and cook with intention. I still dream of our Orcas Island meal. A meal that showed us just how special a meal at home can be. A meal that still has me savoring and craving the tastes of our little island ... Orcas.