Big Bend

A couple years ago I took a trip to West Texas. It was mostly a dud of a trip, but I did get a chance to visit Big Bend National Park. National Parks are a huge passion for me. If I discover that I’m near one, or will be traveling in the vicinity of one, I always make an effort to stop, even if it’s just for an hour for a quick hike or drive through. I’m very excited that we live pretty close to three parks and plan on visiting them all before this year is over.

Since it’s so remote, Big Bend is one of the least visited parks. It also has the unfortunate distinction of being a known drug trafficking route as it borders the Rio Grande. Nonetheless, it is one of the most beautiful places I have visited, and I hope some day I get a chance to go back and spend some more time exploring.

A quick hike on a hot November day

trail leading up to Dog Canyon

Inside the canyon

probably not the best shoes for the occasion


Meyer Lemon Curd

Over the years I’ve heard a lot about Meyer lemons. About how sweet and delicious and lemony they are and how they had such wonderful culinary applications in everything from  pound cakes to risottos to preserves. So for years now I have been itching to try one, but I never even saw them until I moved to the west coast, where I hear people can just go outside and pick them off of trees in their front yards. Who knew?

Well, a couple weeks ago I spotted them at one of the grocery stores and bought a bag. Then I was checking out Food in Jars, (since canning is one of my goals this year) and came across this recipe for Meyer lemon curd, which I cannot wait to try on some scones, or maybe even some buttermilk doughnuts….maybe as soon as this weekend?

This recipe was pretty simple, and it doesn’t require canning, but it was a good one for me to try the process. The lemons are delicious, I still have more downstairs which are earmarked for some marmalade, and then maybe I’ll go seek out just a few more for this or this.

A walk outside

After a sunny and clear weekend, the rain has come back to stay for a while. Fortunately, we managed to get the Bear out for a nice walk into town on Friday for a view of the mountains and some coffee (well, for us, he just took a nap).

It’s nice to see spring creeping in slowly. I’m definitely not jealous of everyone else’s 80 degree weather.  Pretty soon we’ll be loading up the Bear and taking him to see the mountains up close instead of a hazy 60 miles across the water.


view of the Olympics across Oak Harbor

view of the Cascades across Crescent Harbor

cloud over Oak Harbor

Around the kitchen

I had a little time to put some food into jars the other day. Once the farmer’s markets open up on the island I’d really like to get into canning all manner of fruits and vegetables, but until then I’m sticking to small things that don’t need a full canning treatment.

salt preserved key limes

honey simple syrup

Roasted bell peppers