Tag Archives: San Juan Island

Pizza Camp

Sharing life, love and lunch.

I love Pizza – Who Doesn’t!

By Teri Williams

 

 

 

 

Ok, so I don’t need to eat more carbs, and yes we have Hogstone Pizza in town. So why, you ask, do I crave to create the best ever pizza??? Last time I was in Darville’s Bookstore I found a book about pizza titled Pizza Camp by Joe Beddin. I love to read cookbooks, especially when they have humorous commentary and throw in common sense. After reading Joe’s recipe and constitution on how and what to use to make the best-ever pie I started planning and dreaming. So let the fun begin!

I have never had any luck with yeast. So the fact that Joe’s recipe for the dough does not include warm water and is put in the fridge for 24 hours gave me even more skepticism. However, I jumped in and made the first steps towards my crusty cheesy tomato dreams. Joe’s policy for making dough: “Turn your phone off and don’t speak, this is a time to listen, for new ideas, it’s not busy, be present. Making dough should be calming, meditative and a great time to think of new ideas about pizza and life.” I spent the time to enjoy the moment and think about what my garden would provide as toppings.

Book in hand, tools in place. This is the beginning, bring on the yeast.

Love it when your work looks like it does in the book!

After the dough was in a ball and had to rest for 30 minutes, I wandered through my garden and gave thanks for being here now on Orcas Island. Second round of kneading left the yeasty ball in the fridge for 24 hours. Until tomorrow …

Garlic drying in the sun. Going to learn to braid this summer!

Basil love

The sauce. I always thought you cooked up a batch of grandma’s secret tomato sauce and let it simmer for hours on the cooktop. No, Joe says they never cook the sauce in Naples. He recommends a nice fresh and bright tomato sauce, which comes with using the right tomatoes. So I read on. Joe uses Jersey Fresh crushed tomatoes in a can. A CAN!!! Ok, I can do this, FYI- I did go to Maple Rock Farm stand down the road and purchased fresh island grown tomatoes. Just in case. Continuing to read more from Pizza Camp, I learn the canned tomatoes, garlic and salt need to sit for a few hours in the fridge to meld flavors. I found canned tomatoes at Island Market from Italy – yes in a can.

Cheese will include fresh mozzarella and a hard cheese purchased at Roses Bakery. I think I will search for some local fresh goat cheese for the next time – Wendy Thomas, I’m headed out your way soon, girl.

Now what will I choose for toppings? Well I think a simple marguerita is a must. Just cheese and fresh basil – I can do this, and get a chance to go thank my garden once again for providing me with peace of mind and room for dreaming and creating good food. I wanted something a bit more for the second disc of saucy goodness, so I pulled some local pork out of the freezer. Pizza Camp shares many styles and types of toppings, one being Pizzeria Beddin’s Sausage – perfect!

Anticipation is a wonderful thing. I could not enjoy this pizza experience by myself so made a short last minute call to Cory, Monee and Eleanor to come to Gramma T’s back yard bbq pizza oven. I believe this can work with my cast-iron flat pan. Yes, why not. Too early in the game to order a wood fired pizza oven to be constructed in my patio (save these dreams for when I am making dough).

Ju DE VIE from tasting at Doe Bay Wine Company

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This was the hardest part and I have to say, I cheated and used my Grandma’s rolling pin. Need to do some recon on what is the trick to pushing, pulling and stretching the dough.

After Notes:

You need a pizza peel. I’ll save you the details on this, just believe me. And, do not grease your pan with olive oil. Avocado oil will stand the heat much better.

The two days of planning was a tasty success. I still love pizza and am already dreaming up the next PIZZA CAMP!

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Summer Sailing with Grama T

2 teri-sheet

 

By Teri Williams

The summer of 2016 is flying by!! Squeezing in some family fun is a must and Grama T found some on her SV Blue Pearl. 30′ filled to the rails with kids and grandkids (9 total) for an overnight in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. When you have this many on a boat meant to sleep two, you head to a dock with amenities and space. Roche is a great place where you will find activity for all ages. But the fun is being on the boat together. Had great wind, plenty of sunshine and enjoyed a crab dinner coming home. Life does not get better than this.

Where do you find your bliss?

Where do you find your bliss?

Deck hands taking a break

Deck hands taking a break

Beautiful day for kids to look for sea life

Beautiful day for kids to look for sea life

Fish on!!!

Fish on!!!

2016-08-05 20.00.17

Dad time

Dad time

Jammie time

Jammie time

Reading books at bedtime

Reading books at bedtime

Gramps J having fun

Gramps J having fun

Brother time

Brother time

Nap time

Nap time

Love these two!

Love these two!

Catching the wind, trimming the sails

Catching the wind, trimming the sails

Watching for whales

Watching for whales

Girls getting too much wind

Girls getting too much wind

Life is good

Life is good

Crabbing with Gramps J

Crabbing with Grampa J

All hands on deck

All hands on deck

Hope to see you out on the water enjoying family and the Salish Sea that surrounds us here on Orcas Island.

Grama T

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The Shocking Truth: We Get Sun In Winter

Sandi FrielPosted by Sandi Friel

On Friday I had the pleasure of showing property all day to a couple who are thinking about retiring here. They scheduled their trip for January so they could experience the worst of our weather, fully expecting rain and gray clouds. Well, take a look at the photos I snapped throughout the day:

Deer Harbor Estuary January 2015

Taken at 9:00 am from the Deer Harbor bridge overlooking the estuary. Pair of Hooded Mergansers gliding by, with Turtlehead peeking up behind the treeline, catching morning rays.

Crescent Beach Orcas Island January 2015

View from Crescent Beach, taken midday on the way to lunch in Eastsound. Temp was a balmy 44 degrees.

Sunset at Cormorant Bay on Orcas Island January 2015

The day ends with an exquisite sunset over President Channel on the west coast of Orcas. Who could resist?

I’m not claiming that we get sun all winter long, but more than you might think. It’s part of the rain shadow effect created by the Olympic Mountains, which keeps the San Juan Islands drier than other parts of the pacific northwest. So if you’re thinking of an Orcas getaway or property scouting hunt, make sure to pack your sunglasses – even in January!

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty – we’ll help you find your way home.

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oh…… what to do with those luscious, juicy, colorful tasty tomatoes.

Here are 4 easy recipes to preserve your summer harvest.Toms

No Cook Sunshine Tomato Sauce- Clean Eating September 2014-Give several summer ripe tomatoes a light rinse. Chop

Easy Sunshine Tomatoes Sauce

Easy Sunshine Tomatoes Sauce

coarsely and dump into a large jar. Mash a few garlic cloves (I like a lot of garlic) add to jar. Add 1 cup of olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have vinegar, use lemon or lime juice. The better the quality, the better the flavor on both oil and vinegar. Add sea salt and ground pepper to taste. If you have fresh basil, oregano, rosemary or thyme, tie up in bunch and toss in too. Put the lid on; shake the jar to mix contents, set in the sun or hot sunny window. Let sit to soak up the heat of the sun for 4 hours (can do longer time, do not recommend shorter time). Pull herbs out. Serve with crusty bread or use as a light raw sauce for pasta. I blended my jar contents and warmed in a cast iron skillet, spoon over ravioli, top with shaved parmesan cheese. You can freeze or keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Homemade Tomato Paste- Maple Rock’s Farmer John-Take your split and over ripe toms and cook them down in a pot to the point that you can macerate them with a potato masher or even a stick blender if you have one.  After mashing them, run them through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds (I skipped this step). At this point you have a watered down sauce (sometimes I’ll drain off some of that liquid prior to mashing). Transfer the sauce in the pot onto the biggest sheet pans (I used cake pans) that will fit in your oven and cook it down for one hour at 350 then take it down to 250 for another two- three hours.  Stir occasionally and add some nice olive oil and salt to taste.  We like to make as big of a batch of this as we can and freeze it in pint jars not quite filled to the top.  Keep one in the fridge all the time to add to just about anything you can think of.

Salsa- Years of Adding and Subtracting in Teri’s Kitchen and Ball Blue Book

Add chips and tequila!!!!

Add chips and tequila!!!!

10 cups chopped tomatoes (I include skin and seeds, can remove if desired) about 6 lbs.

5 cups chopped green bell pepper, seeded. About 2 lbs.

5 cups chopped onion (you choose type, I use Walla Walla) about 2 lbs.

2.5 cups chopped, seeded hot peppers. (I usually use a variety based on what my farmer is growing. Include some seeds for more heat). For deeper flavor, roast peppers first, then remove skins. About 1-2 lbs. Be sure to wear gloves

2 garlic heads. (can vary dependent on your taste, however, too little is not good).

1 tblsp hot sauce

2 tblsp dried red pepper

1-2 tblsp crushed cumin

1 ¼ cup cider vinegar

Salt to taste

Big hand full of chopped cilantro

Chopped and combine all ingredients (EXCEPT CILANTRO). Place in large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cilantro. Ladle hot salsa in prepared jars, leaving ½” headroom. Cover with seal/screw top. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Dried Tomatoes- Easy-This is great use of blemished or split tomatoes. I usually use this method after I have done all of the

Better than sun dried tomatoes and can done any time of the year!

Can be done any time of the year!

above and am tired or ran out of jar space in the pantry. Clean tomatoes, cut stem and blemish/bad areas away. Slice the tomatoes about 1/8” thick. This is a guideline. Too thin, they come out crispy, too thick, they come out chewing and are more likely to mold in the jar. Coat the trays with a non stick spray or rub with olive oil to keep slices from sticking to the tray. Place slices on tray, leaving room around the slices so they have air circulation around all sides. Set dryer on 135 degrees for 5 hours. The timing can vary, checking every two hours until dried to your preference (close to potato chip crisp). Turn off the dryer and let tomatoes cool completely. Store in an airtight jar. Great to eat as is, or add to quiche, soups or sauces for a strong tomato flavor that will delight your taste buds.

Enjoy preserving, eating, sharing and pairing all of the above- teri

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A Recipe for Island Business Success

By Teri Williams

Start with a dream, an independent spirit, creative thinking and a big helping of plain, old-fashioned hard work. You, too, can build an island business that sparks commerce and creates our own jobs.

We do not give up easily. We keep at it, talking to the “old timers” and running ideas past our buddies. Don’t get me wrong, we need jobs here on Orcas and many have left searching for work. The lack of work here is a first in the 24 years I have lived on Orcas, and it feels heavy in my heart.

I want to share a few stories about those who stayed.

Teri-Williams-and-friends-at-Buck-Bay-Shellfish-FarmBuck Bay Shellfish Farm

If you want some good seafood and ambiance, head to Buck Bay. I went out on sunny day in August. Toni was hard at work overseeing the vegetables out of the large garden, counting live crab and making sure her sidekick, Mark, had the kings on ice. Toni already had the wine chilled, crab on ice and the BBQ ready for the fish. We sat and enjoyed the food, laughed about old times (she was the building inspector on Orcas) and enjoyed a seafood feast I will never forget.

clams and oysters at Buck Bay Shellfish FarmAt Buck Bay, you can purchase live or cooked crab, oysters and clams as well as king or sockeye. Mark and Toni have worked really hard to make something out of the legacy Mark’s grandparents started in Buck Bay back in the day. They sell to locals and tourists who are lucky enough to head to Olga, and they also sell to many of the local restaurants who pride themselves on serving fresh, local ingredients.

Island Hoppin Brewery

Entrepreneurs of Island Hoppin BreweryBrewing beer is not just for mainlanders. These three young entrepreneurs had a passion and a dream and made it happen. They encountered many bumps along the way, such as finding out there is much more to brewing beer when you make it more than a hobby, finding a designation that allows manufacturing and finding a location that is convenient for beer lovers to come and check out the operation while they test the brew in the tasting room.

Island Hoppin BeerThe landlord has offered favorable terms and has accompanied the group to the annual Oktoberfest on San Juan Island, where Island Hoppin Brew was received with enthusiasm. This business is selling customers growlers to go as well as supplying our local watering holes with a local flavor.

To add to their business plan, they feature local bands and a traveling pizza oven to ensure a good time is had by all. The community has come together to support this new commerce on Orcas.

Cascade Creek Meadows

Wedding scene at Cascade Creek MeadowsProfessional landscapers Carol and Kevin McCoy have created something out of nothing. Nestled among the forest and Cascade Creek adjacent to Moran State Park, you will find a magical garden space created out of love of nature, re-purposed treasures and a lot of hard work. They have crafted a perfect setting for your special day, whether it’s a wedding, anniversary, birthday, or just plain fun with friends.

Lovely Cascade CreekThe space includes covered sitting areas, trails through the flowers, sitting areas by the creek, a large level tent site, a fully equipped kitchen and an outdoor cooking area. This makes it a cinch to throw a party! You can rent the entire 20-acre property or just the garden—either way, your event will be a success and you will not want to leave.

I helped all of these friends—who happen to be clients—by consulting on proposed property use, County-required permitting and compliance. I, too, am a survivor creating my own job description. And, lucky for me, it involves what I love and helping friends.

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My Favorite Native Groundcover

Posted by Sandi

This weekend is the annual Garden Tour sponsored by the Orcas Island Garden Club. The theme is Homestead Gardens, and the focus is on “the sustainable horticulture of fruits, vegetables, herbs and livestock.” This will be interesting, and I’ll probably come home hungry with flatlander envy. My consolation prize: my flourishing native plants that have been taking care of themselves for eons. While they don’t provide a meal, I find they do provide food for the soul.

Case in point: Some years ago I discovered this cute little vine creeping alongide salal. It had been there all along, I had just failed to take notice. I thought it might be a weed, but it persisted through the winter. I took a sample to a Master Gardener, and even she couldn’t identify it. Well come the next June, this glossy evergreen creeper erupted with tiny pairs of pink and white bell flowers, dangling at the top of delicate stalks. There was no mistaking it: this was Linnaea borealis, our native Twinflower. How lucky am I!

I started weeding out her competition, and she immediately showed her appreciation. Unlike salal which is quite prolific on our property, Twinflower has selected just a few areas to thrive: a smaller patch along a sunny cliff, and a larger established mat under fir trees which receives afternoon sun. In the shady patch, the blooms last nearly all summer and keep the bees busy.

Although Twinflower can be easily propagated by cuttings from runners, it’s very slow to establish and takes seedlings about thirteen years to bloom. So when taking your woodland walks this summer, be sure to look down and notice this diminutive but hardy little creeper. She’s a special one!


Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.

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Sweet Honey 

I have never thought about finding a honey comb in our local woods. Well now I am thinking and looking.

Image

Found Honey Comb

Jay was at the local neighborhood “club house” and saw a honey comb sitting on the counter. One of the guys had found it out in the woods and brought it in.Just another show and tell at the end of the day where a few beers are enjoyed and stories of the day’s goings on echo around the room. But, nobody was getting too excited about the bee’s work.

Jay can’t think of anything going to waste, and more importantly, he is always looking for a “find” to gift his bride-me!

The honey comb came home and placed in a plastic freezer bag, small hole cut in the corner and the project was hung by the wood stove with great hope of something sticky and sweet. I was feeling a bit like Winnie the Pooh!!

Thoughts of Winnie the Pooh in my head

Thoughts of Winnie the Pooh in my head

We are now enjoying the sweetest of treats and dreaming of more edible finds in the woods.A great website for honey: www.honey.com

Honey-Lemon Jelly

Makes 2 pints

  • 5 to 6      lemons
  • 2-1/2 cups      honey
  • 1 package (3      oz.) liquid pectin

Grate rind from lemons to measure 4 teaspoons; set aside. Squeeze juice from lemons to measure 3/4 cup pour lemon juice through fine strainer, discarding seeds and pulp. Combine rind, juice and honey in 6-quart saucepan, stirring well. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin. Return mixture to a rolling boil, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam with metal spoon, if necessary. Pour jelly quickly into 2 hot, sterilized pint jars, filling to 1/4 inch from tops; wipe jar rims. Cover immediately with metal lids and screw on bands. Process
jars in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Cool jars on wire rack.©1997 Southern Living, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Tip: A 12 ounce jar of honey equals 1 standard measuring cup.

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island? Contact T Williams Realty – we’ll help you find your way home.

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by | April 15, 2012 · 11:00 am

Take Your Garden to Work

Posted by Teri

Bountiful garden at T Williams Realty in Eastsound, Orcas IslandWhen I bought my corner commercial units in Eastsound three years ago, I got more than just prime office space: I gained an enviable street-front garden area.  Since I spend almost half my time in the office and my desk looks right out to this greenspace, I decided to make it my own. After the first season, I banished the landscaping service and some of the so-so shrubs in favor of a riot of color I could putter with.

Yarrow and lavender at T Williams Realty in Eastsound, Orcas IslandAt home my garden is mostly veggies, so at “work” I’ve chosen to indulge myself in flowers and fragrant herbs. I like to arrive early and snip here and there, bringing fresh cuttings inside the office for our centerpiece bouquet. On Saturdays you’ll often find me weeding and chatting with the passersby on their way to and fro the Farmers Market.

Fortuantely for my plant habit we have several nurseries on the island:

And when I’m on the mainland I love to lose myself at the amazing Christianson’s Nursery . Worth a day trip!!

Driftwood beach signs at T Williams Realty in Eastsound, Orcas IslandRecently I painted signs for a fun garden focal point. The directional driftwood arrows point to beaches on Orcas, some not so well known – so they should be a conversation starter.

I feel fortunate to be able to bring my hobby to the office. This garden, like every garden, is a labor of love and work in progress. Next year it might look completely different!

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.

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Sin City Secret: Backdoor Kitchen

Posted by Sandi

Orcas Islanders sometimes affectionately refer to Friday Harbor  as “Sin City” for its flashing lights, multi-story buildings and big-city feel. Of course it’s not a big and bustling city at all, but it seems so when compared to laid-back Eastsound.

A few years ago I got to know San Juan Island’s Sin City a bit better when my husband was assigned a story by Sunset Magazine. As part of the research, we sampled what locals consider to be the best restaurants. The Backdoor Kitchen became our instant favorite. Since then we’ve returned to celebrate special occasions; one of those was last night.

Warehouse at the Backdoor Kitchen, Friday Harbor WA

Behind this warehouse lies a hidden jewel

The Backdoor Kitchen is off the beaten path, hidden from view in an industrial area. If you aren’t looking for it or don’t know your way, you won’t find it. That – to me – is its first charm.

Secret Garden and nursery at the Backdoor Kitchen, Friday Harbor WA

The entry garden behind the warehouse

Across the warehouse parking lot, a stone path leads to a secret garden and outdoor dining patio. We had reserved an indoor table, but decided to enjoy our cocktails alfresco.

The Backdoor Kitchen dining patio - Friday Harbor, San Juan Island WA

The patio has several outdoor "rooms" for dining

From the list of 12 yummy specialty drinks, I chose the No. 6:  Ketel One “Ginger-Lemon Drop,” made with fresh-squeezed lemon and ginger syrup, served with a sugar rim. Bob – who rarely deviates from rum and coke – chose the No. 4: Ketel One vodka and mango puree muddled with fresh lime and topped with ginger brew.

Cozy Bar at the Backdoor Kitchen restaurant in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island WA

The oh-so-cozy bar at the Backdoor Kitchen

When the sun dipped I got a chill and was happy to move to our table inside. The dining room is small and intimate, with interesting art, a view of the patio garden and a window into the kitchen where magic is created.

Dining room of the Backdoor Kitchen - Friday Harbor, San Juan Island WA

The intimate dining room

The ambiance of the Backdoor Kitchen is so much to my liking that I would keep it on my favorites list even if the food was so-so. But here you don’t have to compromise: the food is fabulous.  

Bob ordered the salmon special; I ordered the Corn Masa Cake – topped with  sharp white cheddar, sliced avocado, green onions, and red cabbage salad. Neither of us offered the other a bite!

For dessert we treated ourselves to the fresh fruit crisp. Bob considers himself a “crisp connoisseur” and says positively this is the best he’s ever had.

Bellies full, we walked on the 10pm ferry. Although I have favorite restaurants on Orcas, there’s something extra special (and romantic) about riding the ferry with your sweetheart for a dinner date, especially when the destination is Sin City and the Backdoor Kitchen.

 

Looking to enjoy the simple life in the beautiful San Juan Islands?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.

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