San Juan Islands

When Life Gives you Lemons

Lemon Lavender Shrub on a  snow day

Lemon Lavender Shrub on a  snow day

We're pretty partial to San Juan Islands fruit - and love to labor with the good ol' stuff from island trees that have been producing fruit and sharing their bounty for over a century. But in the dark of winter, when the light tips beyond the solstice, we keep our hands busy with the citrus that accents all of our jams, organically sourced from California.

People often lament that we don't make a marmalade (we do, but not in the traditional sense -see Quince Marmalade.) It may sound silly to say it feels inauthentic to do so, in an era where local has multiple meanings (is the maker local? are the beans local?) but we count our blessings. We're blessed with legacy orchards, filled with luscious pears, apples, plums & quince. Not lemons. And yet what we do bring in to press for their perfect acidic antidote to sweet pomes, we want to make the most of. Enter our Lemon Lavender Shrub, hot off the copper pots. Island lavender meets bitter lemon oils from said lemon rinds & juice, organically sourced white wine vinegar, and fair trade organic cane sugar. The bitter/sweet/sourness is perfection for cocktails (French 75?) and refreshing spritzers. It captures winter in the south (lemons) & summer in the north (lavender), and reminds us that while we make throwback preserves and bow to the old dames, modern can be fun (and delicious) too! 

Just watching the late February snow melt away - I'm certain of it: cheers to spring! She's coming!

The Times They Are A Changin'

"You better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone -- for the times, they are a changin'."  I've loved Simon & Garfunkel since my mother introduced me to them as a little girl.  Imagine me, a nine year old, along with my best friend, equally innocent, belting out "Cecilia" at the top of our lungs on the rooftop outside my bedroom window.  I don't think we knew what it was about, but we felt it - felt the drums, the rhythm, the pounding, the call to action, and we couldn't help but holler and hoot and pound our little paws on the shingles -- that is, until the neighbors complained.  I've come back to Simon & Garfunkel's music so many times over the years, usually when I'm feeling particularly thoughtful, or contemplating a new path.  There's something about their music that brings me back to my roots.  Not surprisingly, when I sat down to write this post, the first thing that came into my mind was this song, the title of this post (props to Bob Dylan for the original version).