Foodie paradise in the San Juans

A bounty of farm-fresh ingredients and a beautiful setting make Orcas Island irresistible
Irene Edwards

The plums, dusky and warm from the sun, are steadily disappearing under my greedy fingers. The lamb has just come off the grill; my husband is slicing the tomatoes we bought at the market that morning.

I'm assembling the salad for our impromptu dinner party ― a bowl of Maple Rock Farm lettuces with blue cheese and a simple dressing.

"This could be the best trip my stomach's ever taken," my husband says with a contented sigh, surveying the feast on our backyard picnic table. Mouth full of plum, I find it hard to disagree. We've rented a house for a lazy week on Orcas Island, possibly the loveliest of the populated landmasses in Washington's San Juan archipelago.

Our turn-of-the-century cottage faces south over East Sound, with a wide deck and a narrow path leading to a steep and rocky beach.

We hadn't planned to base our entire vacation around our appetites. But after finding a map of local farms on our kitchen table, we eagerly plot a week's worth of visits. For anyone who loves to cook, it's a seductive prospect: preparing your meals in a beautiful setting with ingredients purchased from the source.

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