Thomas J. Story
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.