Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy (late) Fourth of July

We've had a family place on Whidbey Island for over ten years. Living in San Francisco, I don't get there too often but, I've just returned to 'mainland Seattle' after spending the 4th up there. The island is about 30 miles north and a short ferry ride from Seattle. I just read that it is the 40th largest island (and 5th longest) in the US so it does hold some distinction :) It's a fairly sleepy place but, the views are stunning and it's the perfect spot to relax.

I'd heard about a place on the island called The Fishmonger, known for carrying only wild, fresh fish and famous for their crab cakes. Now I make a damn good crab cake myself but, when in Rome.... We had them for dinner one night and they were fantastic. My perfect crab cake is 90% crab, 5% seasoning, and 5% breadcrumbs/panko. These fit the bill and with a little house made remoulade sauce, they were over the top.

Part of what made the crab cakes so amazing was the opening of crab season-just days before we arrived. On the 4th we got a knock on the door from a friend who wanted to drop off a bag of crab. Hello! A bag of crab? Does it get any better than that?! I think was out of this world. We took it to our friend's house that night and it was four Dungeness crabs, cracked and cleaned and we devoured them like savages. Seven adults and four kids and we sucked every last leg and shell dry. The sun peaked out, we opened a French Rose, and it was gone in minutes. If you have not had crab just hours out of the Pacific Ocean you're missing out. It was heaven.

I was looking forward to the local farmer's market on Saturday morning but, the weather in Seattle has been the pits until very recently so the local produce is all late. Strawberries are just arriving (we bought three baskets for shortcake tonight) but, beyond that, the pickins were sparse. By August I have no doubt the place will be brimming with berries, stone fruits, and tomatoes.

After the long ferry line, the ride home, and a night out with old friends last night, I feel like the holiday has finally wound down. It was an ideal Fourth of July with old school fireworks (my son's first smoke bombs, snakes and sparklers), friends and family, and yummy food.

I hope your holiday was just as much fun.

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