Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Linda Lou's Skagit Valley Land Of Plenty Enticements Are Working

Returning from this morning's bike ride I opened my mailbox to find incoming from Washington, from Linda Lou in the Skagit Valley of Washington, to be more specific.

The package contained a book and a card.

The note in the card said...

Read your blog thoughts pondering possibly relocating from your current third world location. Well...just to entice you a bit am sending this Skagit Valley Fare cookbook of recipes from the Skagit Valley. With the Valley's plethora of produce you could be creating good cooking to your heart's content---Linda Lou

I have been getting multiple moving enticements of late. Above you see the cookbook from Linda Lou, sitting on top of the card which contained the above note, sitting on top of a Washington calendar someone else sent me to make me homesick.

The enticements are working.

Below is the forlorn view I saw this morning whilst stopping for a water break on the eastern edge of Sikes Lake.

We are looking west, above, at the incoming storm clouds predicted to eventually produce thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes later today.

The Skagit Valley Fare cookbook Linda Lou sent me has more than recipes among its pages. There are a couple pages of Skagit History Notes. Plus a couple pages of INTRODUCTION to the LAND OF PLENTY.

I read the INTRODUCTION to the LAND OF PLENTY verbiage and it struck me how little of what was being described about the Skagit Valley could describe anything in my current Texas location. Or even more so, my previous Texas location.

What with talking about an actual river, and real islands, and natural water features where one can catch seafood without being warned not to eat it. What a contrast with my former Fort Worth location with its imaginary island connected to the imaginary mainland by imaginary bridges which apparently no one is competent enough to build, over dry land. And with the town's "water feature" being based on what really is nothing more than a seriously polluted dirty ditch.

Anyway, I've copied a few paragraphs from the INTRODUCTION to the LAND OF PLENTY which will give you a good idea of what made me think what I was thinking about the contrast between these two locations with which I am familiar, and what it is about the Skagit Valley which is so enticing to return to...

The Skagit Valley of Northwestern Washington state spills like a great cornucopia from the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range westward to the waters of Puget Sound. Meandering through these lowlands, the Skagit River and her tributaries continually enrich the Valley's sandy alluvial soil. In the distance snow-capped Mount Baker stands sentinel above this fertile farmland - some of the richest in the world.

Also known as the Skagit Flats, this area grows a wide variety and volume of crops for national and international markets, producing much of the world's green pea and vegetable seed crops, as well as significant numbers of daffodil and tulip bulbs. Many of those flowering bulbs are exported to Holland where they are then imported back into the United States.

Each April, the valley brightens further as the vast tulip fields blossom, drawing thousands of visitors to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival to wander among and photograph the brilliant blooms. The giant palette glows with shades of light pink to the deepest purple, and waxy whites contrasting with Christmas reds. Occasionally a field of mixed tulips appears like some outrageous expanse of confetti fallen from the sky.

The Skagit Valley ends at the shores of Puget Sound, but Skagit County extends to several islands of the San Juan Archipelago: Fidalgo and Samish Islands connected to the Flats by bridge; Guemes served by a ferry; and Cyprus by boat or air. These shores and islands inspire poets and painters with their shifting moods and colors, and their waters provide seafood for the gourmet cook. Though not as plentiful as in the recent past, salmon and crab, mussels, oysters, clams and scallops, as well as various kinds of cod fish, are still available on the fresh market.

It is no wonder the Native Americans who lived here were peaceful and contented with their way of life. They enjoyed a mild marine climate, quiet coves and beaches, expanses of forest where mushrooms and other edible plants could be gathered, plentiful wild game, and seafood more abundant than we can ever imagine today.

UPDATE: After hitting the publish button on this blogging I looked at the cover of the Skagit Valley Fare cookbook and realized I should show the entire book cover, what with its illustration of the Skagit Valley, and tulips...

No comments: