It might not have been Holland, but without having to board a plane for 15 hours, the eye-popping show hosted by Mother Nature herself far exceeded expectations and made for a delightful Sunday afternoon outing. The annual Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley showcases tens of thousands of these simple, perfect spring flowers.
Besides tulips, the Skagit Valley is also home to an abundance of family-run farms, many passed down through generations starting as homesteads as early as 1889. The rich, fertile soil coupled with the mild coastal climate results in perfect conditions for an abundance of fruits and veggies. Especially berries. Ohhh, the berries!
Stay tuned for late May/early June when the season officially opens…
In the meantime, there is a secret way to enjoy these berries year round. JAM. And not just any jam. I know we all love making homemade jam, but dare I say, my little discovery could possibly surpass our beloved homemade version. *ghast*
Here’s why: 1) most of the berries are picked locally from Skagit Valley and made into jam an hour away and 2) these fresh berries are never cooked. That’s right, no cooking, no boiling, no canning. Instead, the recipe is mixed and immediately frozen which results in a jam that just ooooozes with freshness. The berries are able to retain all their natural sweetness and goodness. Let me tell ya, the difference is like night and day. These little tubs of jam are made by a local family run company called SunFresh and can be found in the freezer isle (not sure if they distribute outside the area, but if not, you can order on-line). Strawberry is my personal favorite.
Your morning slice of whole grain toast will forever thank you.