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Topic: Girl Meets Dirt

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July 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Girl Meets Dirt on Orcas Island

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer's Market /  Photo: monicabennett.com

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market / Photo: monicabennett.com

The network of chefs, growers and food artisans on Orcas Island is so intertwined that the night before I met Audra and Gerry Lawlor selling their line of Girl Meets Dirt Archipelago Preserves at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market, I had already tasted one of their wares in an elegant Prosecco cocktail tinged with rhubarb and lavender at The Inn at Ship Bay.

Turns out, the inn’s commercial kitchen is where girl meets stove to craft her chunky, jam-like “spoon preserves” and the firmer, concentrated fruit purees Audra calls “cutting preserves,” modeled after Spanish membrillo, or quince paste.

Quince, in fact, is their bestselling flavor. It comes from Willowrose Bay on Guemes, another of the islands in the San Juan archipelago. Audra says she is adamant about sourcing fruit only from the San Juans; often they pick it themselves. With the exception of rhubarb, she exclusively uses orchard fruit, almost all heirlooms, “a nod to the San Juan’s, and in particular Orcas’s orchard keeping history.”

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Comments | Topics: Girl Meets Dirt, Orcas Island, Providence Cicero