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An Epicurean & Adventure Travel Site Today is Wednesday, May 24, 2017

J5MM has moved . . .


Dear friends,

I have moved J5MM onto it's very own server to meet the demands of J5MM's growth over the last two years.

The new site is here:


Hope to see you on the other side :) xoxo



A Story about Buck Bay Shellfish Farm and a Clam Soup


"Monica, you should visit Toni out at Buck Bay Shellfish in Olga. You can pull live oysters, clams, local dungeness crab and island salmon straight from her tanks and coolers and if you wish, shuck them right there while looking out over the bay from where they came." suggested my friend Jon Kobayashi, General Manager for The Outlook Inn and New Leaf Cafe.

I would like to say, I am very happy that he did because here at Buck Bay Shellfish Farm I had a life changing moment.  You see, I would have never considered myself one to seek out oysters but rather "tolerate" them when the opportunity to experience them presented itself.

But now, things are different for me.  I am obsessed with them.  You can ask hubby.  It's a problem.

When we made our visit to Buck Bay Shellfish farm here on Orcas Island the concept that my mother taught me when I was little about cooking and keeping things simple and fresh, well, that concept rang very true  here.  Oysters pulled straight out of the clear blue waters of the Salish Sea arrived on my plate and only with a squeeze of lime.  That is it.

Simplicity at its best.

In addition to steaming Buck Bay's clams on the beach over an open fire, I also made a very delicious non fussy soup (I used my immersion blender) Once the soup was finished I took a medium sized sauce pan and added 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat and let it melt upon which time I tossed in one pound of clams with a sprinkling of garlic powder, covered the lid and in less than two minutes they were open.  I then poured the clams and all of the wonderful juices into the soup.  This was amazingly easy and very flavorful.  The orange you see garnishing the soup is chili oil.  If you don't know about chili oil, it is very (very) hot.

There are Al and Mark digging for clams :)  Mark is third generation here at Buck Bay and with Toni runs the farm.  Here he is showing me a huge bucket full of fresh clams!  From this bucket came my clams for the soup as well as the clams I used for dinner on the beach.  Al is a great guy who really made me laugh :)  He's been helping Mark and Toni harvest shellfish for quite some time.  He has lived in many different places but has settled on Orcas Island because, "It just felt right being here."

That is a feeling I have come to know very well :)

Here is Toni and in the bottom left photo she is holding her prized possessions that I am finding very hard to live without.  Farm fresh, organic hen eggs and duck eggs as well.  In addition to your seafood you can pick up these beautiful eggs!!  If you haven't had the pleasure of enjoying a duck egg, Doe Bay Cafe on island does an amazing Duck Egg Poached in Olive Oil (scroll down for the picture in the link) atop Cheesy Grits for breakfast.  It is to die for!!

Roasted spring garlic from the Orcas Island Farmer's Market spread on toasted multi-grain bread and topped with cherry tomatoes.  I should say not to forget your crunchy and flaky sea salt :)  Those little black seeds are basil seeds.  I love them.  When they touch anything wet they form a membrane around themselves and they become interesting to chew on.

Baby clams :)  So cute, wouldn't you agree?  Did you know it takes up to two to three years for these little babies to become full grown?  Even then, it may take longer.  These little babies arrive much smaller than this and they are called clam seeds.  They are then buried in the muddy sand when the tide is out and the top of the clam bed is then covered with a long sheet of flexible netting.  The netting helps keep all of the hungry seagulls and other wildlife away from them keeping them safe.

~ Mark securing the netting which covers the clam beds

Here a piece of wood from a harvested clam bed is being removed.  The wood served its purpose as a barrier so the clams would not be able to escape by digging deep.  Mark told me that once he put a handful of baby clams down on the muddy sand, walked away for a split second and when he returned, they were all gone!!  Deep down in the thick muddy sand they went quickly burring themselves.  "They are very, very fast Monica!" he told me as he laughed.

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Become a master oyster shucker - Toni will teach you how :)

Thank you for the memories Buck Bay Shellfish Farm :) xoxo


The Inn at Ship Bay and An Evening of Culinary Delights on Orcas Island


I knew one thing was for certain this evening and that was the special dining experience that was ahead of us at The Inn at Ship Bay.  Many of my new friends on Orcas Island have encouaged me countless times to come here and experience the culinary treasures Chef Geddes and his talented team of chefs create.

Set atop a bluff overlooking the blue waters of Ship Bay, we settled down at our table and took in the views.  Picture yourself dining on the deck of a charming historical farm house built in the 1860's complete with sweeping views of the bay at sunset.  That was the experience everyone here had that evening and I can tell you without a doubt, it would be an experience I would never forget.

Glancing over his menu, hubby looks up at me and asks, "How will we ever decide?"

"I know . . . let's ask Chef Geddes to decide for us.  What do you think?"

He thought that was an excellent idea indeed :)

~ The Inn at Ship Bay

~ Weathervane Scallops with a Carrot - Lemon Emulsion and Baby Arugula

~ Charcuterie plate (all Mangalitsa Pork).  Buachspeck, Coppa, Lardo and Salami, Semolina Crackers, Cornichons and Whole Grain Mustard

~ A Room of Luxury at the Inn

~ Greens from the Inn at Ship Bay's Garden with Shaved Spring Vegetables, Golden Beets, Myers Creamery Goat Cheese and Aged Sherry Vinaigrette

~ Roasted Asparagus Salad with Shaved Reggiano, Toasted Almonds, Citrus Dressing and Old Balsamic Vinegar

~ Pan Fried Razor Clams with a Radish, Sorrel and Kale Salad Drizzled with Green Garlic Aioli

~ Mad Hatcher Chicken Breast atop Beluga Lentil Salad and Spring Garlic

After our incredible dinner we took a stroll around the property enjoying the manicured gardens when we realized that we were amid an heirloom pear, apple and plum orchard.  I later discovered that these orchards were here from the beginning and were a part of the cornerstone of Orcas Island's agricultural economy thanks to Michael Adams who built the farmhouse and established the property in the 1800's.

The grounds here are awe inspiring from the vegetable and herb garden to the fruit trees - it's no wonder everyone has been encouraging me to come out and visit. 

I am so happy we did.

~ This is your view from one of the 11 rooms at the Inn

I would like to thank Chef Geddes for sharing his Troll Caught Salmon recipe with me (and you).  Thank you!

Please click to download :)

Bon Appetit!


~ The Grand Finale:  Dense Chocolate Cake with Caramel Mousse and Whipped Crème Fraiche

About this Site


Non-Stop Outdoor Travel Adventures along with Epicurean Cuisine and Cooking, Sourcing Ingredients from Local Farms and Markets Found Along our Way.


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July 2012

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The Greatest Country

Fly Fishing Airstream Style!

Fly Fishing with TroutWater Airstream Style

Hobnobbing with Rock Stars

Hanging with Dave Matthews

Wildlife Extravaganza with Browning Pass Charters

Wildlife in Tofino, BC

Deep Sea Fishing in Tofino, BC with Lance!

Lance's Sportfishing Adventures in Tofino, BC!

Off Road with Our Airstream

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