Monday, May 21, 2007

Lummi Island

Thanks to the generosity of some friends on the occasion of my 50th, Jen and I got to spend last afternoon, night, and this morning at the Willows Inn, a charming bed and breakfast inn on Lummi Island, the 9 square-mile fingernail clipping of land that sits just west of Bellingham, WA between the mainland and the larger San Juans.

We had a lovely time, strolling on the rocky beach, drinking cocktails on the inn’s deck, and dining at their on-site restaurant. The scene was pretty genteel, and at times I suspected that our friends had played a bit of a joke on us by checking us into a place that so obviously caters to folks “of a certain age,” but there was no denying we fit the clientele demographic pretty well.

On Sundays at this time of year, the restaurant features fresh prawns as a specialty of the house. They had a cooler of the little creatures, just caught that afternoon, chilling on the deck while we had our pre-prandial libations. I was fairly fascinated by them and couldn’t resist picking one up and holding it as it struggled against my grasp.

Jen was convinced to order some for her meal and we watched them being sautéed alive (although not for long) in oil and garlic. I felt bad for the critters in a way, but on the other hand, as long as they’d already been caught and stood no chance of being released back into the wild, it seemed to me the respectful thing to do to sample one or two.

I found their meat to be fairly sweet and rather richer than I prefer, but tasty enough—although probably not quite enough to justify for me their capture and kill. I liked my asparagus gratin much more, to be honest, and the only ethical challenge it presented was causing me, a short while later, to violate the bathroom maxim, “If it’s yellow, it’s mellow.”


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