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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Urban Legend Has It....believe it or not

What is an "urban legend"? 
An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true...a mere story that it is in circulation and exhibits variation over time, and may carry some significance that motivates the community in preserving it.

My urban legend goes fairytale style...

Once upon a time the very handsome and debonair Captain Morgan set his sights on a small town Camano City while sailing through the breathtaking Saratoga Passage. Feeling a bit worn and tired he stopped at very fine boarding house (where the Camano Island Inn sits today) that used to host guest from all around the world.

After a delicious meal and fine bottle of wine Captain Morgan settled into his room hoping for a good night's sleep but instead he found himself wide awake and restless, so he decided to take a walk along the shore in hopes of relaxing for a restful sleep. In a distance he could hear a beautiful humming and imagined it was one of the many birds that inhabited this city or the magic of the Saratoga waters.

The evening was brisk and the tide was low he could see his fleet near as he walked, picking up beach stones along the way he stopped at moments to skip them on the water, thoroughly enjoying a game of self- competition to beat each previous stone thrown.  Thinking how relaxed this special place made him feel it assured him that a good night's rest was on the horizon and that this would be the perfect place to finally settle down.

As he turned to go back to the hotel he heard splashing near an inlet of water with sea grass and drift wood...curious, he crept in only to behold the most lovely creature he had ever seen in his lifetime or through his travels.  Shaking his head to clear what he thought may have been poor vision or too much wine he soon realized that she was real, a Mermaid, a magnificently stunning creature that he had only heard tales of but never knew whether to truly believe or not.

"So it is true, you do exist" he said gently so as not to frighten her away. "My name is Elisabeth and I am from the Sea" she explained she had swam too far onto shore and her tail had been caught under a piece of wood and she had been unable to free herself. Captain Morgan releases her from this snag and was delighted to see with his own eyes that the myths were true.  She then tells him that she had been following his fleet for hundreds of miles as she had seen him saving a crew from their sinking ship and she was enamored by his generous soul, "most Captains are ruthless and can be cruel" she said "but you were not." They spoke at lengths about his journeys across the sea and her life from beneath the sea, after many hours the Captain decided to make his way back to the boarding house and Elisabeth back to the sea...they agreed with joy to meet again the next day.

On his walk back to the hotel he couldn't stop thinking about Elisabeth, her beauty and lengths that she went in hopes of meeting him. From his room he could see the moon lit waters, he could hear the sounds of the sea and a familiar sound of beautiful humming to which he smiled as he now knew they were the songs of dear Elisabeth...he couldn't take his eyes off her gracefulness as Elisabeth went dancing through the waters, and now he was enamored and everything from this moment on would change.

The next morning after an abundant and hearty breakfast he set out for another walk to meet Elisabeth, they shared stories, laughter, got to know one another and fell in love. "How would this work?" Morgan asked.  Elisabeth told him she heard there was a fairy that lived across the island, a land called Whidbey and she held the magical secret that made mermaids human. Captain Morgan took his dingy across the waters to Whidbey with Elisabeth elegantly in tow.  Elisabeth told Morgan once they arrived if she hummed the song of the seas the fairy would appear, so with her sea voice Elisabeth hummed, it was beautiful just like Morgan had heard before and had only imagine that the angels of heaven would sound.

Suddenly a gentle wind blew and the water splashed delicately about like floating diamonds and out from the sky a tiny delicate fairy appeared in a golden glow...her name was Chrissanth, meaning "gold flower". 

"Why do you call upon me my dear?" asked Chrissanth, Elisabeth told her the story of how her and Captain Morgan met and while it had been only moments in time they had fallen deeply in love and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.  The beautiful fairy said that only if your hearts are true in love would the magic work, so with two waves of her wand around them both the fairy smiled in delight, as it was clear their love was true. The fairy told the couple to return to the place they had met at midnight, it will be there that the two of your hearts will become one and you will walk together hand in hand under the moonlight.

With sheer joy Captain Morgan headed back to the house and Elisabeth back to the sea...neither could hardly wait it was as though time stood still. The moon quietly moved and the stars twinkled.  As midnight grew closer Captain Morgan made his way to meet his Elisabeth...within seconds Chrissanth appeared and swirled around them, sprinkling fairy dust of gold and with the wave of her fairy wand Chrissanth chanted these magical words..."with hearts so true, from the sea so deep, may you both have love that will forever keep", "Now take her hand Captain" Chrissanth said softly...Elisabeth feeling a bit lightheaded but joyful as Morgan took her delicate hand and lifted her from the water and Elisabeth walked into his arms, where they embrace and passionately kissed...they walked hand in hand under the moonlight just as Chrissanth had described.

They were soon married on the beautiful and very same grounds where the Camano Island Inn stands today...it was such a special part of their lives and where their hearts grew as one. They would continue their sea journey together as man and wife...seeing the world, meeting many people along the way and falling deeper in love with each other. 

It wasn't long before they made their way back to the magical Camano City and settled down. Blissfully they were able to start a live together on the very land that brought the two of them together as the boarding house closed and the property was for sale and they knew it was a sign...a very exciting time for them both. Elisabeth tended the tranquil gardens, she loved flowers and Morgan would sometimes catch a glimpse of her sitting among the flowers, starring off into the sea humming her songs and it always took his breath away, he felt very blessed.

Captain Morgan received a visit from an old friend General MacLeod, Mac for short his vessel had been attack by pirates and asked Morgan for some help in restoring it on the distant shores of Whidbey. Without a thought he said yes to his dear old friend. Morgan kissed Elisabeth who was pruning flowers in her garden and off they went...from a distant Elisabeth could see Macs ship and she remembered the days of following her love through his journeys and smiled as the sun lit her face.  Knowing the sun would soon set Elisabeth made a basket of food to take to the men of the ship knowing they would be hungry for a home cooked meal..and so Elisabeth untied the boat from the dock and started towards the ship. She waved to catch their attention but with the sun falling slowly and the glistening of the sun upon the water must have blinded the crew...within an instant a large swell from a passing ship rocked from under her boat...she tried to hold one but the wave was too high and she lost control. Elisabeth tried to sing her songs knowing that her Captain would certainly hear, but her mouth couldn't keep the water out and all she could do was gurgle as she struggled to keep her head above the water.

One of the crewman saw her struggling and yelled, Captain Morgan dived into the rough waters and swam towards her, he was sick with fear that his love would be lost to very place she came...Elisabeth tried to hang on, she was weak and tired, her mind went back to the days she first saw her Captain saving the crew of a sinking ship and how she adored him, she thought about their beautiful wedding day and all their journeys together and the beautiful home they built on the land they loved so much, she remember Chrissanth the tiny fairy who gave her a precious life with Morgan, she remembered it all as her lifeless body gently went under into the deep waters. With the love of her life desperately struggling to save her...but couldn't.

Captain Morgan's sorrow was so deep...he lived the remainder of his life in their beautiful house starring off into the Saratoga, hoping and praying that he would hear his darling angels voice once again. He could be heard often, whispering those magical words where he first lifted his love from the waters and walked hand in hand under the moonlight..."with hearts so true, from the sea so deep, may you both have love that will forever keep".

Legend has it that Elisabeth and Captain Morgan still wander the property where the Camano Island Inn is today looking to find each other...waiting to reunite.

The end

Note:  Today there are many tales from visitors of the Camano Island Inn who have experienced sightings of Captain Morgan and Elisabeth...still they are searching to unite and we hope that they will soon find each other so their beautiful journeys can continue...believe it or not.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Be Creative and Explore your Garden...Your Taste Buds will Dance!



Such an amazing garnish! Decorate desserts, side dishes or my favorite a salad...SO pretty and tasty!
Or make a beautiful jar of fresh water with these yummy blooms and let the lovely flavor seep into the water for a refreshing drink that is also very colorful and incredibly pleasing to the eyes!


But make sure you follow a few tips before you plate this beauties on your dishes...
never eat flowers that come from a florist or nursery unless you
know 100% they are grown organically without any of those nasty pesticides.

Confirm that any flower you want to use in a dish is in fact edible, not all flowers are edible.

To clean edible flowers, shake each flower gently upside down to dislodge any critters hidden in the petals...not gross just nature (remember that the carrot and lettuce that you buy from the grocers at one time had critters on them) Then gently place them in a sink partially full of water and add a couple of tablespoons of distilled white vinegar, and gently agitate or swirl the flowers around with your hand to clean and then dry by remove flowers from water and place on a tea cloth (instead of the not so eco friendly paper towels), and gently roll to dry.

                Apple blossoms   


             Citrus blossoms

  Citrus Geranium - Use leaves to infuse ice creams or custards. Use the flowers to garnish desserts, drinks or veggie side dishes.

  Dandelion flowers

                      Hibiscus - Use to make a tea or garnish dishes.

                                                       Honeysuckle - Sweet honey           flavor.

                          Impatiens - Great for floating in drinks or
garnishing a salad.

                                      Johnny-Jump-Ups - Perfect for decorating cakes   and garnishing salads.

                                          Marigolds -  The flowers can be used as a substitute for saffron. If you plant these near tomatoes it will deter pests.

      Martha Washington - I used these gorgeous leaves to
decorate this cake.

                     Nasturtiums - Snails seem to stay away from nasturtiums and  they self seed!

                 Nutmeg geranium - Use leaves for infusing a lovely flavor

   Pansies - Have a sweet green, grassy flavor, great
for garnishing dishes.

   Peony - The petals are beautiful for floating in cocktails or
garnishing dishes.

 Pineapple Guava  - Has a sweet tropical flavor

Rose Geranium - Use leaves to infuse ice creams or custards, and use the flowers to garnish desserts, drinks or veggie side dishes

Roses - Are great for decorating cakes, floating in drinks or garnishing dishes!

Squash blossoms - Great for stuffing with ricotta cheese!

Violets - Related to Johnny-Jump-Ups, come in some amazing colors like yellow, purple, apricot, and other pastel hues.

So...be creative try something new...your friends and family will be impressed by just adding a bit of color and excitement next time you have guest over...after all flowers are not just for vases!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Are you a Passionate Vegetarian or Vegan?

The Camano Island Inn Restaurant recently put their new vegan/vegetarian options on their menu and OH MY GOODNESS they are all so FABTASTIC…so flavorful the Chutney's are A'MAZING! I was surprised I could eat this food every day and every meal literally!
Vegetarian / Vegan Options
* Gluten Free
Vegetable Croquette $8 *
Mixed Vegetables, Beets, Potatoes, ginger –
Mildly spiced with Garam Masala
With Mint and
Coconut Chutney
Dosa Pancake $8 *
Crispy Rice and white Lentil Crepes stuffed
with Potato Masala, served wit Lentil Vegetable
Soup and Coconut Chutney
Chickpea Rolls $8
Chickpea Masala Pinwheeled inside layered
Paratta with Aoli
Vegetable Samosa $8
Baked Pasty with Savory Vegetable filling of
Potatoes, Onions, Peas and Chutney
Fire Roasted Eggplant $16 *
Spicy Sauce with Cilantro, Tamarind and
Coconut Basmati Pilaf and Yogurt Rita with Papad
     It got me to think a little more about the why are vegetarians so passionate? I started looking at all the wonderful foods that they eat and the many colors and flavors and decided that I had to write about some of the amazing and healthy foods that they love.   
     The PASSIONATE VEGETARIAN is sensual and I honestly believe that they celebrate with “all” their senses while their bodies and souls are nourished...
     Let’s take for instance…taste, smell and sound, the snap of a green bean or the crunch of a sweet carrot, the scent of fresh baked cookies and the taste of a ripened red strawberry in our mouth, sensual right?  
     For sight…the orange-gold of butternut squash, the fuchsia tones of beets, the reds and greens of apples and the various browns of mushrooms can be celebratory because of the many colors.
     For texture ...the smooth silken tofu or crisp stir-fried broccoli and let us not forget about chocolate and how when we break off a piece it slowly changes texture by melting deliciously in our mouth!
     As I started thinking about all the different healthy foods that can be eaten raw or cooked I found this A-Z chart and wanted to share it with you as it made me want to go buy everything on this list and cook something magnificent and take a beautiful picture of all the alluring colors, shapes and sizes.
     p.s…if anyone knows any other vegetarian food (not the titles of dishes), that start with the letter X I would love you to share with me!


is for Artichoke, Asparagus, Apricot and Alfalfa.
is for Beans, Bananas, Buckwheat and Blueberries.
is for Curries, Cabbage, Cranberries, Carrots and Cantaloupe.
is for Dill, Daikon, Dark chocolate and Dandelions.
is for Edamame, Eggplant, Endive and Edible flowers
is for Fennel, Figs, Fava and Flaxseed.
is for Garlic, Ginger, Greens, and Grains. 
is for Herbs, Hominy, Honeydew, and Hummus.
is for Indian curry, Iceberg lettuce, Ice tea.
is for Jicama, Japanese eggplant, Jerusalem artichokes.
is for Kohlrabi, Kale, Kiwifruit, Kidney beans, and Kohlrabi.
is for Lettuce, Leeks, Lemon, and Lentils.
is for Mints, Mushrooms, Melons and Mustard
is for Nuts, Nori, and Noodles.
is for Oregano, Okra, Olives, and Onions.
is for Peas, Parsnip, Potatoes, Peanut butter, Polenta, and Pumpkin
is for Quinoa, Quaker oats, and Quince.
is for Rice, Rhubarb, Radish, Raisins, Raspberries and Rosemary.
 is for Sweet potato, Soybean, Shallots, Swiss chard, Spinach and Squash.
is for Taro, Tomatillo, Turnip, Tomato and Tarragon
is for Unsweetened chocolate, Udon noodles, and Ugli fruit.
is for Veggie-burgers, Vanilla, and Vinegar.
is for Walnuts, Watermelon, Watercress and Wasabi.
is for Xylocarp…this is a hard one.
is for Yams, Yogurt, and Yellow peppers .
is for Zucchini, Zest, and Zinfandel.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ahhhh....Take me away


Remember the commercial "Calgon, Take me Away"? Now you can lose yourself in luxury without pouring some liquor or powder into your bathtub...you can have someone do all the work for you while you relax and relish in calm serenity and a sensation of pure delight in palette, body and spirit.

Welcome to the Camano Island Inn…

A peaceful waterfront hideaway located on Camano Island only 90 minutes away for the tensions of Seattle and our daily lives.  Life here moves at a much slower pace with fresh clean air...it is a bit of sophisticated sensibility.

At this beautiful waterfront destination the Camano Island Inn’s rooms are dreamy and luxurious; our dining room offers a completely different way of dining. Be "taken away" whe you wake up each morning with a complimentary chef signature breakfast after you start with coffee, orange juice, granola & our delicious honey yogurt, fresh baked pastries and fruit.

Be "taken away" from your kitchen into ours and be pampered, let our chef cook lunch and dinner for you...some our our light crispy calamari with a trio of dipping sauces, delicious fish and unique fingerling potatoe chips, a beautiful perfectly cooked salmon and YES we are vegetarian and Vegan friendly. Don't forget our happy hour between 3 and 5 pm where everything is 6 bucks...including a lovely selection of wine and beer tails!

Our spa is intimate with treatments that are designed to beautify your mind, body and spirit amid this waterfront escape. Our skincare line Heaven is exclusive, we have the wonderful Davines hair care, Youngblood makeup line and the wonderful Elemis…our estheticians and therapist are ready to “take you away”.


Hiking, walking or beachcombing our intimate destination brings you close to nature…you will definitely be relaxed...now you can say "Camano Island Inn take me away"!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Creating New Traditions...Happy Thanksgiving!


 Family Traditions

Generations of families love to connect through their traditions...the ones that you grew up to count on and look forward to...however building and creating new traditions to go with the beloved old ones can be interesting and exciting for your gatherings and treasured memories.
Whether you sit together formally at the table and dad cuts the first slice of turkey with his precious carving knife, or you all gather casually to eat while watching football, or perhaps you spend this day of celebration serving hot meals to the homeless...changing things up a bit can be an enhancement to your traditional day.  It could even be as simple as how you cook your turkey...is it the traditional roasted bird, coffee rubbed, brined or salt encrusted or is it the southern deep fried turkey from the South? Why not add something new to your Thanksgiving tradition. 
My fondest memory of our family tradition was how my Mother would set the table...out came her beautiful pure white laced tablecloth, perfectly folded cloth napkins, shiny white china, stemware and silverware all of which she kept tucked immaculately in her china hutch only used for this traditional day and Christmas...our table shined and looked so beautiful and I remember thinking why couldn't the table look this beautiful every night at dinner? Today, I carry that tradition...not just for significant events...but everyday I love to dress my dinner table.

The Camano Island Inn staff hopes that all your traditions this Holiday are wonderfully warm, cozy and that you are surrounded by loved ones. 
We will be open as always and would love to have you and your family share in our traditional Camano Island Inn Thanksgiving Dinner...

Cranberry Sauce
Salad of Bitter Greens, Orange and Walnut Emulsion
Green Bean Casserole with Mushrooms, Caramelized and Crispy Onions
(not your cream of mushroom soup and canned onion recipe)
Ham and Turkey with Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Pumpkin Tart
Reservations are required / 360-387-0783