I was in the Skagit Valley for the Festival of Family Farms on the first weekend of October this year. In addition to visiting a select number of farms, I also went to a couple of small eateries in the area. I planned the trip a few weeks in advance, so my sister, who lives in Washington state, was able to meet us for the excursion.
We met in the morning at Rocket Donuts in Bellingham. From the reviews the food sounded promising, listing a maple bacon donut as one of their features. I’m not big on donuts, but after reading the review I got a bit caught up in with the hype, and insisted we pay a visit to Rocket. Several of us from North of the border met my sister and brother in-law at Rockets.
Rocket’s storefront was a scene out of The Simpsons, with a giant metal rocket sculpture a few steps away from the door. In the window, a giant neon sign beamed ‘ROCKET DOUGHNUTS NOW’, mimicking the Krispy Kreme neon installations. On the side of the building was a life size mural of what I can only guess to be a depiction of what Bellingham looked like in the early twentieth century.
The counter inside the shop had the donuts proudly glistening with colored glazes, like jewellry. Of course, I sampled their maple bacon donut, in addition to their apple fritter. I was excited when I saw the large strips of bacon on top of each donut, but found them to be a little tough. As for the donuts themselves, they were excessively sweet, and too dense for my liking. I prefer my donuts to be soft and airy like Krispy Kremes, but the donuts at rockets were more like chewing on thick sponges. The apple fritter was more or less the same as the maple bacon donut, perhaps even sweeter with the heavy glaze. I’m glad I had a cup of steamed milk to wash everything down.
After breakfast, we made our way to the first farm along the self guided tour to Taylor’s Shellfish Farm. Two of us had been to Taylor’s for the Bivalve Bash, but no one else in our party had visited before. This time around it was a lot less hectic on the farm, with just a few educational stations.
On that particular day, there were free oysters to sample, both raw and barbequed. I tried both, still preferring the raw oyster. However, the barbequed oyster I had that day was much more enjoyable than the one I ate at the Bivalve bash. Although it was still very fresh, the raw oyster didn’t have the same meatiness like the one I ate the previous time.
The educational station exhibited seedlings of oysters, mussels, clams, and geoducks. With the exception of the geoduck, the seedlings were not much larger than a grain of rice and could easily be mistaken for pebbles. The geoducks looked like tiny elephant trunks with a weight attached to the fat end.
After Taylor’s my sister decided she wanted some ‘real food’, so we went into Bow to refuel. But I will be posting the other details on the second part of this trip at the end of the week.