Girl meets dirt pairings
The business—Girl Meets Dirt—creates handmade, small-batch artisanal preserves that are designed for savory pairings with cheese or charcuterie. Lawlor walked away from a career on Wall Street, trading in the wilds of Manhattan for the pastoral scene of Orcas Island. She and her husband left without a clear plan, but Lawlor knew she wanted to live closer to the earth and do something where she could work with her hands. Lawlor had grown up in the Northwest—in Vancouver, Washington—and had spent time boating in the San Juan Islands with her parents. But surrounded by local fruit, she taught herself to preserve what the seasons provided.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The Search For Grog - Critical Role One-Shot
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Orchard Apricot Spoon Preserves
The business—Girl Meets Dirt—creates handmade, small-batch artisanal preserves that are designed for savory pairings with cheese or charcuterie. Lawlor walked away from a career on Wall Street, trading in the wilds of Manhattan for the pastoral scene of Orcas Island. She and her husband left without a clear plan, but Lawlor knew she wanted to live closer to the earth and do something where she could work with her hands. Lawlor had grown up in the Northwest—in Vancouver, Washington—and had spent time boating in the San Juan Islands with her parents.
But surrounded by local fruit, she taught herself to preserve what the seasons provided. While caught in a cycle of loss, Lawlor took solace in the rhythms of the natural world. Before the Columbia River was dammed and eastern Washington was irrigated, Orcas served as fruit basket for the region. Today there are year-old fruit trees that are still producing, including the native Orcas pear that was discovered on the island in the s.
She travels to nearby Guemes Island to purchase quinces that make their way into her quince marmalade. What happened to all this fruit before Lawlor came along? Last year Lawlor brought in three and a half tons of fruit and made almost 6, jars of preserves.
This year she hopes to double that. Her method is inspired by the tradition of French preserving. Each is made with only single-varietal fruit, sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a garden-grown herb. The result is fruit-forward and chunky with unusual flavor combinations that highlight the versatility of fruit spreads: Burbank plum with star anise, or Orcas pear with fresh bay.
These are preserves that play well with dinner or on a cheese board. The pink Bartlett cutting preserve, made with spicy pink peppercorns, pairs nicely with an aged blue cheese, while the Shiro plum with mint tastes like it belongs glazed over a roasted leg of lamb. Girl Meets Dirt is still essentially a onewoman show—albeit, Lawlor is quick to note, with tremendous support from her husband. When nausea kept her away from the stove, Gerry took over production of her popular rhubarb and lavender preserves.
Lawlor not only picks the fruit and makes the jam, she does all the marketing and distribution as well. When she was starting out, she took classes at the annual specialty food show to learn about retail and wholesale pricing and researched the market. But those early lessons have proven useful.
Her big city background has paid off in unexpected ways as well. Lawlor is looking forward to what might be next for Girl Meets Dirt. Her little boy, Life, will have a play area as well. But she and her family have found a warm welcome in this small island community.
And loving it? Never would have guessed that. These days, afternoons may find her out in an old orchard, picking crates of fruit while her little boy plays on a blanket in the shade and deer graze across a meadow. In these moments of rootedness and connection to natural cycles and seasons, Lawlor seems to have found exactly what she was looking for. Sarah Barthelow is a freelance food writer and the voice behind the popular food blog Little House Pantry and bi-weekly food podcast And Eat it Too!
She grew up on Lopez Island and now lives in Seattle. We are always looking for talented writers and photographers. If you are interested in being a part of the Edible Seattle team, please email us!
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Italian Plum Cutting Preserves
We wish we had more of this plummy reduction but the local harvest this year was limited by untimely rain. Our limited supply is only available online. Made with Italian Plums from original Crow Valley orchards, this rich preserve is gorgeous with any strong, soft cheese. A natural accompaniment to cheese, our preserves upgrade your cheese platter to sublime. They bring a sense of gravitas to any meal— an appreciation for tradition: for the bounty the land provides, and the simple human ingenuity that inspired us long ago, to preserve it.
Deep purple, rich, with just a hint of licorice. Try it lathered on toast, dolloped on dessert, or straight from the spoon. Or use layered into a jam tart with pate brise base and crumble topping. A natural accompaniment to cheese, our preserves upgrade your cheese platter to sublime.
How to enjoy Girl Meets Dirt
This is a big question. Way too big for the FAQ section. But in sum: Audra is the girl, Orcas Island is the dirt. A northwest native, she got swept away to NYC after college and spent ten years working her tail off on Wall Street, year after year, plotting her eventual escape, back to an inspired existence, back to the motherland, back to the great Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, she met a boy she met several boys, some nice, some naughty , this one an Irish lad, who bought into her NW fairytale and together they decided to say adios to NYC and move into five farmette acres on a little island called Orcas in the NW tip of Washington state. Yes and no. So yes, we coined the phrase, but not the style.
Island Plum Spoon Preserves
A and Good Food Awards Winner and one of our very first preserves, we can't wait for you to try this. We love the brightness of this Asian varietal an original farmette tree — and find it pairs fabulously with mint, freshly picked from our kitchen garden. For a simple appetizer, serve it alongside goat cheese, or gussy it up with a little prosciutto. Serve straight from the jar with pork or lamb chops.
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The Story of Girl Meets Dirt
Apricot is one of those flavors we don't need to explain. Anyone who's had a luscious, toothsome spoonful of apricot jam knows the magic these beauties can do with your tastebuds. Apricots, however, aren't something we can easily grow in the islands - but they thrive in the warmer summers east of the Cascade Mountains. So we've partnered with a small family orchard that's been growing fruit in the Okanogan Valley right across Highway 20 for decades -- to bring you a classic -- apricot jam made in the French confiture style, made with the most delicious, naturally grown apricots that warm central Washington sun can provide.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Cast of Girl Meets World at D23 Expo 2015 - Radio Disney
We hope getting married in the San Juans will bring you magical memories for years to come. Girl Meets Dirt crafts handmade preserves, shrubs, and bitters from San Juan Islands' fruit, inspired by legacy orchards and the desire to preserve their bounty year-round. We would love to customize for you with stamps or stickers that vibe just right with your big day. Who knew their wedding venue would become their new home? Memories of childhood summers spent on the water in the San Juans called her and her then-fiance to celebrate their wedding in Roche Harbor
Quince Marmalade Spoon Preserves
Sign In My Account. Online Shop. Girl Meets Dirt. Visit Us. Cheese Pairings. Island Plum Spoon Preserves. Pear Balsamic Spoon Preserves. Shiro Plum with Mint Spoon Preserves.
Check back often for fresh recipe ideas and pairings. For now- enjoy our new festive holiday cocktail and spritzer additions. And just crack open a jar with your favorite cheese - no recipe needed! If you appreciate a bit more instruction, we recently did a segment on our local morning talk show sharing our tips for a stress free but impressive festive cheese board and nonalcoholic shrub spritzer. Watch the clip here.
We talk a lot about terroir and how the salty island breezes create their own kind of fruit alchemy -- about why the San Juan Islands, and the people who call it home, are the backbone of our business. But it's hard to fully convey what we mean unless you've been here - and have felt that sense of coming together Saturdays at the market, a farm dinner al fresco , the inspiration from our common rootedness plucking fruit from the old orchards to share at a picnic , and the wildness all around us dipping your toes or diving into the sea. This place, these people, sustain us and keep us thriving. Last summer our founder Audra had the opportunity to open her life and business to a Tastemade camera crew - to share a glimpse of what it means to live and thrive and break bread on Orcas Island.