The first time I ever went to Seattle was in February 2003, on a 3-day liberty call when my ship was on its way to Alaska. It was cold, but crystal clear – no rain. I don’t remember all of the details of that trip (I mean, it was 14 years ago), but I remember going to Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, I remember the crab legs (more on those another day), and I remember Johnson Berry Farm. They’ve got a table in the market, selling jam and preserves, and they hand out free samples. I don’t remember exactly what I tried that day, but they had these pepper jellies that were SO GOOD. So good that when I found out a coworker was going to Seattle for work in 2010, I asked her to find them and bring some back to me. Of course, I couldn’t remember the name of the farm, but I figured she could find them. She DID find them, and she didn’t bring me anything, but the name got me to their website and I ordered some. That was 7 years ago.
This past Saturday morning, John and I wandered the entire multi-story market, sticking our heads in just about every store (and buying books in 3 out of 4 bookstores – I’m almost all set for book club the rest of the summer), and then I stopped dead in front of the Johnson Berry Farm table. All that build-up and I had COMPLETELY forgotten about them. At no time while planning this trip or walking through the market did I think to myself, “Hey, remember those pepper jellies you really liked? They’re here and you should get some.” Nope. Didn’t even cross my mind. I was so surprised and SO HAPPY. And I gotta tell you – they’re still really really good. We bought three: two types of blackberry and (this is my favorite one EVER) raspberry habanero jam. They have all kinds and they have LOTS of spicy ones. Go! Order! Enjoy!