Honey-Maple Macadamia Pie (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)


spiced honey maple macadamia pie (gluten free, dairy free) via will frolic for food
spiced honey maple macadamia pie (gluten free, dairy free) via will frolic for food spiced honey maple macadamia pie (gluten free, dairy free) via will frolic for food spiced honey maple macadamia pie (gluten free, dairy free) via will frolic for food spiced honey maple macadamia pie (gluten free, dairy free) via will frolic for food

spiced honey maple macadamia pie (gluten free, dairy free) via will frolic for food Last night when I came home from gathering supplies for todays Friendsgiving, the two trees that rise behind my house like spindly fork tines were covered in tiny, shadowed sparrows. There was a whole flock, making a chorus of sound as they jumped and flew out and up, circled back, re-settled on the branches. Over and over. Birds of no particular color, in the evening light.  Sometimes silvering blue, sometimes ash black, sometimes the color of globe eggplant. Weaving through patterns of wind and electric forces that I can’t see or feel or consciously understand, out and in from those trees.

I’ve always considered signs, in life. I was raised to believe in them — my parents and I still talk of the signs we encounter in life or in dreams, despite our differing religious beliefs. Now that I’ve changed my name to Byrd, I suppose it will be hard not to see thin-boned feathered creatures as signs, constantly. But in life there are some moments that focus out more clearly than others. There are forgotten times when you encounter a dove eating a french fry in a parking lot. There are mystical times when you watch an eagle catch a snake off of the highway and eat it in mid-air. And there are the seasonal times caught in the golden glow of early winter evenings, when sparrows spinning over your house preparing to fly south seem to be telling you  “this home is excellent for Birds — as a resting place or in-between place. Enjoy it while it’s still glowing here.”

So I will.

I’ll spend afternoons in my kitchen steeping cinnamon and vanilla and anise in a honey-maple syrup. I’ll toast nuts and make a slurry for a custard. I’ll bake a pie and watch it cool as the light changes from fire to ice. And I’ll enjoy a slice or two in the coming days, offering plates to friends, watching my Byrd man attempting to resist a third slice in a row. Pie, for some reason, can make a moment feel more like a moment. If you catch my meaning. A slice of pie for breakfast, with a carefully drawn cup of coffee, making the flickering fire in our wood stove & books and paintings and old records stacked on the coffee-table seem more real.

Quietly enjoying a slice.

Now, this particular pie is, to me, a self-confident, sexy, curvy lady with dreams and aspirations. A pie with a vision. Sure, she’s a sturdy, sweet slice of something sweet. But she’s deeper than your day-to-day fruit variety. She has more weight and, honestly, can mess you up a lot faster than a taste of apple (sugar high). She’s pretty happy just the way she is — spicy, laced with a little bit of rum, exotic in a way it’s hard to put a finger on. If pie wore lingerie she would be wearing some. A little lacy something — just for her.

So, you see, I’ve probably spent more time thinking about how to talk about pie this week than is healthy for a person. But who cares? Tis the season to make/eat/think pie.

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Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese, and Blackened Onion Galette (Gluten Free)


Butternut Squash, goat cheese, and blackened onion galette (gluten free) via will frolic for food
Butternut Squash, goat cheese, and blackened onion galette (gluten free) via will frolic for food Butternut Squash, goat cheese, and blackened onion galette (gluten free) via will frolic for food Butternut Squash, goat cheese, and blackened onion galette (gluten free) via will frolic for food Butternut Squash, goat cheese, and blackened onion galette (gluten free) via will frolic for food Butternut Squash, goat cheese, and blackened onion galette (gluten free) via will frolic for food We in North America right now are suffering from a collective anger at ice and sunshiny days that look warm but then you go outside and HATE EVERYTHING. Which is why I stayed inside and made this rustic-ass galette for Molly Yeh — who’s getting married soon and needs all the pie recipes she can get!

So, I figure that since this galette is really all weddings I would take a moment to tell the soon to be Mrs. Egg Girl (and you all) some little quirks from my wedding that still make me want to high kick out of happiness when I think about them. In hopes that maybe she (or you) will steal some of these ideas to make your wedding times THE BEST.

1. I surrounded myself with friends the week of my wedding. My best friend came down for the whole week (I’m incredibly lucky, obviously) and helped me with DIY’s (which I hate) and lots of little details. Then somehow all of my other bridesmaids came into town early. It was like a giant sleep-over hug-fest. We sort of linked arms and fought our way to success together. There is no way I could have pulled it off without inviting my community to help and be a part of the preparations.

2. We had our friend make gluten free beer (that’s a real thing you can do with this!).

3. We used fruit from our yard and from a local orchard to decorate the tables. Which ended up being doubly awesome because people ate the fruit, took fruit home with them, and I had tons left over to make apple butter and all of the persimmon things with.

4. Our friend Jake Hull played our ceremony music — on hammer dulcimer and electric guitar with effects pedals. So, ya know, THAT HAPPENED. I bring that up to you because I want to brag about how awesome he is (of course) and also because I think alternative musical happenings for ceremonies are great. Everybody please kill your boom boxes; then craigslist musician peoples to play triangles and marimba as you walk down the aisle. Or steel drum (somebody please do that).

5. We hired these guys to play vintage 45’s of funk and soul music for the dance party. I figured it would be popular, but damn. Now I know all you need to get booties shaking is some classic jams. Dancin’ all night long, y’all — despite how freakin’ cold it was outside.

6. We bought a bunch of cheapy kids toys for the little ones at the wedding — fairy wings & mini hula hoops were a major hit. Which kept them and their parents happy. Although the glow sticks and big bouncy balls ended up making an appearance amongst the adults once the music started kickin’.

7. We managed to make the whole event gluten free!!!! I can’t even tell you how proud I am of this. I’ll share the (badass/delicious/perfect) menu later. We have more than a handful of gluten sensitive folks in our lives, so this was both necessary and a totally fun challenge.

8. We used seasonal flowers — with the exception of some blousy, cream-colored roses — which made everything cheaper and more sustainable. And beautiful.

9. I thrifted a lot of the decorations — baskets and brass candlesticks, mostly. I even found Logan’s and the groomsmen’s pocket squares at a thrift shop! So… we ended up giving to good causes and still made everything pretty!

10. We had a friend cater our rehearsal dinner (geez, we have a lot of talented friends!). We seriously had no clue what to do for the rehearsal dinner meal. Thankfully she was up to the challenge. It ended up costing half of what a catered or restaurant dinner would run (we did pay her, as she straight-up worked for a week in preparation). And it was a million times tastier than most catered meals would be (falafel, roasted eggplant w/ chèvre, kale salad, hummus, etc.).

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Roasted Persimmon Scones (Vegan)

einkorn persimmon scones (dairy free, vegan) via will frolic for food einkorn persimmon scones (dairy free, vegan) via will frolic for food einkorn persimmon scones (dairy free, vegan) via will frolic for food einkorn persimmon scones (dairy free, vegan) via will frolic for food einkorn persimmon scones (dairy free, vegan) via will frolic for food

The blushing red leaves on the blueberry bush in my yard are finally starting to fall, battered by cold wind. They’re clinging, though. Rebels against the yearly cooling. That’s really how I feel. I’m just beginning to accept that sweaters are a THING that I need in the present moment. As in, I put on my first fuzzy sweater this morning without cringing (or pairing it with shorts, which we all know is only half-accepting that’s it’s killer cold outside). And I baked a bunch of things in the past two weeks (this, this, and  this).

So the ever-more-naked trees have become a symbol of coziness, in a way. Despite how bleak and stark a winter landscape can be, you can venture out to the mountains wrapped up in a thick, woven blanket, toting a thermos of something hot, and breathe life into a moment that seems devoid of life. You can fill your home with the smells of sweet things baking, the laughter of friends, a fire snapping away in the wood stove. You can bring goodness to the cold times.

Of course I always forget that until an ice storm descends. There are a lot of grumbles amidst the clamber to layer on as many socks as possible. But if I’m lucky my little hat-covered head will catch a glimpse of flour in the cabinets while searching for something good to eat. And then scones happen.

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Persimmon Macadamia Nut Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)


gluten free persimmon macadamia nut cake recipe via will frolic for food
gluten free persimmon macadamia nut cake recipe via will frolic for food gluten free persimmon macadamia nut cake recipe via will frolic for food gluten free persimmon macadamia nut cake recipe via will frolic for food gluten free persimmon macadamia nut cake recipe via will frolic for food gluten free persimmon macadamia nut cake recipe via will frolic for food

 

We got back from our honeymoon (!!!) last Monday at midnight and I’m proud to say that we have, indeed, unpacked everything (except my purple Bagu bag of flowy kimonos and pretty bikinis that I’m just not ready to pack up for next-Summer wear). I can’t remember the last time I actually unpacked all of my stuff after a long trip. Usually I half-unpack, half reference that OG bag of junk for weeks whenever I have that spidey-sense that I must be forgetting something (half a bottle of sunscreen, my hairbrush, chapstick, and deodorant are often all on the list of never-leave-the-travel-bag). The rest of my post-wedding house is a complete wreck. A clean wreck, though, mostly consisting of piles and piles of bags ready to head out to the shed or Salvation Army. Bags full of wooden trivets and candlesticks and jars rolled in glitter. Party spoils.

While we were away in Hawaii, getting in touch with all the best smells on this tiny blue water planet, I kindled a previously unexplored fire of love for macadamia nuts. Eating one of those little nut nuggets feels sort of like popping a ball of butter in your mouth. And I like that.

I also re-stoked an appreciation for totally lazy beach nap-fests. I used to live right next to the beach, growing up. It was always there, and I went often enough. But not with the sort of passion I see in the eyes of true beach bums. You know, oiled-up, bronze, bleached-out sand-surfers who ride both waves and time in the sun with a crinkle-eyed ease. Who pack their coolers early in the AM with coconut water, ice, and sandwiches and hit the shore so as to catch the sunrise and the empty wave sets. They way they look at and talk about the beach is the way some city girls are about their purse dogs (infatuated). I feel like I took a toe-dip into full-on admiration of beach life during our trip. I could check out of life and lay on beaches reading Neil Gaiman novels for at least a couple of months a year, no question.

But then, of course, I wouldn’t make persimmon cakes, now would I?

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