I live in Brooklyn.
This is not news.
There are not very many trees of the evergreen and pinecone-heavy variety in my fine borough…there’s bound to be a reason for this, probably something to do with needles being a real bitch and pine sap being stickier than hooker with a lollipop on the F train, but I digress.
My son’s teacher assigned us a “nature walk”, wherein we were meant to find various autumnal ephemera. This included: yellow leaves, red leaves, green leaves, orange or brown leaves, pinecones and acorns.
Easy peasy, right? I am forever being pegged with acorns by over-eager and super-fat squirrels, who seem to have the aim of a military sniper; and have landed a perfect shot both in my (nearly non-existant) cleavage and my open cup of tea. They are spiteful little shits and belong only in Snow White cartoons and afro-sporting artist’s pockets. (stay in those happy little trees, will you?) Acorns? I got em. Lemme just check my (barely b-cup) bra. Leaves? While we may be an urban environ–we have trees–so yeah, we have leaves of many colors; not unlike Joseph’s coat, or my face after too much drink.
Pinecones, though? Pinecones? Not so fucking much. Not anywhere. I took the fruit of my loins all the hell over Brooklyn searching for this harbinger of winter and Christmas, and came up empty. Pine trees are in short supply, and they apparently have no need to reproduce, because they’re as infertile as a eunuch and a blow up doll.
My over-achieving offspring was positively heartsick. How on earth would the world continue spinning on its axis without the necessary seed holder?
I got fed up. I said “eff-all and bob’s your uncle” and went to visit Brooklyn’s natural environment of commerce and trendy: Target. You know what they had, right there in the WAY TOO GODSDAMNED EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS aisle? Deliciously cinnamon-scented pinecones.
We bought a bag.
We penned a note to his teacher:
Dear Mrs Teacher,
We were unable to find pinecones in deciduous-dominant Brooklyn. We decided to take an urban-nature walk, complete with a visit to the underground city, and found ourselves at Target, where upon we found pinecones of the cinnamon variety. It smells like cheating and Christmas.
Hope this works.
Ok, so this next cake is paleo-ish. Not by design–by taste. I’m sorry Paleo-haters, gluten is awful on my tummy right now.
Chocolate Chestnut Paleo Cake
Paleo Chestnut Cake
Paleo Chestnut Cake
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert paleo
Ingredients (serves 12)
for the cake
- 2 cups chestnut flour (to make this, roast 2-3lbs of chestnuts and GRIND WHEN WARM!!! SUPER IMPORTANT STEP)
- 1/2 cup+ coconut flour (if too loose, add a bit more)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, warm and liquid
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup+ ice cold coconut milk (if batter too thick, add a bit more)
- 1/2 cup orange juice, super cold
for the frosting
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate (like bakers)
- 1/3 cup ghee
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
for the cake
preheat oven to 350F and grease 9-10″ cake pan with coconut oil or ghee
beat together maple syrup and eggs
stir in milk
add juice and vanilla
stir in dry ingredients
pour into cake pan
bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes
combine all ingredients in a double boiler and whisk until smooth
pour over warm, but not hot, cake