We are just over a week away from celebrating the first birthday of our dear friends’ little one. Let’s call her “the Nut.” (I can do this because it is her for real nickname. I am not a mean auntie). This kid is lucky because her parents are the coolest for all sorts of reasons, one reason being that they are a-mazing cooks. Dad is a professional pastry chef and Mom is just naturally a genius in the kitchen. Needless to say, you anticipate eating at their house weeks in advance. They are the sort of people who put together a dining “experience”: multiple snacks and appetizers, a main with all sorts of elements, and a dessert that makes you swoon (sometimes several). And they do all of this with complete ease, wandering out of the kitchen to chat and turn up the music and have a drink and hang out. Your glass is always full. The spicy olives / homemade feta and roasted pepper dip / garlic bread bits are plentiful. They are natural cooks, completely relaxed. Their love of food is not just about eating; it’s also a real love of making food,. They enjoy the process. I don’t think everyone who cooks can make this claim.
So for the Nut’s first birthday, her Mom is planning a picnic. (I told you she was cool, didn’t I?) I have offered to make pie, since that’s my thing right now. There’s just one problem. The Nut has a gluten / dairy sensitivity. I more or less live for gluten and dairy and so have never been at all motivated to explore the world of gluten-free or vegan baking. Of course, Perfectionist Me wants the birthday pie to be the best gluten / dairy-free pie possible. I’m feeling a little… lost (intimidated, anxious, clueless…).
I think I will start by considering Gluten-free Girl and the Chef’s piecrust. Perhaps with berries tumbled in? A little vegan ganache? (I cannot believe I just typed those two words together). If you have advice, please, do not be silent.
Whatever I come up with, I wish I had time to order some of these adorable wedge-shaped pie boxes from Petit Moulin because you’d have to love a piece of pie – vegan, gluten-free, conventional – that was wrapped up like a birthday present like this, just for you. Here’s hoping gluten-free vegan pie turns out to be the life of the party and not a perfectionist’s nightmare.