And suddenly, it was September. The Professor and I are home this month and we’ve been taking advantage of ‘no travel’ by tidying up our abode – fresh paint on walls, dusting everything in the rooms from floor to ceiling and moving furniture around. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as ‘fall-cleaning’ but if there is, this is what we’ve been doing.


And yet, even with all the paint brushes, stirring-sticks, patching compound and switchplates scattered about, I wanted to be in my kitchen and putz – and Sunday seemed like the perfect day. Roasted chicken, smashed potatoes (I peeled a few extras so I’d have an excuse to make these from Joy The Baker – good golly how can those not be uh-may-zing??!), gravy, french green beans in mustard dijon sauce and an apple cake topped with a bit of whipped cream.


I remember Sunday dinners as a child in the Little House on Ankeny Street – a pot of chili, chicken and noodles, a meatloaf or a pot roast, it didn’t matter what was on the menu, we all had dinner together. My sister and I set the table: blue and white corningware plates, fork placed on the left, white paper napkin folded in half and tucked under a knife and spoon on the right. One of us would make a salad of chopped iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and ready-made croutons; if we were feeling fancy, we’d add a cucumber and radishes. Mom and Dad liked the Italian vinaigrette torn from a package and poured into a cruet with crisco oil and water – shake and serve; my sister, brother and I preferred French or Thousand Island dressing and those bottles, along with the cruet, would be clustered together at the center of the table as were the salt and pepper shakers.


Sometimes we’d have dessert: chocolate or butterscotch pudding or jello cups . . . and on special occasions, cake. Always a box cake, never from scratch, but we loved those layers of moist cake, tender crumb and milk chocolate frosting spread between the layers, then coat the sides and add swirly curly-cues to the top. In the suumer, there might be velvet crumb cake made from the recipe on the Bisquick box and topped with strawberries but cake was something special and we didn’t have it regularly.

Sunday seemed the perfect fall day to wrap myself in an apron, pick some fresh apples from our trees, peel, core and fold chunks into a thick, rich batter; quiet, reflective music played in the background while I cracked eggs, whisked chestnut and almond flours together and poured the mixture into a springform pan.


Nearly an hour later, there was cake.



  1. I saw this and was like, “That totally looks like Dorie’s apple cake that I love so much!!!” Love that you were able to make it gluten-free. It looks just as delightful!

  2. I’ve been doing some fall cleaning and organizing too! Maybe I’ll reward myself when I’m done with this cake. It’s beautiful!

  3. Sounds delicious! Chestnut flour? I don’t think I’ve ever had it. Will have to look for it next time I’m at the store. Apple season is my favorite time of year, and your childhood Sunday dinners sound a lot like mine. Did you grow up in Indiana too?

    • Emily ~ i grew up in Walla Walla – very similar to Indiana, although there are no Blue Mountains here . . . actually, no mountains at all! it’s funny the things you remember about childhood – but Sunday dinners have always stuck with me. if you can find it, Italian Chestnut flour is the best (IMHO) – I buy mine from Jungle Jim’s – it’s not cheap but it’s worth it!

  4. I love this cake! It looks so flavorful and moist and it’s great that you were able to make it gluten and grain free!

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