I'm so happy to join the Novel Bakers for part two of A Forest Feast Gatherings by Erin Gleeson. If you missed part one, you can catch up by visiting Jain, Mary, Linda, and me. I was enchanted by the Bakers' unique presentations of this extraordinary cookbook, and I know you will love them, too.
Won't you join me today as I serve dessert and hot cider on the porch?
It's my favorite spot to wait for sunset and the Blue Hour.
For my little gathering, I arranged a table and chairs on one side of the porch. A hot cider/beverage station went in the middle, with more seating at the far end.
For dessert, I made a pear-thyme galette--the recipe called for 7 ingredients: puff pastry, fig jam, 3 pears, 3 T chopped walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, thyme, and a honey-butter (2 t melted butter + 2 t honey). I added pomegranate seeds.
The recipe makes two out of this world galettes.
Photo Credit: Erin Gleeson via The Forest Feast (website and blog)
To accompany the galette, I made a rum-pear cider in the slow-cooker. The recipe calls for 5 ingredients: 64 oz pear juice, 8 oz dark rum, 1 pinch nutmeg, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 apple + 2 t. whole cloves. Pour the juice and rum into a slow cooker. Add nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Push cloves into an apple, then place the apple into the slow-cooker. Heat on high for 1 hour. Garnish with star anise.
In the book, Erin suggested dressing up a slow-cooker with a tea towel or napkin.
I used a rusty orange pail for a vase.
I couldn't resist adding cute squirrel plates. For the napkins, I used grapevine rings, which were embellished with acorns.
The table is space-challenged, so I used a vertical centerpiece: a tiered wire compote, piled with fruit, pumpkins, leaves, gourds, flowers, herbs, nuts, and vines.
I gathered a few hydrangeas and tucked them here and there.
Last summer, I bought a vintage bench from an old friend, and we finally brought it home last week (along with an arbor for the Memory/Butterfly Garden).
I usually hang art or a wreath on the shake wall, but I wanted to do something special today.
A creative project in the book caught my fancy: a whimsical, simple floral garland. I found a branch in the woods and used it as a base, tying flowers with twine.
You can find a sampling of Erin's DIY creative projects on her website.
Our little gathering began at dusk.
For more recipes and ideas, please visit the darling, talented Novel Bakers:
The Forest Feast (website and blog)