Nomadic Snacking, Episode 4: Apple-Ginger-Marzipan Scones at Wild Flour Bread in Freestone, CA

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A few years ago, a friend introduced me to an organic brick oven bakery that was rumored to have the most incredible sticky buns on the planet. Up until that point, the pinnacle of pastry for me was the pecan Cinnabon. Yeah, I know. You can take the snacker out of Indiana, yadda, yadda.

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But it turns out my friend was right. The sticky buns at Wild Flour Bread are a monstrous, heavyweight chunk of warm, cinnamon heaven so sumptuous, I often planned my Saturdays around making the long drive from Stinson Beach up Highway One to the far fringes of western Sonoma, on the edge of Bohemian Highway.

For a few years, this was one of my favorite weekend rituals. Back then, I didn’t know that the chronic red patches on my face were skin rashes caused by my not-yet-diagnosed celiac disease. So I keep going back for more of those wheat-laden loaves of love.

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Until one day, they took me down. I’ll spare you the details. But suffice to say, it was painful enough to make me to finally have to seek out the dreaded, often-mocked-as-mythological gluten-free alternatives. Yes, it is a fad. Yes, it’s received WAY too much hype. Yes, it’s ridiculous to assume that a majority of people will benefit in any way by removing wheat from their diet. And yet, after four years of working around it with corn, rice and almond flour alternatives, I can’t deny that I feel like a new person. Trust me when I tell you that no one who loves donuts and pizza as much as I do would EVER give them up unless there was a doctor-directed reason to do so. And so.. I did.

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But that’s where the bad news ends and the good news begins. Because now there are so many places that excel at wheat-free baked goods, I can honestly say, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything anymore.

Which takes us to the delectable star of today’s episode: the Apple-Ginger Scone from Wild Flour Bakery that uses marzipan so artfully that I’m telling you, when you get one right of the oven, you will not care one bit that they have no wheat whatsoever in them. These scones still inspire me to make the trek up to Freestone despite no longer being able to partake in their legendary sticky buns.

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Being near those sticky buns now is like being in the same room with an ex at a party. Sure, there’s heartache and awkwardness, but it’s good to know they’re doing well, making others blissfully happy just like they used to do for you.

Seriously, though: if you have no dietary restrictions, you need to get your paws on one of those sticky buns. Or, if you’re a fan of the cheese: try the fougasse. And don’t forget to take a stroll through the Wildflour Gardens while you’re there to see where they grow some of their ingredients. And say hi to the lovely hippies who are pulling the dough from the fire. They are almost as magical as their bread.

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Wild Flour Bread is located at 140 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472. They’re open 8am to 6pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Thanksgiving in Sacramento

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From a hill over Pacifica, CA

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Muir Beach Overlook

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“Waylaid” music video

Inspired by the El Niño winter I spent in Seattle in 1999 and many rainy road trips through the town of Darrington, WA.

Alyn Kelley: vocals
Laura Loescher: cello
Paul Boutin: guitar
Drew Pearce: guitar, vocals
Patrick McGavock: djembe

A big hats off to Cynsa Bonorris for writing the harmony vocal line.

Available as a free download here.

Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz

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Coleman Valley Road near Occidental, California

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