Inga hurried through the empty gray streets, her blowsy skirt caught by an unseen gust of wind. The sun had set and in half an hour soldiers would be grabbing her by the arm and demanding her papers. She gripped a parcel close to her chest and sped over the wet cobblestones. Soon the prison blocks rose before her, crowning Grandpa Nikolay’s former grazing pastures. Up at the guardhouse a young soldier gazed at her, unsmiling. She waited, hoping for a faint glimmer of recognition, gold that had passed from her hands to his, in the soldier’s hard blue eyes. An imperceptible nod later, she was able to slip through a crack in the iron gates. Inga ran to the stone headquarters building, where a line of women wearing threadbare linen hovered with their own parcels.
“Advance!” The line crawled forward, the women bowing their heads and submitting their packages to scrutiny.
“You,” said a tall captain, as Inga approached. “What is that?” He pointed to her parcel.
“A cake,” replied Inga. “For my husband.”
She unwrapped the wax paper and laid the cake on the inspection table.
“Very pretty,” remarked the captain dryly. “But I do not recognize it as one of your provincial foods. How did you manage to make a cake, with no sugar and cream since the war started?” Implied in his words was the cloud of a hard labor sentence from black market trading.
“It is an imitation,” replied Inga quickly. “I used whatever ingredients I had, meaning only to please my husband.”
The Captain’s expression did not change. “Who is he?”
“Andris Jansons,” replied Inga.
The Captain turned and muttered something in his own language to his men.
“It is too good for a rebel like him,” he announced. “My men will eat it.” He removed his knife from its sheath and prepared to cut the cake in half.
“Please sir,” begged Inga. “Could I not show it to my husband first, so he can see my efforts? Then you and your men can have it all. I promise he will not touch it.”
The Captain appeared to find the prospect of showing a hungry man food he could not eat sufficiently punishing. He waved her forward and Inga entered the open prison yard, where bearded men in soiled jumpsuits talked quietly with their visitors. Across the room a pair of dark green eyes found hers. A moment later she was in her husband’s arms.
“No contact!” A soldier reached down and forced them apart. Her husband flushed but bit back his anger, looking instead at the cake.
“You’ve done well, love,” he said to Inga. She looked at him carefully.
“You have it?”
“Yes,” said Andris. He glanced at the Captain, who had come up from behind and was observing them closely. A moment later, the Captain broke off a large hunk of cake, and ate it in front of them.
“Peasant food,” he said. “But still too good for vermin.” He gestured and a soldier whisked the cake away. Another seized Andris, who exchanged a last piercing glance with Inga before disappearing into the holding room.
The next day, Inga paced around the cottage, glancing out the window and twisting her hands. She saw a towheaded youth sprinting through their field, and ran out to meet him.
“Did it work?” she asked breathlessly.
The youth nodded, gasping for air. “He left at midnight. They are safe in the woods hideout.”
Inga collapsed onto the soft grass in relief. “Thank God.”
“How did you manage to let him know, with all those soldiers watching?” asked the boy.
“It was on the cake,” said Inga. “The colors, symbolizing us and the enemy, laid out in ancient pagan lines. He knew.”
The boy just shook his head admiringly. “You must come with me. The Captain is furious. They are headed here now.”
Inga was ready. She hoisted her small bag of belongings and followed the boy through the fields. As they trekked into the woods towards the camp, the birds and forest creatures seemed to echo their refrain of resistance.
- 2.5 c cooked cauliflower, squeezed dry/drained
- 3 cups coconut cream (the solid cream from about 3 cans of coconut milk)
- 6 tb coconut oil
- zest of 3 lemons
- juice of 1.5 - 2 lemons
- 6 tb honey or ½ cup maple syrup (V)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- AIP Crust
- 1.5 c cassava flour
- ½ c tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
- ½ c coconut oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tb honey or maple syrup (V)
- 3-5 tb water as needed to bring it together
- Or, if you want the whole thing to be no-bake, you can try an AIP no-bake coconut crust or the following Paleo crust (blend/food process the following):
- 1.5 cups softened dates
- 2 cups walnuts + ground pumpkin seeds (or another mixture of seeds/nuts)
- 2 tb coconut oil
- 1 cup of fresh raspberries
- 1 cup of fresh blackberries
- mint (optional)
- 1 tb arrowroot starch
- ½ c water
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix crust ingredients and press into parchment lined cheesecake pan.
- Bake crust for 10-15 minutes until browned.
- While crust is baking, blend cheesecake ingredients together using a food processor or blender. Season to taste.
- Pour filling into baked crust and place in refrigerate overnight to set.
- Decorate the top with berries.
- To make the glaze, mix arrowroot starch with honey, lemon juice, and water, and heat gently over stove top until the mixture thickens. Brush over top of berries.
This post has been shared at Phoenix Helix’s Paleo AIP Roundtable.