Years ago on very special occasions my family would stop at a sensational California restaurant that opened its doors in the 1920’s – The Nut Tree.  Famous people ate at The Nut Tree…people like… us …oh, and other famous people: Ronald Reagan, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Queen Elizabeth II!

Many things made The Nut Tree a special place …The Nut Tree Airport and Railroad, the Toy Shop, The Nut Tree Candy Kitchen, and the amazing Nut Tree Bakery where hundreds of loaves of bread, cookies, pies and cakes were baked daily!  There were exotic birds inside a large glass cage from the floor to the ceiling!  And everywhere bunches of fresh flowers were in full bloom.      

But, it was the food that caused people to drive for miles; the gorgeous, delicious food with a presentation fit for a president, a queen and…uhmm, us!!  What was the food like at this wonderful place?  Strawberries…that’s the first thing that comes to my mind.  How could something so simple be so memorable?   Here’s how:

Gluten free but not dairy free
Freshly picked strawberries
Half & Half (half cream, half milk)
Powdered Sugar

The Nut Tree Method:

  1. Strawberries…perfect, red, juicy, sliced strawberries – lots of them; in a bowl that was placed on an oblong tray lined with fresh fig leaves and adorned with one perfect orchid.  Wow! A gorgeous fresh orchid on each tray! 
  2. Next to the strawberries and sitting on top of one of the fig leaves was the cutest little pitcher, full of ice cold half & half. (Half cream/half milk) 
  3. Next to the pitcher of cream was a matching little tumbler filled with powdered sugar. A heavy silver spoon rested on the tray to sprinkle the sugar onto the perfect strawberries.  Strawberries and cream…perfection.

Even as a young girl, I felt like I was SOMEBODY when I ate there!  Somebody important!  The staff at the Nut Tree was truly special!  They made every person feel like they were a King or Queen! 

It was a sad day when the restaurant decided to close it’s doors.  I always wished I had bought a cookbook from The Nut Tree all those years ago.  (Sigh!) I had such fond memories of that place!  If I had known they were going to close I certainly would have bought one!!!  When I searched for a Nut Tree Cookbook, I found that every Nut Tree Cookbook was out of print; I couldn’t even find a copy on Ebay! And then one day I was browsing in an antique shop when I found an old, out of print cookbook that featured famous restaurants… and inside were a few recipes from…The Nut Tree!  What a find!  Just thumbing through the pages brought back happy memories, so of course I bought it!!!  

Now, TODAY is a new day and that means it’s time to create a happy, gluten-free memory right now!  Ohhhh, I can hardly wait to bite into a strawberry!

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