Eowyn Ivey's wintery The Snow Child is a perfect book for the middle of January. Set in the Alaskan wilderness in the 1920's, the book tells the story of a late middle aged couple, Jack and Mabel, who are childless and have moved to Alaska late in life to try to build a farm and a life away from everything and everyone they know. What drives Jack and Mabel to Alaska is their grief over losing a child in infancy and never having a child after that. The couple is ill equipped for the Alaska wilderness - Jack is in his 50's and has only farmed on fertile, temperate land in Pennsylvania. Mabel is a tightly wound upper middle class woman who knows a lot about books, but not much about how work outside or how to make a home far away from civilization. When we meet Jack and Mabel they distant from each other, just doing what they can to get by, and they are about to head into their first Alaskan winter without enough food or money to get them through. At the first snow, Jack and Mabel make a child out of the snow and shortly thereafter they spot a little blond girl running around the forest outside their home. It is this that changes everything, and sets the story in motion. As with the book, this Maple Walnut Pie is also perfect for the middle of January. It is the type of humble pie that you make when you don't have fancy or freshly picked ingredients around. It was inspired by the walnut pies that Mabel would make to sell in town, in an effort to make some money until the farm was up and running. I added the maple to make it a little more interesting.