Yesterday was a ridiculously hot day (read: unpleasant to be outside - I even wrote my morning pages indoors!) and I had the day all to myself, with no commitments or obligations until the evening. So after I spent time writing in the morning, I looked forward to an afternoon of "being" practice. I decided to try out a recipe that has had my mouth watering ever since I first saw it: Simple Summer Peach Cake.
The recipe is from the amazing website/cookbook Food52. (You can get the recipe here, along with soooo many others!) Several months ago, our amazing mom, Kim, invited me to go to a cooking demo/book signing with one of the Food52 creators, Merrill Stubbs. I am so glad Kim invited me! I liked Merrill so much that I bought the book long before I had begun my adventures in cooking, and now that I am in full-swing, I pick up this lovely book quite often. You can see my obsessive flagging of all the recipes I want to try, which is pretty much every vegetarian recipe!
Now, I realize that baking is still "doing," but this "being" thing is harder for me than I like to admit. It will be a learning transition for me to embrace the true "art of being." So here is how I practiced "being" through this simple exercise: 1) It defies logic: it is a hot day, so not usually the ideal situation for baking; 2) It is highly sensory: the smell of the peaches, the textures and flavors (especially as I cut one peach to eat, along with the peaches for the cake), the visual process of watching the ingredients mix together, noting how one changes another; 3) It is a cake for "no reason": there is no event or purpose for a cake, which makes it an extra-special luxury and treat. Logically, I should not be making this cake, for many reasons. But when I thought of "being," it was the thing I wanted to try more than anything today!
I put on a Carpenters record that I haven't listened to for a long time (so summer-y, no?), and added some 'sound' to my sensory experience. I felt a little bit like I was cheating as I sliced the peaches and had to add one more since I kept sneaking pieces - they were just dripping juice.
Every step of the baking process was satisfying and so unbelievably cheerful! Something about summer and peaches and cake all rolled into one: you just can not beat it. My cake turned out beautifully! It looks a little different than the cake in the recipe photos, maybe because I did not squish the fruit down far enough into the cake. But I love that this resulted in a little more peachy-color in the cake, which reminds me of my favorite coral and pink tones!
The cake is absolutely delicious, and a gift that will keep on giving: Ryan and I could not possibly (or should not, at least!) eat the whole cake between just the two of us, so I am sure we will get to share it with others. And I love anything that gives the gift of eating, which will help to create some more "being" moments over these next few days.
Today, as it turns out, is a rainy day. I sat out on the balcony again to write my morning pages, and ate a piece of my 'simple summer peach cake' for breakfast as I watched the rain soaking the world around me. It brought the sun and warmth right back into this thunderstorm of a day: another great chance to "be."
Do you have any ideas or suggestions for more ways to practice "being" as I continue on my quest? I would love to hear them!