June 29, 2012

simple summer peach cake

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!

(If you haven't already, you should check out Kim's blog "You Were Meant For Amazing Things" here! It is very inspiring!)


  1. I.... Shall be baking this on the morrow dear:) looks delicious :) fun captures too...

  2. Hi Samantha!! Wonderful to hear you are going to try the recipe! I hope you will find it just as delicious as I have... YUM! Thanks for reading and for your kind words! xo