The last bit of summer lingers. Cosmos and zinnias are still in full bloom. Very few trees have started to change and the weather is warm, humid. Just last weekend we were swimming in Lake Ontario. I’m in no rush for autumn weather as it will come soon enough.
Everything around me feels normal and full of beauty. In these days of motherhood, with a baby who loves to be held all the time, I have fallen behind on the news. In many ways, this is a blessing as it is the news that brings up feelings of guilt, rage and of not doing enough. But I realize that this is a temporary bubble afforded to me by the privilege of where I was born and continue to raise my family. World problems are not right on my doorstep so I’ve found I tread that dangerous, apathetic line as I’m so caught up in just getting four children through the day. But then, I sway between my little family bubble and the big, wide world. I do try. In an attempt to keep up, I skim the headlines. I ask my husband to fill me in on the details while I nurse the baby at the dinner table. It is not enough but it is something.
The climate crisis has catapulted to the front and centre of the news. A place that it should have been a long time ago. As the mother of young children, I am extremely grateful to those pushing the climate movement forward. I am in awe that it is being led by the youth of the world, many of them are too young to vote. Their courage and hope in the face of this disaster is nothing short of inspiring. I eagerly try to keep up with this news as it unfolds.
That is not to say that I sit at home reading and doing nothing. I believe everyone can offer something to address climate change and make positive change. For those who cannot participate in the climate strike, there are still so many ways to get involved from writing to your MPs, to walking instead of driving, to planting and caring for a tree . Change can occur at any level from your daily lifestyle to the big changes that are needed at a countrywide and planetwide scope. The key is to keep this conversation going! Here are two great links to inspire you into action:
The Star- What We Can Do Now
Have I missed anything? Do you have anything to add to the climate conversation?
But wait, isn’t this a blog about food? What about the cake? The peaches and cream cake is an ode to the last of summer produce. It is my way to use up the overripe peaches in a way that lets them shine. If you are short on peaches, substitute some raspberries as they will add to the flavour complexity. Also, do not skip on adding pure vanilla extract. The cake is creamy, not overly sweet and perfect for an afternoon in the garden.
Peaches and Cream Cake
Makes: 8 or 9 inch (20 or 23 cm) cake (8 slices)
Time: Prep time: 25 min + Baking time (55 minutes) + Cooling time (2 hours)
1/3 cup (75 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 scant cup (133g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
½ cup (62 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp (90 ml) whole milk, room temperature
6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (alternative add ½ cup of raspberries in place of peaches)
8 or 9-inch springform pan
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 355°F (179°C).
3. Line and grease an 8 or 9-inch springform pan. For a lower waste method, grease the pan and then sprinkle some brown sugar on the bottom.
4. Peel the peaches and slice into chunks. Substitute1/2 to 2/3 cup of raspberries for 2-3 peaches if you wish. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside as well.
5. Whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar until light and fluffy (I used a hand whisk). Add the vanilla and the cooled butter and mix until combined. Whisk the flour mixture in and then gently stir in the milk. Fold the peaches into the batter. If also using raspberries, don’t add them yet as they will turn your batter pink. Pour ¾ of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Spoon in or place the raspberries on top and drizzle the remaining batter over top of the raspberries.
6. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Halfway through baking sprinkle granulated sugar on top to achieve a crispier, brown crust. This is a creamy cake so it is difficult to determine when it is done. A skewer or toothpick will come out wet so I recommend baking for the suggested time. Cool completely on a wire rack. Use a small knife to release the sides before slicing. This cake is not always Instagram friendly meaning that it is sometimes difficult to serve. Not to worry, the taste and creaminess make up for it. Use a cake server to ensure that the slice remains intact. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar to make it pretty.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and also eat outside or have a beautiful fall bouquet on your table.
I have made the slightest of changes to the original recipe by Jennifer Maloney of Seasons & Suppers.
Also, if you live in my neighbourhood and are passing by, feel free to take home some cosmos! Seriously! Help yourself. Sharing and kindness above all.