It’s such a joy to grow things.
And even more satisfying to know that the stuff we’re eating is from our own garden.
This year, as I walked through the garden, I found myself eating berries and vegetables before I even got them into the house.
Instead of making jelly, I ate the currants fresh from the bush every day.
Asparagus spears, delicious when eaten fresh, often didn’t make it into the kitchen.
Same for the raspberries and even some tomatoes.
Being able to forage for food in one’s own garden is a privilege.
Recently, we’ve made herb oils (basil, in this case).
And I’ve made peach cake.
Knowing my tragic history with baking cakes, my family was impressed by how well it turned out.
I was so impressed with my baking victory that I kept making the same cake over and over again.
“Make her stop!” younger daughter begged her father.
I protested and she said “Mom, I love you. But you know … you find one thing that you can make, and you keep making it and making it till we’re sick of it.”
I rolled my eyes and tried to look penitent. But I was busy making another peach cake.
Soon it will be time to pull the garlic and onion bulbs from the soil.
And time to make apple pie.
I’ll peel and slice the apples, and my good man will make the pies. Everyone in our family looks forward to this tradition (and no-one complains since he only makes these delicious pies once a year).
It’s the simple stuff. The good stuff.
And my daughter will be relieved to know that now I’m serving the peaches freshly sliced, with yogourt.
But just wait till next summer.
PHOTOS BY HAMLIN GRANGE
93 thoughts on “Garden Joys”
What a bountiful garden! Eating it while it is fresh is the best.
That’s for sure.
You are not the only one to keep making a recipe that turns out. Love the ending of this lush garden piece.
Wonderful post Cynthia. Yes to the simple joys of growing and harvesting our own food, along with family and friends to share it with. 🙂
Thanks for this, Brad. Glad you like the post.
Wonderful post. It made me smile and it made me hungry. Why shouldn’t you make the cake again and again? When something works… We tend to eat things over and over when they are in season. The winter selections are just not the same.
A girl after my own heart, Karen. Thank you for that very wise argument!
You are really in your element Cynthia – so wonderful to read about your bountiful garden and then seeing your delicious baked goods.
Mary, thanks. It’s really my husband’s bountiful garden, but I get to reap the benefit of his hard work, and I’m very thankful.
Hey, if they don’t want that peach cake, I know some folks around here who would love a slice! 😉
Tee hee! The last one I made was the best so far: a light cake, made moist by the sliced peaches. Baked peaches in a cake are divine.
Yum, I am hungry from reading this post. My husband is also the pie baker in the family.
And aren’t we thankful for that, eh? I am looking forward to my good man’s apple pies this fall.
Yes, I am looking forward to Pumpkin, just waiting for some Pie Pumpkins..
LOL!!! Oh, what beautiful produce!!! Basil is my favorite herb. It’s so funny that your daughter wanted you to stop making your peach cakes (which, by the way, look delicious) because I’m the same way–whenever I find something I like and I’m good at, I tend to go overboard. As always, thanks for sharing your lovely posts and pictures! Have a great day! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thank you, Maxine, for that great vote of support!
Makes me hungry just reading and seeing all that lovely garden produce!
I hear you.
Wow Cynthia, it is impressive!
There’s no such thing as too much peach cake. (or apple pie)
I am with you on that one!
And I’m with you both on that one!
Oh, those pies look delicious. It’s a wonderful feeling, wandering into the garden and munching on fresh produce. Almost nothing ever makes it back to the house!
I know how that goes. I tell myself that they are best when absolutely fresh, and if I didn’t have a family, nothing would make it into the house.
You are so privileged and patient to tend such a bountiful garden Cynthia! How fresh and delicious everything looks!
I’m privileged alright: my good man and a couple other good people help with it. I just enjoy the fruit of their labour!
When I am successful with a recipe I do the same thing as you Cynthia, having never tried Peach Cake, it would be lovely to have some parcelled up and sent over!
Tee hee. Thanks for that, Julie.
Fresh is best! And, oh those desserts!
Yes, Teresa. Fresh is best!
Now who could resist those perfect little red currants? Not me!
As it turns out, me neither.
I promise you I would NEVER complain about too many peach cakes! Or apple pies–my personal fave! What a satisfying time of year for you!
I love this time of year, Kerry. My fave. I’d never compalin abotu too many peach cakes either, as you know! tee hee.
Much coming in from our own garden now too. I also like to eat my way through the garden and orchard! One Extension agent I know said the best way to eat a tomato is out in the field with the seeds running down one’s face.
when do the grapes ripen?
They are ripe now. Rick has already been picking the table grapes and the pinot noir is also ripe. I will have to harvest what I can this week, as the bees are making the rounds of the vineyard, sucking the grapes dry. The birds aren’t far behind…
Rick’s mother has now qualified for home hospice, so I am looking forward to the extra help, and a little more sleep.
Ah, Lavinia. You and Rick have so much on your hands. Glad about the home hospice, especially at this busy time. You really are something else, you know.
This is wonderful, Cynthia. I found myself laughing about you picking and eating in the garden before getting inside and also making the same thing over and over again – this sounds so much like me! 😀
I’m so impressed with your garden – the produce looks so fresh, healthy & delicious! Not to mention the scrumptious peach cake!
Thank you! That peach cake truly is scrumptious. I was about to say “the best cake I’ve ever made”, but I think I’ve only made about three in my whole life, and this one turned out the best of all.
I like that – the best cake of all! Well done 🙂
So nice to think of you walking through your garden and enjoying its bounty. And now I am both hungry and envious – though we do get to enjoy the bounty of this time of year as well, we just pay for it with money instead of work!
Thank goodness for my husband — he takes care of the garden and likes to grow vegetables! I’ve often thought that as I’ve walked through the garden this season.
Congratulations on baking such a tasty looking cake! My daughter Alice makes peach crumble and very nice it is too. I will have to try peach cake! I live with a lot of piggy people who never complain about the type of cake or pudding I bake. They only moan if there isn’t enough. Our figs are ripening at last! Our tomatoes are also ripening but don’t taste of much because of the lack of sunshine. Lovely photos of all the produce!
The peach cake is great for any time of day. It’s actually as light as a coffee cake, but the peach slices make it moist and delicious. Great about the figs! It’s lovely to have one’s own fig tree.
Thank-you! I will try this recipe I think. Is it just a plain sponge mixture? Fresh figs are wonderful and the tree is not fussy either ( this is fortunate as most of the trees in our garden have to survive without much care )
I’ll email you the recipe. Pretty straightforward, even for me.
You’ll need 2 or 3 peaches, 2 eggs, some brown sugar, butter, sour cream (I use light), baking powder and soda, and some flour. Plus nutmeg, vanilla extract and a wee sprinkle of salt. Then you slice the peaches and put a layer right around the outer edge of the cake, put in oven for about 50 minutes, eh voila! My good man comes along and sprinkles it lightly with icing sugar, but I never bother.
Peaches and pears, oh my! I love what you say about the garden, it is indeed a privilege. Toni
Thank you, Toni. So much to be thankful for.
You had me at the tomatoes! 😀 I have to get fasting-blood work in a few hours and your post has me starving. This was (will be) delicious!
Whops! Sorry about the temptation, Jackie!
The peaches seem to have been especially delicious this year – coming to the end of that season is sad. I’ve tried them many ways but not in baking so good for you! It does seem that the apple trees have a bigger bounty too this year.
Baked in a cake, the peaches are divine. I keep hearing that the apple trees are doing better this year. Ours is Wolf River; bears every other year, and this year it’s rest time.
Omigosh, Cynthia, you have me drooling and envying! Since I have such terrible luck with plants, maybe I should just move next door to you! HA! 😆
Hah! My good man loves to grow stuff and I love to eat them.
What a wonderful harvest, and all of the baking, too! Your peach cake looks so good. I wish so badly that we had room on our property to grow fruit and vegetables like that. 🙂
I hear you, Theresa. My husband somehow manages to get a whack of veggies and herbs from a small plot.
Nothing’s better than garden produce. Currants – cool!
Hooray for garden produce!
Great post, Cynthia!! I’m so impressed with your lush garden! Nothing tastes better than produce fresh from the garden, IMHO. 🙂 I got a good chuckle over your making the peach cake over and over. Too funny. 😀 I’m planning to bake an apple pie this week; I love using my mom’s recipe for apple pie with crumb topping. Yum!
Wishing you a wonderful September week!
Thanks a lot, Denise. Glad to make you smile. I like crumb topping on an apple pie.
WOW! What a bounty! I am lettuce-y green with envy that you have so much wonderful food coming from your very own garden. It just looks fabulous, as does your peach cake and those apple pies. If you’ve got that peach cake down, maybe there’s an outlet/local fair in town where you could sell some! I have a tabu recipe for a German Plum Cake that I also make with peaches or apples – super simple and to die for. E me off-post through my website if you’re interested, and I’ll e-mail it to you – jeannebalsam.com 🙂
Jeanne, thanks for your confidence in my cake-baking skills! I will email you.
If they get tired of your peach cake, you can send them down here! Bet it’s great warmed up with a scoop of ice cream.
I’m betting too that ice cream is just the thing! I made a peach crumble this time and it was nice.
Cynthia, what a great team you and Hamlin make. Your words and humor plus his photography make for a magazine quality post. And thank you for making me feel normal about binge baking with a winning recipe. 😉 This year I ate the blueberries right off of our bushes. One of my sons did some picking so I could bake at least one pie.
Blessings ~ Wendy
A woman after my own heart. You made me smile, too.
My kids let me know if I’ve entered the binge realm. My hubby and I would still be eating fruit crisp if the clan had stayed on board. 😉
I laughed out loud in my office reading about your peach cake!! I have to agree it is a wonderful feeling to eat off your own land. Every time I pull something out I have canned or frozen it makes me feel wonderful inside all winter long.
I make our infused oils at home as well. Basil/garlic is our family favorite. I make quite a few at a time as I cook our chicken in, use it on veggies, pasta, salads etc. YUM
When I read about your cooking, I always feel comforted. One of these days I’m going to have to climb in through a window (says she who can no longer climb) and raid your freezer or canned preserves.
Glad you laughed.
Fresh peaches and yogurt. YUMMY! 😀 My favorite. Hi, Cynthia. I haven’t been around for awhile and I was thinking of you and wondering how you are doing so decided to pop over and say howdy. Hope you’re well and that you have a lovely day. ❤
Elizabeth! So glad to hear from you! What a treat. How are you? Are you painting?
Hi, Cynthia. Hope you’re well. No, not painting. Still preparing for the big move. 🙂
What a wonderful harvest. The slugs had most of my lettuces, but the hedgehogs probably had the slugs, so I’m not complaining (much). I can’t cook cakes…
Hilary my dear: you just made a friend for life! You can’t cook cakes either! Mind you, the very fact that you say ‘cook cakes’ instead of ‘baking’ is a sure tip-off. I’m so happy to know you are also inept at baking. But I bet you’re a wonderful cook.
I was just having a little wander through your tweets and found this fabulous post which I had missed! Just look at those Lettuce! And Tomatoes and Squash! And the cake is gorgeous. O.K, your secret is out, you really are a DOMESTIC DIVA!
Nah! It’s my husband’s handiwork, most of it! But that’s one title I’d love to have. Maybe in my next life…. Sending you good wishes, my blogger-friend.
You are too hard on yourself 🙂
Reblogged this on Cynthia Reyes – Author and commented:
One of my favourite posts — especially since this summer was a bust! Do enjoy.
One of my favourite posts of yours too! Let us pray for a better year next year and a bumper harvest xx
A wonderful celebration of the garden and beautiful joyful post! The harvest looks delicious and I just love the brightness of the red currents! Oh, keep making the cake…just a pity we can’t all taste a bit, it looks perfect!! 😀😀
Thank you, dear Annika. Will you please tell my family that – about the cake? Actually, with my little mishap, I haven’t baked any this year, but hope to!
I have been eating my husband’s heirloom tomatoes right off the vine. I had forgotten how delicious a tomato can taste until he grew them this year.
Everything tastes so much better right from the garden, Bernadette. And you’re right – tomatoes included.
Thanks, Derrick. All grown by my husband.
I hope the garden produced as well this year. We’ve had buckets of rain so everything has grown like mad.