Just two days ago, I graduated high school. My classmates and I wore white dresses and held bouquets, walked down an aisle to an outdoor stage (sounds like a wedding, doesn’t it?), and waited anxiously to receive our diplomas. During stressful moments and late-night study sessions, I vividly imagined this day in my mind, maybe even counted down to it. Now that toasts have been made and achievements celebrated, it hasn’t sunk in yet that I will not return as a student to the place where I spent the past six years of my life.
|Picking blackberries from my backyard garden.|
Change is a funny sensation, because transitioning from one chapter of your life to the next never feels the way you imagined it would. I thought it would be easy to say goodbye and look forward to entering college, but this past month has been incredibly bittersweet.
How do I thank my amazing teachers and advisors, my peers, and my family members for all they’ve done to help me grow? How do I prepare for a completely new environment filled with thousands of unfamiliar faces, historic buildings, and dorm life? Well, for right now, I’m focused on savoring the moment. I want to let my experiences come naturally rather than always look ahead or to the past. I plan to spend this summer doing what I am passionate about; no strings attached.
Obviously baking ranks high on my list of passions. Which leads me to this cake. A cinnamon-scented oat cake filled with ripe, seasonal berries. The top is crunchy from a sprinkling of turbinado sugar, but has a soft, tender crumb on the inside. I love the cake’s rustic simplicity, because during this time of year it’s all about allowing the produce to shine.
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, July 2013
4 tblsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 cup plus 3 tblsp quick-cooking oats, divided
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups mixed ripe blueberries and blackberries
3 tblsp coarse sanding sugar (turbinado sugar)