Getting my Baking Groove Back: Peach and Blueberry Coffee Cake

by Irvin on September 2, 2013 · 8 comments

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Peach and Blueberry Coffee Cake by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com | #coffeecake #blueberries #peaches #recipe

Surprisingly, after I got back from our summer road trip, it took me awhile to get into the kitchen to bake. Sure there’s was the little pesky issue of our refrigerator breaking while we were away for seven weeks that put a damper on baking. The heartbreak of tossing out bricks of Kerrygold butter, INNAjam preserves and BlueChair Fruit jams was the worst. But once we contacted my landlord and told him about the dead appliance, he had a new fridge delivered to us in a week. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because who knows how long that bottle of oyster sauce has been sitting in the back of the fridge? WAY too long if you ask me. Plus our new fridge has a cheese drawer now. Well I call it a cheese drawer. It’s probably meant for meats and such. But cheese is much more important in our household. However it wasn’t the lack of fridge and freezer that kept me from baking. I felt a strange lack of motivation in the kitchen. After traveling for seven weeks on the road, visiting National Parks, hiking canyons and rivers, seeing gorgeous historical houses and laying about on beautiful beaches, there was something utterly mundane about going into my kitchen and baking. I guess I wasn’t ready for reality. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Peach and Blueberry Coffee Cake by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com | #coffeecake #blueberries #peaches #recipe

Then our friends Megan and Erik invited us over dinner (Megan, by the way, runs an awesome mom blog and is doing a free weeklong class on the Art of the Well Crafted To-Do List. Go sign up, it’s free!). Whenever we get invited to a dinner, I get put on dessert duty. It’s a given and I’ve just come to accept that fact; in fact I usually revel in it, after all I love to bake! But this time it meant I had to overcome my mental block. I need to get back into the kitchen. As I dragged my feet over to the oven and started to figure out what I wanted to bake, it occurred to me — what I didn’t want to do wasn’t the baking. Once I got to peeling and chopping the peaches, measuring the flour, sugar and blueberries and prepping the baking pan, I realized that I still loved baking. That love never went away. The soothing zen quality of being in the kitchen (with a shiny new clean fridge and the just bought fresh food inside) was magical. It was the taking of photos that sounded less exciting. More specifically it was the documentation of the food I was making. It no longer felt at genuine or as inspired as I was when I was out in the open, in the wild shooting on our road trip.

Peach and Blueberry Coffee Cake by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com | #coffeecake #blueberries #peaches #recipe

So I didn’t. I baked a peach and blueberry coffee cake, brought it to the dinner hoping it was good (everyone seemed to like it) and I didn’t take a single picture of it. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it was worth of blogging about, but I just didn’t want to document it. And it was utterly liberating not having to do anything more than bake a coffee cake. In the end, after I baked the peach and blueberry coffee cake again for AJ’s birthday, tweaking the recipe a bit, I decided to pull out the camera. Turns out taking photos of the coffee cake was fun. Maybe not as fun as photographing and insta-videoing the Grand Canyon. Or The Badlands. Or even Charleston, South Carolina. But still fun. I sort of missed setting up the shot in my tiny kitchen. Looking for the right angle. Trying to figure what sort of story I’m trying to tell with my baked goods. I miss playing with my food.

Peach and Blueberry Coffee Cake by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.com | #coffeecake #blueberries #peaches #recipe

That’s when it hit me. It’s not about documentation. I don’t take photos to document my life. If you follow my Instagram feed on my roadtrip, nothing about what I shared was “documentation” by the normal definition. I don’t take photos to prove I was at a place or that I ate some ribs. I take photos and write about it them to share my experiences with others. Whether that’s a slice of cake, or a walk through a petrified forest, I love sharing my experiences with everyone who wants to learn a bit more about what I’m up to. It’s sort of why I started this blog in the first place. And that’s why I found myself pulling out the camera after making this cake. Not everything needs to be documented in my life. But some things needed to be shared.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa September 2, 2013 at 5:35 am

I dare say you got your groove back!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 2, 2013 at 6:42 am

Gah! I can’t even imagine my fridge breaking…it would be devastating! But it looks and sounds like you had a fabulous vacation and this cake is awesome!!

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Ruthy @ Omeletta September 2, 2013 at 8:30 am

I’ve been there- a break in the routine can sometimes mean I need to ease myself back into the kitchen (and “documenting” can be such a pain in the ass, right?) But getting back into the rhythm sure can feel good, too. It’s all about balance!

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The Suzzzz September 2, 2013 at 10:08 am

Whew! You had me worried there for a second. I’m so glad you got your baking groove back, I don’t know what I’d do without my weekly dose of baking porn on your blog!

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Lily September 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

Thank you for sharing!

I could really need a piece of cake now!

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Chelsea September 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Irvin, I totally get that. I made a pie today, and was almost relieved that it turned out heinously ugly so I wouldn’t feel obligated to set it up just so and get the light just right and take a bunch of photos of it. But it’s true – sometimes you just have to share! This coffee cake sounds great; peaches and blueberries are such a stellar combination.

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Shauna September 3, 2013 at 10:13 am

I like your style. So glad you’re back, safe and sound! xo

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Karen@Mignardise September 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm

This is just the recipe I had been looking for to make the most of peach and wild blueberry season. I baked it for the weekend and it was FABULOUS – lots of compliments. Will definitely make it again. Thanks so much!

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