What Matters Today: Impromptu Desserts

I have a confession to make. This may be a shocking revelation, but I must admit: I have a sweet tooth.

Yes, it’s true. I love desserts. I love eating them just as much as I love preparing them. In fact, if I had to choose, I don’t know which I love more — of course it’s enjoyable to eat a dessert, but making one for someone is such an act of love in my eyes. It’s pure giving: it’s sharing your talent and sharing a piece of who you are with someone else.

I love making desserts and baking so much, that I have been trying to slow down just how much I churn them out. I’ve been steadily avoiding breaking out my favorite mixing bowl, enduring a two-week streak of no baked goods to come out of my oven.


Until last night, when I received word that my aunt and uncle (and their dog) would be stopping by. Yes, it was a last-minute visit, but for good reason: they have been without power for a little bit and were in need of lights, electricity to charge their devices, and perhaps some socializing to recoup the enhanced isolation they may have been feeling from lack of power coupled with Covid-19.

I instantly launched into action, knowing in a flash what I would make: a peach blueberry dump cake. If you don’t know what a dump cake is, it’s just about the easiest (and most delicious) quick dessert to make: you typically pick a canned fruit, dump a cake mix on top straight from the package, add whatever topping you’d like (crumble topping, nuts, both, neither), cut up some cold butter slices on the top, then throw it in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

I’ve made this particular dump cake before, following Taste of Home’s recipe exactly, but adding some fresh blueberries to the mix. This time, I added even more blueberries, and swapped almonds for walnuts that I tossed in cinnamon and light brown sugar.

The first peach blueberry dump cake I made, featuring slivered almonds, slightly less blueberries than I would have liked, and the classiest paper bowl I could find.

Before I knew it, my aunt and uncle arrived, and shortly thereafter, my impromptu dessert was ready to come out of the oven. Bubbling with the scent of blueberries, peaches, and vanilla, this dump cake smelled just as good as it looked.

After 10-15 minutes of cooling, it was ready to serve. I paired it with some vanilla ice cream and passed it around to my family. The joy I feel when I get to share with the ones I love something I’ve produced is one unlike anything else. Especially when those loved ones have already been through enough in the past few days with losing power. If serving them dessert and hanging out outside under the stars for an hour or two helps them take a breath, that’s all that matters.

So what matters today is a quick recipe that made an unplanned gathering with family a little sweeter. What matters is taking care of each other when we need a hand. What matters is talking, laughing, and sharing time together, planned or not. What matters is sharing your skills to help brighten someone else’s day.

What matters most is family: they’re there in good times and in bad…so if we can be there for each other with a little extra love in hand when things are not-so great, maybe it will turn the not-so great into something a little better.