by Caroline

The last time I saw my friend Yuka, Ben was just a few months old. He’d been crying all day when she arrived, stopped for the length of her visit, and then started back up again when she left. Frankly, it made me feel like crying, too.

After the earthquake and tsunami last spring, I checked in with all my people in Japan and quickly, happily heard back that everyone was ok — except for Yuka. As a reporter for Reuters, she travels a lot, and we’ll go ages without contact, but still, it weighed on me, and I was hugely relieved when she emailed that she’d be in town this week. I wanted to make something special for dinner, but with a day full of back-to-school activities, I didn’t have a ton of time.

Enter my daily Food52 email with this peach tart recipe from Amanda Hesser. She had me at “To make it all you need is a knife, a bowl, and some kind of pan.” A tart without finicky requirements? Yes, please. This recipe is easier than pie: it’s as easy as cake. Get a bowl, gather ingredients, stir, slice, bake. It was ready to go into the oven before the oven was hot enough to bake it. And any recipe that makes it easy for the kids to help is a winner in my book, too: