Sometimes, my friend Lynne leaves things on my doorstep. One recent week, it was a homemade version of Starbucks lemon cake.

This weekend, it was peonies — peonies that grew in her garden.

In Phoenix.

And bloomed this week.

And survived.

Quelle miracle.

The note from her said she was sharing her prize blooms, “because you love them as much as I do.”

The vintage jar she used as a vase says “Queen.”

Their presence on my kitchen counter made the whole weekend beautiful.

So on Sunday night, I made my own lemon cake  — the Barefoot Contessa version, complete with a lemon syrup poured over the warm loaves — and then lemon icing on top of that, to boot.

On Monday morning, I packed one up and left it at Lynne’s — to share the particular thrill of opening the door and finding a lemon cake on the step, waiting to come inside.