I'm a pie girl. Fruit pies, not cream pies. I love a good pie. I make a good pie. I'd rather have a pie than a cake any day. Except one particular cake.
When we were young, my Italian grandparents always had a lemon torte cake from the local bakery when we would visit them in Gary Indiana. I wish I had a photo. Really thin layers of vanilla sponge cake with lemon curd between the layers, buttercream, and chopped nuts around the side. It was and still is my favorite cake in the world.
I grew up in a small town that has a huge flea market every week in the summer. One lucky day my parents spotted a vehicle with an "Art's Bakery" sign amongst the glass vendors. Art's Bakery in Gary Indiana made their wedding cake. So they introduced themselves and became fast friends with the Angotti's. Paul and Martha came to the flea market every week in the summer. They used our house as home base and became great family friends. Often they would bring us baked goods as a thank you, and every year they would bring a lemon torte cake for my birthday. Paul and Martha made my wedding cake, and luckily my husband agreed to let me have my favorite lemon torte. I love that cake. I make my own version, and it's pretty good – but not the same. I think I should drive to Gary Indiana just to get one.
Today is my birthday. And Marietta – with all its fabulosity – does not have a real bakery. The kind with strudel, pastries, cannoli, 100 versions of Italian cookies. It's one of the reasons I learned to make my own cannoli. I'd love to live in a place that has an Italian bakery, an ethnic market, a salumiere.
I know you're wondering what this cake has to do with my 12 month plan. The connection is really the birthday, not the cake. Next year on my 50th birthday, my plan will be complete. I will be celebrating my birthday in Italy with my 3 remarkable adult children. Sitting in a piazza, or on a hillside, or in a tiny local trattoria with a glass of wine. It won't matter what kind of cake or pastry we celebrate with. cin cin