We are cake people. We celebrate everything with cake. It’s really all my mom’s fault. She raised all four of us kids on cookies the size of our head and big huge, home-made cakes.
If you know my mom, you have been blessed with one of her cakes. She bakes banana cake for my kid’s breakfast, chocolate mayo cake for birthdays, confetti cake for my cousin Nick’s wedding, Nutella fudge brownie cake because it’s Friday…her cakes are life changing. They really are. It’s an absolute miracle none of us are obese considering how my mom bakes and feeds us.
I am making it a point to instill the love of cake in my kiddos.
Everybody gets a birthday cake, including Baby Jesus and the dog. We have cakes to celebrate the first day of school and the last day of school. We have cake to celebrate report cards and hockey games. Grandparents coming to visit? Cake! Friends coming to play? Cake! Pretty cake on sale at the grocery store? Cake! You get it. Store bought or baked from scratch, we cake it up at my house. Cake means it’s a party! It makes an ordinary day special. When my boys see a cake stand out on the counter, their eyes light up. They know it’s going to be a good night…a night where we all sit around the table, talk, laugh and enjoy cake and the company of our family.
I used to fight the cake tradition.
It was too much…too much sugar, too many calories, just too much. I fought it until I got it. It’s really not about the cake at all. It’s about the people who eat it together. Seeing the people I love smiling, laughing and talking over slices of cake fills my heart and soul to the brim. I’m Italian. Cake, and all ooey-gooey goodness created in the kitchen, is shared around a table with people who love you.
Food and cake don’t just fill the belly; they fill your heart and soul with the sweetness of family.
Today, I ordered a cake to celebrate a failure.
Cake has always been a reason to celebrate, and today is no different. My oldest son was born lucky. School, grades, hockey…they all come easy to him. He gets A’s without really trying and makes the All Stars every year. To be honest, he hasn’t had much practice at losing or failure. Last week, he told me he was going to run for student council class representative of his 4th grade class, and he was pretty sure he had the votes to win. We wrote an amazing speech, and he delivered it perfectly. It was all smooth sailing, until his opponent promised the entire 4th grade doughnuts! The doughnut bribe sealed his fate. My kid lost; he lost BIG. I was ready for my kid to be devastated. I even braced myself for a hissy fit, but instead, he admitted his loss with a quiet confidence that blew my socks off. We talked about it and had a good laugh about the doughnut bribe. (Legit a great idea…wish we would have thought of that.)
Tonight, we’re celebrating the courage it takes to try and fail, and the beauty of being a good loser. We’re giving a shout out to the grace and humility of a special little boy. We’re celebrating being a family who will support one another in the bad times, just like we do in the good times. Tonight, you can find my family sitting around the kitchen table with big slices of cake toasting our Dominick. We will be laughing, talking too loudly, and filling our bellies with cake, and our hearts will be filled to the brim with all the sweet stuff life has to offer.
Ooey-gooey Banana Cake for a Busy Night
This is my go to cheat for my mom’s banana cake on a busy week night, or anytime. It’s moist and delicious, quick and easy, and yummy enough for company!
1 box Fry’s Butter Yellow Cake Mix Prepare according to directions. Don’t sub the butter for applesauce. This is cake! Add 3-4 ripe smushed bananas. (This is a great job for littles!) Bake and cool and frost. Cream Cheese Frosting 1 brick of cream cheese, 1 box of powdered sugar, and 1 stick of butter. *But Fry’s has awesome whipped topping in the bakery if you’re in a pinch.
And if you’re really busy, buy a cake. I do all the time. Tonight, we’re going store bought.
Enjoy and celebrate!