Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my husband and I were newlyweds. Childless. Able to stay out late. Excited to take big adventurous vacations. Wrinkle-free. Okay, fine, maybe not wrinkle-free but the rest is all true.
We were married in November 2004 and took a lengthy honeymoon to New Zealand and Australia. It's a lovely part of the world but the weather was not on our side; 20 of our 24 days were rainy, overcast and chilly. We had two sunny days in New Zealand and two in Sydney (we only stayed in Sydney for two days, sadly). Nonetheless, it was our honeymoon and we were excited about everything, met wonderfully warm people and had all sorts of adventures that we're still talking about today. At the end of our journey in NZ when we flew to Sydney we were so grateful for the warmth and the clear, sunny skies that we practically kissed the ground. (I might have actually done that.) You know when you've come through a particularly long, cold winter and feel like the cells deep inside of your bones could pretty much burst open on that first day of spring? Arriving in Sydney gave us *that* feeling.
So there we were, happy as hell, skipping through the streets of Sydney. We walked for hours and hours. And hours. And hours. We were awed by Sydney's sophistication, and urban hipness, with the breathtaking backdrop of living on the water. It was incredible to be able to be outside for so long. Along our journey we spotted a cheese shop – or maybe it was a bakery – and saw this cake:
I loved it. I snapped that photo and think about it an awful lot. Over the years it has served as a handy – if accidental – reminder that life with a spouse and kids and responsibilities and sleeplessness and day to day crap and repetitive nonsense, is messy, unglamorous and sometimes feels rather bleak. But look at those mice! Look at them running down those stairs! I mean it's funny; I'm deep in thought about these happy newlywed mice without a care in the world and then I realize I'm thinking about mice! Made out of cake! Absurdly hilarious. But it reminds me of that feeling - that welling up happy bursting feeling in my gut when I felt the sun shine on my skin in Sydney – and it makes me calmer. Happier.
We welcomed baby #3 this past fall and our family of 5 is now complete. To celebrate the many roads we have traveled (both calm and chaotic) since that trip in 2004, I wanted that cake. It was no small task to find someone who would create it and deliver it. Thankfully I was introduced to Elyse Rosati of Joy & Cake and all of the pieces were in place to have this cake for my anniversary. Enter Hurricane Sandy. You know the rest. Elyse's operations were brought to a stand still. Luckily for all of us, she was able to get back on her feet and 6 months later, she delivered this beautiful cake to my home and I am wowed:
Seriously. Look at this cake! Forget the fact that I didn't just get married and this is a wedding cake. Forget the fact that there was nothing specific to celebrate on the day that it was delivered. Forget the fact that it's April and winter fatigue is particularly awful this year. Look at the mice. Look at how excited they are to get to that next adventure together. That's what I was looking for. I needed that tasty reminder.
And look at how excited my kids are!
My kids nearly jumped inside of this cake. Did I mention the taste?! Holy cow. Elyse has a flair with the visuals and the palate. This is a lemon cake with vanilla buttercream. It's moist and tangy and not too sweet. It's a delicious reminder that spring is right around the corner. I've been dairy free since Thanksgiving for the benefit of my infant (who is now no longer profusely spitting up) and frankly have been a little nervous about the potential effect of this cake and the onslaught of dairy. Guess we'll find out soon enough. But in the meantime, I am thrilled with this cake in every possible way. And I would absolutely recommend Joy & Cake and the uber talented Elyse.