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When my brother and I were growing up, one set of our grandparents did not speak English.  Straight off the boat *literally* from Italy, my mom’s parents, Nonni and Pop Pop, spoke not a word of English, which made it pretty hard to understand them.  The language barrier we had growing up was frustrating at times, for both them and us, but we always seemed to manage to get back on the same page for everything.  But there was one language we all spoke- and were quite fluent in- CAKE.  Rich, buttery, box mix cake.

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We could always count on Sunday dinner at our house, and we could always count on Nonni and Pop Pop bringing over a bundt cake for dessert.  Sometimes it was the all butter golden cake mix, others it was devil’s food, but our favorite? Hands DOWN was the marble bundt.  It was a tall, rich, and thick cake that my brother and I looked forward to devouring every Sunday afternoon.  It was nothing fancy- literally just a Duncan Hines marble cake mix in a bundt pan, but MAN- could Nonni and Pop Pop really ace that one.  It was such a sweet little gesture- their weekly contribution to Sunday dinner- and if you’re Italian, then you know what I’m talking about when I say Sunday dinner- it’s an all day family affair with several courses of food, TV watching, and napping.  And that cake? Guest of honor.

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I haven’t thought about that cake for a LONG time until this week.  My mom broke her arm in December after slipping on some ice in her driveway, so between her and my Dad, they have become quite the pair.  My mom, the chef in the family, has now enlisted my dad as a sous chef, and between the two of them, this week they baked, for the first time ever, a pineapple upside down cake.  They were kind enough to share it with us, and one night after bath, it was deemed our family’s pre-bedtime snack.  All I could think of as my kids were devouring the sticky sweet cake was my own Nonni and Pop Pop’s bundt cake.  Mike and I took pictures and video of Jake and Olivia slamming down big bites of cake to memorialize the event.  I called up my mom that night and told her that her and my dad are now going to be responsible for holding down this cake tradition, to which she said they’d happily oblige.  So, much to everyone’s satisfaction, cake tradition will live on in my family! ……..cake…

 

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