Now that my top secret mission to Philadelphia is complete, I can share the purpose of my venture. It has everything to do with that delicious looking cake pictured above, but first, some back story.
For as long as I can remember, every year on my Dad’s birthday my grandparents would bring ‘his cake’ from a bakery in Philadelphia. It was a tradition that started with his grandparents – my great-grandparents. The cake was delicious – spongy cake with layers of the most delicious buttercream you’ve ever tasted covered in thin chocolate shavings. It only came once a year and then it was gone. Like Christmas.
Fast forward to freshman year in college when I met my best friend Alex. Our affection for sweets was just one of the things we bonded over, and Alex would often talk about ‘this cake from the Swiss bakery,’ “When I get married, this cake will be my wedding cake,” she’d tell me.
Fast forward a few more years, and I was stopping by Alex’s apartment shortly after her birthday. Her parents had just been down to celebrate and they brought her the Swiss bakery cake. I couldn’t WAIT to try the famous baked good I had heard about for so many years. Al brought me a slice, I took a bite – and…well you know where this is going!
Me: “Wait, where is this bakery??”
Al: “It’s in Philadelphia.”
Me: “NO WAY! This is totally my Dad’s cake!”
It was one of those perfect “what a small world” moments.
Now, to present day. My Dad doesn’t get ‘his cake’ every year anymore because my grandparents aren’t able to make it down for all his birthdays. Last year was his 60th and it was a huge oversight on my behalf to not make sure ‘his cake’ would find its way to the party.
After a little googling I discovered that the cake is the Hazlenut cake from the Swiss Haus Bakery in South Philadelphia. So I decided I’d make a trip up to Philly to pick it up for him this year. No sooner did I order the cake then Alex calls me with the fantastic news that she’s engaged. Guess I’d be picking up TWO cakes!
Driving 5 hours roundtrip to pick up a couple cakes may sound a little crazy, but it was totally worth it to see Alex’s face completely light up when I handed her the white box tied with red string. And I believe my Dad’s exact words were, “No..you..did..not!”
It really is the simple things in life.