When I was a kid growing up in a big Italian family in NY there was always an excuse for a celebration where there was A LOT of food. On a regular basis, the family got together on Sunday for a huge Italian meal which always consisted of a pasta dish...being spaghetti or lasagna and a nice big pot roast with potatoes, carrots and celery on the side and boat loads of rich gravy to soak up with bread. To create a balanced meal, our "greens" dish was ensalada, (salad) with tomatoes, cucumbers, a few dandelion greens all tossed with an oil and vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil dressing. This delectable homecooked meal was always proceeded by, well, none other but my all time nemesis, coffee and cake...(not so much the coffee, mind you...milk was always my drink of choice). My Uncle's in-laws owned a bakery in one of the five boroughs in Brooklyn and he reliably showed up week after week with white cardboard cake boxes piled high upon one another like graduated building blocks filled with Italian pastries, cakes and pies. Tied with red and white cotton string, the boxes were the heart of my desire. The very objects of my affection. So, begins the story of my addiction to cake.