It's not a landmark year - it's only 39.
But it has been a landmark decade.
In my 20's, I lost myself.
Most of my 30's were spent trying to find what I had lost.
The year I turned 30, I became single again; it was flat-out the hardest year of my life.
In my 30's, I learned that you can start over.
I discovered that you can build a new life with not much more than the clothes on your back.
Realizing that with the support of those closest to you, it doesn't really matter what else you leave behind.
Having the courage to find love again.
Looking back and realizing that you came out a whole lot stronger and hopefully somewhat wiser.
Going into the decade with children; ending the decade knowing that those two young girls are now women.
Most importantly, in my 30's, I learned the value in being able to make a really good cake from scratch...
How else are you supposed to celebrate life's grandest moments?
There can be no celebration without cake.
So, on this day, I will cut myself a big piece of cake and be thankful.
For the good and the bad.
The happy and sad.
For family and friends.
I normally don't make myself a cake - after all, I spend a lot of time in heavy denial. But somehow, this year, it seemed the thing to do.
It's been an over the top year. And an over the top year, begs for an over the top cake.
I found my particular brand of insanity in Momofuku Milk Bar's Birthday Cake. The combination of four separate components and a scavenger hunt to procure ingredients and equipment was the perfect crescendo to my cake madness.
A "from scratch" cake made to imitate a cake from a box. It was like coming full circle - because when I entered my 30's, the cake & frosting WOULD have come from a box.
Oh, the difference a decade makes.
P.S. If you are interested in the recipe for this dessert, I followed the recipe as written (almost) in Momofuku Milk Bar, but a rendition of it can be found here.