Italian Harvest Cake is a traditional cake made in wine country after the grapes have been harvested. Grapes that don't make the cut for wine are then made into this delicious, citrus and olive oil-based cake. If you're not a super sweet person, I think you've found your dessert.
This cake is made with reject grapes. Grapes that were grown for wine, but didn't make the cut. It is my favorite cake, in fact the only cake I really enjoy. I think it is the most beautiful of all my kitchen creations, (it is also one of the only things I bake well) and when I made it the other day, I started reflecting on why I think so highly of this cake.
I think it's beautiful because of the metaphor: select grapes, raised for a sole purpose; wine, are then separated from the reason they were raised, and repurposed into something absolutely amazing.
Instead of wasting them kicking them to the curb, throwing them out, Italians see a different potential and apply it to this traditional cake.
What a wonderful lesson from this cake: Despite societal pressures or even personal expectations we apply to ourselves, if they don't turn out the way we've hoped, our talents and skills can be reapplied and refocused, and instead of giving up, we should instead diagnose how we can evolve.
You might be thinking, "damn that's a lot from a cake." But, that's kinda how I see the world. There are lessons in everything if you stop to look. Okay so to the recipe!