I was lucky enough to grow up with a family cottage by a lake. And equally as lucky, about 20 minutes north of our cottage there’s a small town called Gimli, Manitoba. And this little lakeside town has an incredible history as an Icelandic settlement....the culture still thrives there today. It was here that I tried my first piece of Vinaterta: a delicately layered Icelandic celebration cake (hey, holidays!). It is a striking confection with its multiple light on dark lines of alternating almond or cardamom cookies stuckfast on deep, rich plum preserves (or jammy prunes if you’re feeling adventurous!). Whatever fruit you choose, this layer is typically flavoured with warm notes of vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon. Give me a slice of Vinaterta with a strong cup of coffee on a cool summer morning or a festive winter night and I’ll give you a big ol’ hug - and maybe invite you out to the lake!