24 June 2007

Twelfth Anniversary

We catered our own wedding. People kept saying "you're nuts, you want to relax and enjoy things, don't do it." But it's what we wanted to do, and it was a lot of fun. We did hire people to serve and clean up, and it was just a buffet, but it was lovely, if I may say so myself.

In the weeks before the wedding, we made a bunch of little appetizers and froze them, to be baked off on the day of the party. The wedding was on a Saturday, and we took off starting Wednesday to prep for the party. We made lots of side dishes (including potato salad with a vinaigrette and lots of fresh herbs, steamed sugar snap peas, white bean salad with bacon, coleslaw with red and green cabbage and blue cheese). We bought many dozens of assorted rolls from Orwasher's. We grilled beef tenderloins and butterflied legs of lamb. We made a mess of crunchy chicken (dipped in a yogurt/mustard mix, rolled in herbed bread crumbs, and baked). My sister made trays of goat-cheese-filled nasturtiums.

I made the wedding cake the night before the party: a yellow cake with a lemon mousseline buttercream, and fresh raspberries between the layers, using recipes straight out of The Cake Bible. I intended to pretty it up with piping, but I had some icing issues on the morning of the wedding, so I just used candied pansies - it was not the most beautiful cake ever, but it tasted damned good. We had a huge bowl of local strawberries to go with the cake.

We kept the drinks simple: gins and tonic, white wine, and a keg of beer.

And we did rent tables and chairs and linens and plates and silverware. But we bought the glasses, because I found some great glasses at Crate & Barrel for 95 cents a piece; it was cheaper to buy them than to rent. And, lo these many years later, we still have a lot of those glasses and break them out for parties.

Besides stuffing those nasturtiums, my sister grew those flowers and all the other flowers for the wedding. At the time, she was working as a garden tender on an estate in Connecticut. The owners had gone away for the whole summer, but wanted a cutting garden, just because. So Pinky cut all the flowers and made posies for the tables, a wreath of thyme and a bouquet of lavender for me, and all those flower hors d’œuvres.

The wedding was in my mother's backyard. We picked the date based on when she thought the garden would look best - I originally suggested the 10th, she thought she (and it) needed another two weeks. So the 24th it was. And it was beautiful.

And everyone helped - my mother, my grandmother, my sister and her then boyfriend (now husband), my brother and his ex-girlfriend. On a videotape that the ex-girlfriend made, there's a shot of my grandmother saying "how we have worked". Just that, "how we have worked".

Yes, the party was lots of work. But the good kind of work, the kind that makes you feel happy and proud and competent. The kind that you look back on with pleasure.

I think it was a good celebration of our partnership. Happy anniversary, W.


susan said...

Happy anniversary!! and many more to come, I hope.

So is cooking up a storm something you like to do more generally? Did you meet in a cooking class? Do you cook together during the week? I guess between this post and the cookbook one, I'm in the mood for food and people stories.

But mostly, happy anniversary!

S said...

OK, lady, this is a little spooky! Our twelfth wedding anniversary is tomorrow (the 25th), and we had lemon-raspberry cake at our wedding too!


Happy Twelfth.

S. said...

Happy anniversary!

painted maypole said...

Happy Anniversary. What a way to start a marriage - by working together to make the celebration truly yours. congrats.

Girlplustwo said...

what a lovely demonstration of your partnership. i love that...and happy anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary! It sounds like it was a lovely, perfect party.

Anonymous said...

Bon anniversaire! Okay, so that generally means "happy birthday," but I wanted to be different. Sounds like a great wedding. But you're skipping over all the gnashed teeth and murmured snipes, right? Because no family is that functional, right? Aww, I'm just jealous. I hope you had a great anniversary.

Tabba said...

Happy (belated) Anniversary.

It sounds perfectly wonderful.

Antropóloga said...

Happy Anniversary!

Evocative description.

Maewen Archer said...

Happy Anniversary! Your wedding sounds perfect to me!

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?