Why Yes, Thank You, I AM Crazy

“Are you CRAZY?!”

This is the invariable response when I tell people what I will be doing one week from today.   

On the 23rd, Teacherman and I will be getting married. Next Friday, the 22nd, I will be making all of the food for the reception.

<shrieks of disbelief resound throughout the cybersphere>

No, really, it’s true.  With the help of my best friend, and two more friends who have been to culinary school, all of the food for the reception will be made in this very house. 

When I tell people about this, no one understands why I could possibly want to make the food for my own wedding.  They think I’m doing it because I’m a skin-flint and want to save money. 

No.  I’m doing this because I love to cook, and cooking for my own wedding is delightfully fun.  I can make simple, good food, served exactly the way that I want, and I get the enjoyment of making it all from scratch in my own kitchen. 

It goes along with the aesthetic of the entire wedding–our reception is in our tiny backyard, and there are no ‘vendors’ involved at all; everything is being done by one of us, or one of our friends.  One friend is taking the pictures, one friend is in charge of the music for the service, one friend is bringing music for the reception, my best friend did all of the graphic design, and three friends are helping prepare the food.  Why have a party of any kind, let alone a wedding, if it’s not about having fun with friends and family and if it doesn’t reflect who one really is? 

I should point out that there will only be 34 people at the reception, including the entire wedding party, so it’s not like I’ll be cooking for the usual bridal hundreds.  And the wedding is in the morning, so the reception is a brunch, which means I won’t be sauteing myriad chicken breasts or trying roast anything.  Brunch lends itself very easily to make-ahead cooking and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. 

There is almost nothing on the menu can’t be made ahead of time.  Et voila, le menu:

1. A three-layer fritatta: one layer of roasted red pepper, one layer of spinach and one layer of cheese.
2. A smoked salmon-creme fraiche tart in an almond-onion crust.
3. An enormous salad with edible flowers.
4. A big bowl of macerated berries and fruit.
5. Three good cheeses, one soft, one semi-aged and one hard.
6. The chef’s amazing bread, with two flavored butters.
7. Zucchini bread, made by Teacherman’s mother.
8. A lemon cheesecake, made by my mother.
9. The Wedding Cake: layers of almond torte sandwiched with sweetened mascarpone cheese and fresh, lightly cooked berries, then frosted with vanilla bean-whipped cream.

Next Friday the four of us will get together in my kitchen and divide up our tasks.  Someone will roast peppers, cook spinach, grate cheese, and make the fritattas.  Someone will grind almonds and onions and make tart crusts.   Someone will whip up a vinaigrette (raspberry–I should tell someone that’s the kind I want).  Someone will stew the berries for the cake and sweeten the mascarpone.  The bread–pre-made by the chef–will go to live in Teacherman’s bread cupboard, and the cake layers–also fruit of the chef’s craft–will slide into the refrigerator next to my homemade creme fraiche and the purchased cheese. 

And then, done.  We’ll smile at each other, clean up, and go off to wait for the next day to arrive.

Admittedly, there will be a FEW things to do on the morning-of, but they’re few enough that our chef-y friend can do them all himself and still come to the wedding.  I’ll be meeting him and his wife at the farmer’s market that morning to pick out the salad greens and fresh fruit (along with the flowers for the bouquets), but then he’ll take the purchased edibles back the house, assemble the cake, fill the tarts, and macerate the fresh fruit, finishing up in time to swing back to the chapel for the wedding itself. 

The wedding is at 11:00.  The pictures will be of the entire assemblage.  By 12:30 we should be back home, eating good food and talking to all of the friends that made the wedding what it was. 

That is, what it will be. 

Just one more week.

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Published in: on June 15, 2007 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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