Thursday, September 9, 2010

wedding preparations

This past weekend the wedding of the daughter of one of my close friends took place on a beach in Brigantine, New Jersey. I had been asked to perform the ceremony - my first time; in addition the mother of the bride and I had done all the cooking for the large reception to take place the next day in their garden here in Pennsylvania. The weather gods looked on kindly, with bright sunshine and cooling breezes, and all went wonderfully well. We made little cheese puffs, brushed before baking with an egg wash, then sprinkled with sesame seeds, and served hot. Large shrimp served with a sherry and orange mayonnaise, a change from the ubiquitous cocktail sauce. Crisp vegetables were the accompaniment for a sun-dried tomato spread. We chose three cheeses - a Krema Kase, a manchego and a brie, and I made conserves to be served alongside each. After a festive cocktail hour, dinner was served - A choice of roast loin of pork served with two mustard sauces, or chicken with roasted vegetables and a balsamic sauce, served at room temperature. The chiken was roasted in large cubes, the roasted vegetables were red peppers, artichoke hearts and wild mushrooms, and the assortment also included thin-sliced raw fennel and roasted whole cloves of garlic. So flavorful and beautiful to behold. There was a generous use of herbs = frsh tarragon and shredded basil. A wild rice salad with dried cherries was a huge hit and there was a green bean salad topped with sauteed bread crumbs, garlicky, that had been mixed with parsley and hard-boiled eggs. Dessert offered a choice of three cakes = chocolate-root beer, lemon-lime chiffon and caramelized apple. All in all, a labor of love, well worth our investment of time and hard work - and it was fun!

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