"Mom, is there a history of insanity in our family?"
"Well, there's Uncle...what? Why?"
"I've offered to host a wedding reception at our house for a friend."
"That's nice of you."
"I'm cooking for the reception, too."
"How many people?"
"Forty some people. Possibly fifty."
"That's a lot of people. That's a lot of work."
"I'm making the cake, too."
"I see. Well, if you're going to cook why not bake, too? When's the wedding?"
"It's in seven weeks.'
Pause. "I think you could be the first certifiable case for insanity in our family."
K.'s wedding is November 19.
In my inability to distinguish cheerful obliviousness & blind optimism from dementia, I move forward with plans to host and cook for the reception. I'm a huge huge fan of The Food Whore, a professional caterer, whose blog is equal parts cautionary tale and horror story (and hysterically funny, by the way). Why, after reading every single one of her posts, I continue not to run away screaming in fear is probably a testament to my peerless lack of common sense. The woman is a professional! I'm a dilettante! I have ADD! What in the hell makes me think I can do this? But my wedding was the happiest day of my life; and if I can contribute in any way to make K's wedding as special to her, then we press onward. After all, as Hubby is fond of saying, "Fortes fortuna adiuvat."
On the other hand, for those more foolhardy than bold, the wine fridge is mere steps away in the kitchen in which I will be stationed to cook. There's a good tradition in this house of drinking and cooking at large parties. For the housewarming, Jenn and I popped and downed pretty pink cans of Sofia sparkling wine. For Joetta's baby shower, Jules, Jenn and I snuck off to the laundry room to drink a bottle of champagne, like a bunch of teenagers hiding out from our parents.
The proposed menu, based on K.'s requests:
Passed Hors D'oeuvres
- Wild mushroom pomponnettes
- Pesto bruschetta and Romesco bruschetta
- Paté Chaud
- Baby bliss potatoes with Asiago soufflé
- Strawberry spinach salad with gorgonzola cheese and toasted almonds, tossed with a citrus vinaigrette
- Honey-Balsamic Roasted Salmon
- Grilled Chicken Paillard with Marsala Cream Sauce
- Israeli couscous salad
- Caramelized onion crème fraiche mashed potatoes
- Garlic sauteed haricots verts
- Roasted fall vegetables
- Red velvet cake
The wedding cake is red velvet cake, to go with the wedding colors of red and white. The painful thing is, I really don't like cakes -- and I've now made seven red velvet cakes in as many days. Thank God for patient friends who are willing to be taste testers. And Amanda? Bless you for offering to be my sous chef. Whether or not you know it, you'll also be my drinking buddy that night.
Oh, and I'm making the wedding invitations, too. And the week before the wedding, I'm teaching a class at our local demonstration kitchen/ gourmet store.
Have I mentioned dementia?