Sunday, August 12, 2007

Breasts, with Gravy

Another successful Boston wedding for friends of this Cranky Otter! What has been really amazing to me, but not necessarily surprising, is how well tailored each wedding is to the particular couple. There's not one of the recent weddings I've gone to that would be mistaken for anyone else's wedding. If you're one of my friends who married recently and is reading this: (1) why did you all marry someone named "Matt"? This makes 3 in a row. (2) I finally have a glassblowing assistant so you will be getting a custom glass piece for your wedding gift sometime this year (meaning within the next 12 months. January, maybe.) and (3) Holy Cow! You guys all pulled off wonderful, personalized, touching ceremonies and lovely parties. Kudos to you all! Your hard work paid off, and I think you all made wise choices.

In this particular wedding, there was a 5 piece brass ensemble to provide music before and during the ceremony, along with the organ. Some of the music was arranged by the groom, who is primarily a 'bone player, but has other talent in the brass line as well. The bridal party dresses all sported a lovely wrap that had a Japanese influence - the bride met one of the bridesmaids, who now lives in Japan, in a Japanese language class. The cake, baked by the bride (insanity!) was also decorated with origami, and sported 4 layers, each in a different and wonderful flavor. And the take home favor was a cook book made with recipes from the wedding guests! We all wrote in a recipe or 8 (I'm just saying), to an online site that collated the results and made us a lovely book that will keep me in good food for some time to come.

There were a LOT of people at this wedding. I don't know the final count, but I'm guessing at least 300, probably more. There were friends and colleagues of the bride and groom. Friends and colleauges of the parents of the bride and groom. Parents and grandparents of friends of the bride and groom, even! I know because I sat by one of the bridesmaids' grandmother and mother at dinner. It was particularly fun for us because this bridesmaid's mom was in Lamaze classes with my mom. So I knew a lot about her before I met her in person, such as her interest in all thing Japanese. My friend kept talking about her friend and I knew my old crib mate was at her college and we finally put two and two together and came up with the same person.

At any wedding, people want to know how you're related to the happy couple. In this case, I had to think for a bit. The bride and I met when she cross registered between schools to take some classes I was in. I'm not sure if we started chatting because I like to meet new people, or because she and I have the same name and are the same size. But somehow, we not only sat next to each other in class and studied together on occasion, but we remained friends. I think it helped that after I graduated, and she went on to get a PhD in my major at my old school, that she lived about a block from me. She would hold cooking parties - baking christmas cookies in December, making chocolate truffles in February, and the like. In recent years, we had to search harder to find ways to see each other in our busy schedules, and we managed. We took to running around Fresh Pond of a thursday. Or a tuesday. It's about a 3 mile round trip from her office and we got in a lot of good job counseling therapy during those runs as well as sweated like maniacs. It's something I still miss. I did managed to continue the holiday cookie baking tradition though.

Haveing a foodie for a bride, this wedding had some fabulous food - elegant presentation, well prepared, good flavor, the whole nine yards. The centerpieces were 3 pots of varied herbs. Our table got rosemary, mint, and variegated oregano. After eating the gazpacho and salad wrapped in english cucumber, there was a break for some dancing. The bride and groom and various family members got their dances in, then the band took a break for us to be able to hear each other over dinner. I had the lamb with polenta, and the other hot item was asparagus stuffed salmon with rice. No vegetarians at our table, but I'm sure the veggies in filo basket was also great.

We managed to have a good deal of conversation at our table, which also included some friends of the bride's mother and the bride's grandmother. Ten people in all, 8 of us women. After a laugh at the consternation of the TSA in dealing with cremated ashes going through security (bride's grandma's story),tThe converstation turned to vegetation. I mentioned that while my mother is a Master Gardener and can tell an oak from a maple at 500 yards, I'm lucky to tell a tree from a shrub. But I do know a few things about some herbs. In particular, plants in the mint family have square stems (check your mint and basil for this). I leaned forward to grab a couple leaves off the full and bushy mint plant to smell and put in my water only to find that the dinner plate was bigger than the soup-n-salad plate... and I'd dunked my breasts in my lamb gravy.

My table mates were kind and got a waiter to fetch some club soda and napkins. They assured me that since it was on the underside, the damp stains would just look like shadows. I was actually coordinated enough to have brought my own wrap the bride had made for me in Taiwan, which I used for a later picture, just in case. One of the guys (married, and kidding) said something about being unable to look away from the spectacle. And I replied something like, "Of course! It's breasts and gravy, what more would I need to catch a man's attention?" And really, is there more to it? Yeah, to hold the attention you have to be smart and funny or have some amazing skill or excellent chemistry, but to get the attention? I think breasts with gravy could be my new hook, if not my new look.


Wade said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun. I'm heading to the wedding of an college buddy in a couple of weeks.

Trudy said...

The cookbook is a fantastic idea as a favor!!!!! Usually the ones you buy from church groups have the best recipes....this must be excellent.

A co-worker's daughter got married and they had various family members bake the cake....everyone got a pan and made whatever flavor they were assigned....then someone decorated it very simply....I thought that was the best idea!!!

These days, weddings are incredibly expensive....these little touches make it so nice.

CrankyOtter said...

The cookbook looks to have some truly fantastic recipes in it. And since this is a friend who does a lot to bring her friends together, I know fully a quarter of the contributors, or more. So it is an extra special treat in many ways. When she first came up with the idea, it was just so *her* that I was thinking, "Of course, how could she not make a cookbook?"

The idea of having the family make the cake in pieces is great too - everyone can say they were part of it, and no one person is tasked with something onerous. And if one of 4 cakes doesn't show up, just cut the pieces smaller.

And I did have a lot of fun. Then I had dinner with another friend of mine who reminded me of the time I dunked my boob in hot tea just before a big technical meeting. I had been trying to get the projector to work or focus or whatever and had just refilled my mug for the meeting. Apparently if I'm focused on something in the middle of a table, I forget all about having these things that stick out from my chest.

Junior said...

Breasts and gravy........Meomw is laughing!

Up My Mind said...

At a friend's wedding this summer, we found a recipe binder that matched the wedding album we got her. We put self-addressed stamped envelopes and blank recipe cards on the tables at the reception. Which reminds me...I need to get a 2nd card. Ran out of space.

And that's too funny about dunking your breasts in your plate. I'm always doing that. Or knocking glasses over. Sigh.