Sunday, February 15, 2009

Surviving The Wedding

We did it!
We married off two great people, avoided what seemed like an imminent rain event, and sent everybody home stuffed to the gills with good food.

This was an outdoor wedding in my parent's backyard and as luck would have it, the day before was absolutely perfect weather ... warm, sunny, light breeze... just perfect.
That was Friday.
Saturday morning, we awoke to the sound of pouring rain and it continued off and on throughout the hectic morning preparations.
We continued on, hashing out contingency plans for food, people, and ceremony placement if it was still raining at wedding time.
An hour or so before the ceremony, although the sky was still grey and threatening, the rain stopped.

The ceremony went off as planned beneath my Dad's citrus trees with a crowd of well wishers to celebrate the new couple.

Here's a few scenes ...

Prenuptial agreement: I, the undersigned, agree to BBQ a bunch of chicken and make a big ol'pot of Minorcan style clam chowder.


There's no small amount of pressure when you're cooking for a crowd at the most special event of someones life. I wasn't the only cook either, other people were stressing too. My Mom, my Aunt Shelba, the wedding couple, ... we all had our cooking jobs to do to make this event as tasty as it was tasteful.

The Minorcan chowder was my biggest stressor though. There were a lot of Minorcans at this wedding and they KNOW what good clam chowder tastes like.

It was like being on Top Chef ... only manlier.

When I dished out the first cups, a distinguished jury of Jan, Marlene, Greg,my Uncle Richard, cousins Rick, Alan, and Mike, and others were the first on the scene, spoons at the ready.
When they nodded and gave it the thumbs up, I knew it was going to be okay.

The chowder was finished off outside under a canopy and over a gas fire. I had made it 2 days before, but it needed a little more flame time and it had to be just right.
So while a DVD slide show of the happy couple was being watched by the throng inside, I was outside stirring and messing with my bivalve concoction.
It was somewhere after the final taste test, with the slide show almost done that I remembered I was supposed to give the wedding toast, so I grabbed a scrap of paper and jotted down some thoughts that had been bouncing around in my head.
It had to flow from my brain, down my arm, and on to paper before I could commit it to memory.
After the ceremony, when it was toast time ...I did okay, I think, only getting choked up once ... (dang it).

Here is the lovely Annette and her husband Terry, just moments after they became man and wife.

There was all kinds of huggy, kissy stuff going on ... it was a wedding after all.
I even put on flipflops for a few hours and I took a picture just to prove to y'all that I did it.

I videotaped the serious stuff, and then turned Junior loose with the video camera to do interviews. I did not go back and review the tape before handing it to my new sister Annette, so just as a disclaimer, ... Annette, my part ends after the ceremony, you can blame Junior for any nonsense after that.

Here is the incredible, amazingly delicious, wedding cake that my Aunt Shelba made. There are two kinds of pound cake hidden beneath that icing and it was all wonderful.
I had three slices of the chocolate pound cake was so good.

I was too full of wedding pound cake to eat any of the groom cake, ... okay, that's a lie ... I had just a nibble to test it. It was wonderful too.
She did such a great job capturing his other love, after Annette of course. The boy has been surfing since he was 14 ... that's about 42 years worth of waves and Aunt Shelba nailed it with this cake. She even gave the surfer guy grey hair!

It might seem like a shame to cut such a beautiful cake, but this wasn't some bland bakery creation, this was an eatin' cake with actual flavor.

The newlyweds escaped for a little while in Terry's pickup which was decorated on the sly by his nieces and nephew.
Later they came back to help with the cleanup, because that's the kind of people they are.

So, whew! ... we did it.
We pulled off an outdoor wedding on a rainy weekend.

Back to nature tomorrow, but I thought you might enjoy these scenes of the big event.

Post Script:

The menu for all you foodies out there:
BBQ Chicken
Pulled Pork
Minorcan Chicken Pilau
Minorcan Sausage Pilau
Baked Beans
Shrimp Rounds with Datil Pepper Relish
Potato Salad
Minorcan Clam Chowder
Wedding Cake
... and a host of minor players to round out the main dishes.


Florida Beach Basics said...

what fun, and what a great writeup and the usual excellent photos. almost as fun as being there, except for no food. sounds like ya done good!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered giving up teaching and starting a catering business?

Nancy Ortiz said...

Aren't you going to come up with the clam chowder recipe? Pleeeze?

debbie said...

Looks like a good time was had by all. It was nice that the weather cooperated with the wedding plans. Congratulations to the bride and groom.

Ark Patti said...

Congrats to the good looking, happy couple and to the harried cooks. Gained a pound just looking. Looks like a wonderful day for all. That cake was really awesome. Loved the gray haired surfer dude on the groom's cake also.
Rest easy now FC, you done good.

Freste said...

You make it sound so easy and well planned. Looks like yall had a fantastic day and by the smiles, it looks like everything was prepared way beyond expectations! Now THAT'S a great way to recognize the lucky couple. Congrats to everybody. Very well done!!!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Sounds like a great day!And the food looks delish,too.And it wasn't so bad wearing flip-flops,was it?
Congrats to the happy couple!

cndymkr / jean said...

Now this is how weddings should be done. Congratulations to the new couple.

Anonymous said...

Like I've said seem to have one nice family!! Glad everything turned out so well. Congrats to the happy couple. The food loked great and those cakes were beautiful!

Enjoy your day off tomorrow.


kathy a. said...

what a lovely wedding! looks/sounds like all the food came off wonderfully, as did the festivities in general.

did anyone ever mention, y'all look like brothers?

Susan Rose said...

I'm glad y'all pulled it off. Annette is a beautiful woman, and your brother's not too shabby. After all your work, I hope you got plenty of leftovers.

kathy a. said...

aunt shelba did a beautiful job with the wedding cake! [the cake was the one part of my wedding that i hired out -- we are all into cake, but not a one of us can do it fancy.]

edifice rex said...

Yea!! Happy to hear everything went great. the food looks incredible! beautiful cake. Dang, I'm so hungry now. Cheers to everyone!

Thunder Dave said...

Congrats to the lucky couple!
Oh and nice hat in grilling action photos! ;-)

Kathy said...

Congratulations Annette & Terry...We wish to you a life time of Love & Happiness...
Lots of Love from all of us in Missouri!!

robin andrea said...

Terry and Annette looks so happy. Everyone did such a great job, pitching in together to make this day for them. It's a beautiful beginning.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Well done, and congratulations to newly weds. The formal wedding cake and surf scene cake balance each other out, and both look really delicious.

roger said...

thanks for the peek into your family, and even more congrats to the newlyweds. mmmmmmm food. it all sounds good.

flip flops...yes indeed.

Laura said...

Oh, that wedding cake was beautiful! And all the food looked so good!!
Congrats to your brother and his beautiful wife!

threecollie said...

So nice! Looks like a wonderful wedding for wonderful folks. Good job!

Deb said...

Congratulations on a wonderful nuptial feast! The bride and groom sure do make a beautiful couple.

Floridacracker said...

I'm going to do a mass comment as mostly I would be saying this reapeatedly:
Thank you very much for the kind comments and good wishes.

A few particular points beyond gratitude:

The clam chowder recipe is on Pure Florida, just search this blog for Minorcan Clam Chowder ... The Pilau and Datil Relish recipes are in the archives too!

Kathy from Missouri,
Welcome! She is a wonderful woman and I am proud to call her sister.

Did it MY way said...

Will work for chowder

Ericka said...

sounds very yummy.

i'm glad the day went so well for you all, and best wishes to your brother and his lovely bride!

Miz S said...

Looks like a ton of fun, FC! I'm very glad to hear that y'all pulled it off and had a great time. Best wishes to your brother and his lovely bride.