So I've mentioned to y'all that I'm doing the catering for my wedding, but I haven't actually said anything else about it. I thought I might do that, since I don't have time right now to type up new recipes. Mainly because as I'm making them up, I scrawl little notes to myself, most of which are barely legible (on a good day I usually need help reading my writing; perhaps I ought to have become a doctor), and have so little detail that I have to extrapolate from pretty limited data what I actually did.
Anyway, I thought y'all might like to know what I'm up to for the wedding food. As well as the shortcuts I'm taking to make this manageable while I'm in the middle of crunch time in my semester. So here it is:
Braised lamb shanks and vegetables (onions, carrots and celery) (meat)
Dill rice (vegan)
Pickles, olives and feta (vegan/vegetarian)
Wedding cake (vegetarian)
And, I think there's something else I've forgotten about. But I'll let you know if that's true once I'm home looking at the list.
And, the shortcuts:
Y'all will be surprised to hear this, but I bought the dolma. There're a few companies that sell really good canned dolma, and since it'll take so very, very long to make enough dolma for 60 people, I decided in the end to just go ahead and buy them. Likewise, I'm buying the mast-of-khiar. My friend who's hosting the reception/party is making my wedding cake, which is incredibly sweet of her (especially since we all know what a headache making wedding cakes is!). And instead of boiling the beans for the hummus, I instead purchased a 10-can of beans and will use that to save a few hours of cooking time. Lastly, I'm buying the pita from a bakery instead of making it all. Once again, making pita for 60 is just not something I feel like dealing with.
Already, I've made the toum (though I think I might make more, since I've only got a pint and that seems insufficient). I've also already made everything I need for the baklava, so all I have to do is assemble and bake it tomorrow. I haven't yet purchased the lamb or the vegetative matter needed for the tabouleh (or the feta), but everything else is already basically prepped and ready to go.
So tomorrow, S, the host of the reception/party, and I (and whomever else is on hand to do work with/for us) will be prepping the lamb in massive roasting pans and setting it up to relax in the fridge overnight. We'll also assemble the baklava, and make the tabouleh. This, honestly, is the part I think will be the worst. Tabouleh takes a while to make when you're making small portions of it; making it for 60 people might be a little taxing. And of course we'll make the hummus as well.
Saturday (the wedding day), I'll go over to her house early and we'll make the rice (and leave it in a warmer). We'll also take the trays of lamb and toss them in the oven before heading to the wedding so it'll be cooked when we get back from the ceremony. At that point, we'll put all the food out and move on to the celebrating.
And, for those who want to know, here's the basic structure of how the wedding is going to work:
We're having the ceremony in a park, using picnic blankets for people to sit on instead of chairs (I've heard that some people will be bringing camping chairs so they can sit in them, but that's got nothing to do w/ me so I only know a little about that). It'll be a fairly nontraditional ceremony, though there will be a few traditional elements. We aren't having any attendants, and I'll be getting a ring but he will not be. R isn't Jewish, so we're using a JoP instead of a rabbi. He'll break the glass and I'll walk around him seven times, but outside of that it'll be totally nonreligious. A good friend of mine, who's probably the most talented henna artist I've ever encountered is doing my henna today so it'll be perfect on Saturday. We're hoping for a very short ceremony, since neither one of us enjoy dealing with long weddings. Our guests have expressed preemptive appreciation for not forcing them to sit through a long, formal affair. I'm not actually even wearing a wedding dress. I'll be wearing a summer dress if the weather is as nice as it's supposed to be. If it's very cold, I'll probably wear jeans. I'm sure he'll be wearing jeans regardless of the weather. So, very, very short and casual. The ceremony will be filmed (by friends), and we're intending to put the film up on youtube so people from out of town who can't make it will still be able to see how it all went.
From there, we'll head over to the party and put out the food. We're having a big bowl of disposable cameras for people to use and put back in the bowl, and skipping a formal photographer. We both think the pictures we'll get doing it this way will be more fun, although one of his friends is bringing his own camera to do what I'm assuming will be slightly more traditional photos. There will be a first dance, to "In My Life" (Beatles) since R says it's probably the only time he'll ever get to dance with me (I am so not into dancing, but you can't really deny a guy a dance on his wedding day). My friend K will be handling all musical issues past that, since my plan was to put an iPod on shuffle and let it handle itself. Y'all know how I am - the only part I really care about it is the food and everything else is just stuff that doesn't matter to me. So people will be able to dance if they wish. The food will be buffet-style instead of plated, and we've asked people to bring beer, wine, and/or liquor instead of wedding gifts. A wedding just isn't a wedding without food and booze, but booze for 60 is way outside my budget so we're leaving it to the guests to handle that. I was told someone was bringing mead, and I'm scared since I find mead entirely irresistible but I turn into a wild woman when I drink it. I'm not really sure how the cake cutting will be happening, but I'm sure someone will decide and tell me while we're there.
And, I think that's basically all the information. Y'all probably won't hear from me again until after Thanksgiving unless I manage to get those recipes typed up. We'll be in Austin for the holiday, so between the wedding, school/work and holiday travel, I'm having trouble imagining that I'll get it together enough to post anything before that Monday following the holiday. I hope y'all have a wonderful holiday!
*For those of you in Houston or the surrounding areas who're looking for cake bakers, henna artists, etc., please feel free to send me a message if you need their details. I'd be happy to pass their information along to you, or yours to them!