Monday, August 6, 2007

Wedding Weekend

This weekend my amazing friends P and P got married, and both Chris and I were in the wedding. It was, and I am not exaggerating, a perfectly wonderful day, with divine weather, a flawless ceremony and reception, and relatively painless photo session. The one untoward thing that happened was that one of the groomsmen was in a small car accident between the photos and the reception, but he was unscathed, his car is fixable, and he made it to the party in time for dinner.

The bride stayed at our house the night before the wedding, and the female half of the bridal party all got dressed and ready for the wedding here as well, after our hair appointments. One of the tasks I took upon myself was to make sure all the women get fed properly. Between all the stress and the early appointments, I was worried we'd all get too busy to eat anything decent, and end up passing out at the altar. That would suck, so I made a plan. A plan that involved baking, which always makes me happy.

I decided early on that I would be making my favourite oatmeal muffins, the ones I've been making for years from an Epicurious recipe. I added chocolate chips because it was a festive day and hey, the bride loves chocolate. Strangely enough, I don't think she ate any - she doesn't usually eat breakfast and was a bit nervous to boot - but they were a huge hit with the rest of the girls. I brought them to the hair salon with us, along with some vegan banana bread I baked for the bride's sister (the same vegan who attended the bridal shower). It was a recipe I ganked from a site called the Eazy Vegan, and I wasn't really sure what to expect from it, but it turned out to be really delicious and moist without being damp. It didn't 'taste vegan", I guess you could say. In any event, she was very appreciative of the effort and took a bunch of it home with her. Chris really enjoyed it as well, so much so that I'll be baking another loaf of it in a little while.

I threw together a big platter of sandwiches for noshing before we headed to the church (various deli meats), as well as some store bought hummus and pita and some baby carrots. Thus, no one fainted, though the granola bars in the bride's emergency kit were a very welcome snack by the time we got to the photo site.

Dinner, at the reception, was stellar - it was a hot and cold buffet, very casual food, but all beautifully presented, fresh, and perfectly delicious. The prettiest dish was a cold decorated salmon - whole, with the head and tail replaced after a gentle poaching, and adorned with thin cucumber slices, devilled eggs, fresh herbs and yellow cherry tomatoes. There were three salads (tossed, pasta, and something else that escapes me now), a deli meat platter, a cheese platter, a crudite platter with pickles and olives, and then several hot dishes: swedish meatballs, parisienne potatoes, a vegan lasagna, a huge roast ham, a hip of beef, and gravy. I tried everything but the lasagna and the gravy, and was too stuffed to even think about seconds, sadly. It was a wonderful meal, simple and tasty and great fuel for dancing.

Dessert was the wedding cake, as the bride refused to have people fill up on dinner and not be able to eat her gorgeous nut-free cake (she has an allergy). There were 4 layers, 2 chocolate and 2 vanilla, layered with fluffy icing, and it was light and yummy, though not my idea of cake (I like mine denser). Still, all in all, we were remarkably well-fed on Saturday.

Vegan Banana Bread (courtesy Eazy Vegan, slightly adapted by yours truly)

4 small very ripe bananas, mashed (I used 4 from the freezer)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a large loaf pan with oil.

Mash the bananas well in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla and cinnamon and mix well. In another bowl combine flours, baking powder and baking soda, and whisk well. Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing well to combine fully. Using a spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan (it will be thick and need levelling off). Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Makes 12 servings.

No comments: