The title of this post is misleading; my wedding meal last week wasn't exactly home cooked - that is, cooked in my own home kitchen with my own two hands. It was made by a splendidly competent catering team. And yet I feel that the food was home cooked in spirit (which is, by the way, the highest compliment I can pay to that team). It was comforting, nourishing, and delicious - all things you expect from a home kitchen.
Here are just a few photos and words about that meal, a delicious gift from many helping hands.
• The tables laid and ready. We set long tables in several rows for a more family feel - it felt like a feast and let people talk to each other down the rows a little more easily than at round table islands.
• Numbers and menus, ready for the guests.
• Cards at the ready. We had about 150 guests, including nearly 30 children.
Before the ceremony we passed fizzy apple cider and house-made sweet potato chips with rosemary and chunky salt. No photos of these yet - hopefully there are a few floating about!
Then after the ceremony and before the reception we passed deviled eggs with capers and crostini with Brie, honeyed walnuts and apple slices. There were also glasses of chilled Pietra Santa Chardonnay.
• We started with a truly phenomenal beet and cabbage coleslaw. It had a startling pink color - all our guests had magenta tongues for the rest of the day! It was sweet and tangy, with pops of caraway seeds.This recipe is a story in itself; watch for that in the coming weeks.
• Dinner was served with a Four Vines Zinfandel - a rich, mildly spicy wine that is one of our favorite budget buys.
The dinner meal was passed family style on big white platters - so beautifully presented! No photos of those platters yet, but the food is here.
We served roasted autumn vegetables (eggplant, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, yams, carrots and onions), with an herbed pork close to my own recipe.
There was also pasta with butternut squash, onions, fried sage, and pine nuts. This was the highlight for my pasta-loving husband; we already recreated it in the kitchen this week! (Recipe soon... although I won't deny it's rather similar to Elizabeth's penne with acorn squash.)
This was just the sort of meal I would have served at home to all my friends and relations, if I could have. We kept pinching ourselves that so many dear friends would come from so far to celebrate with us and love us; it was wonderful to receive so much. The least we could do was feed everyone as well as we could.
And of course there's no way I could have done all that myself. Our catering company was utterly splendid; John, the caterer himself, is on the board of Ohio's ecological farming association, so we lucked out pretty well.
And that was just the beginning. Up soon! Wedding cakes (decorated by our own Sara Kate), ice cream all scooped, and a dessert table made with generations of recipes. More tomorrow! I'm off for another batch of pasta.
(All images: Friend Michelle, unofficial wedding photographer and paparazza extraordinaire, via Flickr)