Friday, November 11, 2011

The Wedding Reception

SO, I catered my first wedding reception tonight- I was in charge of planning and buying the food, and getting it all set up.  The wonderful bride found volunteers to run the kitchen during the reception, and more to do the chopping before hand for the cheese and produce, and she came herself the night before to set up the buffet to look all pretty and fancy.  I just had to fill in the platters, make sure everyone knew where stuff was, and that was it!  Since there were so many hands, I had time to do a few extra things, like sugared cranberries and oven-dried tomatoes.  (My wonderful sister baked the bread for us, 8 loaves!  My brain goes haywire if I try and do more than 4 loaves at a time.)


Sugared cranberries- cranberries soaked in a hot simple syrup, drained, and tossed with sugar.
sugared cranberries

sugared cranberries


Funny story about brie.  The bride apparently REALLY loves brie, and wanted it at the reception.  I couldn't figure out how to have volunteers toting hot brie from the oven all night, with a reception held IN the kitchen.  The bride actually had no idea that brie should be served warm.  So, we scrapped the brie idea, but I needed a few more pounds of cheese when I was a the store and grabbed just one brie.  We'd serve it room-temperature, there would just be one, the bride would be happy, no biggie.  So almost everything was set up tonight, and a girl walks in with SIX brie cheeses, and maybe seven loaves of bread.  (I had 8 loaves of french bread already.)  I guess the bride REALLY wanted brie, she called this girl in at the last minute!  We had a lot of brie.  (And yes- that girl stayed all night, toting brie cheese from the oven to the buffet.)

Oven dried tomatoes.

oven-dried tomatoes

So, I found a case of tomatoes for $13.  My oven was running from Saturday to Friday morning, drying sheet after sheet.  Did you know that a case of tomatoes, once dried, fills half a gallon-sized bag?  True story.

Swiss cheese

Butter and Olive Oil whip, for the french bread

butter-olive oil whip

(Sorry, that pictures blurry!)

Vegetable tray- broccoli, carrots, baby bell peppers, sliced zucchini, and white button mushrooms.  That tray was ENORMOUS.  Like, over two feet long.  Very, very cool.

vegetable tray

Orange slices with pomegranate seeds, drizzled with cranberry syrup

citrus with pomegranate and cranberry syrup

Cheddar, pepperjack, and dill havarti cheese

cheddar, pepperjack, and dill havarti

The set up.  Those ladies did a great job making this look nice, and the home was gorgeous!

(Please note the CLEAR PLASTIC PLATES.  Having those was SO important to the bride, we had to order them from Amazon and pay $20 shipping!  The look beautiful on the buffet.)

Hot cocoa bar
hot cocoa bar

We had milk chocolate and french vanilla Stephen's cocoa, plus hazelnut creamer, half and half, whipped cream, crushed starlight mints, andes mints, chocolate sauce, pumpkin spice syrup, and vanilla syrup.  This was a big hit tonight!

Simple lemon water.  This monster held about 4 gallons- I wish I had cupboard space to store something like this, it makes parties so much easier!   (This belonged to the hostess.)

We had a "little" pantry to work in.
prep area

I was pretty nervous when I found out that the buffet would be in the kitchen- all the prep work and supplies needed to refresh trays, etc. are NOT pretty and are NOT calm.  This little room was off to the side and worked really well.

Which is good, because I brought a lot of food!
prep area

Oh, and I didn't take pictures of the meatballs- just simple meatballs in marina sauce, easy as pie.

I am so glad this day is over!

But, you know...getting feedback is nice, too.  Someone said recently "No one cares how well you changed that diaper."  In the work force, and in public settings, there's always feed back.   You do a good job, people notice.  If you go the extra mile, people notice.  At home, with the kids??  No, not so much.  I would never trade what I do, but every once in a while it's so nice to put effort into something and listen to others admire it.  To dress up, and be told I look extra nice.  


Aunt LoLo said...

Congrats on a GREAT party!!!! Those pictures are making me hungry.

Su said...

Wow!! Good job.... everything looked very pretty. Yay for you! Are you looking to keep catering, or was this a one off thing?

Franzine Kafka said...

I didn't know brie was supposed to be served warm either. My friends must be too lazy to heat it up. Congrats!

Thayn said...

Looks like you pulled this off great! The pics look good (it's amazing that you found time to take pics while running the buffet!) and the bright contrasting colors in the different fresh ingredients turn out excellently. I'm fascinated with the concept of simple, fresh, good ingredients coming together to make for simple elegance and that “clean” look. I think you hit that squarely on the head! Great job.

Bobbi Lewin said...

Wow! That looks fantastic! And like a lot of hard hard work:)

Teresa said...

Lots of work I know! Looks fabulous, I'm sure the bride was delighted!
Happy Day

Alexandra said...

Oh, yum! Everything looked delicious and well put together. I want those cranberries right now, drool. What a gorgeous kitchen!