And I Can Cook, Too

Monday, March 20, 2006

March 10, 2006

I Do, Love You, With All My Heart

March 10, 2006
Peg and Ed have been dating for 14 years. Ed has asked Peg to marry him every single one of them. The first 13 times, she declined. What changed her mind, I may never know, but at last the day their family and friends had all been waiting for was here. Wedding Day! Over a quick cup of coffee, I reviewed the menu:

Crab Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp over Wild Rice with Asparagus,
Kahlua Duck on Okinawan Sweet Potato Smash with Edemame, and
Citrus-Chipotle Marinated Chicken on Truffle Dijon Macaroni and Cheese and Haricot Vert

But before cooking, I was off to the clubhouse. Walter and I had chosen flowers from Watanabe’s Florists the day before; we needed to get decorating. While Danielle and Krystal assembled nasturtiums, coffee beans, orchids, and baby’s breath, I arranged branches of cherry blossoms, calla lilies, red ginger, bird’s of paradise, and my personal favorite, “curly green sticks”. The clubhouse looked like a tropical paradise. Jessie and Stephanie, my trusted servers, arrived and immediately began polishing glassware and setting up steam tables. While they were working their elfin magic, I raced through a shower, through on a dress, intercepted the minister and met the bridal party at Kim’s. The minister went over the ceremony, everyone donned leis, and it was time.

The conch shell blew, signaling the start of the ceremony. As he entered, the minister chanted a Hawaiian greeting:

Onaona l ka hala me ku lehua
He hale lehua no la na ka nee
O ka’u no ia, e ano’l nel
E ll’a nel, he’l a ka hiki mal
E hiki mal no ‘ae, a hiki pu no me ke aloha
Aloha e, Aloha e, Aloha e.

Ed walked into place. Jan began the Hawaiian Wedding Song, and Danielle, Krystal, Gill with the kids, and Kim walked town the aisle. At last in came Peg, an absolutely stunning vision in a simple white dress and Haku lei, (a lei for the head), and carrying a bouquet of orchids. The ceremony was beautiful. The pastor was the perfect combination of serious and humorous. He focused on leaving your troubles at the door and always coming home with gladness and love. There was no lacking of tears in the room. I fought off mine by visualizing burnt chicken. The rings were exchanged, the bride was kissed, and the final chant for the abundance of aloha was spoken.

Peg and Ed went from being Peg and Ed to Mr. and Mrs. Peg and Ed. Kim went from having two “sort of step sisters, but not really,” to having two step sisters. And I went from calm and happy wedding guest to frantic caterer.

The champagne reception with violin duet gave me one hour to get the food on the table. Ovens pre-heated in two different houses. Crab stuffed Jumbo Shrimp went into one; Citrus-Chipotle Marinated Chicken Thighs were popped into the other. I’d kahlua’d and shredded three ducks the day before, all that was required there was a quick re-heating. Ditto the wild rice for the shrimp and the pasta for the chicken. Waiting on the stove was a pot with chopped Okinawan Sweet Potatoes. I turned the heat on high as I poured a quart of heavy cream into a second stockpot. As the potatoes simmered away, I added the cold penne from the day before to the heated cream. Soon the pasta was warmed through. As Jessie handled the wild rice and kahlua duck, I added shaved parmaseano regiano, Dijon mustard, and white truffle oil into the penne. With ½ hour to go before dinner service, Jessie and I kicked into high gear. Jessie drained the Okinawan potatoes while I put asparagus, haricot vert, and edemame on to steam. I added pure maple syrup, roasted garlic, cream, butter, and salt to the potatoes and Jessie whipped them into smooth smashed shape. Walter wandered in and we promptly put him to work. While he carted potatoes, rice, and penne to the clubhouse, Jessie ran to rescue the stuffed shrimp from the neighboring oven. While she was gone, I transferred chicken from baking pans to chafing dishes. Walter returned to be promptly handed more hot dishes and ordered to turn right around again. The shrimp safely delivered, Jessie arrived and we carried the last of the meal to the clubhouse, where the wedding guests were still delightedly sipping champagne and snapping photos of the bride and groom. After a quick plating demo for Stephanie and Jess, I announced that dinner was served, and we were seated.

Amidst much toasting (including to the chef!) we ate, and laughed, and thoroughly enjoyed the magic of the day.

Dinner done, dishes cleared, and champagne switched to pinot noir, Kim put on the dance tape Red had mixed for this occasion. After Peg and Ed danced to “Falling in Love with You”, the boogie music began, and the dance floor filled.

As I watched Walter and Leslie re-create their famous “drivin’ the bus, open the door, and hand out the change” pantomime to disco, Kenny repeatedly drop Kim on the floor as he continued to insist he could flip her and she continued to believe him, and Gunnar and Kim’s 3 year old niece steal the show as the cutest couple in the room, I realized I was exhausted. Knowing perfectly well that the party would rage on until the wee hours, I stole away at 8:30 for a much needed nights rest.

E ia au,
(This is the moment)
ke kali nei.
(I’ve waited for)

Aia la ia hea
(I can hear my heart beating)

Ku’u Aloha
(Soon bells will be ringing)

E ia au,
(This is the moment)

Ke huli nei
(Of sweet aloha)

Aloa’a o ee kaipo
(I will love you longer than forever)

Maha kai ini aka puuwai
(Promise me that you will leave me never)

Na’u oe’elei na’u oe’elei
(I do love you with all my heart.)


  • At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Lora said…

    This was so beautiful and touching, Kristin. Thanks for doing this blog. I'm addicted 4ever.


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