Thursday, August 27, 2009


One of my biggest regrets is not having any pictures of the food that I worked so hard to prepare. I have a couple others that I'll share tomorrow, but today I'll just talk about the food.

So, I did all the food myself as you probably know from reading my blog. Is this a good idea? It was definitely a savings; all together, food costs me approximately $800. (and that's guessing on the high side)--a little more than $10 per person; you won't find any caterer that cheap. On the other hand, the prep work in the days before the wedding and the day of really detracted from me enjoying the experience of my daughter getting married and mingling with our guests. Being your own caterer is just an all-consuming affair, even with help.

The wedding was on a Sunday; I did most of my shopping that Thursday--the local market was having a huge farm stand sale and most of my shopping list at this point was for vegetables. The steaks were bought ahead, a few at a time and frozen. I also made the Italian cookies ahead and froze them. Bethany did the same with the quiches.

I defrosted everything that had been frozen on Friday and prepared all the vegetables (shucking corn, washing & snapping beans). I also cooked the green beans on Friday, mixed them with the almonds and butter and refrigerated.

I was up at 5:30 Saturday morning breading and frying steaks. This took me 2 hours on a large griddle Jenni got for her shower (a huge time-saver). When the steaks were done, I started on washing, drying and cutting the potatoes while grilling the cinnamon corn. Big mistake! All the corn was burnt as a consequence of my divided attention and had to be tossed. For just a moment, I contemplated buying all new corn and starting over, but wisely decided this just wasn't feasible. I had enough to do.

So I roasted two huge trays of potatoes and a huge tray of summer vegetables (zucchini, summer squash and red peppers) until they were almost done (I'd roast through the next day). The tough part was making space in the two refrigerators I had. Cooking on Saturday took up all my time. We did flowers at 4:00 and had rehearsal and company for the rest of the night.

On Sunday morn, I took everything out of the fridge early to get it to room temp. Then I put the steaks in the oven to cook them with the sauce, and finished roasting the potatoes and the vegetables. Sarah was kind enough to pick up the Lemon Chicken for me (which is the only thing I didn't cook myself)--and it arrived hot. Once everything else was hot, I set the trays out on a big table, covered them with foil and labeled them. They would not be reheated again. It was a summer day--warm food would do. This reheating of food took the better part of the morning and I really missed out on mimosas, breakfast and Jenni getting her hair and make up done.

And I still had the cheese plates to prepare! I didn't start this until after 12:00 and it took a good hour. What was difficult for me was not being able to set tables or be creative with how the food or cheeses were displayed. There simply wasn't time.

Luckily, I had Jess, Amanda and Amanda to come back to the house and help me by setting up the apps--but no photos!!! My beautiful cheese plates, the fruit bouquet and quiches--all half gone by the time I arrived! And as soon as I arrived, I was consumed with getting the food out and served. Luckily, Jess and Amanda were a big help with this too--they helped me replenish and consolidate as guests went through the line.

Everyone seemed to love the food and no one (thankfully)asked where the cinnamon corn was. I was the last person to eat and then, I must confess, I wasn't very hungry.

The only left-overs were some roasted potatoes,1/2 tray of steaks and a little Caprese salad. The salad greens disappeared as did the chicken and both vegetable dishes. I took this as a good sign. I wish I had Bob (the MC) announce that people were welcome to second helpings. Just another oversight on my part.

So, would I recommend being your own caterer? No. Even though I think it worked out just fine, it was a lot of work and really did take away from me having a good time. If I could have found the food I wanted elsewhere, I wouldn't have made a thing (except appetizers, salads and cookies). If you are going to do it yourself, remember, you can't be too organized! I had a million lists, diagrams and itineraries, not just for the wedding party itself, but for all my prep work too!

Regrets? The food was delicious and I received many compliments--my only real regret concerning the food is that I don't have photos. If anyone out there does, please send them my way!!!

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