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Wedding Wrap-Up

superpup's picture

Yes, it's a long one, written in haste--sorry about typos, grammar problems, and general bad writing.

superpup's picture

(post #57225, reply #1 of 18)

Well, Sunday was the day—Cooking Monster’s wedding. NoChef and I had volunteered to help her with the cake, so we were there for both the backstage drama and then to see the final show.

We planned to get together on Saturday to put the cake together. CM made the cake layers and brought them from Canada, as well as some fruit purees to use in the filling. I made a backup cake layer, in case we ran out, as well as another fruit puree. We were meeting at the B&B where the wedding and reception would take place, and were planning on using their kitchen to work on the cake.

Things got off to a roaring start. I arrived an hour late, due to car trouble (I don’t want to bore you with the details, but I was a transportation disaster all weekend, causing all sorts of trouble; CM remained patient throughout and NoChef rescued me time and time again—thank you!). Now this made things a little complicated, because CM had to go to her bridal shower that afternoon, so we only had enough time before that for her to give me the recipe for the buttercream and set us up to make that. That was the fun and easy part (by the way, I got to use a KitchenAid for the first time and that makes things so much easier than my usual M.O., a handmixer that fights large batches of frosting and batter like an angry set of bagpipes).

When CM got back from the shower we were ready to go fill, frost and decorate the rest of the cake. Now the B&B didn’t have enough room in the fridge to store the cake, so CM had arranged to keep the components and then finished cake at a deli in town that had a huge walk-in fridge. We got to the deli, and then found out that they were trying to close for the day, so we had to work as fast as possible to fill, frost, decorate and then assemble the cake.

Okay. So CM remains calm and gets us going: make the fillings, fill the cake layers, reassemble each cake, then get to work frosting. Filling wasn’t bad, but the warm kitchen rapidly turned frosting into a relay race of frost a little, chill a little, frost some more, chill some more. Decorating got even crazier, as we had to keep switching off pastry bags: pipe a little, feel the buttercream get too warm, put that bag into the fridge and go to a new one. CM had to do the most complicated part of the decorating, so we just tried to help as best as we could. She remained amazingly focused and calm, piping away, while I ran around frantically in a barely controlled state of panic. Trust me, she’s truly the cake decorating master and I am just a sorry pretender. NoChef also was very calm and extremely helpful. Sigh. I had to leave before they were finished (probably a good thing), so I had to wait until the next day to see the finished product.

The day of the wedding was one of those late summer days where it’s cloudy one minute, sunny the next, humid and ready to rain always. The rain had the good sense to hold off, though, and it remained clear throughout the ceremony. It was a bilingual ceremony, alternating English and German for the benefit of the groom’s family. I liked this, but am sorry to say that my 2 years of h.s. German did not help me understand any of the German translation (sorry, the only things I remember from German class are helpful words like strawberry, peanut, and some assorted verbs).

(Need I even say that CM looked beautiful? I really liked her dress. Sorry, you’ll have to wait for pictures).

The reception was also outdoors, and the rain had the good sense to stay away. It was a very laid-back kind of afternoon, as one would expect on a warm summer days and in a garden. We got a chance to meet the families of CM and her new DH—all excellent company, and fortunately, the German side spoke much, much better English than I speak German (a good thing, because a conversation based around, “I go to get a strawberry and a peanut” could get old really fast).

Then, the cake—it was stunning! Don’t have a good picture yet, but here is a verbal preview: honey genoise cake, 7 hexagonal tiers, each cake spit into four thin layers; 3 fillings, mascarpone combined with plum puree, peach puree, or raspberry puree; a milk buttercream; red ribbon around each tier, with a copy of the beadwork from CM’s dress piped above and below the ribbon; finished with a red rose and rose petals. Everyone was very impressed, with people running for cameras to get a shot before the cake was cut. Best of all, it was a wedding cake which tasted like a really good cake, rather than a piece of sculpture that’s not really meant to be eaten. Hooray.

So I’ll once again thank CM and NoChef for putting up with me and my perpetual panic, and for providing an excellent time for me and everyone else this weekend. I am probably leaving things of interest out, but I have been in kind of a work panic the past few days. Hopefully details can surface later.

aussiechef's picture

(post #57225, reply #2 of 18)

Oh, I just love your descriptions of anything cake-ish. Congratulations all round.

samchang_'s picture

(post #57225, reply #3 of 18)

Happy honeymoon to CM and Peter. Great writing, 'pup! Perhaps they should give you the, um, strawberry and peanut award for excellence in English-German wedding reporting.

kai_'s picture

(post #57225, reply #4 of 18)

Great writing, as always, pupster! Please keep sharing, and, uh, for the third or fourth time, submit to NPR ASAP! I can picture a market for your pieces on Morning Edition, The World, Marketplace, All Things Considered and any number of places. Can't hurt, even if you decide to dub the voices rather than submit a printed dialogue. Go grrlll!

Wolverine's picture

(post #57225, reply #5 of 18)

great info - thanks, pup! That cake sounds gorgeous - can't wait to see a pic, and of course - the best part - a pic of CM and her DH! Woo Hoo!

CLS's picture

(post #57225, reply #6 of 18)

Weddings have always made me cry, but I didn't realize I'd tear up at a cyber-version, too
i (sniff!)
. I'm such a sap. Congratulations, CM and Peter! And CM? When you get a chance could you e-mail me your new mailing address? We want to send your wedding gift.

Seema_Shastry's picture

(post #57225, reply #7 of 18)

pup, love reading your writing. Now all I need is to see the pics and I will feel as if I was at the wedding.

Adele_'s picture

(post #57225, reply #8 of 18)

Wow! Great description SP! I'm glad everything turned out ok, the cake sounds delish! Can't wait for the pics.

Grasshopper_'s picture

(post #57225, reply #9 of 18)

Your writing/description was wonderful to read, Superpup! I can just see you running around panicked w/CM calmly doing what needed to be done. She is very mellow, or at least she was when I met her... Thanks for sharing.

sanderson_'s picture

(post #57225, reply #10 of 18)

'pup..I sure hope you're keeing a journal of your cake escapades. You've got a book in there for sure. Thanks for sharing. I'm always so jealous of CTer's getting together. waiting for pics.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #57225, reply #11 of 18)

NoChef took a bunch of digital photos of both the cake assembly and the reception. Hopefully he'll post a few and add some commentary of his own.

I have to say the decorating was a bit more stressful than I had been hoping for. The woman who ran the deli had to wait there with us until we were done. It turned out that the person who had told me I could use their space had neglected to tell them, so all this was a big surprise for her 1/2 hour before closing. She was not amused, but she let us work anyway, for which I am eternally grateful.

The finished cake wasn't as neatly decorated as I would have liked (it came out a little crooked, the tiers were not properly centered on each other, and due to the temperature while piping the beading wasn't as tidy as it could be), but then we were working under enormous time pressure in too hot a kitchen. Besides, I'm my own worst critic. All things considered we did quite well.

As I said in another thread, both Superpup and NoChef deserve a round of thundering applause. This cake would not have been possible without them.

The wedding was great - everything DH and I hoped it would be and more.
I only wish my Superpup and NoChef could have stayed long enough at the reception to hear the 4 piece jazz band play Blue Danube - complete with solos - for the benefit of the older members of Mr. CM's family.

Cleaver's picture

(post #57225, reply #12 of 18)

CLS, I'm glad to hear you cried because I am bawling like a baby. Congratulations CM and Peter! Gees, I'm a wreck right now. What a great story superpup. Thanks so much.

Seema_Shastry's picture

(post #57225, reply #13 of 18)

i Besides, I'm my own worst critic
- yup

Looks gorgeous to me. Besides people, CTers at that, have testified that it tasted great. And you & DH looked terrific as well.

noChefAtAll's picture

(post #57225, reply #14 of 18)

Sorry to have started a new thread with those pictures, i just didn't see this one (and i looked for it! also a couple of my first posts didn't show up at all! i'd love it if they could all be moved in here, when i get the bw's, which should be a couple of weeks since i'm away, i'll post them here), but anyway...

the one i like most:

and some i didn't post previously, peter inspecting CM's work:

and agreeing it was good:

and going on...

and earlier, a not quite jewish ritual ..

i'd also like to post my vwery favorite, with CM and Peter and Peter's sister in background, but i'm negotiating a license for that one

...superpup, i love your deadpan panicked supercool miss-no-detail comic narration (with nary a hint of being amused at it all), as previously, of yet another cake saga. yes, perfect candidate for ira glass' 'this american life - the cake chronicles'

and CM, i really loved the wedding and the guests and the atmosphere, and the food, and the cake, and most of all you and peter. the best to you both and thanks again for inviting me

SandraM's picture

(post #57225, reply #15 of 18)

Wow! I love everything about both this thread and No Chef's thread. I'm asking Li to move both to Memoirs folder, if nobody has any objections.

noodle_'s picture

(post #57225, reply #16 of 18)

i Oh, I just love your descriptions of anything cake-ish

Me too. Particularly enjoyed your description of your handmixer--I think I've got the same model.

superpup's picture

(post #57225, reply #17 of 18)

Thanks for all your kind words--though keep in mind that it was the subject matter that made it a good story. However, I guess I will begin to draft a proposal for a show on NPR called "Wedding Wrecks and Marriage Mishaps," in which I travel around the country, volunteering my services at weddings, then letting disaster take its natural course.

Also, NoChef, about what you said in the other thread: it's true, I do perform autopsies on cakes and such. I love to take them apart and analyze the crumb. One could say I play with my food, I guess.

SallyBR_'s picture

(post #57225, reply #18 of 18)

Pass the Kleenex, please.... Loved it. I wish more people would get married here, or have babies, or do both (one at a time, obviously), so that more fantastic threads like this could be created! Thanks! Loved the writing too!