Now that I’ve spent several words to describe our wedding feast, I wanted to take a moment to think about why any of it mattered at all. Why, between all the other myriad details involved in a wedding, would I spend hours shaping and reshaping my ideas for the food?
I’ve shared my thoughts on feeding others as a sign of love and care. But beyond that, I felt that each meals was an opportunity for our guests to connect. This one singular time, our friends and family from different parts of our lives would all be together. Boundaries drawn across cultures, experience, and age would be temporarily forgotten (or at least excused) as we celebrated our marriage.
Food is central to this mixing, melding process. It calls people together around a table, brings to life and then sustains story-telling, laughter, and good humor. A full and happy belly, or the prospect of one, accelerates the bonds made between one human being and another.
I also wanted to tell a story with the food. For the first dinner of the weekend, I put together a menu inspired from mine and Ross’ childhood food memories, those that evoked our Vietnamese and Port Angeles upbringings. These weren’t lofty recipes, but drew from our places of comfort, colors and tastes and smells that remind of us home.
Our reception paid tribute to California’s bounty of growing things. Most of the vegetables came from the ranch’s own garden: crispy haricots verts, fragrant herbs, tomatoes at the height of their season. Not only is California a key place in regards to the movement towards locally-produced and seasonal food, but it’s also where Ross and I met and now make our home.
I chose to close with brunch on Sunday for everything lovely that brunches signify: rising leisurely from bed, blinking half-dazed in sunlight over ambrosial juices, and the unhurried close to a rollicking good time.
This is all perhaps over-analytical and most definitely corny, but it is what I believe. Without such convictions, it would just be food, nothing more.