I’m planning a wedding reception with a budget that would make most brides cry…and not from joy. I need to stretch the dollars like I’m in biblical times and I’ve got some fishes and loaves of bread. Obviously that leaves out the idea of caterers.
So its going to be a do it yourself reception, which works since it’s an unusual wedding too. It’s to be held the weekend before Halloween, which practically asks for a costume theme, and the chosen costumes are “hippy” costumes. For everyone, from the bride to the youngest guest. Obviously, the tone for a bit of lighthearted fun for everyone has been set already.
It’s also being held outdoors, which helps with the casual theme. It also creates worries about weather, although statistically…clear weather is highly likely. I have to just hope for the statistical odds to be in my favor.
I’ll have to make some decisions, but many need to wait until closer to the wedding date itself. Still, there are some decisions that start being made far in advance, like the wedding cake’s recipe.
I have to choose…the white cake or something else? Modern or ethnic? Fruited or not? Seeds? Recipes need tested too–we don’t want to end up with a cake that isn’t great tasting or can’t be stacked in tiers. We don’t want one too small…or too big.
We’ll also be testing other recipes for flavor and suitability for serving. We’ll be limited on “kitchen” facilities on site. In fact, it will mean basic burners, so nothing complicated can be on the menu. It also means food that holds well, so that we can prepare it ahead of time, and just hold it, ready to serve, until the feasting begins. It also needs to be (probably most importantly) cheap and yummy.
I’m leaning towards these dishes as main dishes. A modified chicken paprikesh with galuskas, red beans with sausage and rice, turkey tamales, and Indian tacos. The tamales and tacos would be served with Spanish rice and refried beans as side dishes, and tortilla chips would be another natural addition. The tamales can be made as much as a month ahead of time, if we can arrange for freezer space for them, and frozen…only requiring to be thawed and reheated for serving. Red beans would be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated, only requiring reheating and the cooking of the rice. The chicken paprikesh can be made the day before, and reheated as well. Galuskas, while somewhat a pain to prepare, can be made as much as three days in advance and refrigerated after cooking. To reheat them, they could be dropped in boiling water for a few minutes, and then piled high in a bowl. The problem with them is…they only stay hot about thirty minutes, rather like the rice.
So…I think the chicken paprikesh is going to get scratched. Tamales, red beans with sausage, plain rice, Spanish rice, refried beans, and Navajo tacos with a turkey red chili with beans topping (as well as the other typical taco toppings) and tortilla chips are still on the list. For now, whether all of these foods will STAY on the list depends on our guest list itself, as people RSVP closer to the wedding. The more people that are coming, the more foods that will be included, as the size of any one dish is limited by the pots in which they are prepared.
In addition to the wedding cake itself, we’ll have a second cake. I’m not sure we will call it a “groom’s cake” because its a cake I want there. Actually, its not even a cake. It’s called a Rembrandt’s torte, and its this lethal combination of layered shortbread with whipped chocolate-rum truffle filling, topped with shredded chocolate and more whipped chocolate rum truffle.