Monday, June 20, 2005

Now for the feast!

Beautiful Gowns

Our youngest daughter will be married July 16th. We are very happy with her choice of young men. He's a great guy, has an interesting background and is devoted to her. He spent two years in Brazil and then in January returned for six weeks to visit friends. Upon his return, he waited about a week, then popped the question. This was in February. We have been planning the reception since then. We have also attended 7 other weddings since she announced her engagement. It has been a whirlwind season. After her wedding we have two others to attend, the last of which is in the last week of August. This will certainly go down as the summer of weddings!

Each time a daughter is married, and the planning begins, my mind turns to a favorite story. It is the story of a French woman during the 19th century revolution, who loses her husband, family and most of her belongings. She is penniless, a refugee in need of shelter and is willing to work for her keep. A French singer arranges for her to become a servant for two sisters who have devoted their lives to helping the poor and needy in their community. Babette moves in with them, and becomes their servant and cook. When the sisters leave for a time, Babette steps in and cooks for the needy. She becomes a part of the greater community. Babette has one possession, a ticket in the French Lottery. She is informed she has won 10,000 francs. With winnings in hand, the sisters are sure she will depart shortly thereafter. She asks if she can prepare a meal for all. The sisters protest, after much discussion the sisters finally give their permission. Babette proceeds to spend her entire fortune to prepare this meal. She wants to show her gratitude for their willingness to take her in, provide shelter and care for her in her hour of need.

Babette's feast is one of my favorite stories by Isak Dinesan. I won't give away all the details of the story and will leave the most interesting points of the story out to peak your curiosity. I would hope you would be intrigued enough to seek it out and read it.

I love the story because it illustrates how I feel when I prepare a reception feast for one of our daughters. There have been so many people that have influenced their lives along the way. While we have been a strong family, with lots of love, I recognize we do not live in a vacuum. There have been so many people that have touched their lives, in one way or another, I could never thank them enough. So I do what I can do. I prepare the best foods I know how to prepare in great abundance and invite friends and family to join us in a feast of celebration. Each has been a joy. Each has been a great celebration. It is my way to say thank you for their influence and love.

So, here we are again. It is again time for another feast. We have chosen to do an Italian theme. We have a few favorite dishes and will add to the list as we proceed to prepare. We have a distance to travel between the wedding and the feast so I need to choose a menu that can be prepared in advance and placed upon arrival. It will be luncheon from 2:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. Of course there will be Bruschetta, antipasti salad, two to three pasta salads, biscotti, an olive bar, different breads (of course from Con Pane) and sweets. Is there a dish you wouldn't have a feast without serving? I will take your suggestions with open heart and mind to help make this a feast beyond measure. (please be reminded, when I say I, I really mean to include my wonderful husband!)