Thursday, September 27, 2007

I can hear the bells...

Wow, my first opportunity to wax poetic about my weekend was tonight! After work (one of my life's joys, and I'm serious!), visiting with my aunt and uncle, taking part in a zillion blog events (which I also love!) and cleaning up after the lovebirds took off to the boot-shaped country of delights (both culinary and fashion), not to mention today's wonderful lunch with the ladies of my mom's work, this really was the only time I had to settle down and gab about the beautiful event I was lucky enough to take part in last Saturday.

There are so many people I want to thank, that I have to do this in chronological order... everyone was so integral to making my mom's day so special for her and a joy for me to be in, and in particular took the physical stress off of me and the emotional stress off of those around me. In case any of the people mentioned happen to read this entry, I want to say first and foremost that you will never be forgotten when I think about the wedding.
Firstly, a huge thank you to Andrew for coming all the way from Ottawa by the (sometimes uncomfortable) train to be with me for the day, only to have to go back a day later. You are so special to me and I can't wait until that same feeling of the magical matrimonial bond is shared between us.
My aunt Janice, uncle Mike, and my grandparents have to be the second mentions in this recap. From flying out here (in the case of the aunt/uncle) to toting assorted luggages and dresses, and helping to pick them out (grandparents) as well as just being part of the day, it was a total delight to be able to spend time with the whole family as one.
Early the day of the wedding the group of us girls headed to Valentino's Grande Salon for our hairdos, and even with the glitches of my sister's and my mom's stylists disappearing, everybody looked absolutely fabulous! A big big big thank you to Christina (far right in the photo), who has been doing my hair for years, for making me look as glamourous as I did!
The whole staff at Parkwood Estates was essential in helping out with making the day run smoothly. Unfortunately I can't remember the planner's name, but she was a great comfort to Mom as she ran around the property for all the little details!
The bride was almost giddy as we waited in the Italian Garden, and I think I was almost as nervous, given that I was wearing 3 inch wedge heels that I had worn only once before, and was expected to walk down a flight of stone steps! To ease the tension my sister and I started to hum this song, which I warn you is very very catchy and will get stuck in your head! Of course, that made us grin randomly during the whole ceremony (which was thankfully short), but in most of the photos (I hope) we merely look happy and not drugged out. That look apparently continued through the after-ceremony photos but we are still looking like the "princesses" my mom said we were!
A quick rest for me followed, before Andrew, my sister and I headed to a little Italian restaurant called Fazios in Oshawa's downtown core for the reception. This was the part of the day I had been dreading most, because my special dietary needs meant that my meal would be drastically different from the 6-course set menu everyone else would be recieving. I have to say, the owner, chef Martin and staff went far above and beyond their calls of duty! I never felt out of place or unsure of the contents of my meal, and I was easily as satisfied at the end as everyone else. A special thank you has to go out to Chef Martin, for helping us create my personal menu and assuring me everything would be alright. An extra special thank you as well has to go out to the head server and exceptional entertainer Lima (I hope I spelled that right, he's the one in the photo), for not only his full and prompt attention, but for his knowledge of absolutely every element of the meal (both mine and the rest of the group), including the origin of the herbal tea I ordered at the end of the meal! My menu consisted of a huge plate of perfectly al dente steamed vegetables, a bowl of pasta topped with perfectly-cooked shrimp and scallops, and the herbal tea to accompany a slice of my Chocolate Beet Cake that I had brought along while the others took part in a creation that was partially from Cakes By Suzanne, and added to by the creativity of the Fazio's kitchen staff.
In all, the whole event was amazing, beautiful, and emotional, and even though I hope they won't have to go through it again I am so happy that my Mom and Cel were able to have the day they had been looking forward to for a year, and both were able to seal their happiness in the official sense.
Photos of the gorgeous event (that I haven't posted in this entry) can be found here. If I've left anything out, you'll no doubt hear about it later!
***
As always, the bakery work continues, this time with pies! Yes, for the Fall season I expanded to add apple pie to my bakery's repetoire, and the first order came from my very own dad! Hopefully he enjoys it... ah, what am I thinking, I KNOW he will, because it's from ME! (heehee)
Here's a recipe similar to the one I use for the bakery orders (can't be giving away any secrets, now...) but I know for one thing it smells amazing, cooling on my counter! Do use a mix of "soft" and "firm" apples for this pie, since they do cook down a bit and the texture will be like a chunky apple butter. The maple syrup and fresh ginger with the traditional cinnamon in the pie give it a sweetness with the right amount of spice, and a flavour that is out of this world. Sometimes I add a pinch of dried, ground ginger to the crust too, for an extra "hint" of that something special.
Maple-Ginger Apple Pie
Serves 12 (one large 9" pie)
1 1/2 level cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 level teaspoon salt
3/4 all-vegetable shortening
4 tablespoons cold water mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 cups peeled and roughly chopped "soft" apples (such as PaulaRed, MacIntosh or Red or Golden Delicious)
3 cups peeled and roughly chopped "firm" apples (such as Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Pink Lady, or Gravenstein)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Place flours and salt into a mixing bowl.
  3. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarsemeal.
  4. Slowly add acidulated water by the spoonful, mixing until a flaky dough forms.
  5. Divide dough in half and roll out one half, then line a lightly sprayed 9" pie tin with the dough.
  6. Combine apples, maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl, stirring well to coat everything.
  7. Pour apples into the pie crust. It will look like a freaking ton, but trust me it's worth it!
  8. Roll out other pastry half and top the apples, sealing the edges well.
  9. Dock crust with a fork 3-4 times for ventilation (you don't want all your hard work to explode in your oven!)
  10. Place pie on a baking sheet and slide into the preheated oven.
  11. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F.
  12. Bake for 45 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool.
  13. Enjoy with anything you like (just please not whipped cream!! Ice cream like these ones maybe, especially the ginger one!)

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 254.9
Total Fat: 13.5 g
Cholesterol: 7.2 mg
Sodium: 1.8 mg
Total Carbs: 31.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 2.7 g

2 comments :

Valli said...

Parkwopod is a beautiful setting for a wedding. My daughter and I often went there for lunch in the gardens when she was young. I have also been to Fazio's Italian restaurant. Another excellent choice!!! It was perfect that they were so accomodating.I am glad the day will hold such wonderful memories for you and the rest of your family. A truly special day!!

Valli said...

Sorry Sarah...my typing fingers have flown the coop this morning...I meant Parkwood.