Saturday, 28 February 2009

My Boy Writes: Food Glorious Food

See EAD for the original...

"To my mind food, drink and music are the three most important structural aspects of a party; the framework for the more ethereal connections between people and their ideas and emotions. This week we will look at food.

I think food is particularly important at family celebrations. Feasting at family events is a tradition that crosses cultures and has very deep roots in our collective cultural history. For myself and Rachel preparing food with our families is very much a part of our culinary heritage and it was important for us and our families to be closely involved in the selection and preparation for our wedding meal, as we would not be on the day. Thus, we decided on a hog roast (the ultimate feasting food) and we opted for a buffet rather than table service to capture the spirit of a family celebration rather than an event. It was important to us to bond over food with our caterer and we found just the man.

Shaun from Piglet Cottage has exceeded all our expectations. First off, the name is fabulous. It is inspired to use such a cute name for something as medieval as spit roasting meat. Shaun is a true enthusiast and a pleasure to chat to about food. He bakes his own bread and is desperate to provide some wonderful sounding canapés including smoked squirrel and a sort of andouillette thing which he proposes to make from the meat off a pig’s head. Most important of all he is local and all his food will be too.

Shaun is an effortless salesman, he imbues you with such confidence in his abilities that you are keen to leave as much as possible to him. He has a local cheese source which we will now use for our cake (of cheese) and he seemed horrified that we might think he would provide anything but leaf tea and fresh coffee, again he will use a local merchant. Our aim from the start was to involve as few people as possible (outside our guests) in the wedding. In Shaun, we have someone who will take full responsibility for all things food related and will be happy to flex in order to make the day work. We won’t even need any waiting staff! Shaun also makes his own cider (primarily for pig basting) and he is happy to provide a barrel to our specifications (dry/sweet, sparkling/flat) to make it a proper Devon wedding.

So, we will be having a hog roast with a choice of four seasonal salads (a potato salad and a huge pile of asparagus are certainties and a couple of others to be confirmed) and home-baked bread preceded (probably) by some off the wall but delicious locally sourced canapés. We love the canapés Shaun is offering (Smoked Squirrel, andouillette, smoked salmon, in fact smoked anything) but we are struggling slightly to slip it into the budget.

We knew we would find it hard to trust someone to handle food, drink and music. A great old friend (now a budding DJ) is taking care of the music, I can handle the wine and it feels like we have made a new friend in Shaun who will handle the food.

Next week, the deep deliberations of a wine merchant. What do you serve at your own wedding?"

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