Our local food dinner

We did it! We cooked and served a meal made mostly from ingredients we grew, raised or made from scratch ourselves. We made way too much food, but no one seemed to mind taking leftovers home the next day. It was such an incredible weekend! The weather was perfect, the people wonderful and fun, my husband amazing…

Andy & I during our wedding ceremony

It’s weird to be on the other side of a weekend that we have spent many months preparing for. We’re back home and back to work for a week before heading out on our honeymoon in southern Utah. Then we’ll have to find a new project to take on – maybe getting our new land ready to build and farm on!

Andy asked me several times throughout the weekend, “Was it worth it?” Were all the hours of preparation worth it for one meal? I always said yes, absolutely.

We cooked our wedding dinner with friends and family in a summer camp kitchen

The meal provided more than just pleasure and sustenance for our guests, it was a learning experience for us as well. We gained confidence in our growing skills, since this was by far the biggest garden either of us had tended on our own. It gave us hope that anything is possible.

It was also a test of our relationship. There was stress and there were decisions to make together. We realized that the way we approach projects is quite different. I like to think things through before starting and have a plan for exactly what will happen. When we have to stray from the plan, it stresses me out. Andy, however, likes to figure things out as he goes along, and he is more flexible when something doesn’t go as planned.

Butternut squash destined for soup

“We’ll figure it out,” he said numerous times this summer. “But I want to figure it out now,” I would reply. We struggled at times and got grumpy with each other, but we’ve developed some new techniques for dealing with stress and for combining our different styles of approaching tasks. Once we let go of needing to be right, we realized that it’s better for us to be different. When you combine us, we think ahead and we’re flexible.

Kim roasted endless trays of chicken and potatoes

It’s hard to describe the weekend because for me it all went by so quickly. On Friday we gathered in the kitchen of the summer camp we rented out for the weekend. Friends and family washed, chopped, mixed, baked and boiled. We filled the walk-in cooler with trays of roast chicken and potatoes, salads, squash soup, veggie sticks, hummus, chopped watermelon and cantaloupe and more.

I can’t do Saturday justice by explaining the sequence of events. It was an emotional and incredibly wonderful day. And the food was delicious and abundant.

Max designed the image we had printed on aprons we gave away to our cooks as gifts

To be honest, I find it remarkable that we pulled this off. Neither of us have ever done any catering before, but we decided to make a meal for 90, and it worked out. I’ve been thinking lately about how neither of us are scared to take on projects, even if we don’t know how we’re going to accomplish them. I’m so grateful for this trait, which I can probably thank my parents for. Through their words and actions, they have infused me with a feeling that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

I guess this blog is done, now that our local food wedding is finished. However, I plan to start a new blog that Andy has named, Living From Scratch. We do so much from scratch – cut our own firewood, make tomato sauce and pickles and ketchup, boil maple sap into syrup, bake bread, smoke bacon, make cheese, brew beer…. We enjoy providing for ourselves, and we’re able to live a lifestyle less tied to our income. We still need money, of course, but since we have a low consumer footprint, we are able to put away money even on very modest salaries. Check back for a link to the new blog.

If you want all the recipes we used for our wedding dinner, I plan to post them sometime soon.

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6 responses to “Our local food dinner

  1. Claim that name on the internet or someone else will for sure NOW. I wondered how you were going to manage to cook so much but did not know about that fabulous kitchen. Congratulations on the growing and prepping and cooking of all that food and staying sane and still getting married to each other. I cannot wait for your new blog.

  2. congratulations you two! marvelous job! i look forward to your future blogging!

  3. Good bye Andy and Julia (my new niece), going home soon. I had the best time during the past weeks meeting and seeing everyone. The wedding was great, best one I’ve ever been to. Have a great Honeymoon hike. Call me when you’re ready to build your house, I’ll come with my hammer and George with his trowel.
    Love, Aunt Betty

  4. i echo the sentiments of Practical Parsimony.

    i’m so grateful that you’ve come into my purview. thank you for keeping this blog and for being so welcome to sharing your experience. i also cannot wait for your new blog. i have a great interest in reducing my consumer footprint, also. for so many reasons and in so many ways, i believe it makes us richer.

    congratulations! i’m so happy for you both.

  5. Dear Julia and Andy (daughter and son-in-law), your wedding feast was truly delicious, and the variety of dishes was impressive. I admire you for what you’ve accomplished – growing all those vegetables and chickens, developing and testing recipes, managing the crew of kitchen workers, and creating a wonderful celebration that was truly your own.
    much love from mom Jane

  6. It was such a wonderful and amazing weekend, and I was so honored to be part of a wedding that was so special and a union that is so beautiful. Can’t wait for the new blog — love the name! xo

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