13 September 2007

Thank you for buying Land O'Lakes!

I wasn’t going to do a blog posting on my daughter’s wedding. Even though it was an extended length of days filled with food, drink, laughter, music, and dancing, I didn’t think it really fit in a food blog. Then, on the last day, I took this photo, and realized this belongs in Krik’s Picks.

This was taken at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest where we had most of the wedding activities. The hotel had a buffet brunch and people gathered there before leaving town to say goodbye to the bride and groom before everyone returned home. The butter offered on the buffet was LAND O LAKES Continentals. I had my daughter hold one up while I snapped this photo of her and her groom. It reminded me of a story from her childhood.

When my daughter was a little girl (well, she still is, but what I mean is much younger), we went to a friend’s house for dinner. During the meal, she disappeared from the table for a few minutes. It turns out, she’d gone to the refrigerator to see what brand dairy products were in there. When she returned, she sweetly said: “Thank you for buying Land O'Lakes!”

I suppose it’s inevitable that a wedding weekend is going to revolve around food and eating. For us, it began three days before the wedding, when my daughter and her groom arrived from Chicago. We did an extensive grocery run to fill the house with all the food we’d need for the various events.

That evening, we grilled salmon for our family – my daughter and her groom, my son, his wife, and their daughter, and me and my wife. I served a black bean and red lentil ragout with the salmon.

The next day, the groom’s family, many of our out-of-town guests, and most of the groomsmen and bridesmaids arrived. We hosted a barbecue at our house – grilled hamburgers, turkey burgers, and Boca Burgers and a big pasta salad.

The day after that was the rehearsal at the hotel. In the evening, the groom’s parents hosted a wonderful meal at Stella’s Fish House. It was outstanding! The event was in a party room on the 3rd floor of the restaurant. The décor was fabulous with nice views of Uptown Minneapolis. All of the entrées were great. My wife and I had the stuffed grouper, which was to die for! They also had salmon roasted on a cedar plank and chicken ala Oscar. Stella’s has a rooftop open air bar, which was one floor up from our party room. Many guests stepped out during the evening to enjoy the warm air, party atmosphere, and views of Minneapolis.

Then came the wedding day. The Marriott did a fantastic job. We offered our guests three choices – chili-crusted sea bass, New York strip steak, or caramelized chicken. I was surprised how many people chose the steak. I thought the most popular would be the fish or the chicken and only a few would choose steak. But in fact, as many people chose steak as fish, and only a few people chose chicken. It’s not easy to serve that many steaks and maintain the quality. But I didn’t hear any complaints about overdone meat. (If any of our guests who read this blog had a problem with their food, please let me know.)

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there was a brunch at the hotel the morning after the wedding. After almost everyone had left town, we still had a few family members. So that evening, we went to Punch Neapolitan Pizza for a casual family dinner. They make a point of serving simple, authentic pizzas in a wood-fired hearth.

That was pretty much the end of the celebration. The next day, we returned the tuxes, returned the vases to the florist, and settled up with the hotel. We had a nice dinner at home alone that evening, and the next day, I went to Washington for work.

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