On the last Saturday of July, we showered my sister with a bridal luncheon in my parent’s backyard. It was a beautiful day, and I’m so glad I was there for it.
My mom is an amazing cook, and she wanted to make all the food herself. It gave the lunch that extra touch of love. Our friends and family contributed to the dessert spread; my head nearly exploded off my body when I caught sight of the avalanche of goodies. You try keeping your cool when standing next to a table piled with homemade Milky Way bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup parfait. The white sangria and the cucumber water were especially lovely in those big glass jugs.
For nourishment, my mom made an array of dips, including seafood salad and chicken salad with dried cherries, to stuff into flaky croissants. She did an incredible job with all the little details, too, from having a bowl of Granny Smith green apples on the serving table (one of the wedding colors) to landscaping the house in white flowers for the bridal year. The little floating flower table decorations were a last minute touch from yours truly.
My photos don’t even begin to capture the bounty, or the beauty of it all. It was simple, backyard chic perfection—enjoyed barefooted and sundressed. Such a gorgeous celebration for a gorgeous Bray-to-Be. It’s true, food does taste best in the company of those you love.
curried jerk pork chops with mango salsa.
Dinner Tonight: Smoke All of the Things edition
Smoked Sirloin Roast, Cognac Jus, Butter-Poached Carrots
Applewood Duck Breast
One of the best things about being home is having access to a Big Green Egg and nearly limitless time to use it. The duck breast was the surprise hit here. It only took about 40 minutes — just enough to cook through the duck, suffuse it with a nice smoke ring and all but melt the fat.
The sirloin was rolled in sea salt, rosemary, thyme and garlic and cooked over hickory.
Chef and I were in Minnesota this weekend for a family reunion on his dad’s side of the family — my first family reunion with him as a wife legal member of the family. We spent part of our time in Northern Minnesota, where the reunion was, and the rest of the time with my family. Minnesota was just as cold as New York and there was no snow! So weird.