And, oh, what a wedding it was! Our friends had a flash wedding: all the guests, the bride and groom, and the officiant (Mr. Wendy) gathered on the lawn of the Texas capitol building, beneath a pre-designated magnolia tree, and in three minutes they were man and wife.
The bride had asked a florist for "some flowers," and stated a preference for varied textures. Before the wedding, I helped arrange flowers on the table centerpieces (which otherwise consisted of candles and bleached bones ... a perfectly normal thing for a Texan to have lying around). We found spots all over the rest of the yard to stash the extra flowers, creating tons of beautiful surprises everywhere you looked. The whole effect was very much in keeping with the couple's eclectic style (witness the garland of multi-colored Christmas lights stuffed into spent shotgun shells).
The food was incredible: barbecue for the omnivores, and Korean fusion for the vegetarians. The Asian food was actually catered by a food truck owned by Paul Qui (this season's brand new Top Chef): some sort of heavenly braised eggplant, grilled romaine lettuce with a spicy/creamy Thai dressing, an apple kim chi (that technically went with a pork belly dish), and these stunning rice balls seasoned with some unknown deliciousness (seaweed? soy sauce? some combination?). For dessert, there was a huge selection of gorgeous tiny pastries and cookies (including macaroons!).
|Mysteriously Delicious Rice Balls|
In addition to mineral water and a well-loved keg of beer, the bride made pitchers of margaritas. No frou-frou blended drinks here. Just lime juice, simple syrup, and tequila. Served over ice and sipped slowly in the cool night air, they were the perfect blend of tart and sweet.
Here's the result ... not too shabby, if I do say so myself. You can play with the proportions if you like a drier margarita, less tequila, whatever. But these proportions satisfied both my own sweet tooth and Mr. Wendy's love of straight, good tequila.
Margaritas a la Wendy
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
zest of one orange
1/2 c. fresh lime juice (no pulp)
1/2 c. tequila (100% agave ... don't use really cheap tequila)
ice (we didn't have crushed, so I smashed some cubes in a freezer bag)
Start by making an orange-infused simple syrup: combine 1 c. water, 1 c. sugar, zest of one large orange in a non-reactive saucepan, heat to a boil, then cool. Strain the syrup through a mesh sieve to remove the orange zest.
Combine 1 cup of the simple syrup with 1/2 c. lime juice and 1/2 c. tequila. Cover, chill, and serve over crushed ice.
[If you want to salt the rim of your glass (something I don't do), rub the cut side of a lime or orange around the outside rim of the glass (not the inside, because you really don't want salt falling into your drink). Invert the glass and set it carefully into a plate or shallow bowl of kosher or large-flake sea salt.]