I am still basking in the glow of my first CATERING experience for a wedding last night! There were so many kind reviews which made the intense learning curve worth it! Those of you know me know that I am a closet foodie, and it’s always been a secret ambition of mine to get paid to cook something. So when an acquaintance approached me to cater her wedding after a potluck I’d contributed a few dishes to, it was an irresistible temptation!
Overall it went really well considering I had to produce everything in my home kitchen. Things to remember if I do it again: always bring my own knives, never assume a venue automatically stocks plastic wrap or foil, and try to remember I am not feeding a small country.
To the best sous chef in the county: my dear friend Moira ~ you were my hero last night!! Hubby, thank you too for being my beast of burden, schlepping three carloads worth of feast and finery to and fro~and not complaining TOO much… Aunt Susan ~ your mango chutney recipe was the hit of the night! And thanks so much to Ray, Michael, Judith, Peg and Cara~without your wonderful advice (and oxygen) I would not have been able to take this scary but interesting step into a world I have always admired from afar. Will I ever do it again? Not an event as big as a wedding…I don’t have the kitchen for that…but it was a seriously fun adventure!
The photos of the event aren’t mine, but they do show a little about what the spread looked like.
Catering by Isabel

Beyond the dust of these weathered scribblings,
Long after all is different,
I hold the hope
That these skies might come around again.
Indianola dock

Fog over Bainbridge Island

Jonathon at sunset

My oh my

Mt. Rainier

Seattle in the fog

Such a beautiful, and I mean STUNNINGLY gorgeous bride, and while I’m at it, the groom was pretty dang fine too! Put them both at the elegant Inn at Port Ludlow for their December wedding and it added up to a sense that all was beautiful in the world. The Inn is one of those great destination places that allow couples and their wedding guests to relax and stay for a few days and enjoy being together. The food looked fantastic, as did the cake! The friends and family that came and celebrated the weekend with Kimberly and Clint had a blast~and when it came time for me to leave, they were still dancing up a storm!
Kimberly and Clint at Inn at Port Ludlow

Kimberly and Clint at Inn at Port Ludlow2

Rich and Eddie’s beautiful wedding celebration took place at the Vista Pavilion in historic Port Gamble. The day blew in cold and blustery, but just as we got to the time we’d planned the group shots, the skies opened up and smiled.

Their ceremony took place in the beautifully restored St. Paul’s church, one of the most photographed churches in the state. Following an emotional ceremony, the guys rang the old church bell as a way to announce their marriage.

What I enjoyed most about their day was the people who joined them at the wedding. Every single person there deeply cared for them and the joy people expressed to be a part of it was inspiring.

Following a delicious feast by Snuffins Catering, the evening was filled with jubilant dancing, a special viewing of Eddie’s music video, cigars on the patio, and wine and cake in abundance. I felt deeply honored and appreciative to be a part of their day.

Eddie and Teddy

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Bridget and Lucas’s wedding day was one of those perfect weather days in the Northwest. The skies were clear and blue, the temperature lingered nicely in the mid 70’s all day, and whenever it felt like it might get too hot, a lovely breeze would waft in from nearby Port Madison on Bainbridge Island. The groom and his groomsmen arrived by boat from across the harbor, a classy touch, and joined the biggest wedding party of any wedding I’ve ever been a part of: seven groomsmen, seven bridesmaids, five flower girls and the cutest ring bearer you’ve ever seen!

In keeping with the boat theme, there were many special nautical touches ranging from messages that were put in a bottle for the couple, to beach rocks with guests names on them, to special ropes that were hung around the necks of the couple’s parents as part of the ceremony. Even the cake got on board LOL.

My memories of this wedding though will always be of the smiles which could be found on the faces of every guest. The groom’s mother, Ann Pearl of Ann Pearl Catering is one of the most sought after caterers on Bainbridge Island too, so the food was amazing! It was a true celebration and the gaiety went on well into the night!

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Nautical Cake

Wedding Party

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special touches

Today is the first day of school and the beach is strangely quiet. It is a perfect day for gathering blackberries along the cliff side. I am lulled by the sound of waves lapping behind me as I pluck and scrape and pull the berries’ sweetness off the vine. A few noisy gulls and my particularly busy Yorkie are the only intruders to my quest, so I feel at my leisure to pick generously from this bounty. To encourage Sophie’s patience, I feed her kibble from time to time and then wonder if my blackberry jam will have an essence of poultry flavor in it. Brambles and September spider webs mount a reasonable defense as I reach into their depths but in this too, I am unphased.

The best berries are fat and jolly like Santa bellies, able to be squeezed just a little but not so much that they fall apart. We’ve reached the part of blackberry season when the clusters have more black than red in them. The fatties are everywhere and I feel ecstatic inside.

While my fingers are blue and my legs scratched up by the time I fill my bucket, it is hard to mind much. The transcendent flavors that will find their way into jams and gastriques and crisps and cobblers will be deeply savored for many weeks to come.blackberry jam

Canning blackberry jam

Blackberry picking at Indianola Beach

Beach dog

Shake shake shake

I am usually speechless when it comes to how much beaches mean to me, and especially Indianola Beach, which I seem to be walking on at least 300 days of the year. This morning I headed out without my dog (for something different) and was treated to quite a show by the Birds of the Hood! Herons are astounding to me~so graceful and vividly feathered on the one hand, and so clunky when they try to go airborne! I must have stared at this one for a good twenty minutes, watching him scoping out possible breakfast options before flattening himself down and then swiping at his prey. The eagles, meanwhile, just seemed to be more interested in making a whole lot of racket. A Facebook friend likened them to an old married couple, which made me laugh. Indianola beach is such a treasure to walk on, no matter what time of year. Recently there have been scores of baby Dungeness crab in the tide pools, and thousands (millions?) of live sand dollars thrive on this beach, so many that I pull off my shoes when I come to their villages.Heron at Indianola BeachA pair of eagles bickering at Indianola BeachHeron eating fishEagle overhead on Indianola beachHeron at Indianola beachMt. Rainier with a heron in foreground