Today, after many moons of talking about it, I threw a gathering I’d been talking about since before getting married: a Wear Your Wedding Dress Again party.
Due to weather, illness, and general summer busy-ness, there were only five of us (and baby Owen!) but I still had a wonderful time. True, it was a grey and drizzling afternoon, but we were comfortable inside with snackety foods and great company. Not only was there lots of catch-up and girly chatter, but we all got to sit around in our finery and look fabulous while we were at it!
(Many thanks to Chrispy for the picture!)
So much fancy fabric! It was quite fun, definitely fulfilling my love of dressing up, combined with my love of snacking and lounging about with friends. A highly satisfying afternoon.
On the cookery side of things, the party was fun because not only did I get to break out some of the serving stuffs I haven’t used up to this point (including The Boy’s grandmother’s soup tureen!) but I also got to try a couple new recipes too.
Of the dishes I planned, The Boy was most excited to hear that I was making devilled eggs — he has a love for eggs matched only by his love of cucumber. While I thought they were fairly tasty, I didn’t think they were anything particularly special. (The Boy harrumphed that I just didn’t appreciate eggs when I told him that.) I did, however, enjoy piping the filling into the little egg white boats though. Makes me think I should make fancy cakes more often; frosting can definitely be fun!
I tried out Giada’s white bean dip recipe but… found it incredibly bland. I have no idea how one commenter found 2 cloves of garlic to be too much: I put somewhere in the region of 5 in — which admittedly might have been a bit much — but I worked up to that because I couldn’t palate the stuff without it. Added salt, added pepper, more lemon juice, garlic, garlic, garlic. Either the recipe isn’t very good (sorry Giada — but I still love you!) or I just flat out don’t like the taste of white beans. Next time, I’d stick with hummus.
One success I’m happy with is the gluten-free angel food cake. I’m always slightly nervous about these cakes in general, along with chiffon cakes (although oddly I’m not afraid of soufflés), and throwing in the added challenge of no-gluten, I was deathly afraid I’d end up with a horrible, tooth-sticking wad of chewiness. You can imagine my elation then, when out of the oven came this:
Of course, being an egg-white cake, it did sink and shrink but it still turned out fairly well. If I were to bake it again, however, I would definitely make changes. I’d forgotten just how sweet potato starch is — the cake on the whole was way too sugary for my tastes. Not sure if I’d up the cornstarch or actually try a flour with xanthan gum or something instead, but I would definitely either reduce or remove the potato starch altogether.
The other thing I’d do is bake it in a pan that allowed me to hang it upside down from the sides (i.e. not a removable bottom). I’d have loved to have done my grandma’s trick and set it upside-down to minimize the collapsing as it cooled, but I didn’t have a narrow enough jar to support the middle tube.
Still, it’s nice to see that my attempts at gluten-free baked items are getting slightly better. So much so that I’m even starting to make substitutions willy-nilly, just like I do with all my other cooking!
…maybe that’s not such a good thing.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sit around in my veil and eat white Betty Crocker frosting (with the rainbow bits in) with a spoon.