I like to think that I did not become a bridezilla (God, how I hate that term) in the run up to the wedding. The only thing I became slighty paranoid about was the small issue of the cake.
Small issue indeed.
As soon as L and I surprised people with news of our engagement, my mind turned to cake. We are both absolute sticklers for tradition; so there was no question that ours would be a cake dense with alcohol plumped fruits, covered in thick homemade marzipan and royal icing with a simple design of small icing flowers cascading down the cake.
I remember speaking to my mother one day about wedding cakes and what we had in mind. She stopped me mid-sentence with a ''Hold on a moment'' and returned with a green book. As she fanned quickly through the leaves, a browned piece of newspaper appeared and she presented it to me. It was from 'The Times' in 1982 and excitingly, it was the recipe that she and daddy had had for their wedding cake. I wonder if I'll be able to do a similar thing for M or any other children we might have one day........
So it was agreed that as part of my parents wedding present to us would be their making the cake. I was especially happy, as I got to ice it in the days leading up to the wedding.
After I had done my fun little part towards the cake, it was L's turn. He and two friends who were coming to the wedding were given the task of transporting the cake 26 long miles to Ludlow.
I really wish now that we had weighed the cake. Three tiers of dried fruit, sugar and eggs is fantastically heavy. I know that my constant ''Be careful with the cake'', ''If so much as one of the icing flowers falls off, I will kill you'', and ''Don't forget to hold it exactly like this......no, not like that, like this'' were all unneccessary, and the cake arrived at the reception hotel in one piece.
To continue where the last post left off; as a main course I decided that a soup would be most appropriate. Eating lots ofoozing, melting cheese is all very well, but with a filling pudding on the way we really needed to have something healthy.
I wanted to do something completely different to any soup I'd made for us before, and one without potato so as not to fill us up too much. Although, at the last minute I decided to make some bread and so we had to have a break between courses anyway.
Cannellini Bean Soup with Fresh Basil Pesto (soup adapted from BBC Good Food)
We enjoyed our soup with some freshly made Semelle bread rolls, a Florentine bread, but I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a photo. Ooops!
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, finely sliced
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
400g can cannellini beans, drained
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and tip in the onion, garlic, leek and celery. Cover and sweat the vegetables over a low heat for 8-10 mins until softened.
Add the beans, stock and bay leaf, then season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer, covered, for 20-25 mins until the vegetables are completely softened. Allow to cool slightly.
Whizz with a stick blender until smooth and re-heat. The soup can be refrigerated or frozen at this point.
Serve with freshly made basil pesto.
large bunch fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
50g pine kernels
50g grated parmesan
150ml olive oil
Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and whizz until roughly pureed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.