Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The weather was fabulous! A true Michigan fall day. Sky a rich blue without a cloud in it, gentle breeze, cool enough for a sweater during the reception. The temperature in the tent was comfortable with the sides in place, no need for the tent heaters. Cut grass, level lawn, and no bugs! Bob cut, rinsed, and spun the lettuce. The last of the wedding fare from the garden. Sarah asked him if it could have been a little fresher! The wedding was beautiful. Full of family and friends. A true blessing for Katelyn and John. We were greeted by Peter, Sarah, and Randy back at the farm. The setting was perfect. A true Midwestern family gathering. Two Scottish Clans, Campbells and McPhersons, joining to celebrate John and Katelyn! The pre-party appetizers included fried pickles with hot pepper jelly, melon balls wrapped in ham, Gouda bites, grilled focaccia with eggplant and red pepper chutney, goat cheese spread with crackers, fruit display, and sliced leg of lamb with black bean puree on crackers. Bagpipe music floated through the air, pictures were taken, friends were greeted! The dinner started with a mixed greens salad with beets, carrots, parsnips, parsley root, and roasted nuts, with goat cheese and 321 vinaigrette. The entrees were served after Uncle Mac gave a short history of the McPherson family and farm. Platters of grilled chicken with lemon and rosemary, grilled chicken with blueberry BBQ sauce, grilled lamb chops with oregano chimichurri, butternut squash lasagna, ground lamb stuffed peppers, roasted root vegetables, applesauce, Aunt Mary's rolls, and jam were served family style. A toast was made to the new couple with blueberry and raspberry brandy. The desert table boasted wedding cheese cake; apple and blueberry pies, brownies, and Grandma Campbell's oatmeal cookies. The reception continued with music and dancing in the barn. The after party began at 10:30 with the service of lamb kafta with green siracha, grilled pb&j sandwiches, and roasted pepper quesadillas. The day, wedding, and reception could not have been more beautiful or delicious! Everyone loved the food and danced until the lights went out. Thank you Uncle Alec and Aunt Karen, and Craig Yeiter. Your gracious consent allowing us to have the reception on the farm and all the work to get it ready was beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you Ken Balama for prepping the lawn and all the work at the house...painting the deck, filling woodpecker holes, brush hogging pastures, wiring freezers into the generator panel. Thank you Ric and Sandi...you know. Thank you Peter and Sarah for working with all our ingredients from the farm, being flexible, and making magic! Thank you Katelyn for asking me to do this, a better gift you could not have given me. At last and most importantly, thank you Bob! Thank you for your knowledge, sweat, persistence, stool running, late hours, cheese making, and love. Your are my world. So what is next? Less lambing and more cheese making. Less gardening and more kayaking. Less watering and more cooking. I planted the garlic the week after the wedding, planning for next year. Some things don't change. Come visit us in northeast Kent County. Live well, Carmen
Today is the day! We started early. Michelle and Bethany began the task of flower arrangement. Michelle and I cut buckets of flowers and took them to the granary for final arrangement. The flowers were beautiful. I ended up with far more than we needed. A far cry from the few scrawny plants I kept watering in June. These arrangements were placed on the dinner tables, cake table, and gift table. Mike sprayed the surroundings for the small gnats that surfaced over night and cut the large sunflower stalks and placed them in the barn. The groomsmen, including Tim from England, set up chairs and tables, carried heavy plants, and got extra sides for the tent. The salsa and jam favors were labeled and brought from the house. We placed the LED lights in mason jars to light a path from the barn to the portable bathroom. Ric and Sandi have been here for several days doing everything...horseshoe pits; hanging lanterns, grapevine, and pictures; arranging, carrying. Randy Kilborn arrived mid-morning with the waitstaff from Saburba to place linen, set tables, organize the area for Peter and Sarah, put flowers on the cake table, set up the bar, and figure out any last details. It was wonderful to here him say...I'll take care of it! Did I mention, all this activity occurred before I left to get my hair done? We could not have done any of this without everyone..Thank you!
John and Katelyn arrived thankfully, to begin the final preparations and set up for the wedding. We have been setting up the reception across the street for several days now. John has vacuumed the barn until the floor is spotless. John's parents, Mary and Tracey arrived on Tuesday. They were immediately put to work repotting all the plants and shrubs, helping Grandma Susie make 10 Blueberry pies, and sewing ribbon on the bench cushions. We've carried flowers, benches, lights, hoses, cords, vases, jars, and pictures to the barn. How will we ever get all these things back across the road when the day is done? The Mertens family, my sister's group from Nebraska, arrived a day early. Thank goodness! They were also set to task carrying, spraying for bugs, cutting flowers, and general heavy lifting and set up.