Two Weddings and a Fiesta

By the year’s end, I will have attended four weddings and a fiesta.

I was a bridesmaid at my friend Erika’s wedding in Portland, Oregon in July. She was old Hollywood glamour. And beautiful. We had the reception at a McMenamin’s garden with beer and cider on tap and one each of red, white and rosé wine. The ceremony lasted nearly seven minutes, as if they couldn’t wait to be married. There were probably 120 of us in semi-casual summer wedding attire. I think I was able to have a chat with nearly everyone. It was very intimate, very down-to-earth, very Erika and Orion.  I wish I could go back and do it all again.

The most recent wedding was celebrated in a village on the outskirts of a small town near a pueblo belonging to Valladolid, Spain. The bride is in the military and the groom the Guardia Civil. A full Catholic ceremony ensued and an hour and a half later we were in line waiting to congratulate the bride groom and the immediate family. They escaped the church under a canopy of his fellow Guardia Civil groomsmen swords and a hail of fluorescent, multi-colored rice. The chanting began immediately, “Vivan los novios!” Long-lived the bride and groom.

After an hour of vermouth and foamy, geléed, moussed aperitifs, we sat down to a multi-course celebration interrupted sporadically by melodic demands to kiss the bride! Kiss the groom! And then the crowd got bored and started demanding that random couples kiss each other. We drank cool, verdant, aromatic verdejo with the  octopus carpaccio in (surprise!) foam, mixed seafood and fish with boletus and pancetta sauce. That was mixed with a quaffable young tempranillo from Toro for the suckling lamb dish. And then champagne, a chocolate mousse, café con leche with ice and for those who could possibly stomach more, a digestif. Then on to gintonics, dancing, a party and a bus to an after-party.

¡Viva España!

This was some kind of deconstructed foie dish with duck foie, quince jam and cecina crisp.

This was some kind of deconstructed foie dish with duck foie, quince jam and cecina crisp.

Pilar and Pedro

Pilar and Pedro arriving

Octopus carpaccio with a vinaigrette of dried tomato, onion, black olives and foam of potatoes and olive oil, garlic salt--fabulous.

Octopus carpaccio with a vinaigrette of dried tomato, onion, black olives and foam of potatoes and olive oil, garlic salt–fabulous.

 

Or seafood mosaic as the menu suggested. Soft-shell crab, prawns and shrimp.

Or seafood mosaic as the menu suggested. Soft-shell crab, prawns and shrimp.

 

Turbot (white fish) with candied pancetta, boletus and paprika olive oil sauce

Turbot (white fish) with candied pancetta, boletus and paprika olive oil sauce

Miguel and our last dish, the suckling lamb.

Miguel and our last dish, the suckling lamb.

The glamorous Erika

The glamorous Erika

Miguel and I at the Spanish wedding reception

Miguel and I at the Spanish wedding reception

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