Sunday, September 15, 2013

Layering Crepes & Wearing Gumboots

crepe cake

I smiled to myself at how silly I must look, pulling off knee-high gumboots while passing through security in arid Oakland, California. Not a cloud in the sky, and I had donned these thick black boots as I headed out this morning knowing that even if it wasn't raining when I landed at my destination, it could any moment. More importantly, the rain could come in heavy the next morning, and I'd be stuck trekking down a small wooded path in heels and potentially ruining them in the muddy meadow below.

Indeed, less than twenty-four hours later, my little sister gathered up the lace skirt of her ivory wedding dress, we ducked under umbrellas, and the three of us ladies on the female side of the wedding party wound downward on a trail of rain-moistened brown pine needles toward the white tent where the rest of those gathered to celebrate awaited.

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As it goes with Washington rain, its downfall was gentle and ebbed and flowed, released from a light slate colored layer of clouds and fog over Puget Sound, misted over and only slightly discernible from our hilltop meadow framed in evergreens. There were a few intervals of heavy rain that beat down upon the top of the tent, and though I don't remember where exactly in the ceremony, I do remember swallowing a smile at how perfectly the sound accentuated the drama of the moment. (A few days later, my sister told me how their first night -- staying in a glass-walled one-night rental overlooking the Sound -- she and her husband witnessed the most powerful thunderstorm of their lives. I would take that as a good start to a marriage.)

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The initial focus of my return to Bellingham was all wedding. Within an hour of landing I was cracking ten eggs and squeezing the juice out of even more lemons in order to make a French Lemon Cream. A friend had played an essential part in making my dessert creation possible by blending together a large batch of crepe batter the day before. Lemon cream thickened and chilling in the refrigerator, I set to work on building a stack of crepes sufficient for a stunningly tall and beautiful crepe cake. After the rehearsal dinner I returned to this task with my sister and fellow bridesmaid for company at the nearby kitchen table as we sipped white wine, and I began layering crepes sandwiched with sweet buttery lemon cream.

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The good food and even better company continued through the next few days, long after the newlyweds flew off on their honeymoon and I camped out in their apartment.

Between the many lingering hugs with an extra squeeze; Friday's stunning sunset; candid conversations of frustration and joy; glasses clinking in cheers; dancing to music you have to shout to sing along to; driving without GPS; and still getting to create new memories with old, old friends; I left feeling filled. It was a gracious sort of loved-to-the-brim feeling that released me to willingly return to my new home and the possibilities I'm still discovering in a place where I look at my black patent Hunter gumboots and wonder if I'll ever find a need to wear them here.

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{In regards to making your own crepe cake, resources are not hard to find online. And it truly is as straightforward as stacking crepes with a delicious filling between each layer, though straightforward does not translate to this being a quickly assembled dessert. I whipped up mascarpone, added a vanilla bean and powdered sugar to taste, and folded it with whipped cream for the top of the wedding cake. I would recommend starting at Smitten Kitchen.}

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[All photos in this post were taken with my travel-friendly iPhone, except for the fully-assembled crepe cake shot at the top. This one was by my brother, Kiah, and all photo credit is due to him.]

3 comments:

Kiah Jordan said...

Thanks for the photo credit, but the credit goes to you for making such an amazing cake. Shawn Cunningham and I sat at the end of the table and just kept eating it as it was passed down. We even ate the untouched ones around us. :)

Grant Meidal said...

So good to live the memories fresh again. Thanks

Rachael said...

So true to form--you always add a beautiful touch by your presence, a delicious blessing with your food talent, and tender words to preserve a life of grace.