We now return to the continuing saga of planning our daughter Casey’s wedding, which will be at the Norwalk Aquarium in October.
Our venue is going to be unique for a number of reasons. Not only will the potential fish entrees be swimming around, but there will be actual seals in the dining room and one forlorn teenaged otter in the cocktail area, his companion having died recently, possibly while munching on a Koufta Kebab from someone’s Mediterranean Kebab Station.
Another unusual aspect is that the cocktail hour will not take place in one large room, but rather, in a long, slightly inclining hallway that will take the guests past turtles, jelly fish, and potato and goat cheese wontons. Like the sharks that they will also see, guests will have to keep moving in order to eat.
Although nutritionists say it’s unhealthy to eat while standing up, people evidently insist on being fed during cocktail hours. I guess they work up an appetite during the ceremony, what with all that clapping, and crying, and mazel tovving.
So our beloved predators will be able to stalk the eight different kinds of hors d’oeurve that will be floating around, and they will also be able to feed at a pair of “Bistro Tables” with cheese, meat, veggies, fruit and baba ghanoush, an exotic eggplant dish that is not only tasty, but, as I’m finding out while writing this, guaranteed to stump your spell check.
Anyway, the catering person, Lorraine, has raised the possibility of adding a “Stationary Display” or “Chef’s Station” so that there won’t be overly long lines at the two bistro tables. “I wouldn’t suggest this,” she added, “if you weren’t having the ceremony here.”
My first thought upon hearing this was, if there was no ceremony, we probably wouldn’t need the floral arrangements, the band or the two cases of single malt scotch, either. But, of course, Lorraine didn’t mean not getting married at all; she meant not getting married there.
“It means everyone will be entering the cocktail hour together,” she explained. “They’ll be hungry. They’ll all head for the tables at the same time.”
She made it sound like we were inviting starving children from the third world. I wondered if we couldn’t just add “Eat a nice lunch,” on the invitations.
“Another table will give them more options,” Lorraine added, obviously concerned that our guests might maul the people with the roaming hor d’oeurve trays.
Well, okay, we were sort of convinced. But not enough to spend a fortune on a Deluxe Raw Bar and Sushi Bar. “What d’ya got that’s cheap?” we asked, although maybe not precisely in those words. In fact, in case anyone who will be invited is reading this, what we actually said was, “What do you have that our wonderful friends and relatives will find delicious and satisfying?”
Yes, that is what we said.
Lorraine came back with a variety of options, including a pasta station, which my wife Barbara quickly nixed. “Pasta is hard to eat one-handed,” she said. I had to agree; it’s always a problem I have during cocktail hours…unless, of course, I put my friggin’ drink down for the two seconds it takes to eat what’s on those tiny plates they use.
But Barb’s issues were much bigger than that. “You know I don’t like to eat standing up,” she told Casey and me.
Well, no, we didn’t. But it turns out what she was really worried about was getting food on her gown, especially that early in the festivities. Given her history of getting food on her clothes pretty much every time she eats, a stained dress seemed inevitable, even if we had a chef’s table with just plastic food on it.
I suggested that perhaps we could get Barbara a wedding smock.
What bothers me most about this whole thing is that I thought we had all the menu stuff settled, but now we had to make yet another decision.
“You’ve opened up a whole kettle of fish,” I told Lorraine on the phone. This gave me an idea. “Do you happen to have a kettle of fish chef’s table?”
Lorraine laughed. With me, I hope, not at me.
See you soon.