A week ago today we went to a wedding in Italy. I have been meaning to blog about it every day since, but, you know (see previous post).
The wedding. The wedding was lovely. I have never been to an Italian wedding before, so I was fascinated. The bride arrived as we all stood outside the church, and greeted everyone before we all made our way inside. The service itself was in Italian, and having only got as far as CD 4 of the Michel Thomas Italian set, I could not understand a great deal. The one bit I did understand, was the priest apologising for not being able to speak English.
It was lovely, with quite an eclectic selection of music, representing both the English and Italian sides of the match.
After the ceremony, we travelled to the hotel (The Hotel Monte del Re) for the reception, and the food began.
Oh My Word. I have never been fed so well, either in quantity or quality. We arrived to a room filled with little nibbles. From ham and breads, through sausage rolls and mini burgers, through to caviar and oysters. I saw some people with plates heaped full. I too, could have made an entire meal out of the appetisers, but I restrained myself as best I could.
When we went through to sit at the table, there were rather more knives and forks than I am used to. Then the first course arrived. It was a shellfish risotto. Now I have never been particularly keen on seafood, but this was delicious. I was very impressed. The children weren’t, though, so I was glad when their starter arrived and it was tortelloni in a bolognese sauce. Mr 6 cleared his plate in record time!
We had had a menu in front of us, and it had specified two starters. I had somehow assumed that it was an either / or scenario, and we had somehow ended up with the risotto. No. Out came the second starter too. We had a mushroom lasagne, very cheesy, very mushroomy. Delicious.
The main course, of course, was yet to come.
Sea Bass. You know what? I had never tried sea bass before. As I have said, many times, I have the fussiest eaters in the world in my family. Mr PC and I are not seafood lovers, so there are many things we have never tried, simply because on the occasions we do try new things, we are unlikely to choose something we aren’t sure we’ll enjoy. The sea bass was excellent. Perfectly cooked, and absolutely wonderful. I savoured every mouthful, and now have a new dish I can choose with confidence.
In between the two main courses (yes, two), there was sorbet. This was a passion fruit sorbet, and every mouthful was a little taste of heaven. Oh, it was so delicious it left me wanting to rush out and buy a sorbet maker (I assume there is such a thing).
The second main course arrived, and to be honest, I looked at it and thought that I couldn’t possibly eat a mouthful. However, I did my duty. This one was veal and duchesse potatoes and was just as good as all the rest had been, although I simply couldn’t finish it. The children fared a little better with their chicken steak and chips, finishing as personal levels of fussiness allowed.
After the tables had been cleared we were ushered back into the room where the appetisers had been. Now it was completely laid out with mini desserts. Row after row of little mouthfuls of deliciousness were arrayed on trays. People seemed to hold back on eating them because they looked so lovely that it seemed a shame to destroy the display!
They were absolutely divine. From pretty coloured macarons, to lemon mousse, to profiteroles, we grazed along. Even Miss 12 found some things she loved, and Miss 10 was in sugar heaven. I tried a few things, far more than I should have. I was reminded of that chapter in ‘Catching Fire’ in which Katniss is at a feast in the Capitol, and declares she will eat one mouthful of everything. I did, in fact, see a teenage boy, obviously with the legendary appetite that goes with being a teenage boy, doing just that. He moved along the trays, taking one item from each row in a steady progression. Oh for a teenage stomach!
By the time the cake was cut (sponge with choc chips, with chantilly cream) I reluctantly took my portion, and ate as much of it as I possibly could. I found myself feeling a little bit guilty at accepting food I couldn’t possibly finished, but comforted myself with the fact that the cake wasn’t a type that would keep.
I had been told how good the food was likely to be, but I am afraid my life has obviously been rather sheltered from a culinary perspective. My concept of good food simply was not able to reach anywhere near what the reality turned out to be. I have been educated!