my husband and i have just returned from california. as usual, we ate well and met up with good friends. but the focal point of the visit was our wedding reception. there was a bit of confusion over it since we have been married since july and we already held a reception in copenhagen in august. but my mom is a stellar hostess and would not let an opportunity like this go. ^^
my brother arranged for some of his friends to be bartenders, servers, and dishwashers. on the drink menu was homemade watermelon lemonade, homemade tamarind soda, conventional sodas, canned iced tea, canned iced coffee, corona, asahi, o.b. beer, and wines. my mom planned everything; orchestrating the order and pick-up of all the catered food, sending out the invites (to our family and her friends), and renting the tables and chairs. okay... so it was more like her party. though i had planned to wear the same sundress i wore at my wedding, i ended up wearing a slightly more casual black dress. my mom on the other hand, wore a traditional korean dress called hanbok. some of my friends commented that it looked like my mom had recently married instead of me! she was definitely the star of the show. but i had fun too. ^^
(photo taken by a family friend and edited by me)
the food my mom ordered was mostly korean. i felt kind of sorry for my husband that there was no 'western' food to represent him. there wasn't any korean food at the reception that his parents held for us, but the food was good and there was an impressive cheese plate, so not a peep of complaint came from me! the buffet consisted of: korean fried chicken, jeon (pancakes) made from squash or fish, fern bracken and two other stir fried veggies i couldn't recognize, kimchi, galbi fresh off the grill, acorn jelly, some sushi, and of course rice. i was kind of miffed that my mom bought sushi from a korean place; as any foodie from orange county will tell you, this is something one should avoid. it seemed like the other guests enjoyed it, since it disappeared even before i could think of trying it. my grandma brought her homemade water kimchi and her infamous japchae! she even set aside some japchae with no meat in it since i had a few vegetarian friends coming. so sweet!
i thought i was going to pig out on all the good food but there was hardly time for that while my extended family and my parents' friends were popping by to be greeted at different times and i wanted to catch up with all my friends. by the time i got to the buffet table, this giant plate of mook (acorn jelly) was almost empty! i quickly grabbed a plate and took the last couple pieces. i think my dad caught me and gave me a disapproving look... but hey! i LOVE mook and my husband and i were supposed to be the guests of honor. so i think i deserved it. (;
the cakes were done by cafe blanc, a small japanese-owned pâtisserie. it's been over a year since i was there last and i had discussed the possibility of a wedding cake with the baker. i looked through the sample book and there were always real cakes on display. that kind older gentleman was replaced by a younger baker this time around and there was no cake book; not even any full-sized cakes in the display case! he ended up showing me 2 cake photos on his iphone... i was feeling a little nervous about it in the few days it took for me to go pick them up. i had no back-up plan and the baker's attitude seemed so disinterested. but, lo and behold, all the cakes came out beautifully and as my husband told me, i worried for nothing. there was cheese soufflé (pictured above), strawberry shortcake, chocolate shortcake, chocolate gateau, and miroir (chocolate mousse and raspberry sauce coated in ganache). my mom was initially worried that i was wasting my money on 5 cakes and said that the korean guests would not eat much cake, preferring the rice cakes. but the cakes were only 8 or 9 inches in diameter and there were 80 people expected... you do the math. people love cake. :P
..there was in fact not even enough cake! some people (who wanted a slice) didn't get one. the gateau vanished before i could photograph it but i did manage to get a shot of the middle of the miroir cake. i was happy i got a slice of that one; it's my favourite. all in all, i think the party went very well and i was overjoyed to see two of the friends i met in copenhagen that had moved to san diego and managed to make the trip up. one of my friends even came from ohio! two of my husband's friends also came from los angeles, which was even better. it was a very international party on our side! the other side of the backyard was, well, over 90% korean. yawn! i'm so thankful that my mom put all this work into the reception even though it was a bit stressful for all of us leading up to the day... i had a lot of fun and got to see all my friends. and i even got to eat for a few minutes! ^^;