Why do people say, “I have good news and bad news” and always start with the good news?
Starting with the good news, means ending with the bad news. And I for one, am never in favor of leaving a bad taste in people’s mouth. So, yes. We have good news and I’m starting with the bad news…so later we can end on a high note. This post is about the day after our wedding and all the challenges from the past month, so that once we get our lovely wedding photos we can post only happy things and start moving forward from that day and not the crazy ones that consumed the last month. Hopefully that also means getting back to cooking and blogging soon!
The day after our lovely wedding under a grand old tree, and lakeside reception at the Kendall family camp, both were hit hard by an incredible storm front. The bad news is: the tree did not make it, nor did the roof of the cottage and hundreds of other old growth trees from the property and neighborhood. The good news is, our favorite people did make it (some with substantial jolts and a few broken bones). Everything else can be rebuilt with sweat, persistence, and insurance money. Our people are very lucky to be alive. We are so grateful for that – I refuse to dwell on the “what-ifs”.
While trees like people have just one long, story-filled life to live, they are not people and so we won’t mourn them the same. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I shed a tear for the lovely old tree who spent her last day with us. Providing shade for our joyful celebration, swaying in the breeze as if in happy appreciation of the start of a new life under her branches. It was unforgettable.
We were only an hour away on Sunday when Adam got a call from a strange phone number. While married less than 24 hours at this point, I could see on my dear husband’s face that we were up against our first trial together. By the time he got off the call – which felt like hours – his face was ashy with disbelief and I was shaking with adrenaline. [Professional emergency manager problems]. We quickly left the restaurant, heads whirling with all the things that needed done right now. Making a plan and a million phone calls as we drove; camper still in tow until the roads got too bad and we had to drop it in a church parking lot to keep going – off roading at points. We are both so glad we were able to get back quickly and help however we could, for as long as we could. As I type this, Adam is just now driving home after nearly 5 weeks up north with his brother; chainsawing debris, stacking lumber with an excavator, milling hardwoods, and managing contractors.
Despite the hard work to do, at the insisting of our families, we did get to spend a couple short, much needed days away together. Below are some of our most stripped down and memorable dinners from all this craziness. While I wouldn’t recommend recreating any of this last month, or the even the meals below, it does go to show that food is all about who you eat it with. There is no such thing as a bad meal with a great husband.
Our original plan was to not have a plan for our honeymoon. We just rented a camper and were going to head towards Canada or the Upper Peninsula for hiking, cooking and relaxing. We were so committed to this non-plan, that we really hadn’t packed much except for our good knives, figuring we would buy things on a lazy Sunday on the way out of town. After the whirlwind of the first few days following the storm, and knowing we had so little time to get away, spending any of it in a supermarket sounded like zero fun. So we very quickly packed some left overs from the rehearsal dinner, wedding wine, wedding gifts we thought were food, then bought a pan, wine glasses, steaks and headed out.
The first night we found this amazing lakeside campsite, where Adam grilled corn on the cob and steaks. After so many million things going on, it felt amazing to cook and eat slow food. We sat by the fire, drank wine and read all of the recipe and travel suggestions written by our wedding guests. It was lovely.
The next morning I proceeded to start another fire, and cook summer sausage that Adam’s grandma had given us in a cooler gift basket. Once there was enough grease in the pan, I added thinly sliced asparagus and then toasted soughdoug bread slices. Once the asparagus was almost done, I added a little white wine for steam, piled it all together and added stringy bits of the only cheese I had: string cheese! [We were clearly making due at this point.]
My favorite part of that morning, was after sitting down to our plates for breakfast: Adam evaluating the toast concoction, takes one bite and said, “this is delicious” then quickly added, “what kind of cheese did you use?” I love this man….and a good laugh.
Returning to our campsite, we cooked asparagus and mushrooms in white wine over a campfire. We devoured avocado mushroom burgers before heading back the following morning for more tree work and the start of a great life together.
Hugs to all of you,
Kate & Adam