It is cooling off outside but still no snow. The evenings have been hovering around zero. I’ve been driving on the new snow tires for a week now. I guess the ‘old’ seasonal tires must have been in a pretty bad state, the ‘winter’ tires seem significantly smoother. We are certainly hoping to get as much life out of the Vibe as possible. I think it has logged around 287k km. With all the wedding expenses, having to deal with an additional car payment would be brutal. I don’t like Kraft dinner that much.
We met with a caterer yesterday that bdot found a few weeks back. Gourmandissimo in East Caledon. I can be particular about food, there is a fairly long list of things I dislike (granted I usually try things)… so I didn’t really know what to expect at a caterer. We met with one of the owners and she was very down to Earth and accommodating. Bdot and I looked over a few of their menus prior to the visit, so we had a decent idea of main course options. I wanted something interesting, my gawd, anything but a luke warm chicken breast and under cooked vegetables. It became rapidly apparent that the French culinary skills of Gourmandissimo’s chef were well above that and that we struck gold with our first strike. Since it is a Fall wedding we wanted to incorporate some local Fall food ideas. The idea of a Beef Bourguignon stew would certainly be unique, but was it suitable for such an event. well, we got lucky. The night before the chef made a big pot of Beef Bourguignon for an event and was able to share two bowls with us. Oh, did I mention I hate mushrooms, a main ingredient in the stew? Still. I tried it. …and wow. The mushroom were cut big so I could pick around them (as I have been for decades) but the beef was tender and the flavour was incredible. The owner suggested pairing the stew with some dumplings (I can’t recall the fancy French name) and green bean almondine. So, that was easy. Easier still was the choice to have a late night dessert table. I have a sweet tooth and not only is the owner a chef, but a pastry chef. So we enjoyed an assortment of delightful and delicious sweets. It was a very productive visit… I think in under two hours we set the entire wedding menu which I’m very happy with.
The highlight (yes, something tops a dessert table!) however, was the decision to have a croquembouche as our wedding cake. A what? (From wiki : A croquembouche croque-en-bouche is a French pastry, a piece montee that is often served at weddings, baptisms, and first communions. It is a high cone of choux filled with pastry cream that can be dipped in chocolate bound with caramel, and usually decorated with threads of caramel, sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons. They are also often covered in macarons, a small pastry consisting of two layers and a flavored cream or ganache. The name comes from the French words croque en bouche meaning ‘crunch in the mouth’. In my words, it is a tower of cream puffs! The filling is usually a custard, but I swung it so the bottom of the tower would be circled with whipped cream filled puffs. My gawd, how awesome is this. A cream puff pyramid! Yum! The whole visit was full of French food terminology I didn’t understand but I can taste it, and it was amazing.
After the morning of gormandizing at Gourmandissimo we ventured North to Horseshoe Valley to visit my sister and parents. My Dad was away golfing for a few weeks and just got back so we celebrated his, my Mom’s and my birthday. It was a pretty lazy afternoon of Rickard’s Dark and college football. I scored some incredible gifts… somehow my sister got two 10th row tickets for the Sabres and Leafs on the 22nd of December! I’ll be going with JP, should be awesome! Go Sabres! Additionally I got an EB Gift Card (I’m going to buy Skyrim in 30m! Finally!) and a Yeti Rescue kit. The pets better stay in line or I’ll feed them to the Yeti. Dinner was beef on weck and dessert the incredible, always popular, skor cake. It was a great afternoon with family.