Hi all! I hope you’re excited. I hope you’ve taken some time to rest up, shaken off those I-could-never-cook-for-a-group-or-bake-another-cookie-if-you-paid-me blues, and given some thought to how cool it would be if you prepared your own wedding meal. Because, DIY-ers, it’s time to get to work.
Before we begin, I have a few reminders and tips for those of you who are adventurous enough to undertake this project with me.
Tip no. 1: As I mentioned in the previous post, we’ll be freezing large quantities of food over a period of about three months. This means that you’ll need a commercial-grade freezer (probably), or something designed, for example, for the end of the world. Investigate freezers in your area, and plan accordingly.
Tip no. 2: You may, of course, adapt any and all dishes to suit your needs. I’ve put this menu together with one vegetarian pasta dish and one meat dish, but you may go all vegetarian, if you like.
Tip no. 3: As you prepare your dishes, remember that the food must be cooled completely before freezing. Failing to do so will raise the temperature of your freezer, which will slow the freezing time, and may cause some foods to spoil.
Tip no. 4: Buy some containers! You may consider using simple foil containers or choose something slightly more fancy and heavy-duty, like BPA-free plastic (glass may break at extremely low temperatures). Whichever you choose, make sure the containers are designed for the freezer; they should be airtight and moisture-proof. For extra security, place each container in a freezer-proof zippered plastic bag.
I’ve chosen each of the dishes that follow with various food safety and quality guidelines in mind. That is, following the schedule below should produce a good quality product when thawed. “Month 1,” “Month 2,” and “Month 3″ refer to the months leading up to your wedding. My advice would be to pick a couple of weekend days per month to dedicate to making the dishes, freeze them, and then transfer them to the commercial freezer—you don’t want to overcrowd your own freezer. So, without further ado!
Here’s the proposed menu (Note: the linked recipes have been scoured from my favorite food blogs; the recipes that aren’t linked are either my own or borrowed from friends):
- Carrots with honey and parsley
- Cornbread dressing
- Brussels sprouts with brown butter dressing
- Kale and sundried-tomato salad
…Your schedule, then (and the order in which I’ll be making the dishes), would look like this:
Month 1 (three months prior to date):
Spinach and feta stuffed mushrooms
Carrots with honey and parsley
Month 2 (two months prior to date):
Kale and sun-dried tomato salad
Month 3 (one month prior to date):
Spaghetti with hazelnuts and mascarpone
Brussels sprouts with brown butter dressing
One week prior to wedding:
Assemble flatbreads and appetizer supplies
Smoked sesame crushed peas
Over the course of the next few months, I’ll be making and freezing these dishes according to schedule. My boyfriend has given me numerous skeptical looks, suggesting that he thinks it can’t be done. I beg to differ! This is a climbable mountain, brides-to-be! Let’s get to work!
Note to the wise: The recipes above make enough for, say, a standard dinner party. You should, of course, multiply and purchase ingredients accordingly. I’ll go over this in detail for each dish.
Any questions so far?