My friend was getting married. Yay! Two days to go and the venue was changed and I’m doing the catering solo on a tiny budget. Yikes! I’m an experienced cook but being solely responsible for a wedding reception was a new experience and a rather nerve wracking one.
My first decision was to make all vegan food. I’m not vegan and only my friend and his intended were vegan. I felt very strongly however that they should be able to eat everything at their own wedding. It was also important that the guests didn’t realise it was all vegan, so I could do a bit of evangelising for how delicious vegan food can be. Sneaky, I know 😉
My next decision was the menu. Despite not being a vegan, I had a wide variety of vegan recipes in my collection. After all, vegetables, grains and legumes are very tasty. Starters, mains, sides, desserts, baking, and a nice little something as wedding favours.
The options were a mixture of those recipes I knew well and completely new ones that would be made first time for a wedding. No pressure there then. I created two different menus and the one my friend and his fiancee chose is featured at the top of the post.
Weddings and wedding receptions are all about sharing and I created the menu to reflect that. It was June. Hopefully the weather would be warm (this is England after all, a person can never know!). I included fresh dips and salsas and a seasonal soup for starters, a classic lasagne and a substantial fresh broad bean salad for mains, both British and American traditional sides plus some new ideas (the groom was British and bride, American).
To finish, lots of fruit desserts with oodles of fresh flavour including the classic strawberries and cream since it was the height of English strawberry season.
The major skill you need – other than being able to cook – is organising. Things like quantities, timing, what is suitable for a buffet, which food is easy to prepare and serve and looks beautiful. It is also important to consider that you will be taking the food from where it is prepared to the venue and the temperature it needs to be served at and the ambient temperature (i.e. how hot the weather is, even if there is a/c).
For those reasons, I did a buffet, served a soup and mains and sides that were delicious at room temperature. Be honest about getting help. Firstly whether you need it, and secondly, are the people offering to help going to actually help or end up being more stress than the help is worth. You need to be calm and dealing with a flapping person isn’t helpful when you are depending on them (it’s these kinds of reasons why it’s a good investment to hire a wedding service you can trust).
There are a lot of recipes, so I’m going to share just one, but if you’d like me to share the recipe for anything else on the menu, please ask in the comments.
And if you are getting married, congratulations!
Makes 10 scones.
8oz/200g self raising flour (self rising flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2oz/50g vegan margarine
Small handful of lavender flowers (culinary or from someone’s garden. Do not use lavender sold for aromatherapy as it isn’t food grade or any sprayed with garden pesticides)
Cold soya milk
Preheat the oven to 425F/220C/200C fan/Gas Mark 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Note – when making scones, it is important that everything is as cold as possible. If it is warm weather outside, use the margarine and soya milk straight out of the fridge. Chill the dough for 10 minutes and run your hands under a cold tap before patting out the dough. Even chill the baking sheet if you can.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Rub the margarine into the flour using your fingertips. Keep your hands high and rub as lightly as possible until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Chop most of the lavender finely and stir in with the sugar. Slowly add soya milk, a little at a time, until a light, sticky dough forms. Treat the mixture as lightly as possible.
Knead very lightly on a well floured board and pat out to an inch thick. Cut into rounds – the size determines how many scones you’ll get. Re-roll the trimmings and cut out more rounds. Treat the dough lightly at all times.
Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with soya milk and sprinkle with the remaining lavender flowers.
Bake for about 10 minutes until they are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve with soy Greek yoghurt and jam or golden syrup.
This post was written for Rose Pedals, an online vegan wedding resource.