April 15, 2010

Our Porkapalooza Wedding Reception

Whew! The wedding is over, and the reception was a huge hit. Our plan was to have a backyard pig roast at Jerad's parents' house the day before Easter. We set up a big tent on Friday, but the weather wasn't looking good for our party.  It rained the day before and was very windy the morning of the reception, but it all turned out in the end.  The clouds cleared and the wind finally died down.  We ended up with a beautifully sunny day that helped to make the party just what I'd dreamed about.

You see, I had actually dreamed about our wedding reception a few years ago...before we dated even. Jerad and I were just friends at the time; in fact, I was married to someone else.  But, we worked together every weekend, so we spend a lot of time together. One night, I dreamed that we got married and had a reception under a white tent in his parents' backyard. The decorations were green & yellow.

I had forgotten about that dream until after we'd planned our pig roast.  Jerad then reminded me of the dream, which I told him about right after I'd had it. I'm sure he thought I was crazy at the time. Nevertheless, I find it a bit strange that I ended up planning that very reception. It must be fate. 

My best friend Sarah made the centerpieces for us & filled them with customized fortune cookies.

 She also bought favors for us...personalized lip balm. I loved it!

The focus of the day was not on us, however; it was on the food, and the guest of honor was the pig.

Since we didn't have a traditional wedding cake, we ceremoniously cut the pig before lunch was served.

Then, on impulse, I cut off the ears for us to feed to each other. That's what is called ROMANCE, people.

Ok, it really was a bit weirder/grosser than I expected.

But, the ears were pretty tasty...crunchy like the best pork rind you've ever eaten.
(I love the look on Jerad's face!)

Chef Kirk Warner of Kirk's Traveling Kitchen catered for us. He arrived in Jerseyville early in the morning with a huge grill and the gorgeous hog.  He stayed the entire day, preparing dishes from appetizers to dessert.  Kirk and his staff were wonderful! I had no worries throughout the day.

Here is our epic (disclaimer: that was my guests' description, not mine) reception menu:

Hors d’Oeuvres 

Seasonal Crudites with Trio of Dips & Spreads

 Homemade Sea Salt Crostini

Framani Salumi Gentile, Berkeley
Hudson Valley Duck Salami, New York
Wild Boar Saucisson, Brooklyn
La Quercia Speck & Prosciutto Americano, Iowa
San Daniele Prosciutto, Fruili
Fontina val d'Aosta
Carr Valley Marisa

Michigan Heirloom Popcorn with Truffle Salt
(aka "Crack Corn")

Savory Buffet 

 Spit-Roasted Whole Hinkebein Hills Farm Hog  
with a Variety of Sauces:  
Spring Asparagus Salsa Verde (recipe below)
Ginger BBQ Sauce
Piquante Pepper Coulis
Fresh Horseradish Apple Mustard

Strozzapretti Pasta “Mac n’ Cheese” with Trio of Cheeses

Heirloom Peruano Bean Cassoulet with Roasted Garlic & Marrow

Roasted Local Spring Vegetables with Lemon Bagna Cauda

Claverach Farm Spring Salad Greens with Shaved Radish,
Grated Farm Fresh Egg & Champagne Vinaigrette

Assorted Homemade Breads


 Chocolate & Vanilla Cream Puffs with Caramel Sauce

Peanut Butter-Bacon Truffles with Dark Chocolate
(These didn't last long enough to get a photo!)

With all that food, we basically just spent the day eating and drinking. Jerad stocked the bar with kegs of Schlafly Helles Summer Lager, Bell's Two Hearted Ale, & Founder's Red's Rye, cases of champagne & cabernet sauvignon, and many bottles of booze.

We smoozed and played washers until the sun went down (hence, Jerad's sunglass tan lines), but not before our totally awesome photographer Corey Woodruff took a few "formal" shots of us.

This is our "American Gothic" pose.

I bought my dress off the rack at David's Bridal. Sarah didn't like it in the window or on the mannequin, but when I tried it on, she was nearly in tears! I wore green heels at the wedding, but I ordered a pair of custom-designed Chuck Taylor All-Stars to wear at the reception...

I think they are funny!

All in all, it was a great day...filled with great food, great friends, lots of laughs, goofiness, and a ton of wonderful memories. What a perfect way to begin our married life together!

Grilled Asparagus Salsa Verde
recipe courtesy of Kirk Warner
Makes 3 Cups

1 pound asparagus, with final 1/3 of the stalk peeled       
1/2 cup pappadew peppers, diced       
1/3 cup pappadew pepper brine      
4 ounces capers, soaked in cold water    
2 anchovy fillets, soaked & minced      
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, hand-minced           
2 tablespoons chives, minced      
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced   
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil           
Salt & Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

  • Heat grill to high.
  • Toss trimmed/peeled asparagus spears with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on hottest part of the grill until just marked and just barely cooked through. Remove from grill, allow to cool and dice into 1/2-inch pieces. 
  • Combine with remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly. 
  • Will keep in the refridgerator for 2 days.


Woody said...

Such a blast, and I am realizing now how many things I didn't even get to eat!

Will definitely try that recipe.

ashby said...

It was a memorable spread, fo sho.

Denise Evans said...

Kelly, congrats to you and Jared, and thanks for sharing. What a wonderful celebration, a fantastic spread of beaufiful food, and lovely photos.

Unknown said...

Oh wow - your wedding looks like such fun!And that hog? Let's talk about that hog. Were you guys wearing sunglasses in the pic with the pig because you were blinded by is porcine delicious beauty?:-)

kimberleyblue said...

Congrats! That looks like the funnest wedding ever, not to mention the one with the best food. What an outstanding menu!

And that hog!!! Beats a wedding cake, any day.

Jessica said...

I showed this post to my boyfriend and I do believe it nudged him closer to proposing. Must have been the pig ears.


jmoore said...

I googled "hog roast wedding reception" because we are also doing this...and what's even more crazy is we have the EXACT same dress!!!!!! You're us, we're you! Neat :)

Kelly @ Barbaric Gulp! said...

How cool! You obviously have great taste!

We had a BLAST at our reception, and so did our guests. We are so happy that went with the pig roast idea. Such good food...which is all we really cared about!

wedding venues long island said...

You prepared a delicious meal. I'd like to know the recipe for the Strozzapretti Pasta?

Kelly @ Barbaric Gulp! said...

Sorry, I don't have that recipe. It was one of our caterer's dishes!