We did it. After 13 months of planning, we got married! Two coasts. Two weddings. When it comes to wedding advice the most common that I came across was “it goes by so fast.” And it does, whether you get married once or twice. Somehow I thought the second wedding would feel a bit slower, but both days I felt like I had only just gotten my hair done and then suddenly the last song was playing.
I cried walking down the aisle. Both times. Not the delicate, tears-welling-up kind of crying either. Big fat happy tears rolled down my cheeks as I took my first step and all I could think was that this whole assembled group had come as witnesses, to support us. To celebrate us. We spent two days surrounded by laughter, music, some tears, and good company. We spent two days surrounded by delicious food: Pastrami sandwiches with fresh rye bread. Piles of barbecued meat with coleslaw and collard greens. Cheese. Cake. Pie. We spent two days surrounded by the most overwhelmingly indescribable love. No one warned me about that. It wasn’t part of the advice; how overwhemlingly wonderful it is to be at the center of so much love. It was magical. Both times.
There isn’t any leftover cake in our freezer. No pie either for that matter. What I have are the recipes. The recipe for the pie, and for the cake, and also the recipe for the jars of spice we handed out to guests in Massachusetts. It’s smoky and a little spicy and a perfect reminder of the wedding, much better than a stale piece of cake.
Barbecue Spice Mix
Makes about 3/4 cup of mix
1 tbs cumin (8 g)
3 tbs paprika (25 g)
1 tbs smoked paprika (10 g)
2 tsp oregano (1 g)
1 tsp ancho chile powder (3 g)
1 tsp new mexico chile powder (3 g)
1 tsp chipotle chile powder (3 g)
1 tsp garlic powder (4 g)
½ tsp onion powder (2 g)
GRIND the cumin seeds using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
COMBINE all the spices in a bowl. Stir to distribute and then store in an air tight container for up to a year (more than that and the spices will lose some of their potency). Use it to season almost anything – meat, fish, vegetables, dips; it’s a whole world of possibilities.