Okay. You know you wanted me to dish. Getting ready was perilous. I don’t understand women who enjoy doing their own nails. It takes hours, doesn’t look great (well, when I do them), and even after preparing my cuticles and nail-beds FOR DAYS, the results didn’t seem worth it. Fortunately, my friends did not notice.
The blocking I ad-hoc invented for my old-new hat (a recent vintage acquisition) was of mixed success. The crisp lines the hat was designed with did not hold noticeably well– though it kept it’s gross shape beautifully and stuck to my head with admirable determination, despite the bowing and nodding and kneeling that goes into a mass. The hat needed more steam. I’m sure any self-respecting steampunk artist could have told me that.
The mass was in one of the most beautiful old Polish churches in Chicago (Holy Trinity) and, they had one of the greatest priests presided over the ceremony/mass. A healthy percentage of my dearest friends were there, and a few surprises who made it that much more enjoyable. While the bride and groom had their photo shoot, We went sightseeing in said church for a while, chatting and catching up. Good times.
Then we debarked in preparation for the arduous journey to the Reception site which was in the O’Hare Airport Co-Prosperity Sphere. It is in it’s own pocket universe because the worst traffic in all Chicagoland (to my knowledge) is on 294 whose sole purpose (at least as far as locals are concerned) is to get your pintails to the airport and surrounding suburbs.
The reception was held at one of my favorite high-end hotel chains. They have a branch in Luddville of childhood fame, and it was the nicest hotel in the area for a good long while. I’m sure you could have found a nicer one near Grand Traverse Bay… but that’s a good two hours away. There they served excellent coffee (I think Gevalia) and service was perfect.
The O’Hare Airport representative clearly had similar standards for service. They were conscientious about making sure I had the right things, to the point of borderline reading my mind. I was on the “Gluten Free” option, so this was more of a challenge than one would think. They made a chicken dish up special just for me!! But they did NOT serve Gevalia. I know Gevalia decaf. I know, I know, I should not have high expectations with any decaf.
But this was particularly BAD. And it was the only thing I had to complain about. It was awful– it tasted like sucking on coffee grounds. Though with the chocolate drops graciously provided by the staffers, it became an acceptable mocha. I will also point out, that the quality of the coffee had more to do with the grounds than the fine staffers who served us. The texture, body and aroma of the coffee were perfect.
Friends told me it was Starbucks. I don’t know how anybody could get famous serving that coffee.
Even the chardonnay was excellent and extremely drinkable. It was just sweet enough to be enjoyable, but not at all cloying or heavy. It was medium bodied, and smelled like bosc pear, apple blossoms, kiwi and a touch of vanilla. The tasting flavors were remarkably similar, yet with a touch more citrus– something like a meyer lemon and a little dry champagne grape. The touch of tannin (think green tea, not black tea) at the base was just a hint– enough to set off the rich flavors without being distracting or unpleasant. It was smooth, fragrant and interesting without being needlessly complex– and I like complexity. It was well balanced. IT was more of a drinking wine than a tasting wine, but I’m good with that. I think I was a little too good with that.
I will have to grill the bride and groom to find out what it was… the labels had small print that was hard to read from a distance. IT might have been Tanglewood, but don’t quote me. I need new glasses.
The champagne for toasting was the best I’d ever had. Light, bubbly without being “sharp”, and with a touch of sweetness and a creamy body that was also not heavy at all. I have a harder time describing champagne. This one was ethereal and would have made an excellent champagne sauce. You could practically taste the butter in it already. It’s possible that the cut strawberry sitting in each glass enhanced the flavor just a touch.
I made it back from the wilds of the O’Hare Airport Co-Prosperity Sphere in one piece, and in quite a good mood. I’m a lightweight– I only had two glasses of wine that I nursed all evening. Maybe it was the edible orchid blossom I tucked into the glass that matched my dress. 😉
Unfortunately, we had to take off before midnight– so we could get to bed before midnight. Fortunately, we were, like the Wise Men at the Nativity, able to go home by a different route. I even made it into my bed before the clock struck twelve. Also, if you want to get over being tipsy, having a glass of coconut milk with some extra protein added worked quite well. But I had a LOT of water and some tylenol next to my bed, which were put to good use. Oh, and coconut water as a day-after tonic is the best. Basically, I had few ill effects save the stomach ache, which the coconut water did not aggravate.
Next time, food fans, next time! I discovered something this morning that might lead to decent baked goods without funky additives to make it bake right! Added bonus, it even makes a good breakfast cereal that cooks up quickly! Never underestimate the innovation benefits possible for the improvisation of a quick breakfast.