Some people are so poor, all they have is money.
Last weekend, I had a day when everything felt absolutely abundant.
Some of you know, money has not always been easy to come by for my family. We’ve had tough days and some difficult years. But regardless of our financial situation our relationships have always been rich. We are very savvy at investing in time together.
On Sunday, our family grew with the welcome addition of another woman (I already have 3 brothers and 3 nephews). So, while many of you were busy wandering the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival, I was standing beside my fantastic brother and his beautiful fiancee as they committed to a lifetime of love, laughter and kale (I may have made up that last part).
If you’ve ever been in a wedding you know the logistics of the day make it difficult to fit in the usual necessities (eating & peeing especially). Since the bride was vegan I wanted to be sure she had plenty to eat before the ceremony.
The rest of the bridal party was not vegan, so I decided to turn to Dreena Burton for an array of recipes that could delight a diverse crowd.
- Let Them Eat Vegan!: 200 Deliciously Satisfying Plant-Powered Recipes for the Whole Family – I made Coconut Banana Muffins;
- Eat, Drink & Be Vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating– I made Softly Spiced Nuts; and
- Vive le Vegan!: Simple, Delectable Recipes for the Everyday Vegan Family– I made Peanut “Better” Cookies (with Chocolate Chips added at the behest of the groom), and Coconut Lime Cookies.
To round out the picnic basket I added Tahini-Dill Kale Chips, Roasted Chickpeas and lots of fruit. (oh and tiny jars of Cocoon Apothecary‘s Rosy Cheeks Cream)
I carried this big beautiful basket to the salon, the bride’s father’s home and to the golf course. We snacked all day – which worked perfectly because we forgot to actually try and eat any meals. Love was definitely in the air, I got a few proposals after sharing those spiced nuts around
Once at the golf course it was time to let go of the stress that comes with planning any big event. In the wedding party room, we took a cue from the “ring boys” put up our feet, told jokes and had fun – until it was time to walk down the aisle.
We all maintained our composure (despite a few tears) during the ceremony.
I loved seeing all my brothers (and nephews) looking so fine.
The bridesmaids were beautiful but also, absolutely hilarious. They filled every moment of the day with joy. We laughed with curlers in our hair, giggled as we stuck flowers and streamers onto cars, and photo-bombed the happy couple with great enthusiasm (that’s me in the background).
My favourite part of any wedding is the speeches. I love hearing about childhood adventures and touching stories that forge great friendships. The wedding party all took turns on Sunday, celebrating Dan and Ali for being the incredible individuals they are. I wrote a speech inspired by Dr. Seuss (finding wedding-acceptable words to rhyme was fantastic fun). I managed to keep from crying while talking about how amazing my brother is in rhyming couplets.
Then it was time to dance…
We danced, and danced, and danced. My 2 year old nephew just couldn’t stop. The rhythm took over his body and he couldn’t stand still. Which meant neither could I. He was the best dance partner I’ve partyed with in years.
I hope my Mom left the hall feeling so proud of the family she created – the sensitive, kind, and fun-loving men she’s raised and the community of friends she built that have always rallied around us during times of tragedy and times of joy.
One of my favourite ways to express love is to feed people. I believe that giving people delicious food that is nourishing and health promoting is an amazing way to demonstrate how much you care. For my brother’s wedding I made 200 chocolate bon bons using raw cacao paste and cacao butter from Giddy YoYo – half with a maple walnut mesquite filling (from Matthew Kenney’s Raw Chocolate) and the other half with a peanut butter filling requested by Dan.
I wish you all riches in rewarding relationships, precious moments and delicious meals. xo