Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I do.......................enjoy a good piece of wedding cake.

I hit a terrifying landmark in my life this weekend. My friends have now started to get married. I am ‘of the age’. Good grief, how it creeps up on you. I swear it was only a few years ago that I was on my very first dinner date when, aged one, my first boyfriend Theodore and I shared a toilet freshener between us. That hospital trip with our mothers was so romantic. So how is it that my cronies have started to get hitched?! Spot the girl in denial.

A big bunch of us headed back up to Cambridge on an astonishingly glorious Saturday, to tread once again on Queens' College's neat lawns. We may have been reliving our days as sleep-deprived, responsibility-free students but the harsh reality was that we were about to become grown ups! Still, I may sound like the cynical old bag but, and don’t tell too many people this, even hard-hearted old me welled up when the vows were said, and the rings exchanged. I really enjoyed my very first wedding! I sang my heart out during all the hymns (my neighbours may not have enjoyed this quite as much), and listened carefully to every word the vicar had to say. It wasn't just me getting emotional either - a few of the boys were spotted getting a little, shall we say, ‘soggy’ round the eyes as James and Katy, who have been together since freshers’ week seven years ago, became Mr and Mrs Adams.

Of course there’s nothing like a marriage ceremony to make you ponder life, love, and…food. Having not eaten since I left London very early that morning, by the mid-afternoon sermon my tum was whinging like a toddler on the verge of a rather nasty tantrum. The roars, gurgles and growls sang almost as loudly as I did during the hymns, but then it was time for the serious stuff. I begged and pleaded with it to keep itself under control - these were the wedding vows for goodness’ sake! My stomach rumbles echoing around the church would be almost as taboo as a phone going off. I held my breath. And we made it. Just.

Post church service, I hit the tea and biscuits stands, hard. I gulped down the caffeine gratefully, and filled my poor - and by now sobbing - belly with a couple of crumbly biccies. Then the alcohol was brought in stage left. My hunch is that the large stash of bubbly, not to mention wedding cakes and reception dinners, are a deliberate and dastardly ploy to keep your mind off the truth. Of course it worked for a bit. Nothing like the joy of champagne bubbles flitting across one’s tongue and flirting with one’s tonsils, and the accompanying inebriation thrilling through one’s veins, to ensure that one’s hungry tummy, and one’s fast-approaching age and responsibility, is at least temporarily forgotten.

Dinner was not too far round the corner, and we were treated to Queens’ College’s finest dining pleasures, in the very beautiful, and very old, Old Hall. When Queens’ caters, it really goes for it. Delicious whisps of smoked salmon with capers, blinis and sour cream followed by a succulent and tasty tiny Roast poussin with steamed veg. Dessert, a splendid sticky toffee pudding, gave my own version a run for its money - though, Queens’, I’ll take you on any time, you just say the word. Wine by this time was a-flowin’, and the very striking, three-tiered, multi-flavoured wedding cake was cut with a flourish. By an officer’s sword no less (Doug, the officer in the crowd, will no doubt be receiving more wedding invitations than his sword will be able to cope with). The wedding cake was a triumph – baked by Clarice, one of our own domestic goddesses! I opted for the vanilla flavoured piece, smothered, like the other flavours, with a vanilla meringue icing which was fluffy and terribly more-ish. So I tested out the chocolate layer, just for good measure…

It was only the next morning, post party and with the old gang polishing off an alarming mountain of sausages, bacon, eggs, beans, toast and tea, that I realised we’d momentarily had the wool pulled over our eyes. But you can’t fool me – no amount of feasting and merry-making could disguise what was really going on. I will blame the Adamses for what will no doubt be a knock-on effect. Bets are already on as to the next lot to get hitched. For wedding no.2, however, I’ll be better prepared, and have a snack to hand for the ceremony.

No comments: