Food Community

Wedding Feast in a Farmyard

Over the weekend I was at the wedding of my friends James and Kendra.  The wedding was held just outside of Winnipeg in a wonderful outdoor setting, called Cloverdale Farm.  The ceremony itself was in the backyard of the house. The guests were seated on hay bales draped with cloth to keep the guests clothes clean.  Then came the wedding feast, which was held in an old haying barn that had been decorated for the occasion.  A special touch was a wall of postcards from friends, provided as a surprise to the couple by the bride’s sister.
In the middle of the barn there were tables and chairs, along with a selection of chair on the outside pavement surrounding the barn.  Plus, more hay bales around one edge for people who chose to sit on them.  The musicians were set up in one corner of the barn and in front of them there was a large space for the wedding dance.

Wedding Food

Wedding feast produce growing
Most of the produce for the wedding feast were grown on the same site as the wedding was held.
English Conversation About A wedding
English Conversation About A wedding

Finally there was the food, and it was a glorious wedding meal.  The meal was catered by Diversity Food Services out of the University of Winnipeg under the direction of Chef Ben Kramer(Kramer has since moved on to his own catering service).  In keeping with James and Kendra’s care for the the environment, the dishes and utensils used were bio-degradable. Most of the vegetables served came from the on site gardens at Cloverdale Farm.
One thing that contributed to the meal being memorable was that while the main meal was served buffet style, servers were also wandering through the crowd with what seemed to be a never-ending supply of canapes.  Among them were corn on the cob, cut in sections and served on skewers, diced eggplant with various herbs on toast, and bison sliders which were the culinary highlight of the evening.
Whenever I’ve had bison in the past, it has tended towards the dry side.  Not surprising since bison is quite a bit leaner than beef.  These sliders, though, were the moistest burgers I have ever had, of any kind.  Add to that the delicate seasoning and the sliders came as close to food perfection as you can get.
The main meal started with a quinoa salad topped with feta. It also contained what appeared to be bits of jalapeno which gave it a bit of a kick. That was followed by lightly steamed vegetables from the Cloverdale garden. As well there was a selection of breads. One was a sour dough made with a touch of tomato juice. I have enjoyed this as toast when having breakfast at Elements, one of the restaurants run by Diversity Food Services. Then came baby potatoes and roast beef in gravy. The roast beef was cooked to a wonderful, melt in you mouth tenderness.
Finally, at the far end of the table there were all the fixings required to make a do it yourself soft taco.  The tacos themselves were of the mini variety, making them easy to hold in your hand if you were eating and visiting with the guests.  Among the beverages there was a notable ginger-lemon cordial, which you could have served in whatever manner you liked.

Wedding feast salads
Mason jars full of salad ready for the wedding feast.
Wedding Feast vegetables
A selection of the vegetables laid out before the reception

Topping all this was a dessert table, which had a wide variety of choices.  These included cookies, cupcakes and little apple or blueberry tarts.  Not only were they all delicious looking and/or tasting(I did not try one of each),  most of them were made by members of the bride’s family.
Added to the mix were good friends, and a great outdoor setting.  Plus wonderful music provided by the likes of Erin Rae Propp, (ably accompanied by the Julliard bound Luke Sellick and guitarist extraordinaire, Larry Roy), Sweet Alibi, and DJ Mama Cutsworth. Added up you have a memorable wedding feast. Perfect for such a memorable couple.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.