Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Here is the third installment of my 2006 wedding reports. Earlier this summer, I went to a wedding in Greece and then in Sweden. Just under a month ago, my English friend Helen and her Irish fiance David, whom I met during my first year in Edinburgh (i.e. in 1998-1999), finally took the step into marital bliss after almost 10 years together. Or, as the Best Man said at the wedding, David finally made an honest woman out of Helen:) They have been living and working in Brussels, Belgium, since completing their postgraduate degrees in Edinburgh, and therefore decided to get married in Brussels, too.
I've mentioned Helen on my blog before. She was the first person to tell me about celiac disease. I had never heard of gluten intolerance before, and Helen gave me a crash course in what she can eat and what she cannot. In late 1990s, I was still more of a baker than a cook, and realising I cannot bake my favourite cakes for my new friend (yes, that included my Canadian apple cake) was frustrating. I had to think of flourless cakes to bake, but that's how a rather nice and rich whisky & chocolate roly-poly found a way to my kitchen, so I'm not complaining. I also had to learn how to look for traces of gluten in the unlikeliest places - most soy sauces, for example, are out of the question. I remember being surprised that Helen had to go to pharmacy to pick up her special gluten-free pasta, and she had to consult a little book to see which potato crisps were acceptable and which not.
Anyway, back to the wedding. Helen and David had a civil ceremony, which took place at their local commune, Maison Communale de Saint Gilles. This was followed by dinner & dancing at L'Abbaye de Nizelles (above), a lovely mansion a short drive from Brussels. And the food was delicious. Here's what we had:
We started with Ballotin de sole et homard à la nage - a lovely sole and lobster dish:
This was followed by Magret de canard au miel d'acacia, sauce vinaigre de framboises:
Finally, we had a pudding suitable for a gluten-free diet, Vacherin glacé, fruits frais et coulis de fruits de l’été:
And later on, after some coffees, more drinks, and lots of dancing, we were served a festive cheese course (photo above).
Definitely a night to remember. Thank you, Helen & David, for inviting me, and Rob & Mig for hosting me!