There seems to be a trend lately toward outdoor weddings — in the mountains, by the ocean or wherever the place means something to the celebrants. Our family had such a wedding earlier this month in North Carolina. We were lucky. The nasty storms plaguing the Piedmont area danced all around us, but never scored a hit on the wedding.
The venue was in the countryside south of Greensboro at a lovely farm-turned-wedding destination. It was a very peaceful, private place.
After we entered the grounds and parked, the first place on the agenda was a door-sized wooden rectangle on sawhorses. Some of the wedding party supplied marking pens in all colors. Guests were asked to sign their names on the wood and draw a balloon around them. We learned that the signed wood piece will be finished as a table when the bridal couple get settled. A neat reminder of their wedding day.
From the table-to-be, we were directed into a tunnel of old, thick vines trained as an arbor, whose inside was covered with hundreds of tiny white lights. The arbor followed the top of the hillside and curved out into the meadow, giving a panoramic view of the large white tent set with chairs where the guests would sit and be a part of the ceremony. (Some of the witnesses were horses, a couple of cows and one mule in an adjacent pasture. They watched as we went about our business and seemed to enjoy the distraction.)
The grassy hillside on which the tent was set sloped gently down to a pond. At the foot of the hill, beside the edge of the pond, stood the trellis that served as the altar where the couple exchanged vows in both English and Spanish. Twin 3-year-old cousins of the bride scattered rose petals to lead the wedding party to the altar, along with a rather unusual ring bearer — their dog, Kane. A better behaved member of a wedding party never walked an aisle. He soon banished all fears that he might just decide to take a swim in the pond, ring and all.
The reception was held in a two-story party barn. Hors d’oeuvres, drinks and dinner was on the ground floor and music and salsa dancing was upstairs.
Around 180 of us witnessed the vows, ate well and toasted the bride and groom, along with family and friends old and new. I can’t say this about every wedding I’ve attended, but the day was beautiful, the celebration joyful, and a good time was had by all.
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
1 (1.27 ounce) packet fajita seasoning
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 8-ounce package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 8-ounce package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven broiler. Grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the fajita seasoning, then spread onto the baking sheet.
Place under the broiler and cook until the chicken pieces are no longer pink in the center (about 5 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peppers, onion and chicken. Cook and stir until the vegetables have softened (about 10 minutes).
Layer half of each tortilla with the chicken and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack. Fold the tortillas in half and place onto a baking sheet.
Bake quesadillas in the preheated oven until cheeses have melted (about 10 minutes).
Serves 20-25 as an hors d’oeuvre.
I want to note that the groom’s mother traveled all the way to North Carolina from central Mexico. She began the celebration of her son’s wedding with a 12-hour bus ride to the border and her first trip on a plane.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.