The weekend before last, I had the opportunity to cater for my brother’s oldest friend (I think he is), and family handyman, Michael Rottschaefer and his now wife, Christine’s wedding. Mike has “sort of” been part of our family for years. Mike has been apart of many of our celebrations, the Christopherson’s (that’s my family), REALLY like to “celebrate”. As with most families, eating is an integral part of our celebrating.
Another very close family friend, Donna has also been joining in on family functions for years. Not only as a participant, she even does the Creager (another section of the family) Christmas gift exchange. You have to be on the inner circle to participate in that one, no outsiders allowed, not even boyfriends or girlfriends, if you wanna play you’d better be born into it or put a ring on it. Donna’s been a friend of my moms since longer than spit, she told me how long in the kitchen this weekend but I won’t divulge as a favor to them both. Any how longer than spit, Donna’s been grandfathered into the family. I’m not sure if this is the total reason for it or not, I assume that there is more to it than this though, if you ask me it’s reason enough, Donna’s cooking is divine!
There are many ways in which I cultivated the passion for food that I have, and Donna was great part of that. She actually has mentored me through the business, gave me one of my first jobs out of culinary school and has been more than generous with her knowledge. She was even there when I cut the tip of my pinky off while chopping carrots. We both agree that I was so not cool about that.
Anyhow, whenever The Christopherson’s “Celebrated” like a real celebration, not just a Thanksgiving or Christmas, we hired Donna. My graduation, Will’s graduation, GP cocktail parties (GP=General Pump the family business), going away parties, welcome home parties. We like to party, we, we like to party. We were lucky enough to have Mike join us at many many many of those family gatherings, and he grew an affinity for that food. He knew that I was getting back on my feet here in Minnesota and that Donna and I had worked together and thought maybe we could pair up again and cook for his wedding, of 200, to be held in the gymnasium of Trinity Baptist Church. We pulled out a few of the old standbys, Mike requested the Smoked Salmon Filet, with the Anni’s mustard sauce that I invented while I worked with Donna at Tasteful Thymes, they used my creation every time they made the salmon, I feel proud I made my mark. Asparagus Roulads, Roast Beef smeared with house made Boursin and wrapped around a blanched asparagus. Mediterranean Chicken Skewers, CPCO, Chicken, Prune, Chicken, Olive that’s how we roll. Tortellini salad made with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, salami, veg and secret ingredients that you couldn’t even beat out of us. Simple Crudité of haricoverts and carrots with Roasted Garlic Aioli. A not so simple fruit and cheese platter featuring a house made Sundried Tomato Boursin.
I am telling you Trinity Baptist didn’t even know what hit them. I can truthfully say that because more than one church staff member commented about the smell of garlic emanating from the kitchen. Both Shirley and Joe who were so gracious to let us in the church daily and helped us with any little ole thing, commented that the church has never seen, or smelled so much garlic. Our food is not lacking in flavor, we take that as a compliment, and from the show of it, we were right. An overwhelming success, of food tailored to the couples request, happy guests and my favorite, a groom beaming with pride over the entire day. Mike’s a pretty mellow guy and I have never seen him so happy. We were honored to be a part of Mike and Christine’s wedding day. We wish them many years of happiness and celebrations.