Yesterday was my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. Isn't that just amazing? Fifty years ago, they were a coupla kiddos who'd only been going out for about a year or so, when they confidently jumped into the state of matrimony. And look at them now!
golden balloons, golden banners, golden candles, gold gold gold
Our family tends to be pretty low-key, so we didn't have any family vacation rentals in Hawaii or renewal-of-the-vows ceremonies on the beach. Instead, my mom suggested we have "a potluck."
Ha ha! "A potluck" seemed just a little too low-key... so eventually we settled on an "upscale potluck," with folks bringing some nicer dishes and a little more effort than usual. Also, since it was a golden anniversary, we decided to go with a golden foods theme - as you'll see! We had the dinner at our cousin's beautiful house - which has been the home of countless special family events over the years (including my very own wedding!).
My parents really love bruschetta, so making lots of bruschetta with golden tomatoes was the very first thing I thought of. I brushed the breads with garlicky olive oil and then grilled them for extra yumminess. The tomato topping is just orange and yellow tomatoes (seeded!), a little bit of olive oil and salt, and lots of fresh basil.
sparkly gold table decor!
I also made this giant bowl of grain salad with roasted golden beets and roasted cauliflower. The truth is, this salad wasn't really all that hot. And, I made a metric ton of it. I made a tahini-garlic-lemon dressing, and it seemed really yummy. But, by the time I served it (a couple hours later), it seemed like all the dressing had been soaked up or evaporated and the end result was thoroughly mediocre. Not really bad, but not good either. Fortunately, my parents really love farro, so my mom took most of the leftover farro so that she could repurpose it in future dishes. I took home the rest of the roasted veggies and I'm sure they'll still be tasty once I throw together a new batch of dressing. I guess I should have followed a recipe for such a special occasion, but I was feeling gusty!
Of course there was corn on the cob. My parents are both big fans of fresh corn on the cob (like most people!), so we knew this would be another golden summery hit.
My brother's fiance also brought some really nice and fancy roasted golden potatoes that I forgot to get a picture of, and a lot of lovely (non-vegan) food. I didn't take pics of the non-vegan food, but I didn't want to skip over her contribution!
Of course there was dessert! I talked about it with my mom and dad, and we decided it would be fun if I made a spice cake - which is what they had on their actual wedding day fifty years ago. So, I turned to my grandmother's trusty Applesauce Spice Cake (from the Joy of Cooking). I made a double layer cake, with coffee flavored frosting and special golden sparkly balls. If you are looking for a damn good spice cake, look no further. Everyone loved it!
It was so much fun to make this cake for them and think about them while I was making it. There's something so magical about preparing food for someone and holding them in your heart and in your thoughts as you chop and stir and mix all that love into the food.
I gave my mom golden mardi gras beads and my dad golden deelie-boppers as anniversary gifts.
The evening was filled with love and warmth and stories and memories and recollections. And of course, they re-enacted the cutting of the cake!