Last Saturday, I helped my daughter Shannon with a bridal shower for her very dear friend Andrea. The shower was held in Hallowell, at Joyce’s Restaurant, upstairs in a long room overlooking the Kennebec River. At one end of the room, there was a grand piano, which nobody played, and at the other end, buffet tables and a bar. In between, tables and chairs for dining. Beyond the buffet tables and bar, there was a small deck, a perfect spot to sip wine and watch the river and admire a lower deck filled with potted herbs.
Joyce’s is a great place for a shower. By the grand piano, there are six or seven funky but comfortable chairs. This is where Andrea sat as she unwrapped presents, and there was plenty of room to make a big circle for other chairs. Andrea got many lovely gifts, and she was appreciative of them all, whether they were large or small. My gift was a Moosewood cookbook and a blue stoneware bowl full of lemon-frosted shortbread. I am, after all, a good eater, and I thought it was appropriate for my gift to literally include food.
Joyce’s prepared a tasty luncheon, which included a creamy tomato soup with basil. (It was the hit of the shower. My, it was good!) In addition, there were two kinds of sandwiches—chicken curry as well as tomato, pesto, and mozzarella; a salad with mixed greens; a pasta salad; fruit; and cookies for dessert. The service was excellent, too. The woman who waited on us was just the right combination of friendly and efficient. She even cheerfully packaged the leftovers for us, and we felt as though we were in good hands.
I have known Andrea since she was five or six years old. I took care of Andrea when she was in grade school, and Andrea and Shannon have been friends all through the years. Andrea has become an elegant young woman who wouldn’t look out of place in a Fred Astaire movie, and it was both moving and joyful for me to be part of this celebration that will bring her to the next phase of her life. Truly, a wedding shower is a rite of passage, where the next generation takes its place in the continuation of the cycle. I was even more moved when Andrea referred to me as her “third mother,” with her own mom and her future mother-in-law being the other two.
I did manage to slip in a little bread talk with Andrea’s future mother-in-law, who loves to cook. She told me about her own experience with making whole wheat bread, and she confirmed my own hunch about how much whole wheat flour to use—1/3 whole wheat flour and the rest unbleached white flour. It was nice to hear I had it right.
Andrea’s wedding will be in September, and she is marrying a man who has such a talent for woodworking that it goes beyond craft and is firmly in the artisan category. He is also a talented photographer. For her own part, Andrea is an accomplished cook. May they have a long, creative life together.