Wedding bells! How exciting! Earlier this year my niece, Lori Miller, of Ohio, called me and shared the good news of her engagement to Michael Troyer. I know that a lot of planning and preparations were up ahead for them and also for Lori’s mom who is my sister, Sharon. (By the way, I’m Gloria’s mom and am filling in for her this week. She and Daniel are spending time in Ohio with family.) Lori’s family lives on an old-fashioned dairy farm, plus they have a 500-broiler house. They sell organic milk, which has become more popular over the last years. I don’t get to see Lori very often because of the 400-mile span between us, but when I did see her and the sparkle in her eyes, I knew she was eagerly awaiting her wedding day — and what a perfect pair! Michael is the calm, easy-going type and more quiet-natured. Lori has a bounce to her step, is always busy here, there and everywhere. She especially excels in serving and will enjoy cooking meals for Michael, as well as graciously serving guests. Amongst their many wedding gifts were nine different cookbooks, so she’s off to a good start with recipes and meal planning.
The wedding date was set for Friday, July 3. On Tuesday, June 30, my two teenage daughters and I headed for Ohio. We wanted to be involved in wedding preparations. The farmhouse had been scrubbed till it fairly shone and now it was time for food preparations. We joined groups of ladies and girls on Wednesday and Thursday forenoon who were busily bustling around. Serving a full-course meal to 450 guests is a major undertaking!
The wedding day arrived. The services and reception were at Lori’s homeplace. Everything was beautiful. Flower beds looked immaculate with lots of “smiling cheery” flowers. The grass was cut and trimmed and the weather was almost perfect. Praise the Lord! When I arrived, I took a little tour. First I watched the chicken grillers for a bit. Then I peeked into the cooks’ trailer where mashed potatoes were being made. They made 26, 6-quart kettles of mashed potatoes. Next I walked over to the large tent that had been set up in front of the shop where the reception was held. Several ladies were frying dressing in mega-sized fryers.
The assembly line of youth servers was layering the desserts in clear glass bowls. It’s amazing how all the cooks and servers work together, each doing his or her part. One word sums it up: teamwork!
By now it was time for services to begin. The services were held in the upper part of the large dairy barn. It was so unique and just the perfect setting for a farm girl to get married. The barn had been thoroughly cleaned and rows and rows of benches were set up. There were hay bales in one end which left a pleasant aroma. We sang several songs, then Micheal and Lori and their witnesses arrived. Lori looked lovely in her light blue dress.
You’ll have to wait until next week to find out about the rest of the wedding! But one of the desserts the youth servers were assembling was strawberry and black raspberry trifle dessert. Below is the recipe. But, first, a couple quick observations about the recipe: You can make your own angel food cake from scratch, buy boxed mix or if you’re really pressed for time just use one pre-made. When you layer this dessert in a bowl, glass bowls make it look especially pretty. Also, the recipe calls for ThermFlo, which is a thickener found in many bulk food stores. ThermFlo gives the dish an especially clear, shiny, crisp texture. If you can’t find ThermFlo or Clear-Gel, you can use cornstarch in its place as a thickener. The dish just won’t turn out quite as pretty.
STRAWBERRY TRIFLE DESSERT
Mix one box of angel food cake mix (or buy a pre-made angel food cake from a bakery) according to directions on the box. Cool, then cut into 1-inch cubes.
Filling: Beat together 3/4 cup vanilla instant pudding mix and 1 1/4 cups milk. Add 3/4 cup sour cream, 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt and 8 ounces of Cool Whip.
Sauce: Cook together 4 cups water, 2/3 cup white sugar and 1/3 cup ThermFlo. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup strawberry jello, 1/2 teaspoon strawberry Kool-Aid and a pinch of salt. Cool, then add 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced. Layer the cake cubes, the filling and the sauce in a container of your choice (two layers each) .