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12 July 2007

feeding each other, all our lives

chocolate-banana cake

This afternoon, my dear friend Merida and I were driving around Seattle, finishing the last errands before the wedding. After all, the Chef's family is arriving in town tomorrow morning. And after all this planning and anticipating and cleaning the house and running more errands, I am finally done.

Tomorrow morning, I surrender.

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, bolstering me and sending me your good wishes. Truly, I realized after reading this dear community's thoughts — wow, this has been an unusual time. Merida just returned from three weeks in Spain. The first night I saw her, she was as prickly as cactus, as removed as a faded recipe in an out-of-print book. Today, she told me, "God, I was really jet-lagged, and I wouldn't admit it." And that helped me to see, "Man, I am have been stressed, and somehow still a bride in spite of my wish to be different from everyone else's example, and I couldn't fully admit it." But today, I realize how jet-lagged I have been.

I am home.

As we were driving around in the hazy sunshine, after a fitting for my wedding dress at the tailor's, we were talking about what would happen on the day. I long ago decided to eschew most of the silly traditions. No damn garters. However, when I told Merida that we weren't going to do a formal cake cutting ceremony, she gasped.

"You have to!" she said, clearly disapproving.

"Why?" I wondered.

"Because, that's what you two do. You feed each other."

As soon as she said it, I knew she was right. There are so many reasons why I am exultant and sure in my choice to marry the Chef. If you have been reading, you know. If not, it comes down to one word: yes.

But more than anything, the Chef feeds me. No one else has ever understood or accepted me as he has. No one else has ever made me laugh so hard. No one else has ever been as important to me. He is my partner, my best friend, and my true companion.

Tonight, I am making the first layer of the chocolate-banana cake we are making for our wedding. There are two more. After much discussion, we decided to create a three-tiered, real wedding cake. (We're putting cardboard rounds between each layer, thanks to Tita's sage advice.) Over the next few days, in the three minutes I have off among all the joyful activities of the weekend, I'll be baking a gluten-free cake.

Let's be honest. The night before, my dear friend Sharon (who is my maid of honor) is staying the night with me. (The Chef is staying with his parents, since he doesn't want to see me until the moment I walk down the aisle.) Knowing us, and the way life is going, we'll probably be up until one in the morning, baking cakes and laughing.

In the morning, the Chef will decorate the cake, with a chocolate ganache frosting, curlicues of dark chocolate, and fresh raspberries. (The picture you see above is a trial run.) He'll need something to do with his hands in the morning. He'll be teary and full of adrenaline. He is always soothed by putting his hands in the food.

How well I know him now.

And so, that cake cutting? Merida is right. It is one of the best evocations of who we are, our partnership and daring. A gluten-free wedding cake? What the hell. We're not going to let anything stop us.

But we are not smooshing chocolate cake into each other's faces.

Instead, we will feed each other, as we intend to do the rest of our lives.


the two of us kissing

This will be my last post for awhile. Starting tomorrow morning, I'll be joyfully reveling in our real lives, not sharing them with the internet world. I'll be silent here, probably for over a week. Eventually, I'll return with photos and stories, recipes and remembrances.

And on Monday, July 16th, just after 3 pm, I'll no longer be Shauna James. I'll be Mrs. Shauna James Ahern.

Welcome, oh life. Here I come.

69 Comments:

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Genevieve said...

I've just started reading your blog and it's absolutely lovely. I'm getting married in October so i relate to many of the things you talk about. I know you'll have a beautiful day filled with great food and great people. :)

 
At 11:11 PM, Anonymous just-hannah said...

Congratulations. And have a wonderful, wonderful week. A thousand times over. As a twenty-year-old yet to experience the depths of this thing called love, your story, and the magical way you convey it, gives me hope. So thank you, and I wish you and the Chef all the best.

 
At 12:18 AM, Blogger Plume said...

I wish you and the Chef the best wedding in the world, and to go on beeing happy ever after...

 
At 1:36 AM, Blogger Beccy said...

What a stunning cake.

Enjoy Monday, I'm sure you'll have the time of your life.

 
At 3:37 AM, Anonymous Su-Lin said...

Congratulations! It's been so lovely reading about your courtship and engagement and wedding plans.

 
At 3:49 AM, Blogger mare said...

Shauna & Chef ~

Just be you, and be happy!

 
At 3:57 AM, Blogger Zelda said...

May your weekend be full of joy, laughter, wonderful weather and happiness. Congratulations and have a wonderful time!

 
At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Calli said...

I wish you all the joy on your wedding day that I had on mine. All the best of luck and love to you both. Yes!

 
At 4:42 AM, Blogger Doctor Bee said...

I randomly found your blog and I have to say that your happiness and aplomb and peacefulness is permeating. It's so comforting and reassuring that there are people in this mad world that have achieved total bliss.

Cheers and congratulations on your wedding!

 
At 4:55 AM, Anonymous amanda said...

Oh!! Have fun. Have lots and lots and lots of FUN!!! xoxo

 
At 5:16 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said...

Congratulations and Best Wishes to you and the Chef!! May the rest of your lives together be as joyous and complete as your wedding day :)

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

I did not do all the same things, but the cake..I loved the cake moment. We had a meaningful song playing in the background. And we just cut the cake and fed each other, no announcements during..it was honestly one of my most favorite moments.

You will be glad you did it too.

 
At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good wishes to you and the Chef. I was recently married, and just have a little thought... Enjoy! Every good thing, every bump, every tear, every smile, everything. Just enjoy. On my day there were glitches and there were mix ups, but I wouldn't change that day for anything in the world. So if something minor happens, or even something major, just enjoy. After all, the Chef will be right there to enjoy it with you.

Much love and happiness to you in the future.

 
At 7:17 AM, Blogger Allergic Girl said...

congratulations shauna and chef!

 
At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Lesley said...

What a special day you're going to have. And it's not just the one day -- it's every day that you have shared and will share with your bless'ed Chef. May you two be as happy always as you are now.

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger GrewUpRural said...

Congratulations. Enjoy the day and the many that are to follow.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Congratulations, you two! It's been a joy to follow your journey so far, and I hope you'll continue to share your food and love with us. Have a fabulous wedding/party!

 
At 8:30 AM, Anonymous gaile said...

Shauna, having read your for the last year and a half, I am thrilled for you and wish you nothing but joy on your day - and I know it will be just that - joyful. I wish you and your Chef all the happiness in the world, on your wedding day, and for decades to come.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Working Mama said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to hear all about it. Enjoy your time away from blog-land!

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger nicole said...

Best wishes for a wonderful wedding! Enjoy all the moments. (and the cake looks so delish)

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Kath said...

Yet another lovely post!

Will be thinking of you on Monday. Am so glad you found your true companion.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Sea said...

I'm so glad you will have a gluten free wedding cake- 5 years ago, that was one of the most important things for me at my wedding, because we also shared and celebrated our love with food. Every gluten free girl should have her own gluten free cake to share with the one she loves and all the guests at her wedding! :)

I don't know if there will be dancing at your wedding, but I'm imagining you in your red cowboy boots tip tap dancing (maybe minus the tap) throughout the day. Have a wonderful wedding and remember to enjoy every minute of it- you won't believe how quickly it all goes by.

*hugs* and CONGRATULATIONS!
Another gluten free girl from Seattle,
Brenda

www.bookofyum.com

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Gabs said...

"All you need is love, love. Love is all you need."

All the best to you - enjoy your wedding day and the rest of your lives together.

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Lisa B-K said...

Fabulous!

The cake sounds grand.

Best of luck to you both.


xo

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

congratulations, and may you feed each other in joy and contentment for many years.

(and that cake... amazing.)

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Sarah Caron said...

We'll miss you while you are gone, Shauna!

Best wishes for your perfect wedding day. I can't wait to read all about the dream honeymoon you are taking and the perfectly unplanned planned wedding ceremony and party.

And remember this weekend - when you start to get caught up in the details, just take a deep breath and enjoy the moment you are in. It's the only one you will have,

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Abby said...

Wowie, wow, wow, that cake looks so yummy (beautiful & gorgeous too).

Best wishes on your special day, although I believe everyday is special between you two, your posts are so passionately written.

One of life's biggest blessings is marrying & spending the rest of your life with your best friend. Congratulations!

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Jessie Mae said...

Congratulations! I'm sure your wedding, and your marriage, and your life, are going to be wonderful.

 
At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Brett said...

Shauna, I'm so happy for you 2!! May you feed each other for the rest of eternity. :)

 
At 12:43 AM, Blogger Divina said...

Auguri!
Take a deep breathe... and enjoy the day!

Fabulous marrying your best friend..
I did too and that was 2o years ago!
laughter is the secret!

 
At 4:10 AM, Blogger nicola said...

Your "yes" reverberates around the world to me Shauna, and I send it back and attach to it my warm happy wishes for you both and one of my favourite wedding poems (Auden) that makes me think of you and Dan and all your loved ones celebrating soon-
"Carry her over the water/ And set her down under a tree/ Where the culvers white all day and all night/ And the winds from every quarter/ Sing agreeably, agreeably, agreeably of love...Put a gold ring on her finger/ And press her close to your heart/ While the fish in the lake their snapshots take/
And the frog, that sanguine singer/ sings agreeably, agreeably, agreeably of love...The streets shall all flock to your wedding/ The houses turn round to look/ The tables and chairs say suitable prayers/ And the horses drawing your carriage/ Sing agreeably, agreeably, agreeably of love."

 
At 6:11 AM, Blogger Figs Olives Wine said...

Have a beautiful wedding weekend. I wish you good food and good life! Congratulations.

 
At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Meredith said...

Dear Shauna and Chef,
I have been following this blog since before the Chef entered the picture and it has mesmerized me, made me laugh, made me cry....I so enjoy your writing. Thank you for sharing your lives, loves and journeys with us. I was able to spend about two hours in Seattle last September during a trip to Oregon and Washington. Took the ferry from Bainbridge Island. I felt like I CAME ALIVE in Seattle. (I live in Maryland.) So I have really enjoyed hearing about your life there and seeing pictures. And I can't wait to see pictures and hear the stories of your wedding experience. Many blessings to both of you. May your lives continue to be filled with such good food, good lovin', and BLISS!
Love, Meredith
P.S. And I WILL be buying your book! (I am gluten intolerent)

 
At 6:42 AM, Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

Best wishes for a beautiful day and a wonderful life together, nurturing and caring for each other.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger In Recovery said...

Congratulations!! May your many years together be blessed!

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Lynn Barry said...

I don't know, I remember the cake smearing at the reception was the best part...but my hubby and I are kinda weird like that...whatever you do or don't do, you two have it made in the shade...HUGS

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Congratulations Shauna and Danny! May you have a beautiful wedding!

Angela

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Sheri said...

Shauna, best wishes to you and The Chef as you begin the best parts of your lives together.

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Nena_nieve said...

Congratulations, and have a beautiful wedding!

I love the symbolic gesture of feeding each other. And that cake looks spectacular!

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger Linda said...

That was so sweet that I had tears in my eyes. Best wishes and many years of joy-and eating-together.

 
At 3:53 AM, Blogger Trig said...

Wishing you all the best for your married cookery life.

 
At 7:54 AM, Blogger María Cecilia said...

Hi dear, this is my first time in this page... I´m Cecilia from Mendoza, Argentina... Thank you very much for writting and enjoying life like this! In Argentina, its very difficult to follow a gluten-free diet... but you give strenght and ideas to follow this way!

Best regards from Argentina! Ceci

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger Lorraine said...

Congratulations and may you have a wonderful, blessed day that will only mark the beginning of many years of blessing to come.

 
At 8:38 PM, Blogger s'kat said...

*gasp*

I've been unable to read for awhile, but WOW!

I'm getting ready to go to sleep, then happened happily upon this. Congrats, by the time you read this!
As my grandmother told me recently (regarding her early years w/ her husband of 70+)... "isn't is just wonderful?"

Indeed, and thank you for expressing it!!

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger ByTheBay said...

Mazel tov, Shauna!

 
At 4:28 AM, Blogger IsabellasCloset said...

Hello! I'm so very thrilled to have found your blog..a friend sent it to me. My 10 year old granddaughter Isabella
has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and has just been started on a gluten free diet. I'm praying this will help her. Bless your heart for sharing all this wonderful information! Thank you so very much ~Mary~ IsabellasCloset
I'm off to read more of your blog.. Take care!

 
At 4:50 AM, Blogger Corinna said...

Congratulations Shauna! I was diagnosed as celiac a few months ago and have had fun trying out new recipes and new flours. I brought your brownies to my recent family vacation, and the pan was gone in seconds. I'm still working on the bread thing, though, and I'm going to try your sorghum bread recipe tonight!

I also wanted to thank you for writing so beautifully about your feelings leading up to the wedding. I've been in a long term relationship for a while, and reading what you've written has made me realize that it's not the perfect one for me. I wish you every happiness on your big day (in your red cowboy boots) and a million thanks for helping me clarify my own life.

 
At 6:13 AM, Blogger Daniela said...

I have been reading your blog forever now and I wanted to congrats you on getting married! How exciting!

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Kharina said...

I had to end a horrible 2 year relationship back in April. Reading your blog not only fed my imagination for food but also gave me the reality check I needed to find what I had relationship wise was not healthy at all. Funny how it took a stranger in the other side of the planet to make me see straight! I wish you and the Chef the bestest day ever!

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger moonrat said...

congratulations!! such a big year for you!

 
At 6:38 AM, Blogger Katie said...

Many congratulations to you both, Shauna and the Chef!! I can feel the love you two have for each other through your writing... you both must be the happiest people on the planet this week! Love is a wonderful thing.

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger Gemma said...

Shauna, I hope that you and the Chef had a fabulous fabulous day and that your boots got a great work out from all the dancing. The cake looks fantastic and I'm sure your day was beautiful.

Gemma x

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Congratulations! Here's wishing you joy and laughter and a lifetime of culinary adventure!

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger bon said...

Congratulations! We had gluten-free wedding cake at our reception just over two years ago. What a lovely celebration reading your blog is! Again, congrats! And enjoy!!

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger not said...

Congratulations! Here is to a long and happy life together.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Erin S. said...

Congratulations. I cannot wait to read all about your wedding. I am sure it will bring tears of happiness to my eyes like your blog entires usually do.

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger pwinniecess said...

Hi! Congats! May God bless your marriage :)!

 
At 5:14 AM, Blogger Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Congratulations on your wedding!! I love your thoughts on feeding each other the cake. I never thought of it that way and honestly, it is the best way to think about. Good luck on your new journey. I can't wait to see more of your posts!

 
At 6:43 AM, Blogger Vanessa said...

Congratulations! You're making everyone else happy too.

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger kbabe1968 said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Hoping it was a day of beauty and elegance and good food! I hope you revelled in every blissful moment and that the first week of your married life was so joyful that your heart exploded! :D

Looking forward to seeing how beautiful you were in your wedding dress! :D

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger chris said...

Congratulations on your wedding. I wish you many long years and a honeymoon baby (the best possible souvenier from Italy!). Everyone looks so happy in your wedding photos. I'm so happy you had it in your own backyard; it seems very much you and the Chef.

 
At 5:08 AM, Blogger Brittani said...

Where are the wedding photos? I would very much like to see them.
Also, I am so happy for the two of you! Such a perfect fit!

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger nicole said...

I'm sure you have seen this, but in the NY Times today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/dining/25glut.html?_r=1&ref=dining&oref=slogin

I thought the part about Europe having had gluten-friendly options (in McDonald's, even!) for awhile was especially interesting.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Dear Shauna,

By now, I imagine you are married to the Chef! Mazel tov to both of you. When you finally take off the red boots and come back down to earth (may it never happen!), if you have some time and want to participate, I've pinged you for a meme. Go here to read about it:

http://iamglutenfree.blogspot.com/2007/07/have-i-told-you-lately.html

Hope all is well with both of you.

best wishes,
Ellen

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Angelina said...

I was given your blog address just after I was diagnosed with Celiac and I have been reading regularly since. Your passions for life, love, food, health, the Chef are inspirational. I wish you the VERY best in your life together. Also you inspired me to begin my own blog angelbirdflies@blogspot.com it is still in the beginning stages.
Thank you for being who you are with so much grace and individuality.

 
At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to both of you, sweet lady! It's about time, the anticipation was killing me.

monica

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger Laura said...

I sat in my kitchen this morning, sipping a cup of coffee, with tears all the way through your story. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person and writer.
Laura
www.roadlesstraveledbyme.blogspot.com
Houston

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous C'tina said...

WOW! You all know how to throw a wedding! "May all your tears come from joy and all your wines from a glass." Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, from someone who's close friend has a daughter just diagnosed with the genetic non-allergy form of celiac, your site has literally been a lifesaver.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Faythe, Petite Kitchen Author said...

Ok, I've read this 6 times. Still get teary-eyed. Congradulations to you both.

 

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