I was happy to be included in our brother's wedding. We arrived in his town on Wednesday. The sugar flowers survived the 8-hour trip. I was relieved, because it was such a hot day. The wedding flowers came on Thursday morning. Since then the countdown began. I was kinda overwhelmed, but I kept it for myself. Pstt... That's one thing about doing flower: it can't be prepared way in advance, so a great stamina and helpers are much needed. Since I was busy doing my task, I didn't have much chance to take picture. So the pictures I am sharing here are from my camera (sorry for the low quality), from my friends, and from dad.
Mom and dad were busy also. Mom baked the wedding cake, and dad was a great helper. A week before the wedding day, mom had tried making the cake using "American" ingredients. Even with a box of fresh eggs from a farmers market (she usually gets free-range chicken eggs directly from the farmers), she still said that it was different compare to the result she gets back home. It bothered her but we couldn't tell what's wrong. Her sons and their wives agreed that it tasted just great.
The cake making in progress. Our friends said that the cake tasted "very Indonesian".
I was kinda nervous about the flowers. "Will I have enough flowers? Will they look fine? Will they go along with the rest of the wedding components?" those were questions that kept popping up in my mind.
I could see the pride from our brother to have the wedding cake specially made by his mom. A lot people said the cake was tasty.
The throw away bouquete.
A centerpiece on a batik table runner. Mom and dad brought the table unners from Indonesia.
I love the wedding venue they chose. It's an Amish restaurant in Nappanee, IN. The place is unique and homy. We saw some peacocks peeking in windows the morning we assembled the wedding cake.
The food was fabulous. It's an Amish restaurant after all!
Our brother and his future wife asked if I was willing to be in charge with the flower for their wedding, of which I felt honored. It took me quite some time to search what flowers were great for the wedding. The bride was such an easy person. She was probably the least demanding bride I've ever known. The only specification she gave me was the theme color: peach, with the note that tulip was her favorite. After I gave them some flower palettes, they finally came up with a decision. There would be two kind of flowers and three kind of greeneries.
As for the cake, I didn't want to use fresh flowers because they might have been sprayed by pesticide. They were shipped from countries in South America, so I wouldn't get surprised if they were drugged to endure the long waterless journey. I had tried to find organic flowers, but I didn't find anything promising. So, I searched how to make flower from gum paste and tried to hand-made them.
It took me a long time to figure out what flowers I wanted to make before I finally decided to make peonies because they are beautiful spring flowers, great with peach color, and BIG. I was probably drawn more to the size, because I needed showy flowers for the cake topper. It also took me a long time to know what I really needed. It's good that Hobby Lobby is only a mile away from our apartment, and their 40%-off weekly coupon really helped! The coupon was only for a single item per day, so my keep going back to get things I-apparently-needed was benefited from it.
It probably wasn't a good idea to try doing a new thing in a very limited time...for a wedding. However, it's been proven multiple times that I learned a lot and did better in an intensive time. I started making the flowers, and it was time consuming! I didn't know that I needed to let them dry overnight before putting another layer. Thankfully, my friend, Jocelin was willing to help me. She and her husband came on Saturday noon and we made the flowers together until pass midnight.
The petals were half-dried on plastic spoons.
Paper towel were placed between petal and tooth pick were placed to hold the petals to give them shape.
Finally they were ready. I made green hydrangea for the filler to match the fresh hydrangea used for the wedding flower. The next task was bringing them to Indiana without getting melted.
To be continued...
This Easter was a special Easter since our dear friend, that was in our church youth group was baptized. She is such an incredible, God-loving-calm young lady. I am touched of how much she loves God and how obedient she is to God's command whatever hard it takes. She has been a great example for people around her. We are so happy to be able to know her and her family. We are also so happy to see her on her baptism day, although we couldn't attend the baptism service at her church.
This Easter was also special since we celebrated the Christ's resurrection with our friends at church. There were some old faces came to the service, some people I missed that can not attend the church regularly. I was just happy to see them again.
The Easter service was special, since we started the singing at 8 am, had breakfast together, had the main service, then continued with egg hunting.
Easter was so special, so I made a special cake that I make only once a year.
My big family welcomed one new member of the family last Tuesday. She came much earlier than we expected and worried most of us. She was supposed to be born in the year of dragon, but she picked the rabbit instead. The Saturday before, Dad told me that my older sister just went back from her obgyn and was ordered to have c-section as soon as possible. The baby had grown slower than her previous rate because of IUGR so the doctor was concerned that it would put the baby in high risk if her mom had waited until the original due date. All of our family prayed for my sister and her baby. I asked my church to pray for them too last Sunday.
On Tuesday morning Jakarta time (Monday night EST), dad called me and told me that the baby had arrived. There she is, my mom and dad's the third grand daughter. Her name is Kyara Canta Hartono. She is a special Chinese new year present our family got this year. I get her new pictures everyday from her overjoyed dad and opa (grandpa). This is one of the pictures that I got this morning.
I present these chocolate tarts for my beloved older sister. She's been a great aunt for our two nieces. I know she will be a great mom. Happy parenting, sist! God bless little Kyara and your family.
Adapted from: Baking-from My Home to Yours
Tart ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
9 Tbs cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
Mix the dry ingredients in a food processor. Scatter pieces of butter over the dry ingredients. Pulse until e until the mixture is consistency of coarse meal. Add egg yolk and pulse in long pulse for (about 10 second each) until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps. Do not overmix. Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of mini tart pans. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before baking. Bake the crust in a preheated oven at 375'F until golden brown.
Chocolate cream ingredients: 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
4 Tbs butter, cut in pieces
Put chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Boil the cream, then pour half of in over the chopped chocolate. Stir gently until combined. Add the rest of the cream. Stir gently until well combined. Stir in the butter piece by piece. Mix just until the butter is incorporated. Do not overmix.
To assemble, pour the cream over the tart shells. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For you who celebrate, I want to wish you: Gong Xi Fat Choi!
Happy Chinese New Year
Wish us all health, blessings, and joy from God alone.