Now that it is summer, many people are getting married.
I am in my mid-30’s and I have attended many weddings. I am very alone and do not think I will be married anytime soon. I even joined Tinder and the only person to swipe right on my picture was a very nice young lady who had horrible grammar. She gave me a link where she said I could watch her doing rude things on camera, but her website said I had to pay.
I told a friend about it and they said, “Dannis, that’s a robot. It’s not a human. They want you to buy porn. Are you…are you crying right now?”
I’m going to try Grindr next. I heard that’s a great way to meet women.
Most of my friends and family are already married, so they are starting to celebrate a lot of anniversaries. A good way to celebrate an anniversary is to recreate an important meal, so I thought, “Dannis, since you are an award-winning food writer now, why don’t you recreate wedding food in the comfort of your own home?”
There really aren’t many things sadder than a lonely man recreating wedding banquet food for himself.
With stuffed animals.
If you have ever been to a wedding, you know that oftentimes, the food is not very good.
I have had many bad meals at weddings. I am not criticizing my friends for having bad food; I know that it is very expensive to feed guests at a wedding. However, bad food is very easy to recreate at home, and you can easily do it on a tight budget. There is just something so charming about eating bad food at a banquet hall with a lot of old people. Old people love wedding food because it is easy to gum down without choking to death.
If you are celebrating an anniversary, I am sure you are very tired of maintaining your relationship with your spouse by now. It can be exhausting trying not to argue about duvet covers and sconces all the time. That is why I want to get married. I want to argue about duvet covers and sconces and also watch House Hunters while secretly despising my spouse for not making enough money for us to move out of the cardboard box in the alley.
At the beginning of most wedding receptions, people eat hor d’oeuvres, which are passed around by bored-looking teenagers wearing vests and black pants.
The truth is, hor d’oeuvres do not need to be complicated. Most of them should be easy to eat and at least one of them should come on a toothpick. Spam makes a great hor d’oeuvre because it simulates a French country pâté (a rustic terrine), but the cool secret is, it comes out of a can. When Spam comes out of a can, it generally makes a farting sound, which should transport you to a smelly part of rural France.
Start by browning the Spam in a scratched-up non-stick pan. Spam browns very easily and is delicious that way. It is salty, fatty, and crisp on the exterior, while maintaining a delightfully spongy interior texture.
One time at a wedding, I was given a piece of bread with the driest piece of roast beef I have ever eaten. There was no sauce, and it made my mouth pucker by sucking all the moisture out of it. Everyone looked around and pretended it was delicious.
To recreate this easily, like Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray would, I put a piece of beef jerky on a saltine cracker. That’s all you need to do! This might seem like it is “low-rent,” but you’re probably already married and your spouse is stuck with you anyway. You will probably not get divorced over beef jerky on a cracker. You will get divorced because you did a thing with that hussy down the street.
For me, that hussy is your mother. Hussy.
A secret that banquet chefs do not want you to know is that most wedding food is made fancy by adding dried parsley to it. They say you eat with your eyes first, but really, you eat with your mouth.
Dry parsley is one of the most useless and tasteless things you can have in your kitchen. People who cannot cook insist on sprinkling dry parsley on their food. So it’s always a good idea to keep a lot on hand in case you ruin dinner.
Just look at this delightful plate!
You can serve the Spam with mayonnaise and call it aioli. Aioli is actually a garlicky sauce, but most people don’t know that. In fact, some places in the world don’t use egg yolks in their aioli (mayo uses egg yolks) at all. So really, nobody ever knows what they are talking about when they are talking about food.
This is just another trick to pretend like you’re at a fancy wedding dinner. Don’t worry about the jerky and saltine, though, that doesn’t need sauce. You want it to taste like misery.
Many banquet weddings also serve some kind of house salad. I have never had a good house salad at a wedding. “House salad” is just code for “whatever vegetables came out of that large plastic bag.”
Stack a horrendous amount of unevenly cut onions onto your salad base. Every house salad I’ve ever eaten at a banquet hall wedding has been covered with more red onions than a single human should ever eat. I always eat all the onions like a dumbass and then none of the bridesmaids ever want to dance with me. Actually, they don’t want to dance with me because by then I have gotten so drunk I have lost my pants.
Banquet hall salads sometimes come dressed. When they come dressed, they come dressed. By the time you get it at your table, it’s more of a dressing soup than it is a salad. And for some reason there’s almost always only one slice of cucumber and one very small tomato. A general rule of thumb to recreate a banquet hall salad is that you should mostly see dressing and not vegetables.
Don’t forget the parsley!
Oftentimes at weddings, you can choose either chicken or steak. In order to cut down on fuss, many wedding halls simply serve both on the same plate so you can eat what you want, which is very nice of them.
The steak is usually overcooked and the chicken is always a strange pounded texture. In order to recreate that texture and level of cooking, all you need to do is get a frozen dinner of both chicken and steak.
Cook the frozen entrées by the directions given to you on the package. I chose a delightful salisbury steak because it’s already pre-chewed for you. Then, put the finished meats on a microwave-safe plate.
Here’s the real trick to recreating banquet hall chicken and steak: Overcook the living shit out of it.
I put 40 minutes on the microwave, but really, it won’t take that long. I just thought 40 minutes was a very dramatic number to show you what I meant.
10 minutes later, this is the result. The meat has lost about 1/3rd of its original volume and is so desiccated that even a mummy would make fun of it. A mummy resembling your mother. At this point, the meat is practically inedible, which is the goal.
In order to remedy the situation, you simply need gravy. Gravy is the great equalizer at banquet hall dinners. If the meat is not cooked properly, then gravy will mask that fact. The cool thing about canned gravy is that it has a pop-top in case of dire emergencies. I like to cover myself in various gravies and then do dance battles on the corner of my block. I always win because everyone runs away from the gravy monster.
Vegetables are always an afterthought at a banquet hall wedding dinner. Usually on the menu, the vegetables are described as some form of “medley.” In culinary terms, a medley is simply a combination of garbage nobody wants to eat to begin with. Oftentimes the vegetables are canned and at a different temperature than the meat, so just put them on the plate cold along with whatever side came with your once delicious salisbury steak. Then, cover everything except for the vegetables with gravy (come on, have some decency, you barbarian), and use a small sprinkle of dried parsley to bring it all together.
Look at that! It looks exactly like wedding food. Or dog vomit. I get the two confused all the time. I love weddings.
Some couples keep a slice of wedding cake in their freezer to eat one year later on their wedding anniversary. Why do people do that? Science says that a cake in a freezer for a full year is not good to eat. That is called Einstein’s Law of Cake.
Instead, go to the gas station and buy the nearest piece of food resembling cake. In this case, it is extraordinarily soggy flat banana cake that looks like how my depression feels.
Wedding toppers are just lousy pieces of plastic that are often thrown out after the reception. Really, they’re just a symbol, so you can use any form of topper you like. I chose Army men because I’m a grown-ass man-child and I can use whatever the fuck cake toppers I want, mom!
Also, Army figurines are a good representation of marriage. One of the figurines is holding a mine detector (marriages are emotional minefields, after all), and the other figurine is holding an assault rifle because he wants to protect all of his stuff during the divorce after the whole hussy thing from earlier.
Don’t forget about the wedding favors, though. Many wedding favors come in the form of candy. One of the most popular wedding favors are Jordan almonds. Do not get people Jordan almonds.
A little-known fact is that Jordan almonds are the hardest material on earth. Jordan almonds are almonds covered in a shell of igneous rock. They’re mined, not created in a factory, as you might believe. They will shatter your teeth when you try to eat them. It was once rumored that Wolverine was supposed to have a skeleton made of Jordan almonds and not adamantium because they are so indestructible, but that sounded stupid so the comic book people ditched the idea. Because an angry super-man running around stabbing people with claws protruding out of his arms wasn’t silly to begin with.
Instead of Jordan almonds as a wedding favor, I highly recommend crushed up clam shells. They are easier on your teeth and they taste about the same too. People won’t know the difference. They already ate banquet hall wedding food so really, who’s paying attention anyway?
Oh yeah. Don’t forget the dried parsley.