English Wedding: What’s inside?

The other day our friend got married. As it happens, my charming Mr  J was appointed as the usher and self-proclaimed wedding chauffeur, so I was due to witness a true English wedding from the very beginning till the very end. It was one very, very long, but eventful day.

The actual ceremony took place in a church, which lasted about an hour. During the service people sing songs, then some relatives read some poems and psalms and finally it’s all over you have a newly wed couple. I do find these ceremonies rather tedious and a little bit too long, but I guess it’s the tradition and everyone pretends they enjoy it very much.

Once the boring part was over, we all went to wedding venue, which was in a beautiful local pub/restaurant with a sea view. Everyone likes small details at the wedding, hence dressed tables at the wedding is always something worth noting. The main colours were orange and turquoise blue, it turned out to be a very good combination indeed.

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Part of the tradition is for the newly weds to give a small present to their guests. We got some carrot cake, which looked like a popsicle and we got to be children for a few minutes, as we were given these rolls of paper and crayons. Hm, what could it be?

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Inside was the caricature of our newly weds! So every single person in the room took crayons and let their imagination go wild! We entered into a little competition with Mr J who is more creative with our choice of colours, and even though I tend to think that I won, regardless of the objectivity, it might be the case that this time it wasn’t on me due to lack of originality. The result (mine is on the left):

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The most exciting part of the wedding is, obviously, the dressing up part. I snapped my dress from a swapping app, which I am the biggest fan of. Mr J was dressed up in the usher suit, which was way too cute.

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My main accent though, surprisingly enough, was concentrated on food. I documented meticulously all the meals that we have been offered as I was dying to spread the news around: what  food can you expect at a typical English wedding?

Starter consisted of some white bread toasts, pate and a tiny bit of salad with some dressing.

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In the healthy world of Maria-Luisa the starter components are translated into simple English, i.e. a pile of refined carbohydrates, that has little to none nutritional value to our bodies, and due to poor quality of pate, it basically tasted like good old saturated fat with some salt, tiny bit of mushrooms and very, very little liver (which is good, but liver did not make much presence in this dish). Salad idea was noted, but it was all soaked in dressing which was pure vinegar and salt, so we had to give it a miss.

The main was chicken stuffed with spinach, sauted potatoes and a tiny bit of red peppers sauce. Before I got disappointed due to obvious lack of nutritional vegetables, a plate of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots has arrived to my table and it was not all lost.

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I have to say something about the potatoes. White potato is not the best food out there, contrary to English absolute obsession with this root vegetable. The reason why it’s not the best, because it has little fibre in it (100 g of potatoes has just 3.8g of fibre vs 50.5g of carbs, the good ratio is 1:10), yet quite a bit of carbs. I do find that people in England eat potatoes as if they are going out of style and there will never be tomorrow.That said, I understand that you cannot say “No!” to potatoes, because it is ubiquitous and it can be quite tasty, provided it is cooked properly and with adequate addition of oil and spices. However, the key point that you need to remember from this – potatoes has to be cooked properly to be considered as food worth eating.

A recent study suggested that the increase amount of potatoes (alongside other things) is linked with the weight gain.

I do have some questions about the study, because sweetened beverages is number one reason of weight gain, but I will talk about it at length later. But the key points is this – potatoes that you are being served everywhere around you are very different from the ones that can be considered healthy in my kitchen. All of them are made with ridiculous amount of added oil/butter, salt and sugar (sugar works perfectly as a taste intensified, alongside with fat and salt). Since you have no control of how much butter/oil had been added and what kind of oil (rest assured, it will not be high quality olive oil) had been used, I strongly suggest not to eat it.

I had a tiny bite of my potatoes and all I tasted was butter and oil, potatoes had been clearly overcooked and there were in a big pan of some cheap and nasty fatty liquid. As a result, Mr J’s potatoes were confiscated 50% and left on my plate untouched, because you do have to keep an eye on Englishman who has been served potatoes, they just can’t stop. You can see the grease on potatoes, and this is just a little bit gross.

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Finally, the dessert arrived. It was some sort of a chocolate soufflé with some sponge layers.

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As a good girl, I obviously tasted it. Just one bit and the dessert was over for me. For a start, it was way too sweet. I have stopped eating commercial cakes and sweets for quite some time now and my taste buds find the amount of added sugar in all this good just out of control. It’s sickening sweet. All you can taste is sugar, there is no chocolate flavour. Sugar is our main enemy in the 21st century and my plan is to not to stuff my face with the substance that is slowly killing us.

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I understand that the absolute majority of people will think that I am insane if I volunteer to reject a big slice of a chocolate cake, but I just make a well informed choice. Nothing more than that. I do like feeling good and light after all my meals and you will never get that feeling if you continue stuffing your stomach with junk.

There was also a wedding cake, but the wedding quite quickly escalated to just an enormous fun and dancing, so we never get a chance to taste it. Having said that, I have no regret, because the absolute majority of wedding cakes are just gross. Sponge cake with some buttery layer overloaded with sugar? I don’t think so. But it was absolutely beautifully decorated.

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All in all, weddings are lovely. It is a celebration of something beautiful and a fantastic event to make you feel alive. It is, however, also a great reason to think of what is important in your life and whether you are making all the right choices. We spend 237 hours a year eating and after you eat, it takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. Food then enters your large intestine (colon) for further digestion, absorption of water and, finally, elimination of undigested food. The food you eat spends a lot of time in you, so you might as well just get it right in the first place.

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