Showered with Nourishment

Last Sunday, my Mother and Sister threw the perfect shower for this bride to be. From the gluten-free menu to the local ingredients (my Mom’s organic garden is 20 feet from the kitchen), I was moved to tears by the effort. So many of my aunts, future in-laws and friends came together for me. I felt magic.

Coming from a two teacher home, what I loved most is how everyone got a lesson in healthy food. There was no preaching about vitamins or portion control. That’s not my style.  But rather the point was made by experiencing delicious food and being satisfied from quality, not quantity. Carlos’ Mom and Aunt loved that they “felt full but their bellies didn’t show that” (a rough English-Portuguese translation but one every woman understands).

Some of the recipes from my shower are in the Recipe Renovation section. Many of you have asked for pictures; this post provides some highlights. Many thanks to Carlos’ sister Elika who snapped through out this champagne shower brunch.

Carlos, me, my Mom, Carlos’ Aunt Lidia, Natalina (my future mother-in-law) and my Dad after testing out the hibiscus champagne.

My gorgeous Mom preparing the quiche before our lovely guests arrive.

The hibiscus champagne. It contains real edible hibiscus flowers which helps prevent graying of the hair. One of my bridesmaids vowed to eat five of them. Despite not being a big drinker, I had two glasses to relax. It worked!

While it was raining at the beginning, by the time we were ready to eat, the sun shined like a gorgeous jewel ring. The burlap tablecloth got serious air time with the savvy designers of the group. Each silverware was wrapped with a fresh rosemary branch. My Mom thought of every detail. She’s incredible like that.

In the center of the tables, were the party favors: fresh dill, basil, parsley and mint. It was “choose your own flavor” to take home. And there was a little note with the health benefits:

When my 93-year old Grandma, who walked through the door with the same smile she used to greet me with everyday after school, I began to cry. The emotion surprised me. Last year at this time, she had a horrible fall. It was touch and go for awhile. When I said, “I’m so glad you could be here”, it had a different meaning. My Grandma’s been juicing since the early 1940s – a great reminder that when you make time for your health, you often get that time back to be with the people who love you.

Granted she got lucky with some good genetics too. But we all get lucky in life. I know I did with Carlos. My relationship with him provides a sense of comfort no food can match:

And there will be more contentment now that we have a molcajete. Avocados are a staple in our home. I use them in green smoothies, for instant guac and on top of salads. They are the perfect food and are especially cooling during summer. Another fun summer dessert: chocolate covered strawberries:

This gorgeous dessert tray was designed by my stylish and slim sister Julie. Move over cupcakes, apparently macaroons are the next trend in desserts. As usual, my family is ahead of their time. I’ll be posting the cardamom macaroon recipe shortly.

As you can see, I was surrounded by great food and loving company. I am humbled by the generosity of life.