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I'M BACK! Daughter's Wedding - My 1st to cook for: Planning, Smoking, Q-View (HUGE success) - Page 6

post #101 of 119
congratulation_graphics_2.gif

I'm happy it all came together as good as it sounds, I bet it was even better!
It is Awesome you were able to do this for your daughter!!
post #102 of 119

Congratulations on a job well done!!

post #103 of 119
Way to go Eric! Awesome thing you did for your daughter. I'd cut out my kidney with a butter knife and smoke it for my little girl (19) if she asked me. Can't imagine the stress you endured doing this. I do Xmas day dinner every year at my house, for 30 plus peeps. I drive myself nuts wanting everything to be just right and the fear of not having enough food? Omg! Sleepless! Glad you made it thru, and congrats on the new son in law.
post #104 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T 59874 View Post

Congratulations to all, glad you survived.

 

Tom

 

Thanks Tom, yes. I did survive. I will say I had a few moments when things were looking bleak regarding electrical requirements, but I quickly realized that was the only real issue I had to work out...once that problem was solved I was on a roll...just had to keep a cool head. Stress level wasn't bad...well after getting all the hot foods cooking/reheating that is. Keeping myself busy while everyone else was doing their thing actually kept my stress down, I think.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Eric....... that's cool......    all turned out GREAT !!!!!   Congrats to the father of the bride...... and everyone else....     Dave

 

Thanks Dave! I'd do it again in a heartbeat...OK, hold that thought...I need about 6 months or so to make sure I have all of my faculties back in order, then, I'd do it again...LOL!!!

 

 

Eric

post #105 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by S2K9K View Post

congratulation_graphics_2.gif

I'm happy it all came together as good as it sounds, I bet it was even better!
It is Awesome you were able to do this for your daughter!!

 

Thanks Dave! If it weren't for the fact that I'm my own worst critic, I'd probably be break-dancing right now, but I have hinted to the family about what they thought of it all, even before we left to go home, and they said they heard of no complaints and all was good, so I have to keep that in mind, along with a few things I know I could have done better, but for a buffet set-up for an expected ~100 people, it's not a bad first run. I'll try to remember to pat myself on the back once in a while...biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodcutter View Post

Congratulations on a job well done!!

 

Thanks...it did have me sweating a few times at the reception venue, but it did all come together pretty well in the end. I knew the precooked meats would work for what I intended, as long as I did the final prep according to plan. I'm sure there will be many t5hings I learned from this that I will take with me if I do something like this again...great experience to see first-hand what it really takes to make it happen.

 


Food for thought:

For anyone considering using a caterer, do your homework and see what types of meals they are willing to do, and if possible, speak to some of their customers...if they are good at their job, they will be worth what you pay for their fees, as it is a lot of work and there is a lot going on once the meal service begins, as well as what you don't see behind the scenes. But before you consider a caterer, also consider what your food would be like in comparison, and would you rather have BBQ you made or something else. Some catering groups take pride in their food, some don't, so it's a risk you have to weigh. I've eaten catered meals and none of them impressed me...the food was not very good quality, either in terms of freshness or prep/cooking methods. Maybe there are few in my area who offer good meals compared to other areas...dunno. Anyway, check out your potential catering group before you sign the dotted line.

 

 

Eric

post #106 of 119
You better pat yourself on the back!!! You deserve it!! You did a lot of work and put your heart into every minute of it and for only one reason.....your daughters most special day!!!! I'm sure she is very happy and proud of you and for that you really deserve a big pat on the back!!!
Anyone can hire a caterer but not many are willing to put forth the effort to make a special day even more special the way you did!!!
post #107 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaCurtis View Post

Way to go Eric! Awesome thing you did for your daughter. I'd cut out my kidney with a butter knife and smoke it for my little girl (19) if she asked me. Can't imagine the stress you endured doing this. I do Xmas day dinner every year at my house, for 30 plus peeps. I drive myself nuts wanting everything to be just right and the fear of not having enough food? Omg! Sleepless! Glad you made it thru, and congrats on the new son in law.

 

Thanks Curtis! Yes, when you're planning a cook for larger groups it is more difficult to estimate accurately just how much of everything you will need, so playing it safe with extra is your best choice. It does relieve a lot of stress when you know you won't run out of food...that's got to be the worst feeling to have hanging on your shoulders, not knowing and being in suspense for days until after you've served your meal. Getting everything perfect...that would be nice, but is not always possible. I have found that if I cook meats that I have good results with and duplicate those methods, I will have the best I can offer on that particular day.Do what works well for you, then don't have to wonder if you might have made a bad decision in an attempt to make changes with something, unless of course when your rolling with the advice of a trusted source.

 

For all of these smoked meats I made for this event, I used the wet to dry smoke chamber...was that a brave move on my part? Depends on what you know about the method and what it is capable of. I have used it enough up to this point to have reasonable confidence that I would not get better results with any other methods I've used in the past, so, I rolled with it...and it has yet again not failed me.

 

Hmm, I must be tired, 'cuz I missed quoting you with the others! LOL!!! Time for some eyelid inspections..still playing catch-up here, I guess.

 

 

Later!

 

 

Eric

post #108 of 119

WOW,, Nicely Done!!  I have been out of town (and off the site) for a couple weeks, come back to see your final accomplishment. 

Like you said, most caterers will never add the love that you did and will just dish the food out... and they will never be nearly as self critical of the product they are putting out. Even on one of my best cooks, I still question myself and think of thing that I might change the next time, whilst everybody eating the stuff totally loves it.

Take some time to relish what you just pulled off, give yourself a BIG pat on the back!!  (77.gifnot too big a pat, wouldn't want to see ya break your arm 77.gif)

post #109 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by S2K9K View Post

You better pat yourself on the back!!! You deserve it!! You did a lot of work and put your heart into every minute of it and for only one reason.....your daughters most special day!!!! I'm sure she is very happy and proud of you and for that you really deserve a big pat on the back!!!
Anyone can hire a caterer but not many are willing to put forth the effort to make a special day even more special the way you did!!!

 

You know, you're 100% correct about hiring it out...costs more, which is not always easy for many to swing these days, and the time and work involved really does add up. I don't think I could have stayed in the game all the way to the end if were for someone other than family or close relatives...to do it for my oldest daughter's wedding was a real boost in the energy bank. It does remind me of our first annual family reunion back in 2010...lots of cooking for that event, but I enjoyed having the opportunity to share my skills with my extended family, and we all enjoyed the food...that was a potluck BBQ, so others were doing side items, etc, but the whole effort of everyone was combined into some fantastic meals.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound1 View Post

WOW,, Nicely Done!!  I have been out of town (and off the site) for a couple weeks, come back to see your final accomplishment. 

Like you said, most caterers will never add the love that you did and will just dish the food out... and they will never be nearly as self critical of the product they are putting out. Even on one of my best cooks, I still question myself and think of thing that I might change the next time, whilst everybody eating the stuff totally loves it.

Take some time to relish what you just pulled off, give yourself a BIG pat on the back!!  (77.gifnot too big a pat, wouldn't want to see ya break your arm 77.gif)

 

Thanks! I think when all the emotional aspects wear off (I'm still having those moments that only a father who has given his daughter's hand in marriage after 20 years of seeing her grow up and make her way into the this big world we live in and call home, will understand), I'll be able to settle down a bit more and realize just what I have accomplished...maybe a quick review of this thread from the start will put things back into perspective for me. It's almost as if everything just happened in the last week, or that the last couple of months was just a dream...but I started planning several months ago, then soon after came the initial bulk food and supplies purchases, and immediately after unloading all of this at home came meat smoking, cheese smoking, meat smoking, and, oh, did I forget that I did A LOT of smoking??? Ha-ha-ha!!! I'll come back around to reality again soon...I hope...LOL!!!

 

Thanks again, everyone...been a pleasure sharing smoke and good fun with everyone...I hope when this all shakes out that it helps someone learn even just a little bit of what I gained from this experience. I feel I have much more to add about what I learned from this, so a Wiki will definitely be in order...so much to do, so little time.

 

 

Eric

post #110 of 119

Whew!!!   Awesome Eric!!!   Congrats in so many ways!!!

 

As for learning from this thread???? I've been around awhile, and I still learn from every one of your posts, not just this one.

 

Thanks Again, Buddy!!

 

 

Bear

post #111 of 119

WOW... great job, and awsome post...first.gif

post #112 of 119

What a great Dad! Your daughter must be very proud of you doing all this great work.

 

Disco

post #113 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

Whew!!!   Awesome Eric!!!   Congrats in so many ways!!!

 

As for learning from this thread???? I've been around awhile, and I still learn from every one of your posts, not just this one.

 

Thanks Again, Buddy!!

 

 

Bear

 

Hey, Bear! Thanks! It's been a fun, enlightening and humbling ride to see this to the end. Nice to know I can pass on some of the experience through it all. We never stop learning, so even if it's just some little thing that tips the scales in our favor, it helps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunman76 View Post

WOW... great job, and awsome post...first.gif

 

Thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco View Post

What a great Dad! Your daughter must be very proud of you doing all this great work.

 

Disco

 

Thanks, yes, she has expressed her appreciation for my efforts from the beginning, and is to this day, as well.

 

There was mention of this again this afternoon while my newly wed was here for a short visit (lives here in town for now until she leaves for her masters degree studies). My youngest daughter accepted an engagement just in the last week...(oh no, another wedding!?!?!?...LOL!!!) She said something to her fiance (who was here also) to the effect that her wedding won't be quite as small as her sister's was, with possibly 200+ guests just from his side of the family. It didn't take me but just a fraction of a second to say that I needed at least 6 months to make sure I had my beans together and was fully recovered from this first round before I would commit to doing a second wedding reception dinner. She said no problem, you got a couple years before we'll be ready (she wants to finish her associates degrees first).. WHEEW, that was a close call, though!!! LOL!!!

 

So, I may in fact be carrying forward with what I learned from this first wedding reception dinner sooner than I thought, only on just a little bit larger scale...like double to triple what I planned for with this first round. Aaaah, I"m a sucker for a good challenge, though...I dare ya to dare me...LOL!!! Time will tell what the future has in store...in reality, I would likely need a cargo trailer for all of my gear and food instead of loading it all into a large SUV, more/larger smokers, more/larger freezers, more coolers (not larger, though, a fully loaded 150qt is freekin' heavy enough!!!!), more food service equipment, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

 

Uh, this is beginning to sound like an expanding caterer...oh no!!! Well, we do have annual family reunions, so it's not like I wouldn't use any of it after it's debut event...we'll see what happens. I humbly view it as just another path which my passion for cooking and my love for my family and sharing food with them may lead me down. Will I accept the challenge and take that path? We'll just have to wait and see, because it's early in the game and I'm undecided at this point...but then, thinking back on how well this first run came together, what I learned from it, and most importantly, how everyone enjoyed the meal and appreciated what went into it, I can't just say no without very serious consideration...that just wouldn't be right, would it? I may just start gearing up for the 2014 reunion and that would put me closer to what I need for the next wedding...hmm...OK, wheels are turning now...time to start looking for a future cargo trailer...hey, did I just get sucked into another wedding here?   icon_eek.gif   I have the skills to plan it and cook for it...that's a given...time to just let this all soak in for now...I just don't want to let things get too fast-paced...(remembering: "what a guy won't do for a great smoke").

 

Time for eyelid inspections now, and, months of pondering...later all!

 

 

Eric

post #114 of 119

Congratulations and excellent post, gonna have to go over it again.

 

 

Just realize that what you put into an event like this will be directly reflected by what you get out of it, and I'm not speaking in terms of money, time and sweat...it's what comes from the heart. Give it everything you've got and you will not be disappointed in the outcome.

 

Dude, speaking from experience, I couldn't agree more!

post #115 of 119
Nicely done E! I am sure that your daughter and her new husband will cherish the memory of all you did for the rest of their lives. Secondly, your SMF family will be able to learn from this brilliant post for years to come. I know I have it bookmarked, nice job brother!
post #116 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SQWIB View Post

Congratulations and excellent post, gonna have to go over it again.

 

 

Just realize that what you put into an event like this will be directly reflected by what you get out of it, and I'm not speaking in terms of money, time and sweat...it's what comes from the heart. Give it everything you've got and you will not be disappointed in the outcome.

 

Dude, speaking from experience, I couldn't agree more!

 

Thanks, brother! Yeah, that line seemed to be a perfect fit for my experiences throughout all of this...just when I'd think things were turning a bit sour or going sideways on me, even with the crowded smoker at times, it would all come out fine at the end of the day...probably because I just wouldn't give up. And at the end of every day of smoking meats, I could breathe a sigh of relief and know I did the best I knew how, and my best was good enough to meet my expectations. The night before and the day of the wedding was no different, and when we left for the motel, I was still wondering about a few things, but knew I did my best, and slept like a rock that night, with no regrets. I really can't ask for anything more...when it's all said and done, it doesn't get any better.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby Bryant View Post

Nicely done E! I am sure that your daughter and her new husband will cherish the memory of all you did for the rest of their lives. Secondly, your SMF family will be able to learn from this brilliant post for years to come. I know I have it bookmarked, nice job brother!

 

Thanks Toby, I'm sure they will not forget their day, or all of the things we did together as a family to make it happen. My end of it was probably easy compared to what everyone else did for this event, especially the bride...she planned almost everything herself, except for the meal. My part was easy?!?!? Well, OK, walking your daughter down the isle and giving her hand in marriage after spending 12-15 hours with about 4 hours of sleep somewhere between, getting everything set-up for the meal, then seeing to it that the buffet line did it's part at the reception dinner...uh, maybe not easy, but it wasn't as difficult to handle as I thought it would be. To realize that everything went so well after everyone had finished eating didn't really happen for me...there was quite a delay...like, maybe the next day, before it even started sinking in, but at least I did see it through to the end and I feel really good about that. It still makes me sit and think about the whole project from the very beginning now...lots of time and work involved, but I wouldn't have it any other way than to able to put together a custom dinner like this, with all the personal touches, like the pulled chicken which is her favorite of anything I've smoked...OK, I have to scratch that...her favorite is my smoked/dried chicken salami, but for BBQ/hot smoked, it would have to be smoked & pulled chicken.

 

It just would not have been the same to have the meal catered. I guess it's a mutual feeling of my daughter having me around do all of this for her and her husband, as well as me being willing and able, and to see the outcome for my efforts...it's turning into quite a buzz, like no drug can give you....all of us have a lot to be thankful for.

 

As for sharing the experience with everyone here at SMF, that's the intent...to pass on what I learned from this, as well as whatever tips and methods I shared during the smokes leading up to the reception dinner, and any issues I dealt with at the venue prior to the meal being served. Hope it gives others some insight on things to watch for...I hope to have a more accurate account of things in a month or so for a Wiki article...that would be much easier to follow.

 

Take care, and many great smokes to all!

 

 

Eric

post #117 of 119
I know I'm a little late...but this was an incredible thread to read...you are my hero haha...my daughter is a year old and I think I would have to start smoking tomorrow to get this done by her wedding day. Really impressive...I am a rookie smoker and this thread makes me want to clear out every supermarket and butcher shop in town, take a few week off from work and just smoke until I can't take it anymore! Really learned a lot from reading this...congrats!
post #118 of 119

You did fantastic! Congrats all the way around!

post #119 of 119

Eric, thank you for putting as much effort into this thread as you did on the wedding. I'm doing the food for my daughters wedding also, I only wish I would have found this thread a little earlier. you've convinced me to smoke ahead of time and reheat at the venue. You've been an inspiration as well as a wealth of knowledge, I commend you.

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