This past weekend, I made refreshments for a wedding reception held after a couple’s blessing ceremony in a Brooklyn¬†community garden. The bride and groom, a visual artist and a journalist, respectively, love to garden. So much so, in fact, that they had worked tireless over the last year building this particular community garden: constructing garden beds, sowing seeds and weeding weeds. This garden was where they wanted their friends to join in blessing their union. When the minister spoke, she talked about all that is required to grow a garden: sunlight, soil, oxygen…but also other plants. “As some may know,” she continued, “there are such things as companion plants. For example, beans like to grow next to corn. The corn provides a natural pole for the bean vines to climb. The beans give out nitrogen through their roots and improve the soil for the corn. The bride and the groom,” said the minister, “are like the corn and the beans. They are companion plants.”
After the blessing ceremony, everyone made their way to the other side of the garden for refreshments. The 300 Madeleines I had made sat pretty on big platters, and the homemade lemonade and iced tea (for do-it-yourself Arnold Palmers) were chilling in their glass dispensers. When I envisioned this event months, I decided I wanted to make something that was fuss-free and fun. Since cake requires a plate and a fork, I suggested Madeleines. This French, petit-style cake seemed is a delightful alternative the ubiquitous cupcake.
The three flavors on offer were Earl Grey, Savory Parmesan Sage, and Lemon Lavender. The last flavor went over the best. Lemon is tart and bold; Lavender is aromatic and subtle. In short, they are “culinary companions.”