We’d been told of the kernel of delight that hides inside the otherwise stressful catering experience: the food tastings. Go to as many as you can, they say. It’s free, it’s good, and they’ll grovel to get your approval. We didn’t actually have that many caterers to choose from—the Park District dictates a short list, and some were too expensive and others too flaky—but we enjoyed what we did go to. The appeal of free food is a strong one for me, but I’d feel pretty guilty eating a company’s food if I knew all along I had no interest in their services.
The latest catering event was yesterday. My plans for that day included waking up in Austin, flying home, stopping off at home for a half-hour, then heading out again to meet up with Sarah and her parents for the tasting. This all worked out okay, except I had spent the last five days consumed in geek culture, thinking nothing about the wedding, and it took me about a half-hour of sitting at the table before I was able to plug back into wedding planning mode and remember what points are usually discussed at these kinds of things. Plus, it was the first time I was seeing Sarah in almost a week, making it pretty difficult to concentrate on the food and the conversation when all I wanted to do was catch up with her.
As for the caterer, we were all pleased with what we saw (and smelled and tasted). This was the fourth catering meeting, and probably the last. As with any endeavor, we’re becoming more adept at recognizing quality as the time goes on. After several months of planning, we know what we want, and who can offer it. Which is good, because we’ve got plenty of other decisions to make. If only dress and tuxedo manufacturers gave out free samples as well.