Monday, April 30, 2018

White Tulle, Pale Yellow Linen, and Beŕnerd's Creation

The activity at Ivy Lane was akin to a hive of bees. By the time Mike and Bunny arrived everything was in place. Bunny was truly amazed at what she and Mike found. The first thing they came to as they walked around the house was a lovely trellis that provided a gateway to the front lawn. Lavenia had decorated it with green ivy, fragrant yellow jasmine, and small light green hydrangea blooms.

Walking onto the front lawn they saw there were lights strung throughout each of the huge old oaks ready to cast a romantic glow after dusk. Scattered across the lawn were round tables, covered with pale yellow linen cloths, surrounded by chairs for the guests. Several food stations were positioned under various oaks trees serving everything from Bar-B-Que to chilled peel and eat shrimp to steam ship round to an array of fresh fruit and vegetables with various dips.

A full bar was set up at one end of the front porch. Ike and an additional bartender were preparing to serve the guests a wide variety of their favorite libations. At the other end of the porch, a band was setting up to entertain the guests. A wooden floor had been placed on the lawn in front of the porch for anyone who wanted to dance.

There was white tulle draped from the railing across the front porch secured with wide white ribbons. The serving stations also had tulle draped around them. Candelabras provided light on all the serving tables with dozens of votives on each dining table.

Lavenia had beautiful arrangements in 2 foot glass vases on each of the serving tables as well as low arrangements of white and deep yellow roses on each table where guests would be sitting. The scene was just perfect.

Bunny went to find Lavenia to thank her for her wonderful work. It was then that she saw the pes de la resistance. Sitting on a round table by itself was a wedding cake, the likes of which Bunny had never seen.  It was 5 tiers of cream, the pale palest pink, and gold fondant icing, rising about 4 feet above the tall cake stand it sat on. Each layer was decorated in a different color and elaborate design. There were 2 very large peonies, also made of fondant icing, on the top and side of the impressive patisserie. 

As Bunny stood there trying to take in this work of art, Lue Ellen walked up. "What do you think?"

"Oh, Lue Ellen, it's incredible. I had no idea this was what you were going to make. We only expected a 'regular' wedding cake.

Lue Ellen laughed, "I only wish I could take credit. I didn't make that."

"Who did?"

"That, my dear, is one of La Petit Maison de Délice famous wedding cakes. Beŕnerd himself made it. In fact he personally delivered it, of course with 3 other assistants, to set it up correctly according to his standards."


"No, Beŕnerd, from New Orleans."

"Oh," said Bunny, yet to take her eyes off the cake. "I've never heard of him."

"Well, let's just say you are looking at, most likely, a $5000 pastry creation."

"Is that real gold?"

Lue Ellen laughed, "Could be. Seriously Beŕnerd is an internationally known pastry chef whose specialty is wedding cakes."

"So I see, but how did it get here. Did you order it? or Kathleen? I know I didn't."

"Well, that's the thing, Dixie ordered it."

"Dixie, I thought she was not even aware of this reception until today."

"She wasn't. This was the cake she ordered as soon as Kathleen got engaged. This was for the grand wedding Dixie had planned."

"So she brought it?"

"No, not hardly. When Harrell learned that Kathleen and Jeb were having their reception here, he called Beŕnerd and told him the cake needed to be delivered here."

"Wow!" Then Bunny turned to look at Lou Ellen. "But you were going to make the cake."

"Harrell called me to tell me what was going on, so I did not make a second one."

"Oh, Lou Ellen, I'm sorry. Everyone was so looking forward to your cake."

"Well, I took the liberty of making a few cupcakes."

"Oh, bless you." Bunny thought, then commented, "Only a few?"

Lou Ellen blushed, "Well, 5 dozen."

"Thank you," Bunny said as she gave Lue Ellen a big hug.

Bunny excused herself and went in the house. It finally hit her, she was tired. Even though she only had 30 minutes or so before guests would arrive, she just wanted 10 minutes to sit and rest. She had just  kicked off her shoes and settled on the sofa in the living room when Bootsy came running into the room and jumped into her lap.

"Hey girl, you want believe what happened today." Bunny proceeded to explain to her toy poodle all about Mike's proposal and then the wedding, including a description of her wedding dress, meeting Pops, Mike's background that she knew nothing about, and everything else she could think of. "And, now we are going to have a big party right here." She stroked Bootsy's head. "I'll tell you all about it tonight."

Several minutes later, Bunny realized she needed to get up. She had no business in the house. No doubt there was some detail she needed to handled outside. Slipping on her shoes, she carefully put Bootsy on the floor. "I'll be back. Actually, we'll be back. Mike is going to live with us now. That's exciting, isn't it."

Bunny may have thought all those details mattered to Bootsy. Actually all the pup cared about was that there was something going on outside and she was going to have stay in the house. As Bunny walked toward the door Bootsy started whining. 

"Oh, Bootsy, you can't go. I'm sorry." But the pup continued whining. Bunny gave in. "OK, OK. But you need to be dressed up." Bunny went to the kitchen and pulled open a drawer. She pulled out a wide yellow ribbon. "Here we go. This is just what you need."

Bunny tied the ribbon around Bootsy's neck in a wide bow. When she was satisfied with the look, she walked out of the front door with Bootsy just a foot or so behind her. Ike spoke to Bootsy as they stepped on the porch. "Well, well, Miss Bootsy, you sure are dressed up."

Bunny laughed and made her way down the steps of the porch and around the lawn making last minute checks on everything, with Bootsy following her. Almost everyone acknowledged Bootsy and complimented her yellow bow. When Bunny got to the table with the vegetables on it, the young man serving, unlike every other server, was not wearing a chef's hat. The chief server, who was stationed with the steam ship round, was very upset. Bunny stepped in and assured the chief server that she thought it was OK.

That issue was just resolved when she heard Lue Ellen scream, "Help! Bunny! I need you over here."

Bunny could tell the sound was coming from the area by the wedding cake but she could not see Lue Ellen. She quickly made her way across the lawn. Thank goodness her mother had selected flats for her outfit, stilettos she would no doubt other wise be wearing, would have her stuck in the thick lawn. She reached the cake to find Lue Ellen crouched behind the table. 

"I don't know what to do."

"Are you hurt?" asked Bunny.

"No, but . . ." Lou Ellen turned around and revealed Bootsy, yellow bow and all - with her face covered in icing.

"What the hell?" Bunny looked up at the cake. A good part of the back of the bottom layer was missing. "How did she do that?"

"How doesn't matter how!"

"Well at least it is on the back."

"You take Bootsy and I'll cut the back off of the cake."

"Someone will see it, won't they?"

"I'll put something behind it."

"OK," Bunny picked up Bootsy, holding her arms length away to keep any of the icing that covered the pup's face from getting on her pink linen dress. As she made her way across the lawn, she hoped no one would see her. She was about to the front steps when she heard Kathleen call her name.

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