Side stories, Side dishes, iPods, and “I Love You More Than Ever”

Often times I will read a book and really be into it.  I can be following the story and the characters…even at times relating to them.  Then all of a sudden, there will be a “side” story.  One that is related but, at the same time, a little askew (sorry, I just like that word), somewhat unrelated, or one that could almost stand on its own.  It happens in many classic books.  In Victor Hugo’s, Hunchback of Notre Dame, you have the relationship between the military officer and the well-to do young girl; the relationship between the bishop and the hunchback; the gypsy thing going on; and so on.  But it all comes together in the end.

I Love You More Than Ever

You Taught Me How To Love

And to show that this is not just a style of the time of Hugo, look at a movie such as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. I mean, come on, is it possible to have any more side stories going on in a single movie? (well, yeah, actually it is…look at most of his movies..but you get my point)  The relationship with Travolta and Uma Thurman; Bruce Willis as the boxer; Samuel L Jackson and the Cheese Royale; Harvey Keitel as “the cleaner”, and no matter how you try you can not get “the gimp” out of your mind…and on and on.

My Thoughts Of You Never Rest

I’d Sacrifice The World For You

There always seems to be these interesting characters, with story lines, that are not always the “main” story, almost a supporting story that seems to help pull the whole thing together.  During the book or movie, you may be wondering, “How in the hell is this going to make sense?”  Or, “Where in the world is this going?”  At times it even seems like the side story might get in the way of the message, or the big picture.

Happiness To Me Is You

If There Is Eternity, I Will Love You There Again

Well in Sedona at Yvonne and Blake’s wedding, there were a whole mess of side stories.  Some funny.  Maybe at the time.  Some not funny…not even at the time.  Some, well, let’s just say that in many years from now, one of us who was there in Sedona, will say to another one of us…Hey, remember when(fill in the blank)…and laughter will follow, and perhaps even tears.  One of those side stories encompasses music…as does many things in our family’s life.  Blake had taken great pains to make sure everything was well planed and organized.  He did a great job…and the music for the wedding ceremony was no exception.  He researched options, got recommendations, spoke to potential musicians and even received a sample CD to hear what the musicians sounded like.  Finally, and with Blake it is always FINALLY (he doesn’t always do well with making a decision), he and Yvonne decided upon a guitarist who played beautiful music, perfect for a wedding ceremony.

You Teach My Eyes To See

Being Next To You Is A Natural Thing For Me

Late in the afternoon of the wedding, about 45 minutes before the ceremony was to begin, Blake panicked.  He came to me and said,”where is the guitarist?  He should have been here by now.”  Having come out of a coma from making sure all of the meal was in the right stage of preparedness, I said what any father of the groom to be would say…”Uh?  I don’t know.”  Well, after my words from the ages, Blake called the guitarist (wish I had thought of that) only to find out that he was stuck in traffic 45 minutes away.  So, Blake told him there was no problem, we will be okay.  (Please understand that the photographer and minister were both there and very understanding.  But Mother Nature was not quite as patient.  The location outside of the house provided a beautiful clearing for the wedding ceremony, and a breath-taking background for the wedding pictures.  But it was getting late in the day, and the sunset was not waiting for the guitarist and his traffic problem…it was like the Titanic…going down pretty quickly.  Much longer and the sunset would be gone.)  Then “the” call came from the guitarist saying no way he could be there in less than another hour!  Too late.  So “we” did what any calm, collected 21st century family would do in this emergency.  We pulled out the iPods!!  And collectively made sure we all had the music that Yvonne and Blake had picked out on the iPods, or at least something that would qualify as “wedding-appropriate”.  (No Johnny Cash, Stevie Ray Vaughan,  David Allan Coe, Bruce Springsteen or Nelly was even considered   “I think it’s hot in here…”)  Once downloaded to a single playlist, and placed in order, we needed to make sure that the docking station we brought with us worked okay.  And while there was a little concern about how it would turn out, Tyler did a wonderful job of taking his cues from Blake and Drew (the best man) acting as the wedding ceremony DJ, although a couple of times the iPod’s connection needed to be adjusted.  Besides that, it was beautiful.  Bob Dylan never sounded so sincere and his words had never struck me the way they did as his “The Wedding Song” played.  (The words in italics and bold type interspersed throughout this entry are words from this song.  If you think they are beautiful as they stand by themselves against this blank page, imagine their beauty as they were sung against the Sedona sunset during your child’s wedding.)

So just like movies such as Pulp Fiction, and books such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the side stories from Yvonne and Blake’s wedding made the main story all the more meaningful.  (Okay, maybe the book and movie examples weren’t the best choices, but you got the picture)  And another “side story” were the side dishes for the meal…see how I did that!

These side dishes were more creative and actually, dare I say, more flavorful than the main entre…and that was not an easy task.  They can, and have been used, for almost any occasion, holiday, celebration, or for just something fun and lively on a Sunday in July.  I present to the Academy for consideration for the best supporting side stories, or dishes…


3 tbsp of canola oil                1 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped    1 poblano chile roasted, seeded and peeled

1 Serrano chile, roasted, seeded and peeled  (note: Serrano chiles have a lot of heat, be careful handling)

1 red bell pepper roasted, seeded and peeled    2 tbsp unsalted butter

2-3 cups corn kernels ( I usually saute slightly, browning in a pan of just a little olive oil)

2 tblsp crème fraiche                        Juice of 1 lime

2 tsp finely chopped cilantro         Kosher salt and pepper

¼ cup cotija cheese (1 ounce)

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and Serrano chile, cook for 1 minute.  Stir in Poblano, Red pepper and corn, cook for 8-10 minutes.

2. Stir in the butter, crème fraiche, lime juice and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with cotija cheese sprinkled on top.


2 cups heavy cream                                       1 tblsp chipotle chile puree (see recipe)

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Thinly sliced green onions, white and green tops, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375  2. Whisk together the cream and the chipotle puree.  3. In a 10-inch square baking dish with 2 inch sides, arrange an even layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish, drizzle with 3 tbsp of the cream mixture, season with salt and pepper and repeat.  Press down on the mixture to completely submerge the potatoes.  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for 30 – 40 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and top is browned.  5. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with green onions.

Chile Puree

Place dried chiles in a bowl, pour boiling water on top, and let soak for about 30 minutes or so, until soft.  Remove the chiles from the water and remove the stem and seeds, reserving the water.  To puree, place the chiles in a food processor with a little of the soaking liquid and process until smooth (I add a bit of honey to sweeten).  To make chipotle chile puree, empty a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce into a food processor and process until smooth.

And so, as Bob Dylan sings in The Wedding Song…

I Was Born To Be With You

I Could Never Let You Go

So, cue the music, set the table, pour a glass of wine, enjoy the “sides” that life sends your way and enjoy one another.  Here’s to us!!

Published in: on July 22, 2010 at 1:26 am  Leave a Comment  

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