A Sustainable Wedding (and the recipe for Maple Mint Tea)

17 Aug

There is something profoundly sensible about a sustainable wedding celebration. After all, the idea that this unit of two (or in this case, three!) is meant to be self-sustaining, sustain each other, create a balanced environment where each member thrives…well, the symbolism is fairly obvious.

So when my dear friend Hatti, my classmate in my first year of college at The New School for Social Research in NYC (yes, I was always this bloody liberal and lefty, those of you who are familiar with the institution) and the first vegetarian-by-choice I had ever met, and Chris Moratz, inventor and climber and ceramics wonder, decided to get married, a sustainable wedding was in the works. We’re talking no waste, totally local, even the music was self-generated. It was glorious.

Stone Church

They live with Hatti’s daughter, Emma, in Gardiner, NY, near New Paltz, where the climbing is outstanding and the local agriculture is strong.

The view from the churchyard

Chris is German, so while the couple had married in a civil ceremony last year, they didn’t do the church wedding and the celebration until later, something done by many cultures around the world. They spent this past year doing all the house projects that needed doing in order to host the party at home.

The Stone Church up in the mountains in Cragsmoor was the ceremony site (Leandro and I were so very pleased with ourselves – not only did we get there without help from the GPS – Cragsmoor’s zipcode couldn’t be found! What is this? Brigadoon? — but we actually got there on time!)

Emma and Leandro

Yes, they really rode miles and miles home!

The party followed, later in the afternoon, once the happy couple had bicycled their way home (in 90 degree heat, mind you….I suppose it is zero emissions, but sweet Jesus, I couldn’t sustain that!).

The Party set up

The yard was quilted in tables and chairs and the odd tent, with local flowers in jam jars on every one. Folks arrived, many bringing local beers and wines, or food they had made at home. The buffet table was a massive spread of chicken and sausage from Old Ford Farm, vegetable and egg dishes from local farms (Oh My God, the coleslaw from Evolutionary Organics in New Paltz – coleslaw? yes, coleslaw – I had to pile my plate with it a couple of times, I kid you not). I don’t have too many of my own photos, because I was in charge of getting pictures onto Hatti’s camera while they mingled!

Lemon Raspberry Wedding Cake by Jennifer Vehaba

The lemon raspberry wedding cake was made by the caterer, Jennifer Vehaba, with ingredients from Wild Hive Farm, Clinton Corners, and again, Old Ford Farm, and it was just gorgeous all around.

It seems that every other person in their families and among their friends is some sort of a musician, so the jams sprang up all over the yard…

A note on the waste stream…all the plates and glasses were real, there was just one bag of trash at the end (and there were something like 150 people eating and drinking all night!), there was a bin for recyclables and another for food waste that the chickens would dispatch with.

The tea kept well overnight outside in this container!

The one recipe I came away with was for the astonishingly refreshing maple mint tea that Hatti and Chris invented. I must have drunk a gallon of it on my own, so I got the recipe and here it is, first as Hatti told me and then slightly more formalized.

“When I make the maple mint tea; I dry the leaves from the garden and then I make tea with boiling water and let it cool and I put in about a cup of maple syrup per gallon.”

Maple Mint Tea (remember that inspiration for drinking sangría out of jam jars? This was it)

Maple Mint Tea (Hatti Langsford and Chris Moratz)

1 Gallon peppermint/mint tea

1 Cup maple syrup

When the tea has cooled, add maple syrup. Mix well. Serve chilled over ice, and garnish with mint leaves, if you are so inclined.

Hatti and Chris’ tea was still delicious the next day, after spending a very warm day and night outside in a beverage cooler, so it’s safe to say that a smaller household amount will keep in the fridge a day or two. If it lasts that long!


16 Responses to “A Sustainable Wedding (and the recipe for Maple Mint Tea)”

  1. Hatti Langsford August 23, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    I love this article-so well-written. I am thrilled that you found our little event blog-worthy. I’m only surprised you didn’t mention my reusable bamboo sporks as wedding favor! (I was pretty proud of that idea!) I have to say the most delightful part about the clean up was sorting silver with Leandro the next day…that boy has a gift for discernment! We look forward to seeing you soon!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 23, 2012 at 5:20 am #

      You are so right! I should have mentioned the sporks. I meant to! It was a beautiful wedding and we are so happy to have been able to share the day with you! xo

  2. Marianne Goralski August 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    This post reminds me exactly why I am friends with you…well done, as ever.

  3. Bluejellybeans August 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Qu maravilla! Obviamente fue una superfiesta y parece que lo pasasteis muy bien. Felicidades a la nueva pareja y gracias a tu amiga y a ti por la receta ;)Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2012 12:54:51 +0000 To: giovymena@msn.com

    • Bluejellybeans August 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      Lo siento Natalia. He intentado comentar directamente desde mi bandeja de email y mira el churro que me ha salido… primera y última vez!!

  4. Savory Simple August 18, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    What a lovely wedding and recipe!

  5. ceciliag August 18, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Wow i am so glad i popped in today! Sustainable wedding.. how completely brilliant. The last one wi went to made a truck load of rubbish i was appalled, and started my own bag of stuff to take home to the chooks and the cupboard! AND what cool drink. I just cut back my mint but i am sure it will pop back up and i can dry some leaves for this.. Tell hatti i am deeply impressed with the wedding.. c

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 18, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      I will certainly tell Hatti; it was a tour de force! Do try the tea; it was so wonderful – especially with local maple syrup!

  6. Joyce Grant August 17, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Yes it was-the best wedding I have ever been to reflecting my strong sustainable philosophy. Natalia I am honored to have met you and talked to you. Joyce, Proud Mother of the Bride

  7. Lorraine August 17, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    What a wonderful way to celebrate a wedding…..really special! and yes, the place
    does remind one of Brigadoon!!!!!

  8. Mad Dog August 17, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    That looks like a beautiful place and a bicycle made for two! Excellent 🙂

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