With prices for commodities like butter, sugar and flour steadily rising, a picture-perfect castle of wedding cake can carry a steep price tag, especially when made with organic and local ingredients. If you still lust for a traditional tower, look to a local bakery with lots of experience working with organic flour and sugar, like Lotus Cake Studio (lotuscakestudio.com). Though they don’t make organic cakes, Night Kitchen Bakery (nightkitchenbakery.com) practices sustainability with a comprehensive recycling program, composting of food scraps and rain harvesting. Ask your baker for local fruits, herbs and flowers, and Fair Trade chocolate and nuts for garnishes as nice to eat as to admire; or just chuck it all and order up an array of seasonal fruit pies or a cool ice cream bar from your local favorite.
They say practice makes perfect, so a quick run-through of the show before the big day is a must. Make sure everyone knows their lines and places, but don’t spend a fortune on a restaurant dinner. Instead, ask a friend with a sweet place to host your rehearsal dinner as their wedding gift, and ask attendees to bring a dish that is special to them, as well as an index card with the recipe for their dish. It’s low-stress, low-cost, and will fill your first recipe box as a couple with the makings of cherished foods from your favorite people.
Anna Bario and Page Neal are in the business of turning sparkly daydreams into reality, with lessened impact on people and planet. From their Bario-Neal studio/shop in Queen Village, they handcraft fine jewelry from conflict-free gems and reclaimed precious metals, both from their own designs and custom orders.
With so much excellent grub being produced all around our city, building your wedding menu with seasonal foods has never been easier—or more delicious. Jennifer McCafferty holds sustainability as the core value of JPM Catering, based out of a Manayunk kitchen and serving the city and Main Line.
“How can we all coexist on these very skinny streets?” asks Rina Cutler, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for transportation and utilities. “We don’t have room to add more, so we have to make better use of the streets. For me, it’s less about biking, [and more about] creating complete streets and giving people choices.”
Beer is often called liquid bread, a nod to both grainy origins and covert calorie content. At Betty’s Speakeasy, owner Liz Begosh and pastry chef Adriane Appleby reverse the process, transforming locally brewed liquids into covetable cakes and fudge. “We don’t like to make overly sweet sweets,” says Begosh, a former pro cyclist-turned-pastry queen. “The bitterness in beer balances honey, cane sugar and molasses.”
At the most fundamental level, food is inseparable from farmers. The richness of our seemingly boundless land beckoned settlers across the continent to build the homesteads, farms and ranches that became the cradle of the first American Dream, literally feeding the growth of a young nation. In 1935, the number of farms in America peaked at 6.8 million, just as the population topped 127 million citizens.
Resembling a pot of creamy, green-flecked pebbles, the addictive herbed farmer’s cheese made by Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm materializes unpredictably enough to make its every farmers market appearance memorable. Sweet, milky and deliciously versatile, farmer’s cheese is just a bottle of milk and a squeeze of lemon away when you can’t get your Birchrun Hills fix.
San Francisco has never been short on culture—counter or otherwise—but it was the ice cream scene that inspired local musician Pete Angevine while visiting the West Coast last summer.