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Feasting on special wedding moments
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When we hear the phrase “tis the season” we usually think of Christmas. But if you are in the wedding business, you think of May and June, the two most popular months to get married in the South.

That may be because of two things: the weather and football season.

First of all, the stifling heat and humidity in our region will wilt any bride. Therefore, the more moderate months become more attractive.

Second, it is a proven fact that Southern brides choose their wedding date based on college football schedules. You know it’s true. I’m pretty sure it’s an unwritten rule in some families that they not consider any major life event on a Saturday in the fall.

We knew better than to even attempt that in our family.

So since we are deep in the middle of the season, I thought it would be fun to discuss some favorite wedding memories.

While we all would agree one of the best moments is when the groom sees his bride for the first time, my favorite is when Dad sees his baby girl for the first time.

I’ll just tell you, most dads are emotional messes when it comes to seeing their daughter as a bride, including my husband. When our daughter, Emily, got married the only thing Darrell requested was our pastor not ask the traditional question about who gives the bride away. He plainly said he was not giving her away and she would still be his little girl even if she was a wife. So we gladly obliged his request and instead we said a family prayer at that point in the service. It was very special for our family and Darrell got to keep his girl.

Other favorite moments are those including family, especially grandparents. Southern couples love to include their mother’s or grandmother’s dresses, veils, handkerchiefs, rings or their grandfather’s watches or cuff links. Passing down special items creates a great legacy of love through the generations.

It’s very special when the father of the groom is the best man. Seeing those two stand shoulder to shoulder is a great testament of support and love. Darrell chose his dad, Johnnie, to be his best man and it created a moment I will never forget. As we were taking the traditional photos, the photographer asked if Johnnie would stand next to me. As he got to his spot, he leaned in and said, “there’s something you should know. I will always stand by you.” And he did.

Tears fill my eyes now just thinking about that moment.

A wedding is a wonderful time filled with love, vows, dancing and, of course, good food. I had a hard time trying to narrow down the possibilities when it came to a recipe to go along with the wedding season. There are just so many good ones. However, this recipe for stuffed mushrooms, shared by a dear friend, always meets with rave reviews at any event it’s served.

Cindy’s stuffed mushrooms

  • 2 large packages fresh mushrooms
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 slice thick Virginia baked ham, diced
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Seasoning salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Mexican-blend shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove stems from mushrooms. Wash and pat dry.

Mix together cream cheese, ham, salt, pepper, seasoning salt and Parmesan cheese. Stuff ingredients into mushrooms.

Put mushrooms into a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake 10 more minutes.

Serve.

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at crevolyn.wiley@jandjfoods.com.

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