PECAN WEDDING COOKIES

We got married on Thursday, July 2nd, six days after the Supreme Court of the United States “It is so ordered” that we could.  Standing in our friend Mike’s judge’s chambers, with my mom and Shiv as witnesses, we said the vows we had written just a few nights before, exchanged rings, alternately beaming and fighting back tears. It took all of ten minutes and it was perfect.

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We had come downtown a few days before, on Monday, to get our marriage license, not knowing at all how that would go. Mike had told us that he could issue a waiver for the 72-hour waiting period, if necessary. Jill made me put two hours’ worth of change in the parking meter. We walked into the building, went to the wrong office at first, giggled in the elevator, made it to the right place, and walked right in—there was no line. A clerk called us over, asked for our IDs & our money, and before we knew it, we were raising our right hands and swearing that all of the information on our marriage license was correct.  Bizarrely, wonderfully, shockingly easy.

As Jill so rightly said later, when you’ve been leaning into the wind your whole life, prepared to meet resistance, prepared to fight, that posture becomes invisible to you—until it’s no longer necessary anymore. We went to get a marriage license, and it was no big deal. Which makes it a huge deal.

Nothing is different and yet everything has changed. The first couple of nights following the SCOTUS decision, Jill & I kept getting goofily excited about the things we would now have access to: “You can collect my Social Security!” “We can file taxes jointly!” “I can have a FLEX account now, too!” Things that come automatically with a marriage license. Things we couldn’t have before.  Things that a lot of people take for granted.

People have asked, “Does it feel different?” and it doesn’t, really. It feels fun, and I grin like a nut whenever I see the ring on Jill’s finger, which matches the ring on my finger.  It feels like a relief and a wonder, that it all actually happened and wasn’t just a dream. But, you know, there’s still laundry to do and a VERY energetic toddler to parent, so perhaps what it feels like is a renewing of the commitment we have had all along, now with some pretty swell rights and a really fancy piece of paper.  The most humbling and wonderful piece of it all is the fact that so many people are so happy for us—genuinely, enthusiastically happy—in a way that’s made the past week feel like a celebration not only of a marriage, but of everything we’ve been gifted by grace.

legally wed!

PECAN WEDDING COOKIES
Recipe via Saveur

I couldn’t resist putting together thank you notes + gift bags for the dozen friends who rearranged their lives to meet us out for dinner after our ceremony, plus Mike, who made it all possible (and took beautiful photos, including the one you see here), and Michael, the executive chef who accommodated our party on such short notice.

These cookies, a taste memory from growing up in the South, were the homemade component; I rounded out the bag with “Eat, Drink, & Be Married” wine stoppers & bottle openers, Lake Champlain chocolate squares (so good), and Shiv-friendly kazoos, mini bottles of bubbles, & toy dinosaurs. What, doesn’t everyone put toy dinosaurs in their wedding gift bags??

ingredients:
16 T (1/2 lb.) good-quality, unsalted butter, softened
6 T + 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups pecans, toasted & finely chopped*
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 275°. Cream the butter & 6 T of confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Slowly add the flour and mix until combined. Stir in the pecans and vanilla using a spatula. The dough may seem a bit crumbly, but it should come together when you work it a bit with your hands.

Roll the dough into approximately 1-inch balls; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway, until the cookies are slightly browned and firm to the (gentle!) touch. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool. When you’re reading, pour the remaining 1 cup of sugar into a shallow dish and roll each cookie in sugar until completely coated. Store in an airtight container.

*The original recipe does not call for toasting the pecans before chopping, but I much prefer the flavor that way!

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