Emma Freud shares an entire wedding day’s worth of menus to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tying the knot, from morning snacks to evening drinks
If you’ve been invited to Windsor Castle on 19 May, I’m afraid there’s nothing for you in this column, so kindly move on. For those of us whose personal invite to the royal wedding has been incomprehensibly lost in the royal mail, I would like to suggest we spend the big day consuming their known food preferences. We may not have been asked to break bread with the happy couple, but we can at least eat their favourite dishes to celebrate their union.
Finding the foods they have publicly endorsed has taken a massive amount of research, but I’ve stalked all available intel, and can now present my guide to eating like Harry and Meghan on their wedding day.
Harry’s only contribution of note to breakfast is the tip he gleaned at Disneyland when he was eight: to achieve truly crispy, American-style bacon, grill it until brown and then microwave it for 60 seconds between two pieces of kitchen paper. This apparently proved a landmark development for the kitchen at Kensington Palace, which has adopted the method ever since.
Right at the other end of the scale, in her TV days, Meghan insisted on starting the day with a bowl of acai berries. The known antioxidant tastes like a combination of blueberries and garden soil, and is puréed with spinach, kale and almond milk for a classic Californian morning dish. Sounds horrific, but it allegedly has striking anti-ageing properties. I suspect Meghan may actually be 73.
So if you didn’t already love our future Duchess, this should clinch it: the girl who starts her day with hot water and lemon – and voluntarily eats berries that taste of earth – is passionately devoted to chips. I kid you not. So to compensate for your topsoil breakfast, may I suggest an elevenses of Meghan’s favourite chip dish. She covers her deep-fried potato friends in fresh cheese curds – she says these have to squeak when you bite into them – and then smothers them with gravy. As long as you don’t say ‘cheesy chips with gravy, anyone?’ and call them (as Meghan does) ‘poutine’, all will be fine.
Game-changing lunch klaxon. Before Meghan was officially ours, she appeared on an American breakfast TV show in an apron, showing us her own take on Caesar salad. It would surely show some respect on her big day if the nation were to eat it. So: halve a romaine lettuce lengthways but keep the heart at the bottom so it stays sturdy when you cook it. Remove some of the inner leaves so you have a kind of lettuce boat. Char it on a hot griddle plate, and fill with griddled king prawns (which you’ve marinated in garlic, chilli and lime), a splash of salad dressing and a sprinkling of crispy sourdough croutons. No forks needed – it’s a hand-held salad, perfect for lunch in front of the TV watching them take their vows.
The pair have chosen Meghan’s fellow Californian – and now London baker – Claire Ptak, to make a lemon and elderflower wedding cake, covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers, but how about a bourbon-infused carrot cake which was invented by me? It contains carrots to commemorate Harry’s hair and golden raisins – soaked in the finest bourbon from Meghan’s homeland – to represent a crown. It has grated coconut to celebrate the bride’s mother’s African roots, and pineapple and lime as a cocktail-style nod to Harry’s bachelor days.
It’s made without flour, butter, oil or sugar (because nobody eats that stuff in California where Meghan was born), and it’s super-speedy to make so won’t drag you away from the TV for long, is triple layered so it’s fit for a wedding, uses cup measurements to thank America for its straightforwardness, and should be served on floral British china because the Queen (Ma’am rhyming with ham) would expect nothing less.
See the full recipe for Emma's bourbon-infused carrot cake
Harry popped the question while the couple were at home making a roast chicken dinner – so that’s our supper sorted. You could serve it with a bottle of Tignanello (which Meghan says made her understand the point of good wine), or if you are in for a long night – a Ciroc Ultra vodka and Red Bull – heavily documented as the (former) playboy prince’s favourite tipple.
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Good Food contributing editor Emma Freud is a journalist and broadcaster, director of Red Nose Day and a co-presenter of Radio Four’s Loose Ends.