Charlie and I married in the French Huguenot Church in Charleston, S.C. I was 29 and he was 33 and we decided we had more pressing things to do with our hard-earned money than spend it on fancy invitations, a bridal party and a lavish reception.
So we decided on South Carolina, because neither one of us had ever been there, and Charleston because we'd heard good things about it. We picked the French Huguenot Church because of its rich history.
Charlie spoke with the priest by phone and made arrangements for us to be married on a Wednesday at 5 p.m. I went through the yellow pages and found a photographer who agreed to be present.
I'd bought a simple ivory tea-length dress and Charlie rented a tuxedo.
And that was it.
No family. No friends. The only flowers in the church were three cream-colored roses that I carried that Charlie had purchased from a florist around the corner from our bed and breakfast.
It was perfect.
After our honeymoon at Kiawah Island, we made a quick trip to Dothan, Ala., where my family hosted an intimate wedding dinner for us, and then it was back to work.
Charlie returned to Tupelo, where he was the copy desk chief here at the paper. I went back home to Monroe, La., where I was the assistant city editor. Two months later, I was fortunate enough to also get a job at the Daily Journal, and we've been Journal Inc. employees ever since.
Charlie and I will return to Charleston and Kiawah Island on Sunday to celebrate and commemorate 20 (mostly) wonderful years. We plan to try some old and new restaurants and do a bit of cooking ourselves. I already told Charlie that one thing I especially want to make is this French Onion Soup from Southern Living's new slow-cooker cookbook.
French Onion Soup
2 bacon slices
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 medium sweet onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cans beef consommampé
1/4 cup dry white wine
Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Reserve bacon for another use.
Combine drippings, butter, onions, salt and pepper in a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker. Stir well to coat onions. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Stir consommampé and wine into cooked onions. Cover and cook on high 15 minutes or just until heated. Sprinkle with shredded Gruyere cheese and restaurant-style croutons.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal's food/home/garden editor.