Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunday in the Garden

As I've mentioned in a couple earlier posts, last summer I had the opportunity to intern at Miss Effie's Country Flowers and Garden Stuff in Donahue, Iowa.  Almost exactly one year ago, I was frenziedly baking, weeding, and otherwise preparing for Miss Eff's Second Annual Ice Cream Social.  Carrot cake, sour cream chocolate cake, German chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, lemon shortbread, lemon poppyseed Bundt cake, yellow cupcakes with fudge frosting, French vanilla ice cream, chocolate silk ice cream, a few batches of last-minute jam...I was in heaven, people!  Read about last year's preparations here.   And check out a picture of the fruits of my labor:

The ice cream social holds a very special place in my heart.  The first one was in 2009, and it was the first time I ever went to Miss Eff's.  I was seriously in a daze.  At the risk of sounding saccharine, I'm going to say that the farm felt like home.  And I don't mean like my childhood home, I mean like the abstract, can't-put-your-finger-on-exactly-why-it's-so-perfect "home."  You can scroll down past the recipes on this post if you want to read about my maiden voyage to Miss Effie's.  It was the start of a beautiful friendship! 

As has also been mentioned a couple times, Laura's getting married in October!  My mom and I had planned a trip to Iowa to help her get the invitations ready, and it just so happens that that trip coincided with Miss Eff's Third Annual Ice Cream Social!  It was amazing to be back on the farm, but also kind of bittersweet.  So much has changed!  Take Miss Eff's retail shop, the Summer Kitchen, for instance:

What the Summer Kitchen looked like when I credit Cathy Lafrenz
What an amazing sign!
The Summer Kitchen today

It was great to see how far the farm has come, and visiting with Cathy and Cliff is always a treat.  They raised over $500 for their local food pantry at this event!  But for Laura, nothing topped the goats from Zen Goaties:

Laura getting in touch with her motherly side...
If you'd like to read some other points of view about the day, check out these blogs:
That's all for today, folks!  I'll leave you with my favorite picture of Miss Eff's.  I took it last summer after a long day of weeding.  Now before you go thinking I'm a photography genius, the whole hazy thing was an accident.  I actually thought I broke my camera, because all the pictures were turning out like that.  Turns out I had left my camera sitting in the grass and the lens got all dewy, resulting in that dreamlike look.  Gotta love happy accidents!

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