Sunday, February 26, 2017

Iowa in July Summary


Who woulda thought that 20 costumers could get together in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa and have such a great time!?!  Well, it sure did happen - mission accomplished!

The fun started on Friday – “All things Iowa” was the theme.  As soon as everyone had assembled at Curtains Up Costumes in Sigourney the party moved to the small town of Keota and the fun continued at the home of Janie Westendorf where she and Janine Caufield had a pizza cook-off.  The deliciousness of both pizzas declared the cook-off to be a tie!  Many salad and side dishes were prepared by those in attendance to compliment the main attraction.  After dinner entertainment came in the form of radio announcer Lynn Klein (Janie’s sister) who provided information about famous Iowans, portrayed by famous actress Debbie Lyn Owens (owner of Debbie Lyn’s Costumes) and up-and-coming actor Anthony Westendorf (Janie’s grandson).  The crowd enjoyed the many quick changes and wealth of Iowa knowledge…but mostly the complete silliness!

Saturday started off with a HUGE flea market/garage sale in the warehouse at Curtains Up Costumes.  Shoppers looked through seven tables and countless hanging racks of costumes, accessories, sewing goods, fabric, patterns, hats, masks, feathers, etc., etc., etc.  Many bargains were found in that short three hour span.  The afternoon was set aside for shopping, so everyone wore polka dots so they could easily “SPOT” each other.  One group headed to Iowa City for thrift store shopping and another group visited the quaint town of Kalona to shop their boutiques and antique stores.  After a quick rest to get rejuvenated the entire group met back up in Sigourney for dinner at The Copper Lantern for good food and beverages.

Since Sunday’s theme of the day was “School Spirit” many people arrived in full or partial costume ready for a fun-filled day of education.  Some of the topics discussed included: Linda Adams-Foat’s instruction on dyeing & bleaching to alter costume color, sewing tips and tricks from Janie Westendorf, making Renaissance vests out of leather (tips and pattern-sharing) by Janie, Shop Talk, and the many benefits of using torch welding/brazing in a costume shop.  It was a very informative day and everyone seemed to really enjoy sharing and learning in a casual setting.  Oh…and they ate…boy did they eat!  Many guests contributed a salad or side dish, Grill Master Gary Broadrick cooked up some burgers, Janie made some chicken breasts, and everyone quickly became full and happy.

The event came to a close late Sunday and early Monday as people headed for home.  The walls of Curtains Up Costumes are still ringing with the laughter and merriment that this small but mighty group of costumers shared!

Quite a bit of raving went on at the potluck meal about two dishes in particular – Lori’s Apple Salad and Janie’s Almond Joy Bars.  Here are the recipes:

Caramel Apple Salad

1 ½ C cold milk

1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding

8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed

4 large apples, chopped (about 6 C)

4 Snickers candy bars (2.07 oz each), cut into ½ inch pieces

Whisk milk & pudding mix for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes until soft-set.  Fold in whipped topping.  Fold in apples and candy bars.  Refrigerate until serving.

Almond Joy Bars a la Janie

Make brownie mix as directed on package and pour into greased jelly roll pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 2 C coconut and spread on top of brownies.

Bake 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with sliced, chopped, or whole almonds.

Melt 12 oz chocolate chips and 2 T peanut butter with 1 T butter and drizzle over top.

Submitted by Lori Hammes


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