I swear, this is Mayberry.
Every summer, our neighborhood has an old-fashioned ice cream social on the huge grass triangle at the end of our street (looks like a street median, but large enough for little league practice). The ladies bring their ice cream makers (some models are as old as the tradition itself) dripping with their finest sugary, creamy "secret recipes." My favorite this year was the sour cream blueberry ice cream from the wooden bucket! Honestly, does it get any sweeter?!
I never win those "how many gumballs in the jar" contests, but I'd wager there were a hundred or two friendly neighbors there.
Every year, they pull out this tall pole and the kiddies line up. Why, you ask? Because above that white line, there's money. The catch is: the pole is greased with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly. The kids slip and slide for hours. By the time we left, the cash still hadn't been claimed.
Sophie wanted desperately to give it a shot, like the big kids. This is as far as she made it. Her feet are still touching the grass.
Since I'm not an ice cream maker (wish I was!), I brought embarrassingly easy peanut butter cookies (1 c. peanut butter, 1 c. sugar, 1 egg. Bake 10 mins at 375). Soph helped with the retro fork design on top. Yummy serving tip: try dipping them halfway in melted chocolate.
The ice cream social causes me to reminisce a little, because it was the very first event we attended when we moved into the neighborhood four years ago. In fact, it was held the day we gained possession of our home. Being brand newlyweds still reeling from a crazy Los Angeles life, it was absolutely dreamy to walk down the street and meet our new life... with kids running and screaming, neighbors of every generation talking and laughing. We didn't know a soul! Now, we are a family of four and those strangers have become our friends, mentors, babysitters, and playmates. Feels like home.