1 When I was invited to this special MDI Hospital Farmhouse Dinner, I was asked to present a dish, and I chose dessert. I decided to make a gooseberry and blueberry crisp with blueberry buttermilk ice cream.
2 We used gooseberries from my farm in Bedford. Aren't they beautiful?
3 Blueberries and gooseberries both freeze very well and retain their freshness once thawed.
4 Here is the berry mixture before baking.
5 This was a particularly scrumptious looking batch. The tartness of the berries was perfectly complemented by the oaty flavor of the crisp topping.
6 The smell was mouthwatering as the crisps came out of oven.
7 The benefit was held at The Farmhouse, a small, beautiful, century-old white clapboard colonial only a mile from the entrance to Acadia National Park. It is the second oldest home on Mount Desert Island.
8 A view of The Farmhouse from the front. The garden is wonderful for entertaining. The gardens were originally planned by renowned landscaper, Beatrix Farrand. She was known for her neoclassical designs featuring layered plantings of various colors.
9 The garden included paths that meandered through the property among the tall grasses.
10 The garden was so magnificent- I simply had to take pictures!
11 Original blueprints of the garden. I always find it so interesting to see the work that went into creating a landscape.
12 The garden paths were lined with drifts of plants and flowers in diverse colors of soft whites, pinks and blues - a style Beatrix Farrand loved to use.
13 The peastone path lead to this long arborvitae hedge. This Thuja arborvitae is tall, and quite dramatic. It created the appearance of connected outdoor 'rooms' on the property.
14 Here I am with the owner of the home, Betsy Mills. She has worked hard to restore the Farrand gardens around her home over the years. She even tracked down Farrand's original plans of the Farmhouse.
15 My property director, Michael Fiore, and Kevin posed for a quick picture.
16 Our group loved taking photos in front of this charming vegetable garden. Here were Michael, Heather, Jason, Kevin, Thomas, and Lisa.
17 Kevin had an enjoyable time exploring the gardens of Betsy Mills.
18 Before dinner we enjoyed cocktails in a clear, circular tent that allowed for wonderful views of the Beatrix Farrand designed gardens.
19 The garden paths leading to the tent were so inviting.
20 The benefit was lovely and for such a good cause. It was nice to mingle with the guests.
21 Betsy and I posed with this beautiful antique urn. How do we look?
22 The cocktail hour gave guests time to say hello and admire the landscape.
23 Here I was joined by Betsy Mills, Noelle Wolf, Serena Wolf, and Leandra Fremont-Smith, Betsy's daughter.
24 The staff worked hard to ensure the benefit was a success.
25 The tent had beautiful clear ceilings.
26 Interior designer, Leandra Fremont-Smith, designed the dinner space with colors that accented the garden and gave a fresh and vibrant feel to the evening.
27 Traditional Chinese lanterns contained actual flames. They looked so pretty above the tables.
28 Thibaut Design generously donated these colorful Bimini Ikat table runners for the benefit.
29 Betty Miller from Miller Gardens in Otter Creek put together the flower arrangements for centerpieces.
30 Each guest's seat was marked by a place card and a beautiful event description and menu.
31 These are yellow mums.
32 Other tables had coral carnations. The bright yellows, greens, and pinks worked together nicely and are echoed in the colors of the table runners.
33 The table settings were lovely. This was my table, number 6.
34 Leandra Fremont-Smith and Noelle Wolf, Chairs of the Farmhouse Dinner.
35 Here I am talking with Dick Wolf - yes, that Dick Wolf, the award winning producer of the hit crime drama series, Law & Order.
36 This first course salad was presented by chef Serena Wolf. An arugula salad with shaved zucchini, pistachios and parmesan.
37 This is Dr. Nathan Donaldson, Medical Director of the MDIH Emergency Department.
38 And this is Art Blank, President and CEO of MDI Hospital.
39 The garden looked magical in the twilight.
40 Later in the evening it began to rain.
41 It was a good thing there were these large umbrellas on hand to keep the caterers and the food dry as they brought dishes to the tent.
42 Plates of assorted cookies were also served for dessert.
43 Each plate contained lemon poppyseed cookies, brown butter cardamom cookies, Sicilian pistachio shortbread, and chocolate hazelnut biscotti.
44 And here were my crisps - beautifully plated and ready to serve with blueberry buttermilk ice cream.
45 The blueberry buttermilk ice cream marked the final touch to the crisps. They were a big hit!