Thumbs up to farm dinner season

Sue and Bob Eckenfels

Sue and Bob Eckenfels

Smooth your table napkin down and get ready: it’s farm dinner season. The lush outdoors does amazing things for appetite and it may be the closest you’ll come in Missouri to that leisurely, convivial way of eating better known in Europe. Sometimes the dinners are white cloth affairs, sometimes not. I was privileged to attend one in Ste Genevieve hosted by the Mississippi River Hills Association and joined folk gathered at Breezy Ridge Alpaca Farm for delicious foods fresh from local farmers. In fact, a lot of local farmers were there to eat chef-prepared local foods, as well as sip a delicious variety of Missouri wines. I tried a Chamboursin from Chaumette Winery that was wonderful with the beef from Eckenfels Farm nearby. The tables were laid with quilts and fresh flowers. Good people. Beautiful setting. Fresh tastes.

In fact, these are the reasons I went out into the area to begin with—research and common sense told me I’d find all three. I was doing interviews for Savor Missouri: River Hills Food and Wine (available April 17 from Missouri Life Inc., and Acclaim Publishing) and the trail took me through. Grass fed beef, Missouri wine, vegetables and greens and potatoes and a Missouri sunset mixed with people interested in sourcing foods for school lunch programs, city chefs looking for fresh products, locals interested in a great dinner, and the farmers that provided the foods. Savor Missouri indeed.

To find a farm dinner near you, check with your local Slow Foods group or farmer’s market, or search farm dinners in Missouri on-line and towns across the state pop up—Fayette, Weston, Smithville, Washington, Ste Genevieve and many more.

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About ninafurstenau

Nina Mukerjee Furstenau teaches a Food and Wine Writing for the University of Missouri Science and Agriculture Journalism program and the MU School of Journalism School. Her book, Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America's Heartland was the winner of the MFK Fisher Book Award and Grand Prize Award for culinary/culture writing and designated as a Kansas Notable Book. She has also written Savor Missouri: River Hill Country Food and Wine, celebrating Missouri foodways. Her essay, "And Then There Was Rum Cake," appears in the 2017 anthology, Pie & Whiskey: Writer's Under the Influence of Butter and Booze. Ms. Furstenau was in the Peace Corps in Tunisia from 1984 to 1986 and then began working life as a journalist and publisher/editor of three construction magazines beginning in 1987. Ms. Furstenau and her husband launched and published these magazines and two others until 2001. She was a month-long resident at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, in 2008.
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