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.