My job requires a lot of creative energy. When I need that ‘oomph to get my creative juices flowing, I jump in my SUV and head out for a farm visit!
What better way to clear my head than to pick a tomato, admire Norton grapes, scratch a goat’s ear, or think about all those T-bone steaks in that cow grazing in the field? There is just something exceptional about treading through mud (I hope it’s only mud!) and enjoying the rural life.
Here in southeast Missouri, the Mississippi River Hills Region is my playground. And there isn’t much I enjoy more than sharing that playground with you. So consider this your official invitation to come play in the fields with us for the 5th year of our Taste of Place Agri-culinary Events.
“Agri-culinary?” you ask. Yes. You’ve heard of farm-to-table and eating local? Well, around here, we like to take the table to the farm and enjoy foods grown within our six counties. We blend the world of farming and rural culture with a local food experience that is hard to beat.
Picture this: As we prepare for your arrival, we line up rows of tables in a field. Then we cover them in quilts and vintage table clothes and add quart jars of field flowers to the centers. Let’s not forget plates, silverware, and pint jars (What? Pint jars? Yep, Granny won’t let us bring her crystal to the field. Then again, the jars add a nice touch with the quilts).
Upon your arrival, your experience starts with a site tour and visit with the location host. Next, we get acquainted with other dinner guests over regional cheeses, wines and sausages.
As the evening progresses, you’re seated at the wonderful tables as platters of braised pork or burgundy beef are passed around. And let’s not forget bowls filled with culinary delights of ‘real’ vine-ripened tomatoes, salads, potatoes and steaming vegetable dishes. (Take a little. Take a lot. But you won’t want to miss anything!)
Let’s top off the evening with scrumptious dessert made from seasonal fruits of the region. It could be strawberry pie or apple dumplings.
Come enjoy an adventure with us where . . . It’s not just “What’s for dinner?” It’s an experience!
Written by Lisa Palmer, coordinator for the Mississippi River Hills Association.