Prairie Grass Farms Beef…Yes, Beef


Rumor has it that the Hillebrands have raised one grass-finished head of cattle which they will be selling this Saturday at Clayton Farmers’ Market.  Rumor also has it that they might be getting into beef next year which raises the question: will they only sell it at Clayton so as not to compete with Karlios Hinkebein?

The Strawberries are Coming?


Having spotted a commercial for Eckert’s last night I went to check out their website and noticed they now have a blog and and on it the news that the strawberries hit for them last weekend. Pick-your-own will be happening there again this Saturday.

Also, for the less farm savvy simply speculating about rain and crop delays another entry says, “2008 has been the wettest year since the 1920’s. Here at Eckert’s, we have received 22.5 inches. Planting has been delayed for many of us, but it is not too late.”

Whether or not most of us make it to a pick-your-own farm, hopefully that means there will be more than a handful of pints coming into the local groceries and markets. I, at least, am yearning for some fruit that isn’t bananas, citrus, and apples (the only ones I’ll buy in the supermarket). Environmental reasons aside, everything else just tastes like crap.

On a mildly related note

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Event: Slow Food Lambstravaganza


I’m robbing the Slow Food St. Louis description because, well, I wrote it.  It’s coming up quick, and it’s sure to sell out so you might want to move quick.  In the stories from previous years I’ve heard words like “kidneys” and “lamb sweet breads” meaning my words are simply: “hell yeah!”

Lambstravaganza – A dinner to benefit Slow Food St. Louis

Lambstravaganza is a multi-course dinner generously prepared for the third year running by Chef Tim Grandinetti. This year he has also enlisted additional help and will bring with him three more of St. Louis best chefs: Lou Rook III (Annie Gunn’s), Dave Owens and Margaret Kelly (Bissinger’s Chocolate), and Kevin Nashan (Sidney Street Cafe). The family-style meal will feature grass-fed lamb and free-range eggs produced by our Prairie Grass Farms hosts, Dave and Barb Hillebrand, as well as other Missouri products. Wine pairings will be provided with each course by Les Bourgeois and beer will also be provided by Schlafly.Prior to dinner Dave Hillebrrand will give a walking tour of the farm for those interested.

Who: Slow Food St. Louis
What: Lambstravaganza
When: Sunday June 8, 2008, 2-6 p.m.
Where: Prairie Grass Farms, 230 Manley Road, New Florence, MO 63363

Go to for ticketing information

Last Week at the Market – Ian Strikes


Last weekend was Ellie’s birthday and celebrating it multiple times in a way that required sleeping in, I made it only to the Maplewood Farmers’ Market. And I was incredibly late to boot so I witnessed nothing new, personally.

I hear there was more kale and baby bok choy, and Ian bought the last strawberries from Biver Farms and seemingly enjoyed them with an export IPA from Schlafly.

Perhaps someone that hit the other markets, including the opening weekend at Clayton, will chime in with anything new they saw.

I’m curious if any more strawberries will have popped up, but I’m afraid all this rain may have slowed down this weeks crops.

Better luck this week.

I Second Barney’s BBQ

Growing up in Ballwin, each year the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day were not just a little brighter because of the lack of school, the pool, and Spy Hunter, they were brighter because of the enticing scent of smoking meats wafting out from the shack (I think it’s actually an old garage) that is Barney’s BBQ.

Located just West of Clarkson on Manchester Road in Ellisville, I passed it myself Saturday, and after wrestling with the urge to venture inside (we already had lunch plans) I came home to see Bonwich’s recommendation which I will now second–strongly.

Barney’s is rich with personal nostalgia for many a West Countian and I can personally remember many a night where my parents would drag us over to sit outside on the park benches next to the shack that comprise about 90% of the available seating.

As I understand the story, Barney’s is/was only open during summer because the families children would work there during summer to have money for college. If the flavor is any indication I imagine they can afford some pretty good schools, but whatever the reason, for a few months each year they serve up some of the best vinegar-based barbecue in St. Louis.

Don’t go here looking for pork ribs though. They have only giant beef ribs with protruding bones so large they remind me of something the Flintstones would eat.

And don’t miss the pumpkin cake sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. It’s just not the same without a slice (or two as I used to do).

Barney’s BBQ, 16011 Manchester Road. Ellisville, MO, (636) 227-2300

EDIT: Joe Bonwich thinks they do have pork ribs.  Let me know if you see they do–maybe they were just out when I went last year.  Here’s to hoping I am!

What’s another word for asshole?


Seriously. Who does this guy think he is?

Last Week at the Market – Sheep!

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With the sun shining last week,the Maplewood Farmers’ Market migrated over to their usual spot and with it a few more vendors arrived.

Though The Root Cellar was still slinging the most in the way of lettuces, herbs, and the new addition of radishes, Claverach made their first appearance and stole the thunder with their freakishly immaculate micro greens and icicle radishes of their own.

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Saturday, at Tower Grove, things were scaled back a bit from the opening week as the additional vendors selling crafts were no longer winding around the walking path on the Northwest edge of the market. The one vendor remaining on that far side was Greenwood Farms who incidentally has “lunch meat” ham that while a bit thick for what you might generally consider to be lunch meat, is some of the greatest breakfast ham I’ve ever had

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This new Pumpernickle’s sign jumped out at me as I was driving down Olive because it’s not as cool as the old one.


As it turns out there was also a new ownership sign in the window as well.They’re saying it’s a “New York Style” deli which I don’t think they’d ever claimed before.

Here’s to hoping they don’t get rid of the The Sloppy Louie which might as well be called The Heart Attack. It’s a triple decker piled high with corned beef, turkey, pastrami, roast beef, slaw and Louie dressing on rye. You literally have to eat it with a knife and fork.

There is crack, and then there is iced coffee

Ice coffee image

I rather enjoy coffee. But where most people rush to the pot first thing in the morning in search of that jolting cup of liquid sunshine, I do not and often wait three hours before I have my first cup. That, however, is hot coffee, and sometimes I will brew an extra large pot and chill the rest in the refrigerator to drink on ice or with milk early in the morning when I didn’t get enough sleep.

This hot brew > chill method of cold coffee production, while an effective method for delivering the needed caffeine kick, does not offer much in the way of deliciousness. It’s pretty acidic and generally necesitates the use of milk to make it more than simply passable.

Cold brewing is the solution to that conundrum and recently Deb gave me one of Goshen’s iced coffees

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I really don’t know…

The Daily Sauce reported Monday on the graduating classes of two local technical schools culinary programs: Clyde C. Miller Career Academy and North Technical High School.

Calling them chefs aside (tsk tsk), the two schools faced off in the First Annual High School Culinary Cook-Off.

The North Tech team devised a three-course menu featuring pecan-encrusted goat cheese on a bed of greens with diced apple and charred tomato vinaigrette; shrimp risotto with roasted grape tomatoes; and pineapple-glazed pork loin with sweet potato hash and pineapple salsa. Miller’s team countered with a mixed spring salad with smoked salmon, dried cherries, carrots, tomatoes, blue cheese with an apple and pear vinaigrette; a roasted chicken and garlic skewer on spinach pesto; and pork tenderloin stuffed with chorizo and Boursin cheese, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and a spring vegetable medley.

First, congratulations to the students. While technical high schools are common place in other countries, for some reason in America, they’ve never taken the same kind of hold. Here we’d rather cram the square peg into the round hole than let a student actually excel at something they enjoy. Here’s to not getting crammed!

As for the high schools,

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