If you’re like me, you’re never quite sure what gift(s) to buy your wife and mother of your children for Mother’s Day.
Flowers? Nice, but predictable. Chocolates? Sure, but in my house, that’s as likely to get you yelled at as anything else.
A gift card for a mani/pedi? Been there, done that, and now there are complaints that “they don’t do as good of a job as they used to.”
This year, I thought I would think outside the box, but still stay inside in terms of the gifts’ origins. I was determined to buy local and buy delicious.
I started my Mother’s Day shopping spree in Westin at Green Dirt Farm. Specializing in sheep’s milk cheeses, Green Dirt Farm is one of the “not so hidden” gems in the metro.
I love supporting local businesses, but let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to do that when their products are good. And Sarah Hoffman’s cheeses are very, very good.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Hoffman and about eight of her cheeses recently. Let me tell you, I was blown away.
I’ve long been a fan of Green Dirt’s fresh cheeses, which are spreadable, delicious, delights (the Nettle is the first cheese I tasted from Green Dirt, and it remains a favorite). But the other offerings: the Dirt Lover, Bossa, Ruby, Ozark and Prairie Tomme are layered, complex and lip-smackingly tasty! I tried them all, and paired them all with wine and they were all fantastic.
I can’t recommend Green Dirt Farm’s cheeses any more highly. You can shop online at greendirtfarm.com, or for a more personalized experience, I recommend you head to the creamery in Weston, which is open Thursday through Sunday, where you can taste and shop in person.
And while you’re there, you can grab a cheese and charcuterie plate and a flight of wine from TerraVox, which shares the creamery space with Green Dirt, and park yourself at a picnic table out front. Let’s just say there are way worse ways to spend a spring or summer afternoon in Kansas City!
And since I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll make a quick plug for TerraVox, too. The winery and its owner, Jerry Eisterhold, are seeking to make a difference in the Missouri wine business by emphasizing rare heritage grapes. With names like Wetumka and Lenoir, these are not the Vidal, Seyval and Chardonels you will find at so many Missouri and Kansas Wineries, and they don’t taste like it either.
TerraVox does produce a Norton. But quite honestly, it doesn’t taste like the other Nortons I’ve had. Again, you can shop online at voxvineyards.com, but why not hop in the car for a short road trip to Westin and a visit to the creamery?
Finally, for all of you cocktail-loving moms out there, let me introduce you to Boozy Botanicals. Boozy is a line of locally made simple syrups created with love, care, and passion by founder and “recovering attorney” Chery Bisbee.
You see, Bisbee is a former corporate attorney who decided she wanted something more delicious and hand-crafted in her life. She loved cocktails, but not the expense and effort of having to stock all of the dozens and dozens of ingredients needed to create those cocktails at home.
So she created Boozy and she’s been crafting her own cocktails ever since.
If you’ve ever read my articles, you know I’m much more of a wine guy than a cocktail consumer. This much I will say, though, Bisbee has never mixed me one cocktail that I didn’t find absolutely wonderful.
Even better, Boozy’s syrups are great in the kitchen too. Try them as a base for salad dressing, and have the Three Pepper with ice cream. Yes, ice cream, and you’ll see what I mean. For a list of places to buy Boozy Botanicals go to http://www.boozybotanicalskc.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html.
So there you have it — some local gift ideas for the foodie mom in your life! Happy Mother’s Day!
Dave Eckert is a partner with Flavor Trade, a Kansas City-based gourmet food incubator and co-packer. Before that, Eckert was the producer and host of “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert,” which aired on PBS and AWE for 12 seasons.