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Missouri: The Feed Me State

Courtesy Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City Culinary and Craft School
Behind the scenes at one of Branson’s biggest attractions, Silver Dollar City’s Culinary and Craft School gives visitors an opportunity to learn cooking tips and recipes selected for the park directly from the test kitchens of Midwest Living magazine. Master of culinary arts Debbie Dance Uhrig teaches 60-minute classes for groups from March through December.

“It’s a seasonal exploration of mid-America’s best recipes,” said Martha Hoy Bohner, senior publicist at Silver Dollar City. “From morel and asparagus pizza to smoked trout appetizers to our famous Christmas ginger cookies, people love these classes.”

Each class includes expert instruction, hands-on demonstrations, sampling, a copy of Midwest Living and take-home recipes. The state-of-the-art kitchen features Viking appliances, flat-screen televisions for overhead viewing and tiered seating in the replicated early-20th-century farmhouse. Silver Dollar City’s crafters created the copper countertops and wall backsplash, the carved mantle and the pottery accents.

Mother-in-Law House
St. Charles
Tucked into the heart of St. Charles’ Historic District, the charming Mother-in-Law House honors family recipes like treasured pieces of heirloom jewelry. The 1866 brick exterior, white-trimmed porch and hillside courtyard give way to a Victorian interior of ornate antiques, tablecloths and converted gas chandeliers.

“I’d like to think they come to see me, but they really come for the blueberry muffins that we serve with our evening meals,” said owner Donna Hafer, who whirls through the dining room and greets guests.

Groups can choose entrees such as prime rib, chicken in champagne sauce, pork loin roulade filled with apricot stuffing and chicken cordon blue. Hafer’s special carrot casserole comes with each meal, too. A complimentary salad bar and dessert accompany the entrees.

“Our salad bar offers 12 homemade salads, including my aunt’s cream cheese and cherry Pink Panther salad, and the celery seed dressing that was my mother’s recipe,” said Hafer. “Everybody goes back for seconds.”

Elizabeth Hey

Elizabeth Hey is a member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association and has received numerous awards for her writing and photography. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @travelbyfork.