Feed Mom for Mother’s Day

You mean you haven’t bought something nice for your mom for Mother’s Day yet? Getting down to the wire, you know.

That’s okay. Larder & Cupboard has you covered. We’ve made a selection of gift baskets that cater to your mom’s excellent taste. They’re available at the shop, ready to go. Or we’ll help you customize a basket.

Baking With Mom – $55.50

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 My first cooking experience came from playing bakery every Friday with my mom. We’d make cookies, and my grandparents would call the house to place orders. That’s how you raise your kid for a career in the food service industry. If that was your childhood, your mom will be filled with memories from this basket with decidedly more grown-up flavors – Seed Geeks local honey, Hammons Missouri-grown black walnuts, and a selection of smoked and flavored sugars and barrel-aged vanilla from Bourbon Barrel Foods. Really want to take Mom down memory lane? Spend the day baking our honey blondies with her.

Herb Gardener – $57

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It’s prime gardening time. If your mom loves cultivating the earth, give her hand with six packets of locally-sourced, non-GMO heirloom herb seeds from Seed Geeks. For harvest time, there’s a selection of Chef’n fresh herb tools – the ZipStrip makes separating herbs from stems a breeze, while the Herbsicle and Spice Trays help her preserve her bounty into the winter.  We also have Seed Geeks specialty garden seed gifts – Greek, Indian, Mexican, Salsa, and Italian – packaged in a sturdy reusable tin.

 Cheese Lovers – $68

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If your mom still reminds you that she was forced to give up certain cheeses while pregnant with you and uses this information to inflict heaps of guilt, you can make it up to her with our Cheese Lovers Basket. It includes two Boska Professional cheese knives – one for soft cheeses and one for hard – a box of Formaticum cheese bags to extend the life of her favorite cheese for up to three weeks, a Formaticum Cheese Log so she can journal about the great cheeses she samples, and a Grace & I Fruit and Nut Press – the perfect accompaniment to a cheese plate. With our big selection of raw milk and blue cheeses, you can make up for some of the cheeses she gave up for you way back when.

Picnic Basket – $50

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Even though it’s supposed to rain on Mother’s Day, there’s no reason why you can’t spread a picnic blanket on the floor or find shelter under a porch or patio and share a picnic lunch with your mom. This basket has everything for a shared springtime snack – 2 bottles of all-natural Spindrift Soda, and locally-made benne crackers from Juniper to be topped with Salume Beddue salume, Legacy Date Night Chutney, and slices of Grace & I Fruit and Nut Press.

Local Foods Challenge Starter Kit – $68

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 Give your locavore mom a head start on June’s St. Louis Local Food Challenge with a collection of St. Louis-based pantry staples and treats. Legacy Chutney, Ozark Forest Shiitake Soy Sauce, Juniper Catsup, Missouri Wild Edibles Norton Mustard, Salume Beddu ‘Nduja spreadable salami, and an Ozark Forest meal kit will cover her for condiments and give her a meal or two. Got an extra $25 in your gift budget? Sign her up for the challenge so she can get the perks: an invitation to the opening party at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company and the closing party at Tower Grove Farmers Market, commemorative beer glass, a pound of Missouri-grown organic rice, free tastings and classes, a $20 discount on a Fair Shares CSA subscription, a totebag, and a free meal coupon from Chiptole.

Brunch in a Box – $54

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 Your mom probably doesn’t want to go to a crowded restaurant for a brunch buffet on Mother’s Day. I know I’d much rather my kid bring brunch to me. Especially this brunch: lots of Kuva Coffee, Juniper’s buttermilk biscuit mix dripping with Grace & I Raspberry Champagne Preserves or dipped in Blis Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup, with a bowl of Banner Road’s original granola on the side. Bring it to her in bed to make up for all those years you brought her burnt toast and soggy Cheerios.

Cocktail Party – $80

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A toast to Mom with this collection of the most popular cocktail mixers! Introduce her to Wineforest Wild Elderberry Shurb, a Cherry Pickford with Quince and Apple’s Tart Cherry Grenadine (which makes the best cherry soda she’s ever tasted), a brunch favorite with Stu’s Bloody Mary Mix, a selection of classic American whiskey and gin options with Dutch Spirits’ American Era Cocktail Bitters, and a sampling of sweet and savory rimmers from Bourbon Barrel Foods.

Did your mom see St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe on Great Day St. Louis today? We have all the great goods he demonstrated, and they all make fantastic gifts for food-loving moms – the Boska Cheese Curler and P’Tit Basque sheepsmilk cheese, P&H Hibiscus Soda Syrup (which makes an easy version of Diabolito’s Flora Margarita), Tonewood Maple Cube, and Grace & I  Fruit and Nut Presses.

If you really want to impress Mom, cook for her. We have everything you need – including instructions – for making pasta alla carbonara with Pastaria fresh pasta, or hot wings and blue cheese dip. For dessert, treat her to fig and sweet tea bread pudding or lemon thyme shortbread with pink peppercorn.

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You’re totally Mom’s favorite.

Happy MardiValentines Day!

Laissez bon temps roulez, Valentine!

Every few years mid-February explodes with reasons to celebrate, when Mardi Gras coincides with Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day a week from Saturday, Fat Tuesday on the 17th, and lots of people being off work on the 16th for President’s Day, we’re in a tizz coming up with tasty ways to let the good times roll.

Valentine’s  Day should be about spending time with your beloved, not about sweating in the kitchen, so we’re not going to make you feel guilty with recipes. Instead, we’ll set you up with the goods to make your Valentine’s Day delicious. Set the mood with wine and cheese. Vermont’s award-winning Old Chatham Sheepherding Company’s limited edition heart-shaped camembert arrived this week, along with Missouri’s own World Cheese Award-winner –  Coeur de la Creme goat cheese hearts from Baetje Farms in Bavarian Lemon Creme and Dark Chocolate Raspberry. Serve along with the Choco’Berry Press from Grace & I. These hand-crafted, all-natural bars feature raspberries, strawberries, coconut, white chocolate, and almonds.

Go the traditional route with a box of candy from Juniper, including their cherry divinity. Need flowers? Alice Blue Co. will have bouquets in the shop on Valentine’s Day.

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We’ve been putting together lots of sweet little gifts, too: sets of Quince & Apple preserves, adorable mini tins of smoked sugar, sea salt and paprika from Bourbon Barrel Smoked Foods, and breakfast in bed gift boxes with Juniper biscuit mix, Stringbean Coffee, Kakao chocolate hearts, bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, and preserves.

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Are you finished basking in the glow of your love yet? Because there’s Mardi Gras cooking to do! Today our tiny kitchen is filled with wonderful aromas of wild mushroom andouille gumbo, and fig and sweet tea bread pudding. Come into Larder & Cupboard on Saturday, February 7th to sample both, along with cheeses from Fox River Dairy and chutneys from Legacy.

I’ve always loved making gumbo, even though it can be a bit time-consuming. It’s a meditative process, stirring the roux. I don’t make it very often, but when I do I go for a big batch and plan for a party. If you know how to make a roux, your gumbo flavoring options are endless. For this batch I used Williams Brothers Andouille sausage from Washington, Missouri, Ozark Forest’s Oriental Mix of Missouri-grown dried wild mushrooms, and an unexpected flavor boost from Missouri Wild Edibles‘ mushroom miso paste.

Wild Mushroom and Andouille Gumbo

Yield: 5 quarts/10 servings

1 quart boiling water

2 1-ounce packets Ozark Forest Oriental Mushroom mix

½ cup butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 green pepper, chopped

1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 lb. Williams Brothers andouille, cut into 1″ rounds

2 tablespoons Missouri Wild Edibles Mushroom Miso Paste, or more to taste

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  1. Pour boiling water into a large bowl. Add Ozark Forest Dried Chanterelles and Dried Woodland Medley. Let sit at least 15 minutes. Remove mushrooms. Strain any grit from the water. Reserve remaining liquid.IMG_9445.JPG
  1. Make the roux: melt butter in a heavy-bottomed stockpot. Slowly whisk in flour. Stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, cooking until the roux until it’s the color of peanut butter, then lower heat. Keep cooking and stirring until the roux’s dark copper. This entire process will take 30-45 minutes.

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  1. Add pepper, onion, and celery. Increase heat and stir vegetables into roux for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sausage, and cook for another two minutes. Add hot sauce.

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  1. In another pot, heat reserved mushroom water, plus two quarts of water. Slowly whisk water into the roux mixture. Add mushrooms. Bring gumbo to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an hour.

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  1. Whisk in miso paste and add andouille. Heat through, but don’t boil.

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  1. Serve in bowls over rice and season with hot sauce.

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Bread pudding’s the quintessential New Orleans dessert, and it’s not hard to find it on menus. It’s a simple dish designed to utilize leftover bread. The combination of bread and custard makes a great palette for so many other flavors. I started my batch with Harvest White from our neighbors at Great Harvest Bread Company, which has a great balance of sweet and sour, and is soft enough to soak up the custard. From there, I searched our shop for flavors that make me think of Louisiana – figs and sweet tea.


Fig and Sweet Tea Bread Pudding

Serves 6

1 Earl Gray teabag

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 loaf day-old French bread, torn into 1″ pieces

2 cups heavy cream

3 eggs

1 cups sugar

1/2 Grace + 1 Fig and Nut Bar, coarse chopped

1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated

½  6-oz jar Quince & Apple Figs and Black Tea Preserves

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon Seed Geeks honey

  1. Steep tea bag in 1 cup heavy cream, covered and chilled 8-12 hours.

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine bread and 2 cups heavy cream in a large mixing bowl. Squish bread into cream until it’s completely absorbed.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, then add sugar, Fig and Nut Bar, and lemon zest. Pour over the bread mixture. Stir to combine.

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  1. Pour melted butter into a 9″x9″ baking pan, swirling to coat the bottom and sides. Press half of the bread mixture into the pan. Spread Figs and Black Tea Preserves over the bread layer.

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Top with remaining bread mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan.  

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  1. While bread pudding is baking, remove teabag from cream. Whip with 2 cups heavy cream and honey. Use to top bread pudding.

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And now you have yourself a party fit for three holidays.