Missouri - The Show-Me State
Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Official Tourism Motto “Visit MO”
Suggested Motto “Missouri Loves Company”
Two Truths and a Lie
During the winter of 1811-1812, New Madrid, Missouri was the epicenter for the most destructive series of earthquakes in U.S. history. Sand boiled, the sky darkened and the Mississippi River ran backward for hours after the worst of the tremors.
St. Louis hosted the United State’s first Olympic Games in 1904. The games were overshadowed by the World’s Fair, despite a bizarre marathon wherein the “champion” hitched a car ride most of the way, and runners were purposely denied water to see how they would perform dehydrated.
Dred Scott, a man born to slavery whose master later moved to a free state, sued for his liberation in a St. Louis Circuit Court. After many appeals, the case went to the Supreme Court where the landmark ruling ensured deliverance from bondage to all former slaves living in free states.
The Recipe - Apple Brandy Cones
Ice cream cones are Missouri’s official state dessert. A plethora of myths and origin stories claim they were invented on a whim at the St. Louis World Fair in 1904. More serious food writers than myself have failed to find any proof to verify these conflicting stories. It is certain that ice cream cones, or cornucopias as they were called then, were sold in huge numbers at the fair. The fair is also responsible for the mass market appeal and production of the ice cream cone. I decided to make good use of my krumkake iron from North Dakota’s recipe and make my own cones. Once again, many fingers were burned.
I lack my own ice cream maker, so I adapted a recipe by Nigella Lawson for no-churn ice cream. A clever combination of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and booze mixes quickly and freezes beautifully. I interrupted the freezing process, to streak homemade apple butter through the mix. Why? Well partly just because it is autumn and my apple tree produced a few fruits for the first time ever. But apples were once big business in Missouri.
The Ozark region led the nation in apple production in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Disease and drought plagued the crop, and railroads opened up markets in more profitable areas like Washington. But one can still visit small orchards and enjoy local apple festivals in the fall. (I really liked the one in Versailles Missouri)
These were drippy, messy, and delicious. My cones lacked uniformity in size and color, but they smelled and tasted great which is what really matters with home baking. I was worried the ice cream would fail, but the brandy kept ice crystals from forming just like it was supposed to. Those streaks of spiced apple butter made the whole thing a joy to eat. My family destroyed the whole batch in minutes.
Want to experience Missouri for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
In 2008, I graduated college, packed my car, and drove to St. Louis for an internship at the Post-Dispatch. I had never visited the city and had no idea what to expect. I quickly fell in love. Go, visit, though probably not in July or August, my apartment lacked AC and that was brutal. I lived in Dogtown and walked over to Forest Park every morning -- the museums, zoo, and trails there are lovely and free to all. Downtown STL is hip with lots of great shops and restaurants. The Arch is neat, but the real gem is the City Museum. If you know it, you will agree, and if you don’t, go check it out for yourself.
The rest of the state is cool too. Columbia is a great college town. The Ozarks are gorgeous and packed with caves, lakes, and forests to explore. (I first told my husband I loved him on a bluff overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks.) Kansas City is also hip with great barbeque, fun dance spots, and a fantastic World War I museum.
If you can’t get there, then Mark Twain’s novels are classics of course, but for a modern look, check out the movie “Winter’s Bone.”
Time for the whole truth
I really hope this one was obvious. Dred Scott was denied his freedom, free people of color lived in fear of forced return to the south, and many historians consider that case to be the worst supreme court decision of all time. (By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)