A Marriage of Friendship and Flavor at Fountain Prairie Inn and Farms
By Susan Gloss | Photo By Jim Klousia 0
The Priskes’ open-door policy extends beyond the restaurant community. Dorothy serves on the board of the non-profit Research, Education, Action and Policy (REAP) Food Group, and the Priskes are involved with local Slow Food chapters. Fountain Prairie has also held “pasture walks” on site, which gives farmers an opportunity to show their fields to other farmers, share tips and troubleshoot problems. At other farms, these organized walks are open only to farmers, but Fountain Prairie also invites members of the community.
The Priskes’ generosity—their willingness to share their work and highlight the work of others—is what transformed Fountain Prairie from just another cornfield into a living, thriving example of sustainable agriculture. Dorothy also cites another reason: her 38-year marriage with John. She says, “When you enjoy working together, there’s a certain synergy that takes place.”
At Home in the Kitchen
I had the opportunity to enjoy the benefit of the Priskes’ work by cooking with a beef shank I bought from them at the farmers market. I asked Dorothy how I should prepare it, and she sent me home with her mother’s recipe for vegetable beef soup. At $3.50 a pound, beef shank is one of the least expensive cuts that Fountain Prairie sells. Nevertheless, after two hours of simmering, I had a rich stock, thanks to the bone and marrow running through the center of the cut. The shank meat—normally a tough, dry portion—was so tender I could pull it apart with my fingers to add it to the soup, no knife required. After adding root vegetables from Vermont Valley Farm (located in Blue Mounds), and some cabbage and peas, I had a hearty soup I was proud to share with friends—just like the Priskes would do.
For more information on Fountain Prairie Inn and Farms, visit www.fountainprairie.com. Visitors can enjoy the Priskes’ beautiful farm and hospitality by staying at the bed and breakfast they operate on site.
We hope you enjoy the Whole Grain Mustard, Garlic & Rosemary Marinated Roast Tri-Tip Beef recipe which accompanied this article in the Winter 2010 issue.