Archive | Summer 2015

In a field at Duda Farm, several hives house bees so that they may construct colonies and produce honey. They have hives in separate places on and off the farm with multiple harvests planned.

The Geography of Honey

Each jar of honey has a slightly different color from light to dark like grades of maple syrup and has distinct tasting notes based on geographic location and floral variety.

Midwestern Producer Stumbles Toward Seasonal Flavors

“We speak of ‘honey’ as if it is one thing, but honey is really a category of foods made by bees using plants of all kinds. There are as many honeys as there are fruits, and they are just as diverse.”

—Rowan Jacobsen, American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of our Woods, Waters and Fields

Gayle Duda, owner and operator of a bee farm based in Ponca Hills, Nebraska, spoons up a taste of her homegrown honey.

My curiosity about regional honey began nearly a year ago when I first cracked the spine of Rowan Jacobsen’s book American Terroir. In the book, the author explains the variety of colors and flavors that can be found in American monofloral honey. The most famous American honey is tupelo honey (you have Van Morrison to thank for that), which is made from the nectar of the briefly blooming Nyssa ogeche trees of Florida and Georgia.

I began to wonder if Nebraska or Iowa had its own monofloral … Read More

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Photo courtesy of The Pilgrimer

The Pilgrimer

Photo courtesy of The Pilgrimer

Nonprofit Coffee Shop Fosters Creativity

Lincoln’s newest gathering space, the Pilgrimer, located at 228 North 12th Street, opened in October 2014. Founders Ben Harms and Quinn Small dreamed of a space to support Lincoln’s players, makers and doers. Ben was inspired by the community spaces he’d experienced while living in Seattle. After returning to Lincoln, he realized the city didn’t have a cultural hub for people to gather. Quinn says the Pilgrimer’s mission is to build and support the local community.

“Everyone in life is always working or playing, but work should be more playful and play should be meaningful,” Quinn says. “The Pilgrimer is open to everybody who is doing a little bit of both.”

By day, the Pilgrimer serves locally roasted coffee and tea. It covers the majority of its operating costs through its coffee membership program, which offers unlimited drip or pour-over coffee, tea and soda for $25 per month.

“Our memberships give people a different amount of ownership and a feeling of belonging,” Quinn says.

The Pilgrimer rotates its coffee roasters, but all are locally roasted. Featured roasters include Cultiva, the Beansmith Coffee Roasters and shade-grown blends from the Arbor Day … Read More

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Cherry Syrup

Cheryy Limeaid made with Cherry Syrup
Photo by Janelle Shank

Yield: 2 servings

1½ cups water

1 cup sugar

2 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved

Bring the water and sugar to a boil over high heat in a deep, thick-bottomed pot. Add the cherries. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour the mixture into a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and push down on the cherries to release as much of the juice as possible. Let the mixture cool while the juice continues to drain from the fruit. Store extra syrup in glass jar in refrigerator.

Use in Cherry Limeade or serve over ice cream, pancakes or oatmeal.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin

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Dana Damewood, Summer Miller’s book photographer, and Cindy Driscoll, who assisted with recipe testing and cooking during the photography shoots, thumb through a copy of  New Prairie Kitchen.

The People and Food of the Prairie

At the launch party for the cookbook held at Benson Brewery, guests sampled delightful bites while enjoying seeing the culmination of author Summer Miller’s four-year journey to celebrate the foods and food artisans of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.

Summer Miller’s Culinary Journey Through the Great Plains

By Theresa Farrage • Photography by Alison Bickel

Cultures and geographic regions often define food, but no matter where you live or where you come from, food is universal because it sustains the body, nourishes the soul and has the ability to bring communities together.

For an award-winning journalist and food writer like Summer Miller, writing about food sounds like an understatement. “I don’t feel like I write about food, I feel like I write about the people of food,” says Summer.

Summer has been on a culinary writing journey for over four years and just completed her highly anticipated book, New Prairie Kitchen: Stories and Seasonal Recipes from Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans of the Great Plains.

“I’ve said this book is a love story, and it is. I wanted to validate living here not only to other people but also to myself. I didn’t always, but I’ve learned to value … Read More

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Photo by Mary Oswald

Quick-Pickled Red Onions

Photo by Mary Oswald

Yield: 1 quart

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Combine vinegar, water, brown sugar, salt and pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt are fully dissolved.

Place onion slices into a jar or bowl and pour vinegar mixture over until full. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then cover jar or bowl and place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin

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Photo courtesy of Wyn Wiley

Goldenrod Pastries

Photo courtesy of Wyn Wiley

Boutique Bakery Dreams Up Inspired Desserts

At Lincoln’s boutique bakery Goldenrod Pastries, Angela Garbacz creates show-stopping, inspired desserts that cater to any dietary need.

Angela spent time in a few Lincoln restaurant kitchens before attending the French Culinary Institute (FCI), which is now a part of the International Culinary Center in New York City. At FCI, she learned the craft of classic French pastries, which continues to have influence on her pastries today.

New York ignited Angela’s passion for the avant-garde. She loves to express her eye for the unusual with unique flavor combinations and a strikingly vivid color palette. Angela’s creations include a zucchini Bundt with quark buttercream, cardamom-ginger carrot cake with buttercream frosting and a dark chocolate vegan brownie studded with bright-pink edible flowers.

The crumbs of Goldenrod’s origins go back to 2014, when Angela started the business online. She spent time blogging and baking, and soon orders started coming in. That experience inspired her to create a place for people to sit and linger over a sweet treat.

Customers can expect to find traditional pastries, as well as treats for those with vegan and gluten-free diets. “Anyone should be able to come … Read More

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Edible Reads

Kids in the Kitchen

By Lois Friedman

Take advantage of the long summer days, fresh produce from farmers markets and the ideas found in these cookbooks to engage your kids in the kitchen for a summer of delicious and healthy eating.

Cooking Class
by Deanna F. Cook
(Storey, $18.95)

Memories of cooking as a child, and her daughters Ella and Maisie, inspired Deanna Cook to collect these 57 fun, easy and kid-friendly recipes. Chapter one covers basic kitchen rules, setting up your kitchen area, picking ingredients, techniques, equipment, safety, cleaning up and setting the table. Sections called Lunch Lessons, Breakfast Café, Snack Attack, Eat Your Veggies, Time for Dessert and My First Dinner fill the rest of the book. Ample photos and colorful graphics illustrate the pages. Recipes progress from easy, or “one spoon,” and work up to a “three spoons rating.” Numerical instructions include how-to photographs for each step. Bonus features include colorful stickers, labels, place cards, recipe cards and game cards.

Starting from Scratch
by Sarah Elton
(Owlkids, $18.95)

Not a cookbook, rather a “conversation starter” for kids ages 10 and up, Starting from Scratch is about food, “how it works, why it works and what you need … Read More

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tortilla press

Corn Tortillas

Photo by Mary Oswald

Yield: 16 small (5- to 6-inch round) tortillas

Photo by Mary Oswald

2 cups masa harina (corn flour)

1⅓ cups water

¼ teaspoon kosher salt (optional)


Mix masa harina, water and salt, if using, in large bowl until soft dough forms. The dough should be wet enough that it will not crack or crumble but not sticky. Add water or masa harina as needed to get dough consistency.

Separate dough into walnut-size balls and put in large bowl. Cover balls with damp paper towel to keep pliable.

Place heavy skillet on stove over medium-high heat. While skillet is heating, remove one ball and press flat using a tortilla press or by placing between sheets of parchment and rolling out into a circle until ¼ inch thick. Cook in hot skillet for about 1 minute on each side until the tortilla puffs slightly and becomes flecked with brown, adjusting heat under pan as necessary. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to one week. To reheat, place between damp paper towels in microwave for 15 seconds per tortilla or in a skillet for a crisper tortilla.

—Recipe from Azteca MillingRead More

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