Archive | Winter 2015


Contents Winter 2015







Especially popular in France, crepes are a versatile type of a thin pancake that can be filled with a variety of fillings, both sweet and savory. They can be basic or fancy and served as an appetizer, main course or dessert. Use our recipes as a starting point and then let your creativity loose. Post your creations to the Edible Omaha Facebook page and share your favorites with our readers.
Photo by Trisha Hughes

Tools You Can Use
Honestly Fresh and Truly Local
Savor the Flavor
A Growing Expansion


Basic Crepes
Sweet Crepes
Savory Crepes
Ricotta Cheese
Baked Ricotta Cheese
Citrus Salt
Salted Citrus Ricotta Cookies
Clementine-Vanilla Bean Marmalade
Preserved Lemons


Growing to Learn

A Way of Life



Grow Food Anywhere


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Tools You Can Use

North Omaha Tool Library

Photo by Cheril Lee

Want to start a garden? You’ll need tools for that. Want to renovate your bathroom? You’ll need tools for that, too. For any project you may have, tools are available for your use at the North Omaha Tool Library thanks to artist Kjell Peterson.

Kjell created the tool library while he was participating in a fellowship at the Union for Contemporary Art. As a part of its yearly fellowship program, the Union selects 10 artists and provides them with studio space, a stipend and professional development opportunities. The program culminates with a group gallery show.

As part of the program, the Union asks the artists to commit a portion of their time to North Omaha. Artists are encouraged to engage the community through their artwork or volunteer work. Due to his passion for gardening, Kjell thought a tool library would be a great resource.

“The idea was that people could come to the library and rent tools to use for home projects or in their gardens,” explains Paige Reitz, program coordinator at the Union. People are welcome to come and borrow tools at no charge. The library houses saws, air compressors, hoses, … Read More

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Honestly Fresh and Truly Local

Photo by Cheril Lee

Daddy’s Neighborhood Fresh Market

Lawrence Butler and his wife decided to open Daddy’s Neighborhood Fresh Market after seeing that it was an addition greatly needed in North Omaha. “We wanted to do something for the Benson and North Omaha community that would be advantageous,” explains Lawrence.

And so Lawrence opened the farm-to-store, located at 4811 Northwest Radial Highway. He says 95% of the items he sells are local, and he tries to buy from producers within a 100-mile radius. “I want to keep the dollars in this community and support our local farmers and communities,” says Lawrence.

Lawrence’s goal is to promote local farmers, encourage healthier eating and offer customers fresh products. He meets most of the farmers he buys from at various farmers markets. He says many people may not realize how much work is involved in a farmer’s preparation for the market.

“It’s time consuming. It takes two to three days for farmers to get themselves ready, load up their trucks and drive to the market. Then they spend another day putting back all the stuff they don’t sell. I want farmers to be able to get back to doing what they love—farming—by giving … Read More

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Photo courtesy of Scriptown Brewing

Savor the Flavor

Photo courtesy of Scriptown Brewing

Scriptown Brewing

Scriptown Brewing specializes in session-style, handcrafted brews with moderate alcohol levels of 4% to 6%, so customers can enjoy the flavor of more than one brew without falling off their stools.

After moving back to Omaha from Portland, Oregon, Scott Stephens was introduced to award-winning brewer John Fahrer. Soon after, the two began brewing beers together at Lot 2 in Benson and now are co-owners of Scriptown Brewing in the heart of Omaha’s Blackstone District. As for their location, Scott explains, “I was fortunate enough to partner up with the guys [GreenSlate Development] who purchased several of the buildings in the Blackstone District. When John and I saw this space we fell in love with it, so I am leasing it from myself.”

According to Scott, Scriptown is unique because of their session-style beer. But that’s not all, “John’s farmhouse-style beers are amazing. He’s been home brewing for 25 years and won the National Brewer Award in New Orleans in 1996 amongst thousands of entries. He has a killer reputation in town,” Scott says.

Scriptown has about eight different brews available on any given day with flavors ranging from the lighter Mild Manner, … Read More

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A Growing Expansion

Common Soil Seed Library

Checking out seeds can be just like checking out books. Through the Common Soil Seed Library, anyone can check out seeds to plant.

The system works like this: People look through packets of seeds, labeled according to type of plant, vegetable or fruit. Though the checkout limit is six packets a month, seeds are available year round.

Since launching the seed program a year ago, Rachel Steiner, Omaha Public Library’s Benson branch manager, generates a list of requests twice a day from the other branches. The packet is produced, and it is transported to the customer’s home branch. The customer is then notified that the seed is available to be picked up.

The list tells Rachel which plants are most popular—herbs, tomatoes and peppers. Additionally, the list shows how many packets of seeds were requested from which branch. The popularity of the program was so great at the Elkhorn and South Omaha library branches that, in January 2015, they will open up their own seed programs.

“The one requirement I have when ordering seed from the extension office in Omaha is it must be open pollinated, which means it can be gathered and replanted next year,” … Read More

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Ricotta Cheese

Yield: 1 pound

2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ gallon whole milk
1½ tablespoons sugar
1¼ teaspoons salt
¼ cup water

Mix vinegar, 1 cup water and lemon juice together, set aside.

In a heavy, 6-quart saucepan, add the milk, sugar, salt and ¼ cup water.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Just before the mixture begins to boil, add in the vinegar mixture. Stir just once and remove from heat to allow cheese to curdle. Cool for 20 minutes.

Remove ricotta gently from pan and strain through cheese cloth or with a strainer for 20 to 25 minutes or until desired consistency—the longer the cheese drains, the thicker it will be. Discard liquid.

Use ricotta immediately or refrigerate in covered container for up to 2 days.

Recipe courtesy of Carmela Tomasello, La Festa Italiana cookbook

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Baked Ricotta Cheese photo by Mary Oswald.

Baked Ricotta Cheese

Baked Ricotta Cheese photo by Mary Oswald.

Yield: 6 servings

2 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon Citrus Salt or kosher salt
4 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

Preheat oven to 375°.

Mix cheese, thyme, salt, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil together.

Place in baking dish coated with nonstick spray, drizzle with remaining oil and bake for 20 minutes.

Broil until surface is golden and bubbly.

Serve immediately on crackers or stuff into Basic Crepes.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha
by Julie Kolpin and Mary Oswald

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Basic Crepes

Yield: 4 servings

½ cup water
½ cup milk (not skim)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

In a medium bowl, combine water, milk, flour, eggs and salt. Using an electric mixer, blend until mixture is very smooth and free of lumps. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Brush a 9-inch crepe pan (or nonstick frying pan) with butter and place on stove over medium heat until warm. Using a ¼-cup measure, pour batter into pan and gently rotate the pan to coat the bottom, ensuring batter is evenly distributed across the bottom. Cook until the crepe is set on top and begins to bubble, about 1 minute.

Using spatula, flip crepe over and cook an additional 10 to 15 seconds. Gently slide crepe out of pan onto a plate and cover with wax paper. Repeat process until batter is gone, stacking crepes between sheets of wax paper to prevent sticking.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin and Mary Oswald

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