Archive | Winter 2016

fter soaking the soybeans overnight, Abigael cooks and mashes them and then mixes in the salt, koji and a couple of spoonfuls of store-bought, unpasteurized miso, which acts like a sourdough starter.

At Home with Miso

Clockwise from 10 o’clock: Soybeans before cooking; red miso; sweet white miso.

A New Winter Tradition

By Abigael Birrell
Photography by Alexis Abel

My recent fascination with making homemade miso began last year with a familiar problem. A mystery ingredient in my winter community-supported agriculture (CSA) box that I was determined not to waste. Anyone who has signed up for a share in a local farm’s subscription program has inevitably come across an ingredient that instead of inspiring delight and anticipation elicits a feeling of dismay. Like opening a hotly anticipated Christmas present as a child, dearly hoping it’s a skateboard but instead it contains sensible shoes. An impossibly large bag of locally grown soybeans were the sensible shoes of my CSA box.

They lingered on in my cupboard, long after all of the beautiful kabocha squash and hearty greens were gone. Soybeans are not the most glamorous legumes, to say the least. They don’t find their way into rustic Italian stews or French cassoulet. They don’t even have a place in that great egalitarian meeting ground for beans, American chili. And yet, here in the Midwest they are a ubiquitous sight, rotating year after year with the corn. Mostly, … Read More

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Contents Winter 2016

Slightly Sweet Granola
Granola Muffins
Creamy White Bean Soup
White Bean and Ham Soup
Homemade Sweet White Miso
Homemade Red Miso
Cranberry Caipirinha
Cranberry Simple Syrup
Pomegranate Old Fashioned

On the Cover

Hearty and filling, the white bean and ham soup pictured on this season’s cover is an old-fashioned recipe that is easy to prepare using inexpensive and readily available ingredients. Using the ham bone (or hock) makes this soup much richer tasting because the reserved water has all the flavor from the bone. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter day.

Photo by Trisha Hughes


A Different Kind of Local Harvest

A New Winter Tradition






Shining the Light on LOCAL Beer
Happiness on a Stick
Community-Driven Dining
Neighborhood Bistro


“The Very Earth Breathes Peace”

New-Fashioned Classic Cocktails
to Warm Winter Spirits


Inclusion by Invitation Only

Pick • Wash • Weigh • Pack


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Shining the Light on LOCAL Beer

LOCAL Beer, Patio and Kitchen

Owner Charlie Yin says LOCAL considers itself primarily a bar that is “trying to support the local brewing community, and through that, the people they employ, everyone in the chain.”

Of the 60 beers LOCAL has on tap, 54 are local, others from Iowa, and there’s even a gluten-free cider option. Charlie says they try to offer beers from as many local brewers as possible, including Scratchtown, Farnam House and Blue Blood brewing companies as well as Moonstruck Meadery. The beers are produced in Omaha, Lincoln, Ord, Broken Bow and everywhere in between.

Charlie says several of these beers are also being offered to a national audience through distribution and competitions. Scratchtown Brewing won a Gold Award from the U.S. Open Beer Championship this year for its American Imperial Porter, Black Eye.

Guests at LOCAL may enjoy beer flights comprised of four to five beers or attend a tap takeover where brewers come in and talk about their different beers. Typically, Charlie says LOCAL will have six to seven beers from a specific brewer on tap for the evening so people can sample an assortment while getting to know the brewer.

He says if you … Read More

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Photo courtesy of Stickalicious

Happiness on a Stick


Photo courtesy of Stickalicious

“Popsicles are fun. They’re trendy and they let me be creative. They keep my attention and interest because it is so fast paced. I make a flavor, take it to market and immediately know if it will go on the ‘make again’ list based on how it sells,” says Jenna King, owner of Stickalicious.

She says she chose to make ice pops because she wanted to make a food product that kids and adults would love with better ingredients than those you can get at the store. After a brainstorming session with her husband, Popsicles popped into her head. “We were able to quickly make a couple test batches and learn what worked and what didn’t,” shares Jenna.

Since June of 2015, Jenna, her husband and father-in-law have been selling Popsicles at the Aksarben Village location of the Omaha Farmers Market and hope to add the Old Market location and the Gifford Park Neighborhood Market this year.

“We are also planning on purchasing a cart so we can walk downtown and hit the splash pad at the base of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge because there is nothing more refreshing than an ice cold Popsicle … Read More

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Throughout his six decades of writing in support of caring for the land, Wendell Berry has often referenced Liberty Hyde Bailey. (Photo by Guy Mendes)

Edible Reads

“The Very Earth Breathes Peace”

Many Lessons Yet to Be Learned from
a 100-Year-Old Book on Farming

By Matt Low


Liberty Hyde Bailey’s The Holy Earth (1915) is not known by many today, but with a 100th anniversary edition just published by Counterpoint Press, a wider readership will come to see it as among the very first to advocate for changes that are still needed today, a full century after its initial publication.

Hopefully readers picking up this issue of Edible Omaha will have heard recent news of binding resolutions made at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21)—which has opened just as I’m writing this—by world leaders committed to preventing catastrophic damage to our coastal cities, mitigating the frequency of extreme weather events and especially protecting the world’s increasingly fragile agricultural systems.

Though COP21 has arrived at a time when there’s near universal agreement within the scientific community that addressing climate change is nonnegotiable, and a growing portion of the world’s population concurs, there has been no shortage of calls for human beings to have a less harmful relationship with the planet for going on at least a century now. Many readers will recognize the names Aldo Leopold and … Read More

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Food for Thought

As I wrapped up last year, I had two especially memorable local food experiences. In early November, I traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to meet up with many of the Edible publishers from across Canada and the U.S. for a weekend of business meetings. The event was hosted at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, which has been owned and operated by three generations of the Rembe Family. On their gorgeous property they have a historic inn, fine dining, organic gardens, honeybees and a lavender farm. It’s a wonderful example of historic preservation, sustainable practices and agri-tourism. Sitting down to each meal made fresh with ingredients grown on the farm or from nearby farms, I never felt overly hungry but proceeded to pretty much lick every plate clean. It was that good. Their lavender spa products are used in the historic inn, so with a freshly stocked fireplace each night, the calming aroma of lavender and a full belly, sleep was deep, restful and restorative. I hope you have the opportunity to visit someday.

For our family’s Thanksgiving, my husband and I committed to obtaining as much of our food as possible from local sources. Our freshly made dinner … Read More

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Community-Driven Dining

The Market House

Owner Nick Bartholomew describes the Market House as “a Modern American restaurant that utilizes local produce and protein that can be shared and enjoyed.” Executive Chef and Investor Matt Moser and Chef de Cuisine Ben Maides work with Nick on executing that vision every day.

Nick says most of the food used in the restaurant is dropped off by the individual producers. It’s something Nick and his staff take pride in. They change the menu every season and have a release party to celebrate. “Most of the main ingredients in our dishes come from Nebraska and Iowa. We do however do specials like oysters and fish that are flown in from a small producer in the United States. Elevated ingredients become excellent food,” says Nick.

The Market House’s menu is broken up in a rather unique way and consists of snacks, spreads, small plates and large plates. Snack offerings include deviled eggs with salmon roe and country bacon. A roasted-grape spread with ShadowBrook Farm chèvre cheese, grapes pan-roasted with sherry, and local honeycomb served with a half loaf of grilled peasant bread and olive oil is a current option. Spreads are served in stout Mason jars.

Nick … Read More

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Thoughts on Food for 2016

By Summer Miller | Photo by Ariel Fried

“Whether things were ever simpler than they are now, or better if they were, we can’t know. We do know that people have always found ways to eat and live well, whether boiling water or bread or beans, and that some of our best eating hasn’t been our most foreign or expensive or elaborate, but quite plain and quite familiar. And knowing that is probably the best way to cook and certainly the best way to live.”
Tamar Adler, An Everlasting Meal

We try in the time of New Year’s resolutions to find moments of reflection and set upon a path toward what we want to achieve in the months ahead. Typically, I classify my goals in terms of subjects I’d like to explore, experiences I hope to gain and adjectives I’d like to use to describe my life. Edible Omaha asked that I share a few thoughts on eating, growing and sourcing food in the event that a resolution on your list includes learning more about food, food systems or healthy eating.

Books. It’s always a good idea to know why you eat the way you eat. The following … Read More

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Northern pecan cultivars create smaller nuts with higher oil content than their Southern cousins. This means the nuts, for the most part, can handle a colder climate, although to what degree remains a discovery process.

in with the new


A Different Kind of Local Harvest

Story and Photography by Summer Miller

Last week Charlie Willnerd decided not to harvest pecans. Instead the few nuts that linger in the oval pod clusters of four or five will dangle from the trees’ sagging limbs and eventually succumb to the squirrels. Their feast, however, is not Charlie’s famine.

Twin Springs Pecans, based just outside of Bennet, Nebraska, is a small family business and the only single-source commercial pecan growing company in the state. It’s not the typical corn and soybean farm Nebraskans are used to, and for Charlie, that’s kind of the point.

If anything, the six-foot-two-inch farmer is a pragmatist and a calculated risk taker. Right out of college he entered the farm and ranch mortgage division in the insurance industry and that’s where he stayed for more than three decades. It’s also where he first became interested in specialty crops, and more specifically, pecans.

Charlie Willnerd runs Twin Springs Pecans along with his daughter, Sarah Ferdico, and son, Dave Willnerd. Based just outside of Bennet, Nebraska, their small family business is the only single-source commercial pecan growing company in the state.

In 2004 a trip to New Mexico piqued … Read More

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