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