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Beyond cows: community gardens in Omaha

Article: Beyond cows: community gardens in Omaha

Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA, Tuesdays at 9P, only on Sundance Channel.
When Ludo and Krissy hit Omaha tonight, they’ll be focused on soul food, rather than the beef for which the city is so famous. That means lots of vegetables… and while I don’t know for certain where Patricia “Big Mama” Barron gets her produce, it turns out she has lots of small-scale, local options available to her.

LUDO BITES AMERICA: Grandma's Bean Pie

Article: LUDO BITES AMERICA: Grandma's Bean Pie

My Grandma is incredibly resourceful. I do believe it’s a requirement of her generation. She manages to complete any given task with whatever she can find around the house, kind of like MacGyver. She’s been known to use scraps of cheddar cheese in her famous orange jello, where they’re nestled against canned mandarin oranges suspended in free-fall. As a member of a flourishing food loving era I pride myself for taking days to seek out the proper ingredients for a single meal, scouring dozens of specialty food stores to find the perfect peppercorns to season my Cacio e Pepe. But Grandma just gets the job done.

LUDO BITES AMERICA: Soul food searching in Southern California

Article: LUDO BITES AMERICA: Soul food searching in Southern California

Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA every Tuesday at 9P
I’m going to come right out and say it.

I know nothing about Omaha, Nebraska or anything related to the state that is below the Dakotas. The only reason I even know that – its location underneath South Dakota (incidentally, the state where my mother grew up) – is because I was required to take a timed geography test of the United States in fifth grade.

Nebraska was never much discussed beyond that. Apparently Southern California youths don’t have any use for other pertinent details about the Cornhusker state or its largest city and former capital, Omaha. I grew up associating Omaha with one thing – steaks – and envisioned that all the locals strutted around chewing straw in those cowboy boots with the little spurs on them.

Today, I still carry the association that Omaha = steaks = cowboys = people who think vegetarians make good speed bumps (I may have stolen that last one from the motto affixed to a recently spotted Fatburger truck). What I didn’t realize, and what others who grew up in California, going to the beach and taking timed geography tests probably don’t realize either, is that Omaha’s got more than steaks and cowboys and vegetarian-haters. Omaha’s got soul. And, incidentally, soul food.