GREAT RIGHT NOW!

RMB Great Right Now asparagusHang in there, we’re almost there. At Rosemont, we work really hard to stay seasonal and local. At this time of year, that means staying patient while the warmer temperatures nurture the goodness to come while it germinates in the ground. To help you endure the wait, we’ll be bringing you the best of what we can source from here in the northern hemisphere.

This week, we’ve got:
Tasty red and white new potatoes from Florida.
Organic strawberries; gorgeous and from California.
Asparagus; great tasting, organic, and also hailing from the golden state
And be on the lookout for orange cauliflower. Really.

THE LITTLE THINGS

At a certain point, the quality of anything you love, want to improve, want to deepen your understanding of, depends on very small changes. Steps that seem absurdly small eventually add up to dramatic shifts.

All good cooks know this. Good businesspeople know it too. At Rosemont these days, we’re taking a fine-grained look at just about everything we do, in attempts to tweak everything from the texture of our baguettes to the efficiency of our van routes to the quality of our staff education.

One example: our hummus, which this week is the result of a significantly longer soak time for the chickpeas. Creamier texture, deeper flavor saturation, way more satisfaction!

Another: our radish dip– easily the best new regular item our kitchen has come up with this season – is now a bit creamier as well, and a bit radishier too. (You’re darn right radishier is a word.) And the dip is extraordinary with everything from a cracker to a cucumber to our house-smoked trout. It’s an amazing burger topping, a great sauce for boiled new-crop potatoes (now in all our stores), and basically improves any other food ever. (Warning: not bananas.)

A stellar idea for a small step that makes all the difference: Use a sharp knife! Nothing helps you feel better about your cooking process than wielding a correctly sharpened blade. And unless you are very, very, very experienced at sharpening a blade, you won’t be able to get to the level of a professional, so Rosemont has teamed up with Jan Lloyd, of Lloyd Sharpening in Portland, to offer a knife sharpening service for all our customers. Jan picks up blades every Wednesday and returns them, hair-splice-ready, by Friday afternoon. The price is $1 per inch for kitchen knives, a bit more for serrated blades; details are posted in all our stores. Jan will be at our Commercial Street store Wednesday, March 16, 1-4pm, to demonstrate her skills; on Friday, March 18, 1-4pm, she’ll do the same at our West End store.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

St. Patrick’s Day is a few days away! We’ll have extra stout-based chocolate cakes and cupcakes this week, and we’ll have plenty of beef-and-stout stew in quarts. Look in our prepared food case for Shepherd’s Pie, both meaty and meatless, talk to the butchers about your St. Paddy’s Day brisket or our house-made bangers, and check the bread shelves for our famous Irish soda bread.

Our bakers are excited about this year’s line-up of special Easter sweets too: cupcakes, pies, and our infamous homemade peeps! Available in all stores on March 25th. And our butchers are ready to take your orders for locally raised leg of lamb and house-smoked hams with a honey Dijon glaze. Quantities are limited, so get your order in early.

Not quite world-wide holidays, but every weekend there’s at least one fun event taking place in Rosemont’s kitchen. Check our website for information and tickets. In addition to such regular events as Pizza Night and Meet Your Maker, Chef Bryan Dame is offering cooking classes three Fridays a month. The March class series on fresh pasta filled up quickly, but April’s classes on chicken are still open, there’s a stand-alone class on mushrooms, and in May we’ll offer another pasta series due to popular demand!

Bryan is also available for private events, catering and other food experiences. Email him directly, bryan@rosemontmarket.com, if you have questions or ideas. That’s the email address, too, for any suggestions or requests you have for future cooking class series. And if you’d like to take it to the next – and incredibly fun – level, you should arrange for a private class in the comfort of your own home. Bryan crafts classes for 6-12 people, according to your desires and interests.