The Secret to a Good (Organic) Egg at Morning Sun

The drive out to Morning Sun Organic Farm, located near West Alexandria, Ohio, weaves through hilly, quaint towns on a beautiful autumn day. Our mobile directions fail us and we concede to the fact that we’ll be late to joining the lunch invitation extended by the Filbrun family. We get back on track after the technology fail. Soon, we are heading down the long driveway toward the Filbrun family’s farm, where we are then warmly greeted (despite being late) by both the scenic farm and our hosts, the Filbrun family. The kids run to and fro, with the youngest finding solace from the myriad of new faces (a group of us from DLM, including the Dairy managers) in the arms of her grandfather, Dale Filbrun. I quietly reach my hand into my pocket and switch my mobile to silent, not wanting the interruptions that come with it as we spend time with these kind people.

 

PURITY STARTS WITH TRANSPARENCY

DLM has had a relationship with Morning Sun Organic Farm for more than 20 years when Dale walked into DLM Oakwood with a dozen eggs and introduced himself to Larry Fourman, DLM Oakwood’s longtime Dairy manager. The yolk of a longtime friendship with DLM started that day.

Dale and his son Daren explain that the purpose of their invitation, beyond sharing our company over a meal, is transparency in how they do things. There is a purity that shines through as they delve into their belief of their product and practices. With great pride, they walk us through the inner workings of their 160-acre farm, where they have about 8,500 chickens laying approximately 7,250 eggs per day. The chickens are certified organic and cage-free, meaning that the numerous red barns that line the West Alexandria farm each have multiple openings with fans running constantly, allowing for ample ventilation, and open access to green space where the chickens can roam.

The natural feel of chickens clucking contently marries well with some modern advancements that the Filbruns have made over the years, like a conveyer belt that brings the eggs laid in nesting houses to a gathering spot. Young Daniel, age 4, doesn’t hesitate to take a break from playing to jump up and begin carefully placing the eggs in carriers. Nobody asks him to do so; he just saw the eggs and his eyes lit up, happy to help in his own way. As a parent, I can admire the sense of responsibility these children are learning. Although these tasks are carried out on a daily basis by the adults, the lifestyle is a part of them.

“We used to be washing the eggs by hand,” Daren remarks, as he carries Daniel’s sorted eggs to a machine that carefully suctions the top of each egg so that they can be cleaned. They then travel down a line to undergo a process called candling, where a bright light shines through each egg, and they’re sorted for quality and size (hence large vs. jumbo), and then finally packaged. Next step is delivery, with Morning Sun Organic Farm bringing their eggs to pockets of restaurants and retail locations, like ours.

THE SECRET TO A GOOD EGG

Daren points out how nicely the chickens are feathered, noting that they aim to not overcrowd the individual areas. In addition, each of the red barns where the chickens lay eggs has its own designated pasture, rather than a shared one.

Dale is quick to add that a good (organic) egg starts with a happy, healthy chicken, which is the result of its environment, even down to the soil. “In addition to scratching in the pasture for bugs and worms, they also get organic (and therefor non-GMO) grain raised by us,” Dale says. “We have been following the organic standards since 1992, before it was popular, because we believe in raising nutrient dense food, whether it’s for my family or our chickens.” By doing so, he says this gives Morning Sun total control over what the chickens are fed—whole grains and no animal by-products. “That’s very important,” Dale says.

After touring the farm and meeting the family and team behind Morning Sun Organic Farm, I notice one more hidden layer to what makes a good egg—the Filbrun family. Together at lunch sit four generations, from Dennis and Doris to Dale and Evelyn, Daren and Holly, and their children, joined in business as well by good friends Shane, Ellen, and Myron. Evelyn’s contagious laugh lights up any room and the kids contentedly play all the while while we enjoy conversation. As Dale says of the chickens, “birds of a feather flock together,” and so does this close-knit family.

Meet the Coffee Roasters Who Will Be at Our Coffee Crawl

As we gear up for our Coffee Crawl, happening January 18 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (coffee roasters will be on site at DLM WSQ only; tastings will be at all locations), we invite you to meet some of our participating coffee crawl friends!

ERIE ISLAND COMPANY

“Founded by a crew of four coffee enthusiasts (a TV producer, a photographer, a ferry boat captain, and, thank goodness, a Starbuck’s manager) … with the opening of their first shop on Kelleys Island.”

CRIMSON CUP COFFEE

“Roasting coffee is both art and science, and our master roasters use decades of experience and enhanced technology to identify the perfect roasting curve for each coffee.”

ZINGERMAN’S COFFEE COMPANY

“Minerals in the soil influence the body and acidity of coffee; higher altitude makes for a sweeter, higher-quality coffee (on account of lower temperatures, rather than the elevation itself).”

SILVER BRIDGE COFFEE

“Our flavored coffees are free of solvents and chemicals often used to flavor coffee. They are gluten free, vegan friendly, and Kosher certified.”

REZA’S ROAST

“I worked at the student-run coffee shop on UD’s campus when I was a business student and fell in love with coffee. Reza is my middle son’s middle name and when I started this business, I had 3 little boys under five who I would drag along to the roastery with me while I roasted and bagged coffee. They had their own little play room there. The boys have traveled all over the world with me to visit coffee farms we buy from. … I am proud to provide Dayton with high quality, ethically sourced coffee that I roast fresh each week.”

BOSTON STOKER COFFEE CO.

“Harnessing coffee at its peak flavor starts with finding the best quality beans through direct sourcing and supporting the farmers who grow them. Better care for the farmers means better conditions for the crops, means better coffee for you. We roast more than 150,000 lbs of coffee annually in small batches ranging from 25 to 150 lbs. All orders are roasted fresh daily and cupped by our quality control team. Each roast is designed to capture each varietal of coffee at its peak flavor. From start to finish, a better bean.”

EQUAL EXCHANGE FAIRLY TRADED COFFEE

“We were founded with an unusual mission—to create a new model of bringing the best coffee from farmers to consumers in a manner that’s direct, fair, and sustainable to all involved: the environment, the farmers, our employees, and customers.”

TWISTED RIVER COFFEE ROASTER

“Roasting coffee in small batches gives us more control in the roast profile of the beans. More control means that we are able to pull out the natural flavors of each coffee.”

ROOTED GROUNDS COFFEE

“Over the years we’ve supported amazing causes, such as The Marvin Lewis Community Fund, The Flying Pig Charities, Bogg Ministries, UC Foundation, Kettering Foundation, Feed the Children and The Second & Seven Foundation. Giving back is at the very core of who we are. When you purchase Rooted Grounds Coffee, you are helping us help others.”

New Look, New Year, New Classes!

We’ve ramped up our style and are bringing you a more modern look to match what we’ve got going on in the DLM Culinary Center. Love food and want to learn, talk, and share it with others? Our cooking classes, interactive dinner parties, and other events are a great way to have fun and eat some amazing food. Come in and see what we’ve got going on in 2020—it’s absolutely delicious!

View Our Full Cooking Class Schedule!

COOKING CLASSES

Our classes are designed for home cooks with busy lifestyles who have a passion for food. We offer both an intimate hands-on experience and demonstration classes covering a wide range of delicious topics, including kids’ camps, family nights, couples dinner parties, 5-course food and wine events, to name a few!
Now enrolling at DorothyLane.com/CulinaryCenter

PRIVATE EVENTS & COOKING PARTIES

Whether your goal is to entertain VIP clients, celebrate a family birthday, or host a shower, we can offer a fun, educational, and unique experience. We can create any combination of hands-on or demonstration activity, or just simply support your event by catering in our unique space. As with any event at the DLM Culinary Center, you choose your level of culinary participation.

CORPORATE & TEAM BUILDING EVENTS

Our professional chefs help your colleagues work together in a cohesive, positive, and efficient way to create a delicious meal together. Not only will your team learn some cooking skills, but they’ll have fun working together.

MEETINGS & KITCHEN RENTALS

Get out of the same-old conference room and host your meeting here! Filled with plenty of natural light, the DLM Culinary Center can support your team throughout the meeting with breakfast, lunch, yummy snacks, and beverages.

View Our Full Cooking Class Schedule!

Know Thy Lobsterman—Why We Choose Ready

Our lobster friends at Ready Seafood Co. in Maine are always on the cutting edge. Ready Seafood’s Captain Curt Brown, who many of you Lobstermania fans have possibly met in past years when he visits our stores, was recently spotlighted by Maine Lobster, an industry publication, for bridging divide between science and fishermen, thanks to his dual background as lobster fisherman and marine biologist.

The article reads: “Curt Brown, the marine biologist for Ready Seafood, spends his days in this rich and productive space between science and industry.

“Ready Seafood is one of the largest seafood wholesalers in Maine, shipping hundreds of thousands of pounds of lobster around the world every week.  Five years ago, the company made a commitment to science, and Brown, who has a Masters in Marine Biology and Marine Policy from the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, stepped in to fill that role.” —Maine Lobster, “Curt Brown: Bridging the Divide”

Both Curt and Ready Seafood are so ahead of the game on sustainability when it comes to their lobstering practices as they aim to ensure that the species is around for the next generation. This is a big reason why we’ve done business with this reputable company for so many years. It’s nice to see them recognized for those efforts.

We are proud to say that all of our lobster products in our Seafood department, both fresh and frozen, come from Ready Seafood.

Here Are a Few Lobster Items  to Take Note of That we Carry from Ready Seafood

Cold Water Lobster Tail. Try it poached in butter or split and grilled. Added bonus: It’s on sale this week through December 10, 2019!

Lobster Mac & Cheese & Lobster Risotto. Served on the half shell, the Lobster Mac & Cheese is a velvety mixture of cheeses and pasta combine with succulent chunks of lobster, taking this comfort food to a new level. The Lobster Risotto, also served on the half shell, is a luscious, creamy risotto tossed with tender pieces of lobster. Look for both it in our Seafood department.

Coming Soon! Cold Cracked Lobster. We’re talking freshly shucked raw lobster meat that has the flavor and texture intact. In just a few weeks, DLM will be the first grocery store in the country to carry this. It comes ready to poach, sauté, grill, and integrate in a myriad of recipes where lobster meat and claws are the heroes.

Lobster Cakes. Ready to cook, we’ve made the most delicious Lobster Cakes using Ready’s knuckle & claw meat.

Lobster Roll. Using our housemade Lobster Salad, you’ll truly savor Maine with this catch. Although this is one of our most popular summer cookout item, the secret is that we offer these all year long at Jack’s Grill, made to order.

Lobster Knuckle Claw Meat. Always on hand in our Seafood department so that you can make your own lobster rolls, lobster bisque, and other creations.

Mark Your Calendars Now for Lobstermania 2020, coming May 23, 2020! Every year the Saturday before Memorial Day, our friends from Ready Seafood in Maine come to DLM bringing with them a huge haul of live lobster! Our Lobstermania sale starts at 9 a.m., so come early because once it’s gone, it’s gone!  So save the date, invite your friends over, and get ready!

5 Things to Know About Our Non-GMO DLM Free-Range Turkey

1. LOCALLY RAISED

When you visit Bowman & Landes Turkeys in New Carlisle, Ohio, you’ll be greeted by the fall brilliance of splashy colors. DLM has partnered closely with Bowman & Landes to raise our turkeys for the past 14 years.

2. NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED

Two years ago, we proudly announced a huge DLM Difference when it comes to our turkey. We debuted our Non-GMO Project Verified DLM Free-Range Turkey. This was the result of a lengthy, ongoing process we embarked on with Bowman & Landes involving farm audits and documentation of procedures to make sure our flocks were raised Non-GMO Project Verified.

3. FREE-ROAMING

Our turkeys can roam in outdoor greenspace if they wish where they can bob and weave with curiosity. Carl Bowman says that this isn’t just to make a more flavorful turkey, but it provides the conditions for a healthier one.

4. NO ANTIBIOTICS/HORMONES

DLM Turkeys have always been antibiotic and hormone free. They are fed a diet that in addition to being non-GMO, also is 100% vegetarian.

5. IT TASTES GOOD

As Carl Bowman told us on a past visit, “A happy turkey is a healthy turkey. … We translate a healthier turkey to a more flavorful one.” We couldn’t agree more.

>>>Reserve your Fresh DLM Free-Range Turkey here!<<<

Here are some turkey tips for your holiday meal!

 

 

Thanksgiving Turkey Prep: 3 Methods to Try

I love all the November food magazines, blogs, and chefs all claiming they have finally found the best way to cook a turkey. Truth is, there is no one and only best way to cook it. Deciding on the desired end results will help the home cook figure out which particular cooking method can get them there.

Lots of families want the whole roasted bird as the centerpiece of their holiday table. While others want crispy, crackly skin with juicy tender meat inside, sans the stress of carving at the table. Some of us want a simple method that yields easy clean up, with just enough breast meat leftover for sandwiches. Others are in it for the adventure! Whatever you’re looking for, here are three ideas for how to prepare your locally raised Non-GMO DLM Free-Range Turkey, the turkey that’s the talk of the town!

1. The Traditional Whole Roasted Turkey

Step 1: Remove the neck and gizzards and discard or place in the bottom of the roasting pan if you desire. Rinse the turkey, drain well, and pat dry.

Step 2: Rub skin with Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and season well with Kosher salt and DLM Grilling & Seasoning Rub.

Step 3: Fill the cavity with celery, onion, and a quartered lemon. Add an inch of water to the pan and roast covered (uncover at end to lightly brown).

Step 4: Pull when meat thermometer reads 165ºF in the thigh. Let turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. It’s that simple! Hint: If turkey is too large to fit in your pan, see No. 3 below for a Spatchcocked Turkey.

2. Turkey Breast

We all know that dark meat is the most flavorful, but for those white meat fans, roasting a turkey breast is just the ticket.

Step 1: Try rubbing it with an herb butter, either making your own or using our DLM Herb Butter from The DLM Cheese Shop. Rub all over the outside and even tuck some under the skin!

Step 2: Choose a pan that’s slightly larger than your breast. Add about an inch of liquid to it. Try DLM Premium Turkey Broth or channel your inner Ina Garten and use white wine.

Step 3: Cook low and slow to keep meat from drying out. Preheat oven to 325ºF and cook until it reaches 165ºF.

2. Spatchcocked

The benefits are plenty—cut down on cooking time and maximize that crispy skin!

Step 1: Remove turkey’s backbone using a good pair of kitchen shears. Or, ask our Meat department associates to do this for you. Flatten turkey in pan, breast-side up, pushing down on breast bones. Pull thighs outward.

Step 2: Rub with Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides! Or, use a dry brine for extra crispy skin. Sit turkey uncovered overnight in the fridge.

Step 3: Cook to 165ºF. To carve, remove legs and wings and slice breast meat, paying attention to cut away from breastbone.

 

Best in Class Cheese Available at DLM

Rogue River Blue, out of Oregon, was previously the most celebrated cheese of the United States. Now, it’s the most celebrated cheese in the WORLD, announced by the World Cheese Awards, and we are proud to carry this best in class cheese while supplies last in The DLM Cheese Shop.

Rogue River Blue is a seasonal treasure of the winter holidays. Made in very limited quantities by Rogue Creamery out of Oregon and released each year during the fall, this decadent blue brings happiness to its fans for a few glorious months. Handcrafted using organic cow’s milk, Rogue River Blue is cave-aged for 9 to 11 months before it is delicately wrapped in pear-brandy-soaked Syrah grape leaves from the Rogue Valley. Don’t think this beautiful presentation is just for appearances, either! This striking gift-wrap also provides a stunning and transformative flavor profile.

You can expect the Rogue River blue to provide an intoxicating array of flavors that include pear, clove, blackberry, vanilla, hazelnut, cocoa, and even a touch of bacon. (I mean, who doesn’t love bacon nowadays?)

So how does one enjoy the best cheese in the world?
You can savor it after dinner with a touch of port or make it the center of an epic cheese plate. Generally blue cheeses pair best with bold reds, later harvest whites, or your favorite port. If beers are more your style, look for something malty and bold such as a stout, porter, or a barley wine. Whatever you choose, make sure it has some muscle because this beauty comes with a punch!

Look for this award-winning cheese in The DLM Cheese Shop while supplies last.

Trendspotting: Dried Flowers

Just like styles make comebacks, so have dried flowers. Their surge in popularity is everywhere, whether it be table arrangements, bouquets, or even decorative wreaths.

It’s a trend that we’re seeing supported from an array of growers. For instance, Hammelmans, a multi-generation family-owned company in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, is sending us some of the best dried bunches I’ve ever seen. You’ll find dried Chinese lanterns, wheat, flax, safflower, craspedia, and switchgrass. With these bunches, you can combine them to create your own stunning arrangement.

There are also local growers who are making stunning creations, like the dried wreaths coming to us from That Girl’s Flowers’ Nellie Ashmore. Each contains a variety of organic flowers from different times in the growing season, creating a story of the year. This dried flower trend truly is everlasting beauty.

The Amazing Rotisserie Chicken

I have to take the opportunity to tell you about one of my favorite meal shortcuts, the DLM Rotisserie Chicken. This ready-to-eat superstar is found in the Meat department. As a mom and a sometimes frantic home cook, the simple preparation of roasted chicken gives me an amazing amount of quick meal possibilities. Here are a few suggestions:

Thai Peanut Noodles

Pull chicken off the bone and slice into thin strips. Toss the strips with some pasta (I like either rice noodles or spaghetti for this). Add to it any of these mix-ins: Thai peanut or sweet chili sauce, a splash of soy sauce, julienned carrots, diced green onions, and chopped DLM Extra-Large Peanuts.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Shred chicken and set aside. In a soup pot, sauté a small amount of soup veggie starters, such as chopped onion, celery, and carrots, in a little Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil until soft. Add several cups of your favorite stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower heat. Add a package of tortellini and the shredded chicken; let simmer until tender. Serve with some crusty DLM Artisan Farmhouse Bread.

One Pan Chicken Enchiladas

In a non-stick skillet, layer your favorite enchilada sauce, a couple corn tortillas, and a container of DLM Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. Top with shredded DLM Rotisserie Chicken and some shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Cover and gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Finish under the broiler for a delicious cheesy crust and serve with a little sour cream and a dollop of DLM Homemade Guacamole.

Chopped Chicken Salad

Grab your favorite bagged leaf salad (I like a spinach and arugula mix) and toss in some shredded DLM Rotisserie Chicken. Throw in a couple of your favorite add-ins, such as drained black beans, diced jicama, green onions, chopped tomatoes, shredded Cheddar, and crunchy tortilla strips. Then, toss it all together with ranch dressing and a dollop of your favorite DLM Salsa.

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Shred the DLM Rotisserie Chicken and mix it up with some of our DLM Original Barbecue Sauce. Gently reheat if necessary and pile into our Bakery’s Golden Hamburger Buns. Try it topped with briny pickles, smoked Gouda, or our Homestyle Coleslaw.

Pumpkins, Gourds, & Squash, Oh My!

Beauty. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of the 180 acres that make up Branstrator Farm, located in Clarksville, Ohio. It’s from this land that our friend Jon Branstator has brought us pumpkins, gourds, and squash for about 7 years and counting.

Jon is quite frankly one of the coolest guys I know. Not only is he knowledgeable in agricultural (among many other topics), but he collaborates with several different agricultural and educational organizations, such as The Ohio State University.

As we step into the fall harvest, we can start to see the orange bursts in the fields, waiting to be picked. Jon waits for just the right time to pick his pumpkins and gourds, bringing the biggest and best to our stores.

The varieties Jon selects is a big deal as he spends a lot of time studying catalogs in the winter. Decisions range from the size—giant, large, medium, and small—to hybrid or heritage. Jon chooses varieties not typically available at other retailers. Large sizes with well-attached handles are important, not to mention disease resistance.

Jon also loves to use old-fashioned seeds, as they set the foundation for the harvest in addition to soil integrity (something he is very passionate about).

Some of Jon’s favorites you can look forward to this fall are Waltham Butternut Squash and Long Island Cheese Squash. In addition to the gamut of pumpkins of
all shapes and sizes, he also grows the best pie pumpkins which are great for decorating or making some fresh pies.