Celebrating 2020 DLM Grads

Every year, we are extremely proud of the DLM associates who are graduating from high school or college. But this year’s class of 2020 is one we want to take a moment to especially recognize for their dedication to DLM and their community. You see, they’ve not only worked hard achieving their academic goals, but they’ve been an essential part of the DLM family during a time in history that very few will have experienced from the front lines of the grocery store. For some, this is their first working experience.

This year’s grads are among the DLM heroes who are dedicated to serving their community. You’ll see them in roles doing everything from cashier and carryout to helping to sanitize carts, like Olivia at DLM Oakwood and Brandon at DLM Springboro, to name a few. Also, as the demand for DLM Drive-Up, our online shopping experience, exploded overnight, grads like Kira and Kelly at Washington Square also have raised their hand to help, allowing us to further serve more households.

“When I think of the class of 2020, I think of their energy, happiness, and resiliency in the face of unprecedented challenge. We congratulate them and celebrate with them! They will always hold a special place in our heart,” says Calvin Mayne, DLM President. It’s with great admiration that we celebrate our 2020 graduates here at DLM—a true class act. These young stars won’t have the typical fanfare of graduation ceremonies, so please, take a moment to turn the page and view their smiling faces. And as you see them in the store, join us in congratulating them.

Emilia-Romagna: Savoring Every Bite

Emilia-Romagna is home to lots of delicacies that we couldn’t wait to bring to DLM for you to enjoy, too! Modena is one of my favorite cities in Europe, a land of fast cars and big flavors. A few years ago, we spent an afternoon with Maria Livia Manicardi touring her family’s estate where they produce their wonderful balsamic vinegars. She makes our DLM Balsamic Vinegars, including Aunt Angie’s Balsamic Vinegar, which is great for everyday use. Best of all, Maria creates our DLM Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. It’s a blend that we chose on site with Maria and we’re extremely proud to put our name on it. We think you will love its richness, depth, and complexity.

emilia-romagna

Maria Livia Manicardi produces our DLM Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. On a visit, she offered us a sample directly from the barrel where it ages.

Just outside of Modena are the rolling hills where the Minelli family’s cows quietly graze. Modena is known not only for its balsamic vinegar and Prosciutto di Parma, but also for its Parmigiano-Reggiano, named after the provinces Parma and Reggio-Emilia. For more than a decade, we’ve been buying this cheese from the same family, brothers Valerio and Giovanni Minelli, and Giovanni’s son Carlo. As we toured their operation, Giovanni said something I’ve never heard before from a farmer. We were visiting the barn where the cows were eating fragrant hay, and he whispered “Look into their eyes. They are happy.” And we’re happy to enjoy so many wonderful foods from Reggio-Emilia!

Several of us spent a memorable afternoon enjoying food company, wine, and Parmigiano-Reggiano at the Minelli estate, overlooking the hills of Modena. This family produces our Parmigiano-Reggiano.

We hope you’ll enjoy the foods of Emilia-Romagna as much as we do!

Tulips: The Gateway to Spring

The arrival of spring comes in many different forms, but there’s nothing quite like the brilliant colors of tulips illuminating our Floral department. Stuart Delk, Floral & Plant Director says it best, “Tulips are the gateway to spring.” Simple, yet elegant, these blooms have become a favorite flower during this season. But how did tulips come to be so significant?

A member of the lily family, these flowers have a rich history. Because of its delicate nature and wide array of colors, this flower became a symbol of luxury in Europe. As the story goes, the price of tulips skyrocketed due to their extreme popularity and difficulty of cultivation. This frenzy is said to have caused a financial crash of the Dutch economy and caused what’s known as “Tulip Mania.” Although they have a complex past, or maybe thanks to it, tulips are celebrated each spring.

tulips

With their history rooted in the Netherlands, the idea that Dutch tulips are superior is a common misconception. Stuart states, “Dutch doesn’t necessarily mean quality.” We’re proud to receive our tulips from Mount Vernon, Washington. The cool maritime climate, defined by cold but not freezing winters transitioning to warm summers, paired with the fertile soil makes this location tulip paradise. In that area, spring has truly sprung when the fields are painted with these breathtaking blooms.

Throughout the month of April we will be carrying colorful cut tulips from Washington. Whether in a bouquet or an arrangement, these iconic flowers are a sure way to push away memories of the cold, wintry months and welcome spring with open arms.

Steps to Arranging Tulips Like a Pro

To keep flowers fresh, be sure to take them home and place in water as soon as possible.

  1. Clean your vase thoroughly. Flowers will last longer if the vase is free of contaminants.
  2. Fill vase with room temperature, clean water and flower food.
  3. Trim flower stems with a really sharp edge. A crushed edge may make it difficult for your flower to absorb the food and water.
  4. Place several tulips in vase. A fuller vase will lead to a better looking arrangement.
  5. Keep it simple! Tulips are beautiful as they are—there’s no need to add foliage.
  6. Find the perfect spot. Place your vase in an area that is away from sunlight and heat drafts. These will cause your flowers to wilt quickly.
  7. Give the stems a fresh cut frequently. Trim the tulip stems every 2-3 days as tulips continue to grow after they’re cut.

Irish Cheddars to Treasure

It seems that in March, everyone is a touch Irish and enjoys a pint or two of great Irish beer, particularly with that favorite American pastime—college hoops! However, Ireland is known for a plethora of wonderful food traditions and amongst our favorites are the cheeses!

Oscar Wilde Irish Cheddar is aged for two years and made with the milk of cows that are pasture fed during the months of milk production in County Cork.

Dubliner is like a Cheddar in texture but with the sweet, nutty taste of a Swiss and piquant flavor of an aged Italian-style cheese. It’s perfect with an Irish stout and charcuterie.

Cahill’s Irish Whiskey Cheddar, originally made for festive occasions, is now a year-round treasure. It’s made using Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey that lends a savory, rich tone. You’ll also love Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheese, which is odd-looking, but is perfect as the centerpiece on a cheese board.

Braising: The Art of the Winter Roast

Simply speaking, pot roasting or braising is cooking a tougher cut of meat gently and slowly in liquid until it becomes tender. This can result in a flavorful sauce that’s just waiting to be served with a starch or sopped up with DLM Artisan Bread.

The bonuses are plenty as not only does it make your house smell amazing but it feeds a crowd of people economically. And yes, it does tend to taste better after a day or two, so make enough for leftovers.

Braising Like a Pro:

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CUT OF MEAT

Good news—tougher cuts tend to be cheaper and they make the best braises. That combo of low and moist heat turns well-worked muscles, sinews, and connective tissue into rich, gelatinous, fall-off-the-bone deliciousness. Try: Chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulder, veal breast, lamb shanks, and chicken thighs. Bone–in meat imparts even more flavor.

braising

BROWN & SEAR LIKE THE BEST

This step creates the foundation flavors for the entire braise, resulting in gorgeous, deep golden-brown coloring. Browning takes time and space, so don’t crowd your pan as it may take multiple rounds! Heat a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven with a little fat to start. Then, complete the following steps.

STEP 1: Remove browned meat from pan and start the next round of browning mirepoix, additional veggies, aromatics, etc. 

STEP 2: Deglaze pan using liquid. This helps those browned bits become liquid, reinforcing the dish’s foundation flavors. Use enough liquid to partially submerge the meat. More liquid yields a stew-like consistency while less results in a more concentrated, richer sauce.

STEP 3: Cover dish and either place in a low-heat oven (325°F or less) or low simmer on the stove. Note that the oven tends to be more consistent. How long? It depends on what you’re braising and the size of the cut. That’s the thing about braises—it’s done when it’s fork tender.

STEP 4: Season sauce to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a splash of acid, such as lemon juice or a glug of wine to brighten things up. Want the sauce thicker? Remove the meat and veggies and bring liquid to a strong simmer. Reduce until desired consistency and season.

POT ROAST 3-WAYS

GUINNESS BEEF STEW

Meat: Chuck roast cut into 2-inch pieces.
Veggie Base: Mirepoix, leeks, potatoes.
Deglazer: Guinness Stout.

BEEF IN BAROLO

Meat: Chuck roast.
Veggie Base: Mirepoix, pancetta, fennel, tomato.
Deglazer: A hearty dry red wine (try Barolo).

AMERICAN POT ROAST

Meat: Chuck roast.
Veggie Base: Mirepoix and potatoes.
Deglazer: Beef stock.

Soup That’s Made Right Here in Our Kitchens

It’s 11:24 a.m. on a Wednesday and the DLM Homemade Soup Station at DLM Washington Square alone has already replenished two of the six 11-quart soup wells located at the Deli’s Soup Station. Fast-forward 32 minutes and that number jumps to four. On a typical day, our Deli serves approximately 225 quarts of soup. Factor in the Soup Station also located near our Meat & Seafood department and that number jumps even more.

When it comes to DLM Homemade Soups, we’re often asked “what’s your secret?” Truth is, sometimes the best secret is the one that is painstakingly obvious—the soups are made from scratch daily using chef-driven recipes and the very same meats and vegetables you’ll find in our stores. Unlike the soups found on most “hot soup bars” that come from a bag or can, ours are Made Right Here in each store’s Kitchen, and that’s something we’re pretty proud of.

“Terms like ‘homemade’ and ‘made from scratch’ have kind of lost their worth in today’s marketplace. Most people see it as an advertising gimmick that doesn’t mean what it used to. At DLM, it means exacly what it says—no gimmicks, no false promises,” says Rick Mosholder, Kitchen manager at DLM Washington Square. “The ingredients used in our soups are the exact same items our customers can buy. There is no ‘secret’ or unobtainable items that we use. Just good quality products from start to finish.”

Jessica Prior, who manages the Kitchen at DLM Springboro agrees. “Made Right Here—it’s what puts DLM on the map and we take great pride in that,” she says. The Kitchen at DLM Springboro is bustling with activity. She walks from the Kitchen and heads over to the Produce department to grab some fresh cilantro, which she chops once back in the Kitchen and adds to a pot of chili simmering on the stove. Each store offers about 5-6 different types of soup each day, ranging from the ever-popular Mom’s Chicken Noodle and Tomato Bisque to the more exotic, like Pork Posole and Tom Yum Gai. “We try to make sure that each day’s selection offers something cream-based, broth-based as well as an option with chicken, beef, and a vegetarian choice,” Jessica says.

DLM Homemade Soups are so popular, there is a dedicated soup chef for each store’s Kitchen—speaking volumes to Made Right Here in action. “It makes us all feel good to know people enjoy it … knowing that puts a smile on our faces,” Jessica says.

Check out what soups we have available today at your favorite location!

World-Renowned Cookware Now Available!

Loved by chefs all over the world, Staub Cookware’s enamel coating makes it indestructible, highly chip resistant, and keeps it from discoloring. Unlike other enamel cast iron companies, Staub interior surfaces are black so they’re not prone to stain, scratch, or discolor.

StaubCookware

The cast iron retains heat, keeping the dish warm long after it’s been taken out of the oven or off the stove. It cooks food evenly, making the end result more consistent in texture and taste. The special ceramic bottom also makes it possible for use on all types of heating surfaces. We like it because you can take it straight from the oven or cooktop to the table.

Being a favorite of novice chefs and skilled professionals, it makes a great additional to any kitchen. We like to think of Staub as heirloom cookware that can be handed down for future generations of good cooks.

George Punter – The Vera & Calvin Mayne Good Neighbor Award

The Vera & Calvin Mayne Good Neighbor Award recognizes a DLM associate who goes above and beyond to better serve the DLM family or the community at large. We are proud to announce that George Punter, Wine & Beer Manager at DLM Washington Square, is this year’s recipient for his involvement with Camp Emanuel.

George Punter receives The Vera & Calvin Mayne Good Neighbor Award

Camp Emanuel hosts day and resident fun-filled camps aimed at integrating kids with and without disabilities through a number of activities, from arts and crafts to horseback riding, archery, and fishing. George first became involved with Camp Emanuel in 1996 as a board member upon his wife’s encouragement. She worked for 45 years as a special education teacher, but saw a connection to George since the camp’s chief fundraising efforts are done through wine silent auctions, often featuring collectors’ finds. After three years on the board, George learned that Camp Emanuel was in need of counselors, so he gave it a shot and has been doing it for nearly 20 years. “It was a life-changing experience for me,” says George.

In addition to assisting with the summer camp program, George is also instrumental in helping plan Camp Emanuel’s annual fundraiser in the spring. It’s a live wine auction that typically raises $35,000 within three hours and fuels Camp Emanuel’s mission to promote decision making, team building, positive self-esteem, and encourages understanding and acceptance between children.

Cinco de Salsa y Guacamole!

Cinco de Mayo is a salsa party at DLM. Here’s why—back for the season are two of my favorites that we make right here, Salsa Verde and Salsa Roja. If you haven’t tried them, stop by this week and get a taste.

The Salsa Verde is made with fresh tomatillos that we roast over high heat. We add lots of organic lime juice to ramp up the bright, citrusy flavor of this salsa. Although it is pretty darn good with tortilla chips, I love it as sauce that I put over things like grilled fish (think Mahi Mahi or tilapia) or a simple grilled DLM Natural Chicken Breast garnished with a couple slices of ripe avocado.  Try it over some soft scrambled eggs this weekend, you won’t’ regret it!

The Salsa Roja has a slightly sweet, smoky flavor because we roast the fresh Roma tomatoes, onions, and Poblano peppers together over high heat until they get blistered and charred. Then we pulse them all together in a food processor until slightly puréed. So of course it’s great with the regular line up chips, quesadillas, and tacos. Personally, I like this one spooned over a grilled DLM Natural Beef Skirt Steak with some warmed tortillas on the side.

Of course you can’t forget the guacamole! You can always pick up a tub of DLM Guacamole from Produce, or if you make it yourself, be sure to check out a couple of our nifty tools to help. The Ultimate 3-in-1 Tool Kit from Cookut helps you make perfect guacamole in 3 minutes, plus helps you prepare, serve, and store all in one kit! You can also help keep your guacamole fresher longer with the Guac-Lock that seals without losing flavor or color by creating an airtight seal. Olé!