I can see blades of grass through the footprints we made in the snow last weekend, despite the recent “flurries”. What we brush off as just a snow shower in March would constitute a storm in late December or January. Why is that? Are we so unaccustomed to winter weather that we panic in early in the season, or are we so acclimated by March that we feel there is no cause for concern? Or is it, as I suspect, just a collective desire to move on and be done with it? A desire to put away the shovels and start turning the earth in the garden, a desire so strong that everyone simply turns a blind eye to the snow and sleet and freezing rain and pretends it is clear and warming… In any case, I’ve noticed that nothing gets canceled due to snow in March, or hardly anything. Which is fine if you have good winter tires and don’t mind the messy driving, but which is difficult when you have late Wednesday and early Thursday appointments, as I do, and have to keep going 25mph on Rt. 25.
While events may not be canceled, attendance at everything is low, and I’ve noticed that everyone has been sick the past few weeks. “Everyone,” unfortunately, does include me. I very nearly made good on the promise to post weekly; I certainly would have had I not been participating in our area’s group illnesses. The joys of being connected to a place, no?
One real joy, however, has finally arrived. That’s right, Red’s has opened for the season. My son suggested we drive by on Friday and I agreed, despite my own doubts they’d be open. But there it was – the line out to the road, full of people in hats and gloves, stomping themselves warm in the wind. That area of South Portland, incidentally, is always cold. When it’s 90 degrees in August, it’s cold. But Red’s has reemerged from the piles of snow, as it has every year since 1952 (do, please, click the link and see their website for the full history). I’m delighted. No, Red’s doesn’t have the best ice cream in the area (another post for a warmer time), nor is it my first choice for grabbing a cone on the way home from the beach (that would be Beals) but it is an event when it opens, and it is decent and cheap and I love it.
Speaking of cheap, I should be clear about that fact that I am living in this place as a monetarily challenged person. That is, broke. So while I discuss this area, please keep in mind that I am exploring and enjoying on what is most generously called a budget. I do get to Fore St. or 555 about once a year but most days I simply fog up their windows while my nose leaves a little smudge on the glass. This is important information for you to have as you read about my experiences at Rosemont Market and Bakery.
Someone left a comment on an earlier post with the good advice to discuss things “off peninsula” when talking about Portland, and I whole-heartedly agree. So when I found myself driving by Rosemont last week, I decided to stop in. I first noticed the bagels and baguettes. In my perfect world, every store has bagels and baguettes in the window, even laundromats and butchers. I wanted to poke around before buying, though, so I turned my attention to some of their “homemade” items – chicken pot pies and dips and etc. It all looked great. Then I noticed a meatloaf. I’m a sucker for meatloaf, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. When I lose my appetite for meatloaf I will happily go back to being a vegetarian. This meatloaf, however, was clearly better than me. Beyond my means. From the other side of the tracks. This was a $14 meatloaf. I may have been in shock, but I’m pretty sure it was a regular loaf size. $14??? I mean, okay, they probably used organic and/or local beef, and they probably actually had pork and veal thrown in, and there were probably fresh herbs and some freshly grated,cheese and so on. I get it. But meatloaf, to me, is not only the ultimate comfort food but also the ultimate comfort food for people without a lot of cash. Sure, I might order it in a restaurant, when it comes all gussied up and ready for a big night out. But generally, it’s a way to stretch the grocery money. So the $14 meatloaf was more than a little amusing to me.
This is nothing against Rosemont, by the way. I’m sure the meatloaf tastes great. And this is not a review, because while I was standing there chuckling at the meatloaf a line eight people deep formed, and I ran out of time to buy anything. I will go back, though, for the bakery and to see if they’ve got the Cinque Terre frozen pasta they had listed on the freezer but were apparently out of (or was I delirious with illness already?). And especially for the Thirty Acre Farm foods I saw in a cooler. The link is a description of them, by the way, their own web site doesn’t seem to be up and running yet. I buy from them during the summer at the farmers’ market and love everything I’ve had. I think everyone should have some Ruby Kraut in their fridge, and Rosemont seems to agree. So score one for Rosemont. Perhaps it will help them in the inevitable Rosemont vs. Scratch bagel smack down…