apple pie

Life of Pie

What was the first thing you ever baked in your parents’ kitchen? I think 9 out of 10 people would respond “cookies.” Me too! I remember that our neighbors across the street  (Joyce Strong and her mother, Mary) had shared these funny little brown, bumpy lumps with us and I thought they were divine! When I asked Joyce about them, she said they were “Cat-tails.” The joke was that we had cats and the Strong family did not care for pets of the feline persuasion.

The cookies were actually an unbaked oatmeal confection that many of you have probably tasted or made at some point. It was the perfect first foray into the baking world for me because the cookies required no oven time! My mother’s cookies were a different story. Unlike those Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake cookies, each of Sadako’s cookies were perfectly round spheres…crisp and chewy and mostly eaten right off the wax paper where they cooled on the counter.

My mother, Sadako, born and raised in Taiwan, was a novice to American baking but she applied the strict attention to detail learned in her mother’s kitchen to her newly acquired skills. Due to her quest for perfection, she struggled especially with pie crust. And of course, apple pie was my favorite dessert in the world. I could not wait until she baked pie—sneaking into the kitchen late at night for a last piece before bed, waking up in the morning and eating a slice for breakfast. I even loved the little cinnamon strips she would make with the leftover pieces of pie crust. But she constantly complained of the troubles associated with rolling out crust so we did not have pie as often as young Ruth would have liked. :(

Fast forward to my first kitchen away from home and by golly, I was going to learn to make pie. Ironically, I don’t remember the first fruit pie I baked. But I do remember the first time I made a chicken pot pie for my sweetheart, JB. I recall that I used too many herbs in the gravy and one in particular, tarragon, was not his favorite. So several tweaks later, the Home Sweet Home chicken pie as it is today, became my signature dish. I took it to pot-lucks, friends who’d had babies recently or lost a loved one, and family reunions.

Eventually, we all return to our first (food) love and I am no different. I’m baking Apple Pie this week and every one of my senses will be aroused to memories of my mother’s flaky pies which she claimed were less than perfect but I found to be pure heaven.

Grandma Alice's Apple Pie

Grandma Alice's Apple Pie

Picky eaters of the world unite!

True confession: I was you. My pickiness was legendary among our relatives and my mother’s circle of friends. “Ruthie is so picky! She won’t eat pancakes or eggs or ham sandwiches!” My mother, ever intent on getting substantive food down my esophagus, would warn that she would reheat my breakfast at lunchtime if I didn’t finish the morning meal. I perfected the chew-then-spit-in-napkin move to the point it was undetectable even by my brother, who loved to watch me like a hawk. I was a pro.

Obviously, I haven’t been a picky eater for years. All of those “no thank-yous” of the past have become “yes, please” and “more, please!” Much to the detriment of my figure. Do you realize that your metabolism rate decreases 5% every year after the age of 35? How are we supposed to combat nature working against us?!!

But back to the subject at hand: individuals with narrowed taste preferences. There really is no formula to creating adventurous young eaters. In my parents’ house, we were berated to clean our plates because it was a crime to waste food. Conversely, when my children were young, without pressure, I constantly made a variety of foods so that they became accustomed to always eating something different. But the outcome was the same from my upbringing to my brood. We all love food and try almost anything and everything. We associate good meals with family, comfort and communicating. If there is a celebration to be had, it’s going to involve a great dinner.

So be patient with your picky eaters—they’ll come around eventually. And if they decide never to eat coconut, pickled herring or raw onions, cut them some slack. Take it from a reformed picky eater, some things are still worth avoiding!

Cowboy Pot Pie

Cowboy Pot Pie

SAVETHE DATE: Holiday sides, pies & gift tastings will be on November 3-4. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to try our line-up of yummy offerings for your Thanksgiving & Christmas tables as well as gourmet gifts to make your life so easy in December.

Good Ole Dr. Knapp

Our children had the best pediatrician for many years, Dr. Roger Knapp. I cannot forget his kind words to me when I was a new mother and was in his office for a well child checkup. He checked the baby over, discussed developmental milestones and then he said to me, “Well, I think she’s just doing amazing. Tell me: do you have any advice I can pass along to other mothers? Because you’re doing a wonderful job with your newborn.” I think I realized even then that his goal was to imbue me with confidence because most new mothers are full of doubt, but it still felt so good to hear these words from him.
Dr. Knapp always had nuggets of wisdom to share and he frequently discussed the emotional stages that the children would pass through at each checkup. When my daughter was a pre-teen we discussed peer pressure and body image. He told her to go to the mall, sit on a bench and people watch. If she could find 5 girls that she would gladly trade bodies with, he wouldn’t believe it. Then he turned to me and said, “You too, Mom.” Because we are all plagued by self-doubt and negative body image.

IMG_6458Dr. Knapp had walls and walls of patient pictures. If you sent him a family Christmas card or a graduation announcement, a school picture, it went up on the wall. Every time we visited his office, we would search for our family’s pictures. The kids would laugh – “you looked like a dork that year!” They really enjoyed seeing themselves in his hall of fame.

One thing my children will never forget: Dr. Knapp’s awful, corny jokes. He told so many Aggie jokes — it was his Alma Mater — and physical puns. We would groan and laugh appreciatively.

And he was a big proponent of family meals. Dr. Knapp insisted that children who sat at a table for dinner and talked with their siblings and parents were more intelligent, had better vocabularies and were most likely to be articulate! He was a wise man and I almost cried when I took my son to see him for his final checkup at 18 and his nurse told me “this is it. Dr. Knapp doesn’t see them after they go to college.” But we were so blessed to have him with us every step of the way while raising these children.

I love to reminisce about special people who have touched my life or that of my family, and sometimes I fear that if I don’t write about a memory that I may forget the impact they’ve had on us. So thanks for indulging my trip down the lane….

The pickup schedule is abbreviated this week as I am headed to Colorado to meet someone very special! And next week will be short as well because I have a mini-vacay with my one-and-only so I plan to post that menu on the online store pretty quick.

Remember that if you have any questions about the menu or how this works, email me. Call me. Text me. 214-675-1932

Check out the Menu for Aug 29, 2016. Order online here. Please order by 10am the day prior to your pickup and be sure to provide your cell number. Pickup schedule at 9800 Preston Road is as follows:

Tuesday 2-5pm (order by 10am Monday)
Wednesday 2-5pm (order by 10am Tuesday)

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m often asked how I got into this business. So a brief history. After my youngest was born, I had a sweet corporate gig working part-time in the office and part-time from home. Of course, all good things must come to an end so I was laid off in 1999. My girlfriends and I had a fun scrapbooking lunch once a week, taking turns hosting and we often discussed what was on the menu for our respective family meals. One of my friends asked, “Ruth, when are you going to start cooking for OUR families?” Thus, Ruth’s Kitchen was born. I published a monthly menu taking orders for the entire month in advance, cooked on Mondays and Wednesdays with pick-ups from my house on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Then I began to receive catering jobs for receptions at my son’s school, a couple of small weddings and wedding/baby shower brunches. And then I grew weary of cooking in my home kitchen. So I quit.

But a few years later, a good friend and I decided to start a gourmet gifts service, A Little R & R, and I was back in the foods business. In 2012 Artizone came along with a big crush on the idea of selling my pot pies, and Butterfield Gourmet became a real thing.

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However, in 1973 if you’d seen into my future and predicted a career in cooking for people, I’d have laughed at the prospect! After all, I had big plans to be a secretary in a police precinct or a private detective. (I think I watched way too many Charlie’s Angels episodes, and truthfully, I do love orderly files, freshly sharpened pencils and shiny staplers.) But I hope I’ve found my true calling in the kitchen. It gives me such pleasure to share the flavors that my loved ones have enjoyed over the years with your families today.

We have some of your favorites this week. Order a couple pies to put in the freezer for the 4th or pick up a big Cornbread Salad on Thursday for your Saturday cook-out!

To order, please email menu@butterfieldgourmet.net by 10am the day prior to pickup. Also provide your cell number if this is your first pickup!

Tuesday – 12-2pm
Wednesday – 12-4pm
Thursday – 10-2pm or until it’s all gone!

9800 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230

Order online here.

Check out this week’s Menu.

Bring your "A" game

I AM NOT AN ATHLETE.I just want to make that statement so there’s no confusion. My father was a track star in his youth and he always hoped I’d take up running but unfortunately, I was awkward and very unsure of myself in that arena. Being a daddy’s girl however, I was a sports fan. I knew all of the rules of football and baseball and Dad’s teams (Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Dodgers) were my teams. But it is only as an adult that I’ve come to appreciate a very valuable lesson that is learned through participating in sports, and specifically in being a champion.

I think the NCAA tournament, aka March Madness, is a really fun time of year. When our kids were in middle/high school, we would make a copy of the brackets, cut them up in to individual team pieces and then draw each team and assign it to an individual. The drawings were always random except for the #1 and #2 seeds. These were dispersed evenly so each person received a #1 and a #2. Then we would anxiously await the outcome of each game, with me keeping color-coded score and in the end, the winner received bragging rights and money seldom changed hands. The tournament itself really lent excitement to our little pool because in any given year, a #10 seed could come in and knock someone’s precious #2 seed out of the tournament with a single Buzzer Beater!

Invariably you’ll hear sports analysts and experts dub a team “bracket buster” because where they really have no chance to win the entire tournament, quite often they steal the chances to go all the way for a favorite team. (Think Michigan State’s loss to Middle Tennessee!) And I love this about the tournament!! This is where the life lesson comes in – that little nobody team that may have never made it to the tournament suddenly is on the national stage and they make the most of it! They brought their “A” game to play against the big power house teams and they were not going down without a fight. Isn’t that an attitude we should carry with us on an everyday basis? That no matter how small or insignificant the task or interaction may seem we should give it our all? Every day. Every hour. Every minute. It’s a winner’s mentality.

To apply this to lessons for our children: yes, if you have a setback, maybe a bad semester or you didn’t make captain on the drill team, it’s not over, you can strive to do better next time. But how much more difficult is it to make up lost ground when if you give it your all, all the time, you place yourself ahead in the running?

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Isn’t it funny the perspective that age brings? I sit here with my epiphany, ready to share it with my college freshman but did I think each course in school mattered enough to put forth my best effort? Ha. Not likely. But I can make it count now.

This week I am taking Tuesday off to spend some time in Round Rock with one of my little birds who is out of the nest, so pickups will be Wednesday and Thursday only. If you’d like to pick up Wednesday, I would greatly appreciate having your order by Monday noon. To order, send an email to menu@butterfieldgourmet.net. Thanks for reading along and I hope you all have a great week – get out and enjoy the sunshine!

Pickup Times for 4/4-8

Tuesday – No pickups
Wednesday – NW Hwy & Preston, 2:30 pm, 3pm, 3:30 pm
Forest & Preston, 4:30 pm
Thursday – NW Hwy & Preston, 2:30 pm, 3pm, 3:30 pm
Forest & Preston, 4:30 pm

BG Menu for Apr 4

2016 is going to be a good year

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I can feel it, can you? 2016 is going to be special, I just know it. I mean, January 2 already brought an amazing win for the TCU Horned Frogs! The past year was really unique for our family and the new year cannot possibly compete in the major-life-changes category. But it’s going to be a great year—I feel it in my core! P.s. Being more positive is one of my resolutions!!! :)

Quick comment on the picture – my youngest returns to TCU after a super fast winter break (3 weeks!) but we enjoyed every minute with him. And it was so wonderful to see him reconnect with his Jesuit brothers (always at our house or Village Burger Bar, it seemed). Each of the young men in this picture are at different schools, 4 in Texas and one in Indiana but they have stayed in touch and picked up friendships where they left off. We had an impromptu night of grilled pizzas and I loved hearing them ask each other about GPAs(!), football games and other campus experiences.

Very short week so get your orders in early. Send an email to butterfieldgourmet@gmail.com to place your orders or use the Order/Inquiry tab above. Here are the available pick up times/locations but let me know if you need something outside of these parameters and I will try to accommodate.

Tuesday – NW Hwy & Preston, 2pm, 2:30 pm, 3pm, 3:30 pm
Forest & Preston, 4:30 pm, 5pm

Wednesday – NW Hwy & Preston, 2pm, 3pm

BG Menu for January 11

October was a busy month...let's recap

I spent quite a lot of blog space last month talking about my two youngest — big changes in their lives with beginning college life and getting married. But my eldest son, Jack, also has a birthday in October so I want to share some thoughts on what a blessing he’s been to our lives. You may recall that he too entered matrimonial bliss in 2015, our January wedding to kick off a year of celebrations. He married his sweetheart of 6+ years and they are so well suited! With everything that’s happened these past months, I sometimes forget that they haven’t even celebrated their 1 year anniversary!
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We have a little bit of a running joke in our house about Jack and his sister Kate when they were little bits. They are just 19 months apart (Jack is the eldest) so I often referred to them as my twins. (Duh, wonder why they got married the same year!) The joke is that every picture of the two of them depicted a frowning or crying Jack and a laughing or smiling Kate. I dubbed these images “Tee hee, Boo hoo.” We have often said that Jack could nurse a hurt or injustice longer than anyone! But the truth of the matter is that he is sweet, sensitive and easy going. He is an amazing big brother, a loving husband, a devoted son and the friend that every guy wants.

I love to write. If you haven’t noticed. But the first piece I ever wrote for fun was a children’s story complete with illustrations. I had dreams to have it published but when you are raising four children and just trying to carve out some sanity in your every day life, sometimes thoughts like that are just nice to have as dreams. My book was entitled “Prince Jack” and it was all about the little guy that came into our lives 27 years ago. So happy birthday, Jack – mum loves you.

Prince Jack

P.s. This week’s menu can be found under the “Menu of the Week” tab and here’s a sneak preview of what’s coming for Thanksgiving!

2015 - A year of Changes and Blessings!

The time has come for my son to marry his sweetheart…they’ve been engaged since December 25, 2014, and the year has flown by! I am so excited for him and happy to have the event finally here after all of the planning. We have several big events this year so I am trying to set the tone for all of the excitement by taking a couple of weeks off. I’ll be cooking this week but out for the weeks preceding and following the wedding. Hope you will manage to stay warm until February…2015 Menu for Jan 5

Happy Memorial Day! Menu for May 26-30, 2014

Today we remember all of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to defend our freedom!  I know many of you are out of town for the holiday but I will be cooking this week….
To order, please use the Contact tab (or email butterfieldgourmet@gmail.com) and tell me which items you would like and what day you would like to pick up at my Preston Commons location. Please order by 10 am for pickup from 4-6 pm the following day.

Pick up is from 4-6 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or by request, Friday.

8115 Preston Rd, Suite 140 inside the Cafe Gourmet on the Go shop

Quiche: Asparagus Custard – unlike my other quiche, I bake this in a puff pastry shell! This rich pie comes across light.  $20/pie serves 4-6**

Pot pie:  Two choices this week-  Curried Chicken ($25) or Texas Brisket ($30)**

Entree: Italian-American Meatballs with sauce and Spaghetti – my meatballs have a little kick! IF you have any leftover, they are also awesome in hoagie rolls with mozzarella melted on top! $30 serves 4-6  GF available

Salad: Edamame & Quinoa -  this refreshing salad is bright and colorful with corn and cherry tomatoes and a bright lime dressing.  $12 serves 3-4 GF

Dessert: Grandma Alice’s Apple Pie – nothing is more American than apple pie!  My personal favorite fruit pie, it’s the first one I learned to make. $20/pie

Cookie: Heath Bar Cookies - irresistible cookies with chopped candy bars. $10/dozen medium cookies

  • GF crust is available for the quiche or any of the pot pies. Additional charge applies.

Thanks for your orders and your referrals!