chinese new year

Happy New Year! Woof!

              2018 is the year of the Dog

              2018 is the year of the Dog

Confession: I am quite proud of my Asian heritage. I love being a "halfie" -- Dad is Anglo (white boy) and Mom is of Asian descent. My brother, sister and I grew up very aware of our "difference," teased by our American cousins, treated as a novelty by Taiwanese relatives, adored by members of our father's church. Our mother, too, was so proud of her halfie children. She grew up poor in Taiwan, of mixed race herself (Japanese/Chinese), and adored anything Western (American). She wore poodle skirts in the 50s, and watched every Jimmy Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable and Grace Kelly film that made it to the screens in Taipei. It was purely chance (an act of God) that brought she and my father together and she immediately swooned over his movie star good looks - tall and thin, with hazel eyes and shiny white teeth. He was so good looking, she thought he would never find her attractive. But he adored her petite, exotic beauty, and then gave her the best gift ever -- three halfie children!

I grew up hearing pride in my mother's voice as she declared mixed-race children to be the most beautiful of all offspring and lacking in flat feet, flat noses, and possessing superior intelligence. Lol. Ring familiar? Every mother swells with delight over their progeny. For me, her pride led to a fascination and appreciation for my heritage, and especially the cuisine. We did not live in Taiwan long but I do remember fondly some of my favorite foods from that short time.

Jiaozi, or Chinese dumplings. My mother and grandmother would make hundreds at a time, using triple stack bamboo steamers. After steaming, my father could wolf down dozens in one sitting, dipped in a simple sesame oil-soy sauce-ginger mixture. I preferred them pan-fried after steaming, with a crispy bottom. Spicy Diced Chicken with Green Peppers. In my mind, this was my mother's signature dish. A lot of preparation went into each of her courses;  dicing the chicken into exactly the same size cubes, ditto with the bell peppers, hot peppers and slices of fresh ginger, marinating, double wok-frying and finally, sauced and brought to the table. Spring Rolls, not the Vietnamese version with rice paper but not Egg Rolls either with a thick doughy wrap. My mother's spring rolls had thin, crispy skins and were stuffed with lots of hand-shredded cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, strips of lean cooked pork and tender baby shrimp (if she felt like splurging). We didn't ever dip them in Sweet & Sour Sauce and only in simple soy sauce.

So with the advent of Chinese New Year, I have occasion to celebrate my heritage! Although I no longer have children in the house on which to bestow red envelopes as I received from aunts and uncles in Taiwan, I am able to stuff myself with Chinese cuisine. Chopsticks up!!

 

Side Note: Our family is obviously Christian so we don't really follow or believe in the Chinese Zodiac calendar as a true indicator of personality and one's future. But just for grins and giggles, my family has 2 Rats, 2 Dragons, a Horse and a Snake. You can find out which sign pertains to your year at this site, and feel free to try and guess which is my sign! 

 

Farewell to Artizone + SuperBowl Fun, CNY, Valentine's Day!

So much going on – where to begin?
Butterfield Gourmet is undergoing some changes, and I have to admit we’ve been surprised by some of them. Most of you know that Cafe Gourmet to Go, the shop that was hosting our business in Preston Commons, closed their doors permanently effective December 31. Since then we have been searching for a new home and I feel like we are getting close to finding a permanent or at least, semi-permanent location for us to work and you to pick up your meals.

This past week I received a call on Monday afternoon notifying Butterfield Gourmet that Artizone had shut down their online grocery delivery service – effective immediately! I have to admit that I was shocked. I was to be the Artisan of the month for February and I would celebrate my 4th anniversary on the site in May. Butterfield Gourmet had a really nice run on Artizone, and I was thrilled to have another avenue to reach customers. But we will move on and I am exploring new opportunities for product sales and delivery.

Today is SuperBowl Sunday! I like football (I’m rooting for Peyton); I enjoy the commercials (spoiler alert: there’s a tear-jerker for Moms!); But I really love the food (munchies, duh, my scene). We are having just a few people over but here’s what I’m contributing to our menu today:

Homemade Israeli Hummus with Naan wedges
Avocado Fries
Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins
Chips & Homemade Salsa and Queso
Southwestern Cornbread Salad
Sliced Cold Tenderloin with rolls and Horseradish Mayo
Football Brownies

And after that over-indulgent meal, Chinese New Year’s celebrations begin tomorrow! There are just a couple of menu items this week that I am including for that purpose – a Spinach & Edamame Salad (green for wealth) and Asian BBQ Chicken Wings with Fried Rice (red for luck). It’s the year of the Monkey!

Valentine’s Day follows this weekend so let me know if you need any sweet treats for your sweetheart or your child’s class or teacher. Some ideas: individually packaged Heart Rice Krispie Treats, decadent S’mores Bark, white chocolate bark with Walnuts & Cherries, Chocolate Custard Pie, Red Velvet Brownies…the list is endless. Shoot me an email for details.IMG_0546

Place your order via email to butterfieldgourmet@gmail.com by 10 am the day prior to desired pickup. Keep in mind that there are a limited number of pickup slots for each day, so if you can choose Wednesday or Thursday, please do! Available pickup times this week:

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

BG Menu for Feb 8