comfort food

So much more than a pot pie

Random new acquaintance - So, do you work outside the home?

Me - Yes, I operate a gourmet foods business—specializing in pot pies.

Pause. Polite smile. Her - Oh. How interesting. (translation: not.)

This is a recurring conversation for me…different venue, new face, same expression. Sometimes I just let it slide, content to have them think that Butterfield Gourmet is nothing special. Other times I emphasize some of the other facets of the business, for instance, the holiday gift boxes which we ship all over the U.S. On other occasions, I have shared my love of writing stories and how this business provides a creative outlet for me.

However, the fact remains that Chicken Pot Pies are pretty tasty. Tender chicken, sweet peas, savory gravy are packaged in a perfectly flaky crust, forked to your mouth hot and fresh to the delight of your digestive system. And it’s a simple meal—training from culinary school is not required in order to create the satisfaction of a chicken pot pie. Many of us ate pot pies growing up, whether Grandma made one from scratch, Mom heated Marie Calendar’s frozen version, or Dad filled a casserole with chicken stew and topped it with refrigerator biscuits, we all have a memory of the ubiquitous dish.

My pot pie “journey” began with a pie crust obsession in 1988, and thence continuing to make a savory pie for dinner every single week. Later, I always made a pot pie when I took a meal to anyone- a friend who’d had a baby or a grieving church member or a new neighbor. Truly, there is always someone in need of a hot, home-cooked meal.

But is it really a pot pie that they need, or is it more? Is it what the flaky-crusted dinner symbolizes? That someone cares about you. That we know you’re hurting and don’t know what to say. That we realize you are exhausted and don’t have time to take care of yourself. That you deserve an easy, comforting meal with no hassle. That we are happy to know you.

I’ve heard many stories since I began this career as a pie purveyor. I had a gentleman visit my stand at the St. Michael’s Farmers Market a few years ago and he became a regular, purchasing the Home Sweet Home chicken pot pies each week. Once I tried to convince him to try other flavors but he explained that as he was currently undergoing chemotherapy, the chicken pot pies were the perfect meal as they never upset his stomach. (pot pie = health food)

A customer who had purchased 30+ pot pies for the holidays shared with me how she and her husband had gifted them to friends, neighbors, and work associates and how impactful these gifts were. Because the couple delivered each pie in person, pausing to visit with their recipients, it was so much more than a delicious present; it was a gift of their time during an incredibly busy season. (pot pie = friendship)

Over the past year, our children have experienced the joy of adding to their families. It’s difficult for me, as Mom, to see them struggle with sleep deprivation, new parent anxiety and the challenges of finding balance between their formerly child-free lives and currently child-rules-our-lives. I cannot help them with most of these experiences except by listening and giving occasional advice, if asked. They have to find their way. But I always know that I CAN provide a hot meal, or several pot pies for the freezer for those nights when they have no time to consider how to nourish their own bodies, while caring for their little ones. And that gives me great satisfaction. (pot pie = mom)

So it’s not just a chicken pot pie. It is love, compassion, grace, friendship, joy, comfort, empathy, reassurance, forgiveness and community. And that’s pretty darn special. 😊

If you’ve been blessed with a gift of a Butterfield Gourmet pot pie (or any other comfort food) we would love to hear your story in the comments below!

I really love food - I think about it all the time!

I am constantly reading recipes, blogs and articles about food trends, buying cookbooks and dreaming about new menus. It seems that every mini trip or vacation is only enjoyable if I have planned where we will eat and managed to try a new cuisine or restaurant. But my obsession with all things epicurean can pay a toll on my waistline. And is there anything worse than looking at each meal for calorie count instead of flavor factor or satisfaction equation? So I have to exercise and occasionally sacrifice (no dessert on one night? wah!!!!) for the cravings of my palate.
We’ve just returned from NYC for a quick couple of days and I knew when I headed there that I wanted to try a restaurant that Food & Wine listed as one of the top 10 eateries IN THE USA for Fried Chicken & Waffles, my all-time favorite brunch menu item. But my dear hubby who is also facing a food-to-waistline crisis told me there was no way he could contemplate that meal without exercise! Ladies & Gentlemen, it was 30 degrees out and our hotel bed was warm and cozy on the 27th floor overlooking Central Park, snow-lined and glistening in the sunshine. BUT...the powerful pull of Ma Peche‘s habanero fried chicken accompanied by cornmeal waffles and drizzled in maple syrup…well, let’s just say I tied on my running shoes, layered up and hit that snowy trail. There were a lot of people out there doing the same thing, although unless they followed us to 56th St and 6th Ave, I’ll bet they were not as well rewarded for trudging out there in the cold – our brunch was divine!

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Here’s a great article I recently read about 4 chefs who are throwing off the notion that you have to be fat, well-fed, and hard-drinking in order to be at your prime and how they are treating their health as an important part of their careers.

Fear not – this week’s menu, while filled with warm comfort, is not heavy. I’ll still follow my usual routine – a couple of days of walking, maybe some elliptical at the gym – but I will be able to indulge in deliciousness without guilt.

Place your order via email to butterfieldgourmet@gmail.com by 10 am the day prior to desired pickup. Available pickup times this week:

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

BG Menu for Feb 1