Grocery Life June 19, 2014

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hay bale painting warren butler Hay Bales by Warren Butler

Grocery Life June 19, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. For those of us that like hot weather, we are getting a good dose of it this week. The weatherman on my phone says that it might cool off down into the eighties by this time next week. I am not sure that will be noticeable, and the phone weatherman is usually wrong anyways.

We have had a good week at the store so far. Business has been good and nothing major has broken for about six days straight, which is a vast improvement. I am tired of paying repair bills!

I spent a lot of time yesterday signing people up for cooking classes. The July schedule just came out and the menus must look delicious because the classes are filling up quicker than usual. You can check out the menus on our website and just call the store to make a reservation.

Another thing that has been popular this week is our ready to go meals in the deli department. Nancy and our staff in the deli do a great job preparing these take home meals and all you have to do is heat them up when you get home. I think the hot weather puts people out of the mood to cook and these meals are a good solution for that. I know that they came in handy for my wife when my mother-in-law had some health issues and wasn’t able to cook for herself. Erica would buy enough meals to last her mother for a week so she didn’t have to go and cook something for her every day. We get a lot of comments about how good they are for people that can’t cook themselves for various reasons so give them a try if you get in a pinch.

An obvious choice to buy this week is Mayfield ice cream and Trumoo ice cream. Both of them are on sale through Saturday and when the weather is this hot, nothing is better than ice cream!

We will have a new ad coming out this Sunday which will be our Fourth of July ad. Can you believe the fourth is already here? Time is flying by.

I have been writing these blogs for about two months now and usually do them twice a week. Every time I sit down to write one I think about my dad, especially this last week since it was Father’s Day.

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Apalachicola boat painting warren butler Shrimp Boats at Apalachicola by Warren Butler

When I was away at college, which has been almost thirty years ago, my dad and I wrote letters to each other. I went to the same college he did, which was Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky. This gave us a good topic to write about that we both had in common. I would write him telling him stories about my college life and he would write back telling me stories about his college days. We would always try to out do each other with our stories, which was hard for me because he was a funny man and an excellent writer. He could really spin a tale. I guess that’s what made him a good lawyer?

We didn’t always have the best relationship; we were probably too much alike. He was very reserved with his emotions and praise for others and I am probably the same way. When we were in a room together, the silence could be deafening (just ask my wife), but when we were writing to each other the words came easy between us. Until I started writing this blog I have not tried to tell a story in written form since those letters from college so every time I do this I think of him.

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fruit painting warren butler Still Life Fruit by Warren Butler

Another reason I think of him is I have his artwork hanging all over our house. When my father retired from his law business he started spending a lot of time painting. He had painted some throughout the years but really pursued it after his retirement. He actually became very good at it. Of course I would have never told him this since we didn’t exchange praise. He would often ask me what I thought of a painting he had done, and I would tell him it was okay regardless of how good it was. I would then tell him all the great artist like Van Gogh and Monet painted hay stacks and until he painted a good hay stack (they are now hay bales) he couldn’t be considered a great artist. Guess what I got for my next birthday, a huge painting of hay bales. I guess he showed me?

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hay bale 2 painting warren butler Hay Bales on the Farm by Warren Butler

Many of you have told me about the paintings of his that you have in your homes. Just this week, a lady told me she rented a house at Pawley’s Island last week and in that house hung one of my father’s paintings. I don’t know how many paintings he did and where all they hang, but I do know it meant a lot to him that someone enjoyed his art enough to hang it in their home. It means a lot to me that so many people besides myself have gotten to enjoy his talents.

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pawleys island church painting warren butler Church at Pawley’s Island by Warren Butler

I can’t say all of the memories of my dad are good ones, but I choose to think about the good ones like the letters we exchanged and the art on my the walls.

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to tom.butler44@gmail.com

Grocery Life June 16, 2014

 

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tyson baseball tournament 1 Tyson’s Tournament Team

Grocery Life June 16, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone had a good Father’s Day weekend! We had a busy weekend at our house. My son, Tyson, was chosen to play in a baseball tournament this weekend so he had a game on Friday night and two games on Saturday. My daughter, Lauren, was gone to an overnight camp most of the week and came home Saturday. My wife had a baby shower to attend Saturday and then we had a going away party for some friends at our house Saturday night.

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Lauren at camp Lauren getting off the bus from camp

 

 

I talked about pecan crisp cookies in the last blog and our friend that gave us the recipe brought them to the party Saturday night. Those things are good! We all started eating them as an appetizer before dinner was served. I decided to make thumbprint cookies to see how they stacked up against the pecan crisps. Thumbprint cookies have been my favorite since childhood. When I was a kid, I grew up going to the Bearden Shopping Center with my mom. At that time White Stores was the grocery store in the center. There was also Whiteway which was variety store, Coffin Shoes which is still there, the Green Stamp store, Crenshaw’s Children’s Shop, Henderson’s Drugstore, Nancy Lynn Fashions, C&S Dry Cleaners, and Wade’s Bakery.

Wade’s Bakery is where I was introduced to thumbprint cookies. I remember getting two quarters a week for my allowance when I was a kid. It was always spent at Whiteway on some kind of toy or at Wade’s Bakery on thumbprint cookies. I can still vividly remember going into the bakery and asking how many cookies I could get for my two quarters. I also remember having to decide which colors of icing I wanted on my cookies. The cookies are really small, you could eat them in one bite, and I remember just nibbling on them on the way home to make them last longer. I have great memories of all the shops at the Bearden Shopping Center. We all knew the shopkeepers and they all knew us as well as who our parents were, who our grandparents were, and at Wade’s Bakery they probably knew the colors of cookies I was going to pick out before I told them. In those days there was no mall or internet so my family did most of their commerce in one little shopping center in Bearden.

The Rocky Hill Shopping Center and the businesses in close proximity remind me a lot of the ones I grew up with. We are all local, family owned businesses and you can just about meet any need with a walk up the sidewalk or across the street.

I hope all of us doing business in Rocky Hill are giving you experiences that produce the same fond memories that the Bearden Center did for me. Those were my “good old days.”

Here is the recipe for the thumbprint cookies. I actually have three recipes that all claim to be Wade’s Bakery’s. There are probably a lot more than that floating around. This is the one I used Saturday and it seemed to be pretty close to my memories.

Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

Cookie

Icing

 Cookie Instructions

Beat together butter & shortening until soft, add sugar gradually continuing to beat until mixed. Add egg, vanilla, and salt and mix. Add flour slowly and continue to beat until mixed. Portion out dough and roll into logs about one inch in diameter. It might help to refrigerate before doing this because the dough can get really sticky. Slice into ½ to ¾ inch rounds and place on greased cookie sheet. Press thumb into the center of each cookie making an indention. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes. You want the bottoms to slightly brown but the tops should not.

Icing Instructions

Put confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and slowly add water while stirring. It takes very little water so go slow. You can always add more sugar if it gets too thin. Get a consistency to where it will barely drip off of a spoon. Mix in salt & vanilla. Once mixed add food coloring. I usually separate icing into two or three bowls so I can make more than one color. Fill in indention of cookies with icing and you are done. This recipe will yield 4 to 6 dozen cookies.

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Thumbprint cookies Thumbprint Cookies

These things are not real easy to make but once you do it a time or two it becomes easier. When the kids help me, we always have to make a lot of different colors for the icing so don’t let them help unless you have all day.

We are starting the second week of our two week ad this week. Last week I was really promoting our prime Ribeye steaks. This morning Ashley, our meat manager, told me we sold a ton of them. He then said, “you know we didn’t make any money on them.” I guess I need to quit promoting things we don’t make money on? Maybe I should promote lottery tickets. Somebody in Knoxville made a lot of money on one of them last week. Well, we don’t even sell lottery tickets, so I guess I will just keep promoting the things I love to eat and the things you tell me you love to eat. It seems to have worked so far.  Have a great day!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Respond to tom.butler44@gmail.com

 

 

 

Grocery Life June 12, 2014

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Meat Department Butler & Bailey Market Time for a Father’s Day Steak

Grocery Life June 12, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week! We are finally getting some rain this week. Unfortunately most of the rain has been accompanied by damaging winds. Tuesday’s storms knocked the power out here at the store right at rush hour. It stayed off for two hours which forced us to close. It also forced us to postpone our cooking class that everyone had just been seated for. When the power did come back on, Keith and a repairman had to spend several hours making sure all the equipment was back on and running properly. We have had a run of bad luck the last few days which I hope means good things are coming?

On a brighter note, Dylan is back to work. He was in a bad car accident several weeks ago and has finally healed up enough to get back to work. He says he has learned his lesson about driving 70 mph on back-roads. I hope so, he is lucky to get a second chance. Another one of our employees, Adam, is on the cover of the June 5th Metro Pulse magazine. Metro Pulse has done a feature story on Adam and three other high school students called the “Gang of 4.0.” These four students have become national figures in the debate over school reform. They also all carry grade point averages above 4.0. As you might imagine, Adam has been a good employee for us. He doesn’t get to work many shifts because of his extracurricular activities but that’s okay. Most all of the students that work her are involved in a lot of things. We keep a box up in the front office for them to put their schedule requests in. It always stays full. When we make out the schedule every week it is like putting together a jig-saw puzzle. Most of the notes are the students asking off for ball practice, music recitals, or family activities. Adam’s notes are usually asking off to meet with the school board, interview the governor, or change the world. While Adam’s accomplishments have been well publicized, all of the young people that work here are very impressive in their own right. I am glad the store gets to play a part in their lives. I hope you get a chance to read the article. You can find it by clicking here.

I mentioned in a previous blog that we have been talking to a company in Chattanooga about their gluten-free products. We got our first shipment from them yesterday. We put all of their products on an end-cap in the store so if you are looking for more gluten-free options you can find them in one place. So far, my favorite thing from them is the sea salt and vinegar kale chips. My wife’s favorite thing is the cranberry nut crunch. We also got in several varieties of gluten free pastas from them.

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Kale chips

Speaking of gluten-free, one of our friends introduced Erica and me to some gluten-free cookies she makes. The cookie’s official name is “Pecan Crisps” but we all call them “Crack Cookies” because they are highly addictive. They are easy to make. Here is the recipe:

Click on Picture to Enlarge

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pecan crisp recipe

Nancy and Melody, in the bakery, are making Oreo cakes this week. I haven’t tried one yet, but they look delicious. You might want to add one to your Father’s Day menu.

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Oreo cake

The meat department will stay busy the rest of the week cutting steaks. Father’s Day weekend is always one of the busiest for steaks. I am a New York Strip guy myself, but I think I will do the Prime Ribeyes this weekend. They are on sale and they look great. If you are not sure what kind of steaks you want, let the guys in the meat department help you. They always do a great job of picking out the perfect steak.

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Meat Department Team Rick, Scott, Ashley, Raymond, and Greg

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life June 9, 2014

Grocery Life June 9, 2014

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Lauren enjoying the Smokies Lauren enjoying the Smokies

By Tom Butler

Good morning from Butler and Bailey Market. I can’t believe it is Monday already. The weeks seem to click off quicker in the summer than in other seasons.

I hope my Monday is like a Friday because last Friday was like a Monday here at the store. We had electrical problems. Friday about mid-morning half of the stuff in the store quit working. Lights were out, coolers and freezers stopped, and computers shut down. Oddly enough the other half of the store was working. I called the electrician who services the store and got his voicemail. This is the same electrician I paid several thousand dollars to this winter to rebuild our electrical service so things like this would not happen. I finally got him on the phone and explained our situation and he came immediately. Once there, he hooked up meters to wires, flipped breakers, and scratched his head for several minutes. He finally concluded that we had lost a third of our power. I am no electrician but I had concluded this before I had called him. He then explained about losing a leg, electrical phases, amp loads, and circuits which to my ears sounded like blah blah blah, blah blah blah. Anyways, about four hours later he had it fixed. Four hours later I was fit to be tied so I decided to start my weekend a few hours early and left work.

On the way home I rented a wood chipper and took out my frustrations by pulverizing all of the brush piles I had stacked around my yard into tiny little pieces. I felt much better after this. Pulverizing things with heavy equipment always makes guys feel better.

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wood chipper

The weekend really improved after Friday. Erica and I took our son out fishing Saturday morning. He is seven and we are trying to teach him to fish with a fly rod. He seems to be getting the hang of it and we did catch a few small bluegill. What my wife did not know was when it’s just the guys in the boat we kiss the fish before we release them. I am not sure Erica approved of this so I later told Tyson some things just need to stay between a father and son.

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Tom & Tyson fishing

He also now knows that we only play baseball in the house when mom is not at home. We both learned that one the hard way. Sunday we went on a family hike in the Smokey Mountains. It was a beautiful day and a nice way to end the weekend. Spending time with my family in the outdoors always cures work stress. I am a lucky guy to have them.

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Tom & Erica hiking

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Lauren and Tyson Smokie Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week at the store, we have a new ad. It started yesterday and will be in effect for the next two weeks. You can find the ad on our website or pick up a copy in the store. Prime grade Ribeye steaks are on sale this week. Prime is the highest grade that the U.S.D.A. uses. Only three percent of all beef receives this grade. We have always carried Prime beef and I think we are about the only store doing so. Since Father’s Day is this weekend, it might be a good time to treat dad and yourself to the best.

 

I am sure Nancy in our bakery will be making some special deserts for Father’s Day. So far she is keeping them a secret from me so I will have to get back to you on them. Ashley told me he is really selling a lot of his meats off the smoker. You all must be enjoying them as much as I am. He also makes a Piedmont BBQ sauce that we sell in the store that goes great on his smoked meats, especially the pulled pork, so you may want to give it a try. I hope you all have a great week!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

 

To view past Grocery Life blogs or look at our weekly ad click here

Grocery Life June 5, 2014

Grocery Life June 5, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good morning from Butler and Bailey Market. It looks like it may be a little cooler today. It also looks like today may be our best chance for rain in the next few days. I had a customer tell me yesterday that I needed to do a rain dance because her yard was drying up. I guess if it rains today, I will tell her it was all because I did the dance. Since I am the curious sort, I did look up rain dancing. It is a Native American tradition that is still practiced today on Indian reservations. Performing the dance requires a lot of chanting and spinning in a clockwise direction. I don’t mind chanting, but I do not do anything that requires me to spin in circles. I do not have the stomach for it. I will turn green and throw up. I don’t even like to watch other people or things that spin. I could never find any information on the success rate of the dance. Probably like everything else, when it rained people took credit and when it didn’t it was someone else’s fault. I did like looking at the special costumes the Indians wore for the ceremonial dance.

This Friday we have something new coming to our community, The Farmer’s Market. The Friday farmer’s market has always been held in the parking lot of the Church of Christ on Kingston Pike. They have now decided to move it to Lakeshore Park. Every Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., you can take the short drive to Lakeshore instead of fighting traffic on Kingston Pike during rush hour. If you have not gone to any of the farmer’s markets around town this is a great opportunity to start. I visit them quite frequently because we are always looking for new local products to sell in the store. For more information on East Tennessee Farmers Markets click here.

 

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vance pitch baseball 1 Vance on the mound

Lakeshore Park is also where my son plays sports in the Knoxville Youth Sports leagues. He actually just finished up his last game of the season in the “Vance Pitch” baseball league last night. This is a league of six and seven year olds, girls and boys, that Vance has pitched and umpired in for probably thirty years.

I really admire him for his commitment and dedication to teaching young boys and girls how to play baseball but also the life skills of teamwork and sportsmanship. There are not many people willing to get up on Saturday morning and pitch six or eight baseball games in a row to six and seven year olds plus a few games during the week. I know I wouldn’t and I have a kid playing in the league. For those of you that know him, I am sure you realize what an important mentor he is to our children. WVLT was doing a story about him at last night’s games and I understand several other news organizations have done the same. Click here for the story. He deserves all the accolades he gets. I would also like to thank the coaches my son has had as well as all the others coaching youth sports. It is a somewhat thankless job. They obviously do it for their love of working with kids because keeping all of us parents happy is impossibility.

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vance pitch baseball 3 Tyson’s coaches giving team pep talk

All of the new local products I have talked about recently are really starting to sell well in the store. One I was going to tell you about Monday was a new local blue cheese dressing called Better in Blue. We just got it in last weekend and sold out by Monday so I did not want to mention it until we restocked. We now have it and it is in the produce department. Another item we have been out of recently is fresh okra, but we finally got some in this morning and it looks beautiful.

I also mentioned how I prepare flank steaks in the last blog. Yesterday a customer was buying some and told me he was buying twice as much as he needed for supper because they use the leftovers for salads and other dishes throughout the week. This got me thinking…if we could convince everyone to buy twice as many groceries as they need our sales would double and our profits would soar! Well I am not a very good salesman so I guess that promotion would never work? However, if you do want to do this, we are not going to stop you. Have a great weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

 

If you received this via email click here for past blogs.

Grocery Life June 2, 2014

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Duncan boat dock Duncan’s Boat Dock

Grocery Life June 2, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good morning from Butler & Bailey Market.  June is upon us and we are definitely in a summer weather pattern. I think we have been for about for five weeks now. We need some rain. I love hot weather, but I also love gardening and fishing. When it doesn’t rain, the garden doesn’t grow which leaves me more time for fishing, but I like to fish small streams and rivers and they are very dependent on rain also. Until we get some rain, my new hobby seems to be pulling my kids on tubes behind the boat out on the lake. Every day when I get home they are waiting. Some days I really don’t want to do it, but I lose that vote two to one every time. Once we get out there, I end up having as much fun watching them as they do riding.

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Butlers tubing 1

I think another reason they want to go out in the boat so often is we usually visit Ben at Duncan’s Boat Dock. I am sure most of you are familiar with Ben Duncan and Duncan’s Boat Dock, especially if you live in the Rocky Hill area. He has been operating the boat dock since I was a kid and I think his family has owned the land since before they dammed the river forming Fort Loudon Lake. I think the only thing that has changed about the place since I was a kid is his gas prices and he now takes credit cards. I bet he doesn’t own or use a credit card, but he will gladly take yours. If the Andy Griffith show had ever needed to cast a boat dock operator and his boat dock in Mayberry, Duncan’s would have been the one. The appeal of the dock to my kids is they usually get to pick out a drink and a snack when we stop in. Regardless of what we have on the boat, Ben’s snacks and drinks are always better. What they do not realize is Ben and I have our own little micro economy. Ben buys a lot of his snacks and drinks here at the store to sell at his dock. He then marks up the price of them and my kids and I go and buy them back. We will do this all summer. My kids assure me that his drinks and snacks are better than what they can get a daddy’s store. So I guess I will not tell them any different. I don’t know if Ben comes out better on this or me, but I do know he usually has a big wad of cash in his pocket and I usually just have a credit card. Either way, I like doing business with Ben and appreciate him doing business with me.

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Ben duncan Ben Duncan

I talked about Joseph Lenn in my last blog and here is the recipe he sent me. I have not tried it yet but am planning on doing so tonight.

Kale Salad with Creamy Thyme Dressing
Serves: 1 pint
Ingredients
  • FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 ½ cups olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 1-2 bunches kale
  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts or 1 whole chicken
Instructions
  1. FOR THE DRESSING:
  2. Combine eggs, yolks, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and blend with an immersion blender (aka stick blender). Add oil slowly to emulsify (you may need to add a little water if the mixture becomes too thick). Finish by blending in thyme and parmesan cheese
  3. FOR THE SALAD:
  4. Remove the ribs from the kale, then wash, dry and cut it into ¼-inch -1/2-inch strips.
  5. Toss kale in a bowl with enough dressing to lightly coat kale.
  6. Season salad with salt and black pepper.
  7. Add more Parmesan and croutons of your choice (left over cornbread dried in the oven at 150°F makes wonderful crouton, or torn sourdough tossed in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan baked at 375°F until brown).
  8. You can do variations of this salad with Swiss chard, collard greens, or other leafy greens.
  9. FOR THE CHICKEN:
  10. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and coat chicken.
  11. Grill chicken until done.
  12. Slice or pull chicken off the bone and put in salad.

 

 

We did have flank steak with rice and Brussels sprouts this weekend. Flank steak is a lean cut of beef but has great flavor. The way I prepare it is to marinade a few hours in soy sauce. We have also used teriyaki or allegro meat marinade. I then grill it on low heat. For some reason it takes longer to cook flank steak to doneness so I use low heat to keep from burning the outside. I cook the Brussels sprouts on the grill at the same time. I make a foil boat; coat the Brussels sprouts in olive oil, and season with kosher salt, pepper, and onion and garlic powder. Then I put them in the “boat” with the top open. Once they start to brown on the outside, I wrap the foil over the top to completely seal them. This makes them steam which helps to tenderize. You do need to stir or turn them while they cook or the sides closest to the heat will burn. When the steak is done, we slice it in quarter inch strips. It needs to be sliced across the grain, which on a flank steak is widthwise not lengthwise. I then put the steak and sprouts over a bed of rice. If you have not tried flank steak, this is an easy way to prepare it and if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I can’t really blame you. I only like them grilled.

 

Another thing we did this weekend was feed our Sunday School Class at church breakfast. It was our Sunday to provide breakfast so we took quiche and banana bread from out deli/bakery. We make both of these things from scratch and they were a big hit with our class. If you need a quick and easy way to feed a group or just want something for yourself that you can just heat up and eat, give these items a try. We have four different varieties of quiches (ham & cheese, Mediterranean, Lorraine, and spinach, bacon, & feta), and we bake an apple caramel bread too. Have a great week!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life May 29, 2014

Grocery Life May 29, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week. It has been a pretty routine week here since Memorial Day. We did have an employee get in a bad car wreck Sunday night. He has been out of work since then but came by the store to visit yesterday. He is really banged up. The police told him he would have probably died had he not had his seatbelt on. After seeing him, I believe it. He does have some cracked ribs, ligament damage in his shoulder, maybe a broken ankle, a lot of facial cuts and bruises. He is hoping to get back to work soon and we hope so too. If you see a young man working here that looks like he has been in a car wreck, you might want to give him some words of encouragement. His fellow workers have been great about checking on him and picking up his shifts while he is out. We have a lot of nice, caring people working here.

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Dillan's wrecked car cropped Here’s the car

 

Speaking of employees, I talked with Joseph yesterday morning. He worked for us several years during high school and college. Joseph has become a close friend, a great fishing partner, and he is also the chef at Blackberry Farms. He and his wife and Erica and I are trying to plan a trip together in September. I hope we can get it worked out. When we talked yesterday, Joseph had just gotten off the phone with Allen Benton. Allen owns and operates Benton’s Smokey Mountain Country Hams. He’s the guy that makes the now world famous Benton’s Bacon. His business is in Madisonville, TN. Joseph uses his products at Blackberry and we sell his products here at the store. We both wish all of our suppliers treated us as well as Allen Benton does. He is a nice man. Joseph and I are always swapping names of local, family owned companies that produce great products and I know his guests and our customers benefit from this.

While I had Joseph on the phone, I asked him for a recipe to put in the blog. He told me he had just done some for the Wall Street Journal and I could google those. I told him I wanted one that was not already on the web so he is sending me one for a Kale Caesar Salad with grilled chicken. I will post it the next blog. Later in the day, I did google his name and the screen lit up with all kinds of articles about him, his recipes, and the awards he has won. It turns out he is famous. I then thought, I wonder what will happen if I Google my name? Not much happened. Oh well, at least my momma loves me. If you do want to find some of his recipes just google Joseph Lenn.

 

We have products from two new suppliers this week. The first is coffee from Three Bears Coffee Company. You may have seen Jeff selling his coffee at the local farmers’ markets. He is a nice guy, making great coffee, located right here in Knoxville. If you want more info on Jeff’s coffee click here. The other new products are cheeses from Three Graces Dairy. They are located in Marshall, North Carolina. This is a mother/daughter team that produces some fabulous, farmstead, French-style cheeses on their family farm. For more information on Three Graces Dairy click here.  I hope you will join us in supporting both of these family-owned producers.

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three bears coffee Three Bear’s Coffee Company at the Farmers’ Market

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threegracedairy-300x224

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also talking with a local honey producer, a local vegetable farmer, and a small company in Chattanooga that sells some great gluten-free products. We hope to have all of their products soon. I will keep you updated.

I hope you have a great weekend!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life May 26, 2014

Grocery Life May 26, 2014

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vet cemetery 5

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon and happy Memorial Day from Butler & Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good holiday weekend.

I have been thinking about this day over the weekend and realize I have not known anyone personally that has died serving our country. I will be 48 in a couple of months so most who served and are serving are either a generation before or after me. We have had and do have employees who have served and fortunately they did their tour and came home. I do know that they lost fellow soldiers that they were close with so this will be a special day for them. I can’t begin to understand what it means to serve and fight for your country or to lose a loved one that did, but I can do a better job honoring and supporting those that have and are. We probably all can. There is a veteran’s cemetery just down the street from the store (across from Lakeshore Park) and there is also one on John Sevier Highway which is near my house. I went by both of these this morning and took some pictures. I also walked and read many tombstones. I was very surprised by how many of these soldiers served in multiple wars. I think I will take my kids this week to visit so they can begin to understand and appreciate the sacrifice people have made for their benefit.

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This week at the store will be different. It will be the first full week of school being out so buying habits will change. Certain items that sell well during the school year will really slow down now and items that move slowly during the school year will pick up. We try to adapt quickly to this so we have the right inventory for you, but there is a learning curve every year.

We do have a new two week ad that started yesterday and our June cooking class schedule is now out. You can find both of these on our website. Barbara Tenney does a great job leading the cooking classes. If you have not tried one you should. You will get a full sit-down meal, instruction on how to prepare it, and the recipes of everything you are served. Call the store if you would like to make a reservation.

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Chicken thighs and drumsticks are in the ad this week. Some people do not like these parts of the chicken, but they are my favorite. The Butlers always fight over the dark meat at family gatherings. The way I have been preparing them lately is a little different. I marinade them overnight in two parts sweet tea and one part orange juice. I then put them in a disposable aluminum pan and slow cook them on the grill (250 degrees). It usually takes 20-30 minutes. I don’t know how I got started doing this, my wife was probably getting ready to pour out leftover tea or juice and I decided to cook with it. Anyways, I have brined whole turkeys, Cornish hens, and whole chickens using tea and juice, and we have always liked how they turned out. If you try it, let me know what you think.

 

Another ad item you may want to try are the Argentine red shrimp. These are probably our best selling shrimp. Many of you have told me that they are the next best thing to lobster. These are the shrimp Ms. Tenney uses whenever she has a shrimp dish in cooking class. When we cook them at home, they are either sautéed or grilled with lots of real butter and garlic involved.

 

I wrote in the last blog about making a reveal cake for some expecting parents. Now that they have cut the cake, I can tell you “It’s a Girl!!!” Congratulations to them and I hope all of you have a great week!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life May 22, 2014

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Grocery Life

May 22, 2014

By Tom Butler

              

Good morning from Butler and Bailey Market. I guess school is out for most everyone by now, so maybe some of you get to sleep in this morning. If your kids are like mine, they will probably be bored by lunchtime. I guess that is why swim teams and summer camps are so popular.

In my last blog I wrote about frying okra. Several of you asked me about fried green tomatoes. I do them exactly

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fried green tomatoes 2the same way I do the okra. Once they are fried, I put them on a bed of leafy greens, usually spring mix, and then add goat cheese crumbles. I like to use smaller tomatoes because the smaller slices work better on a salad. We always keep a good supply of Grainger County green tomatoes if you want to give this a try.

We had our first ever request for a “reveal” cake this week at the store. This is a growing trend with expecting parents. Some of you may have seen Abby Ham cut into her reveal cake on her news cast. Instead of expecting parents finding out the sex of their child and announcing it, they plan a reveal party with friends and family and have a cake made with the inside being either pink or blue. When the cake is cut, the color is revealed and everyone finds out the sex at the same time by surprise. In this circumstance, these parents want to find out at the party with everyone else so they had the doctor write down the sex and put it in a sealed envelope. Then they brought me the envelope so I am the only person that knows the sex. What a heavy burden for a grocery man. Now Nancy in our bakery department knows because she had to bake and decorate the cake yesterday, and the parents will know soon because the party is tonight. I will let you know in

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baby reveal cakethe next blog. My wife and I chose not to find out with our two children, which is pretty unusual these days. My mother always told me that the birth of a child is one of God’s miracles so we just let Him do His thing and found out when they came into the world. It is an exciting time regardless of when everyone finds out.

This weekend should be very busy at the store since it is Memorial Day weekend. We also have a new two week ad starting Sunday. We will be running the smokers all weekend with ribs, Boston butts, pork tenderloin, chicken, and salmon. The bakery/deli will have homemade strawberry shortcake, peanut butter pies, and chicken salad featured this weekend. Melon season is in full swing so cantaloupes and watermelons are really good right now. Mike, who oversees our dairy department, recommended I try our new Sargento Tastings cheese. He really likes them. We have four varieties so I am going to try all four this weekend. You may want to also. If you have not tried our pork and beef from Southern Natural foods, this weekend may be a good time to do so. They are a Tennessee company that produces all natural beef and pork on Tennessee farms. Ashley, our meat manager, has done quite a bit of consulting with them visiting their farms and processing facilities and is very impressed with their operation. These guys are producing a great product, doing it the right way, and they are local and we love local. I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life May 19, 2014

Grocery Life May 19, 2014

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By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market,

I hope everyone had a good weekend. My family’s was busy as usual. Probably the most entertaining thing this weekend at our house was tree cutting. My neighbor and I have ended up with an ivy covered pine tree thicket on our shared property line. We hired some guys to cut them down and I enjoyed watching them climb the trees to tie them off or limb them. I also like watching those guys make a tree fall exactly where they want it to. Both of those tasks take special skills. I thought my children would enjoy watching, but realized I was wrong when the first tree fell. My ten year old daughter immediately told my wife and me that we just killed a polar bear and that if we cut the rest of the trees it would kill all the polar bears. My seven year old son then chimed in to tell us that if we leave a room without turning out the lights it will ruin the earth. The only thing I will say to that is I guess they are learning something in school? Maybe they should turn off all their electronics, sew their own clothes, and walk to school if they are so concerned. I appreciate them being taught how to be better stewards of the earth but all things in moderation.

We are starting the second week of our two week ad. If you have not seen it you can find it on our website. Also be looking for our June cooking class schedule. We will probably have it out in the next few days and you will find this on our website.

One of the more popular ad items has been blueberries. They have become very popular in the past few years, probably due to their positive health benefits. I eat blueberries everyday in the form of a kale shake. This is what I have for breakfast every morning. I am not going to tell you they are great but for someone who has never had enough fruits and vegetables in his diet, it is just the thing. My recipe varies based on what we have at the house. In general terms it is one part fruit (1 cup), one part milk (skim or almond), two parts fresh chopped kale or spinach, and one raw egg (pasteurized). I started adding the egg for protein. It also seems to make it more filling so I don’t get hungry before lunch. For fruit I use all kinds of berries, bananas, peaches, mangos, and even clementines. I use fresh and frozen. I always use some frozen to make the shake thicker. I put all the ingredients in my Nutri-bullet blender, blend for a few seconds and I am done. Kale greens are considered a “super food” and we sell a lot. If the shake doesn’t interest you, our deli makes a kale super salad that is very popular and the produce department sells four or five varieties of kale salad kits.

To counteract all this healthy stuff, we are having fried okra for supper tonight. Everyone in our family can eat their weight in fried okra. I even make it for my son’s afternoon snack sometimes, he likes it so much. All I do is rinse fresh okra and slice it crossways no thicker than 1/4”. I then get a gallon Ziploc bag and put cornmeal in it along with salt and pepper. Amounts vary based on how much you are cooking. I would guess I use a cup or two of cornmeal and maybe a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. I then put the sliced okra in the bag a little at a time and shake it to coat the okra with the cornmeal until I have coated all of it. The okra will be sticky so the meal should coat it. Some people use a heavy batter but we like it better with a thin coat. I then put about a quarter inch of oil in a skillet on medium to medium high heat. Once it’s hot, I slowly drop the okra in from the meal bag. I cook it until it lightly browned (probably about 10 minutes) stirring occasionally. This is one of the few things my kids get excited about eating and it is a “green” vegetable. Fresh okra quality is kind of hit or miss until the local comes in, but we did get some nice okra in this morning so give it a try.

The picture you see at the beginning of this blog was taken before the shopping center was built. The buildings you see are right where we sit now. I went up on the

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Rocky hill new pichill this morning and took an updated picture which you see here. Notice how many more trees we have now compared to then. I can’t wait to get home to show my daughter. Have a great day!

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler