Grocery Life May 5, 2014

Grocery Life May 5, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good Monday afternoon from Butler & Bailey Market,

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We sure could not have asked for better weather. For those that celebrate
Cinco de Mayo, I guess your weekend will continue through today. If you still need last minute supplies for Cinco; our deli/bakery department has plenty of their famous guacamole dip. Nancy also made a black bean mango salsa and a great looking strawberry margarita cake.

 

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strawberry margarita cake

 

Our produce manager, Brent, told me this morning that he should be getting homegrown local strawberries tomorrow. The season is very short for local strawberries so make sure you take advantage of them while they last. They are usually about 17 times better than shipped in strawberries.

 

I get asked quite frequently when our Cruze Farm milk and ice cream delivery is. They deliver to us
every Friday, usually about lunch time. If you are not familiar with Cruze Farm, they are a local, family owned dairy farm located in East Knoxville on the banks of the French Broad River. Their milk is a little different in that it is pasteurized but not homogenized. So it needs to be shaken before it poured. They also make some delicious ice cream. Coleen Cruze makes the ice cream and bases her flavors on what is in season locally. I bet she will be coming out with a new strawberry ice cream soon. Coleen also suggested that we carry eggs from Tickiwoo Farm. They are a local producer of eggs from humanly raised, pastured hens. We now carry them in the store so give them a try. These are the only eggs Coleen will use in her ice cream.

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tickiwoo farm

Friday, we tested out some more fried chicken recipes. We can’t seem to get a consensus on a favorite breading so I will probably pull rank and pick the one I like.

My weekend was busy as usual. Right after work Friday, my son and I went on a father/son campout that our church organized. One of the families owns about thirty acres with woods, pasture, and a creek so the boys had a great time running around the property. All was well until we decided to start the campfire. Boys and fires are usually not a good combination. They want to throw everything they can get their hands on in, including each other.
Luckily, everyone survived just some minor cuts and bruises. We had a great time and hope our family gets the chance to do some more camping this summer.

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tom & tyson camping trip

My daughter had her piano recital Saturday. My wife and I marvel at how much she enjoys performing in front of a crowd and how well she does it. We are certainly proud of her. Neither one of us have ever been comfortable in front of a crowd performing.

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Laurens piano recital

Well, time to get back to work. I hope everyone has a great day!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

 

Tom Butler

Grocery Life May 1, 2014

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rabbit in tom Mr. Rabbit is waiting for Tom’s garden to come in.

Grocery Life

May 1, 2014

By Tom Butler

              

Good morning from Butler and Bailey Market. It is hard to believe May is already here.

May and August are the transitional months for our labor pool at the store. We have always employed a large number of students so the ending of the school year and the beginning of a new one in August are when we have a lot of new faces and lose some familiar ones. It is always with a little sadness to see those folks move on. Most of them have been with us for several years. We do get a lot of satisfaction when they come back to visit and they have earned a college degree, started a great career, or maybe even gotten married and have children. It is kind of neat to have given so many people their first jobs. I hope it had a positive impact n them. May is also school prom time. When we did the scheduling for this week almost all of our high school students asked off for the weekend. This must be a big weekend for school proms. My first few years here, we had a small staff so when prom night came it was really a struggle to have enough employees to stay open. I always made a deal with the students. I would let them off for prom, but they had to come by the store on their way, to show off their fancy clothes and take pictures. They always held their end of the bargain and it was always a fun night to have them parading through the store in tuxedos and sparkling dresses.

Here are a few of them from the early nineties.

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prom pic 1

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prom 3

 

This should be a busy weekend at the store with the Kentucky Derby Saturday and Cinco de Mayo on Monday. Our deli will be doing plenty of party trays and the meat department will be busy with special orders. The best part is that the weather looks great for the weekend. We always sell a lot of fresh mint, for the traditional Derby drink, Mint Juleps. We will have a kit available this weekend that includes mint, sugar cubes, and swizzle sticks.

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lauren on a horse

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mint julep kit

Cinco de Mayo originated with Mexican Americans to commemorate freedom and democracy during the Civil War, and I guess all of America has adopted it because we love a reason to have a party. Popular items for Cinco include Mexican beers, limes, avocados, cilantro, chips, salsas, and guacamole. Frito Lay just came out with some new flavors of Tostitos you might want to try and our deli makes a guacamole that everyone loves.

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tostitos artisan chips

Ashley, our meat manager, is already taking a lot of orders for meats off the smoker so I am sure the smoker will be going day and night for the rest of the weekend. Call us if you need a special order (865-691-8881) otherwise we will see you in the store.

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DSC_0155

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life April 28, 2014

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tom and erica

Grocery Life

April 28, 2014

By Tom Butler

              

Good morning from Butler and Bailey Market! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Here at the store it was a very busy weekend. We wish everyday was a warm sunny weekend day.

I mentioned Friday that Rocky Hill Hardware   was having their customer appreciation day this past Saturday. They had a record breaking day. I know they got 750 hot dogs from us and served everyone of them. This community always supports special events in the shopping center and all of us are very appreciative.

 

My weekend was busy as usual.   When you have a seven and ten year old, it seems like we always have 100 places to be, and they are in a hundred different directions. About the time you sit back to relax for the weekend it is bedtime Sunday night. I guess the big thing at our house this weekend was my father-in-law came to visit. A father and his daughter is a dynamic not be taken lightly by a son-in-law. If that’s not enough, he grew up in Brooklyn, New York and has been in law enforcement all his life. I grew up down the street from the store and didn’t want to be a policeman even when I was a kid. It is almost comical when he and I try to make conversation. I have no idea of the world he lives in and he has no idea of the world I live in. I think my wife likes to conveniently disappear for long periods of time, leaving he and I alone, just to make it harder on me. Then she will jokingly ask me later if we bonded. The one thing he and I do have in common is we both love his daughter and his grandchildren, which seems to overcome any other differences we might have.

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lauren and tyson beach

 

 

This week at the store our new two week ad starts. You can find that on our website or pick-up a copy in the store. My favorite thing on sale this week would have to be the Kurobuta pork chops. This is a Japanese style pork chop that is very tender and flavorful. They are usually think cut so they go great on the grill. I season them with Regas seasoning, sear both sides and then slow cook them until done. Try some out and let us know what you think.

Our May cooking class schedule is out and there are still plenty of spots available. You can find the menus and   dates on our website. If you see one you would like to attend just call the store to make a reservation. Have a great day.

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler

Grocery Life April 25, 2014

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Butler family on vacation

Grocery Life

April 25, 2014

By Tom Butler

 

 

Good morning from Butler and Bailey Market! It looks like we are finally getting past winter although I think next week is going to be on the cool side.

Here at the store, Easter kind of marks the beginning of our “selling season.” Spring breaks are over with, the days are getting longer, the tax man has been put to rest for another year and Grainger County tomatoes are back in season.

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grainger county tomatoes

The winter months are when we do our planning for the coming “selling season.” This winter I decided that we needed to upgrade our cooking facility. Prepared foods are the fastest growing segment in our industry and if we were going to keep up, changes needed to be made. What seems like a billion dollars later, we have some fancy new equipment and have still not completed the project. We have three new ovens, two new smokers, a pressure fryer, one outdoor grill, and a big exhaust hood that I think could suck the air out of Rocky Hill if we opened all our doors. This new equipment sure is nice. I hope it can give us forty years of service, which was the age of our old oven.

Ashley, our meat manager, is already running the smoker day and night. He is smoking salmon, chicken, pork, beef, and bologna. He even smoked a fresh ham for one of our customer’s Easter lunch. It has all been very popular, so give it a try if you haven’t already. Today, we are going to test some more fried chicken recipes. Hopefully, we will be offering fried chicken soon. Meanwhile, the employees get a lot of free lunches because they are the official taste testers. I will keep you updated on our progress.

This Saturday, Rocky Hill Hardware is having their annual customer appreciation day. They are going to have some great deals on plants and hardware items as well as free hotdogs and drinks. Ernie and Susanne, the owners, have been great neighbors to have in the shopping center for the last fourteen years. I wish them great success on their big day tomorrow. I hope you all can come out this weekend and support them. And don’t forget to walk next door and buy a lot of groceries while you are here. Have a great weekend!

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Rocky Hill Hardware

 

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler