February is the month to honor Asian literature…at least for me.

Well, February is around the corner and those who know me, know that February is a bit special to me. To make a long story short, I was in an accident back in college and as a result of it I spent about 4 weeks mostly couch bound reading and watching reruns of M*A*S*H. One of the books I received in the hospital was The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan. This book consumed me. I fell in love, and for the next few years I made a ritual of reading it every year as a reminder of how lucky I have been.

Well, as much as I love this story, after a few years I knew it quite well and decided to find something new. But Tan had made her mark.  I found that the only thing that I wanted to read was that book, or something like it. Now it has become this subconscious need. Every year as the weather really starts to get cold and the days of the new year trickle by into February, I find myself craving Asian Literature. The Joy Luck Club, The Good Earth, Snowflower and the Secret Fan, The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother; the list goes on.

As a result for the entire month of February I plan to feature Asian writers and literature about Asian history, and in the case of The Backyard Bumpkin, Asian recipes in honor of my little bit of craziness. There will be one exception, but I will leave that as a surprise. 🙂


Thank you all for indulging my obsession. I hope you enjoy the reviews, commentary and recipes this month, and in case no one has wished it to you yet, Happy Year of the Dragon! (Chinese New Year was January 23rd.)

image courtesy of http://www.chinapage.com

Day 20: HP7 Party Update-8 pieces of 7, The End of an Era

So I have decided to throw a Harry Potter Party after all…

Here  is the menu, what does everyone think?

Happy Hour- 6:00-7:00 pm
In honor of our valiant hero trio we will be enjoying Ménage Trois wines throughout the evening.

…Gillyweed Salad (Seaweed Salad)
with toasted sesame seeds and orange slices-V

Dragon Rolls (sushi)

Rosé and Lake Water (Green) Tea

First Course 7-7:30 pm
Pumpkin Soup with roasted sage and garlic-V

Main Course- 7:45 pm
Bangers and Mash
with roasted onion gravy and baked beans

Potatoes, cabbage, leeks, cheese, cream, chives

Dragon Tofu-V*
Zucchini, tofu, yellow squash, garlic, spinach, peanuts, cashews
This dish is spicy.

Red and White Proprietary Blends

Dessert- 9:00 pm
Pumpkin Pasties

Treacle Tart

Cream soda, butterscotch schnapps, vanilla ice cream

English Tea

V= Vegetarian

I am actually pretty stoked about it! I got my ticket the other day, to the 12:05 am show, and I ordered formal invitations that are going out Wednesday…this is going to be awesome!!! I just hope I am not in over my head…

I know, I know, I am a mega nerd…I don’t care. 🙂

Day 9: A recipe…

So I am thinking of throwing a Harry Potter Party for the last movie release… but I am not sure I want the fuss. Primarily I want an excuse to make all the wonderful Harry Potter food in the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Although, today’s recipe is not in there…

Today, or tonight we are making butterbeer. 🙂


Butterbeer-for grown ups


  • Butterscotch Schnapps
  • Cream Soda
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • butter (optional)–use real butter


  1. In the bottom of a pint glass place 1 small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  2. Add 2-3 jiggers of butterscotch schnapps.
  3. Top, carefully*, with cream soda.
  4. If you choose you can swirl in a half tsp of melted butter (use salted to bring out the flavors) to finish it off.

*the purpose of the ice cream is to create the beer foam head. As with any float it will foam a lot so keep that in mind as you pour.