I was at the Gourmet Warehouse on Friday, picking up a few things for my brother-in-law for Christmas. And since I was there, I picked up a few things for me, too. Because it’s the Gourmet Warehouse and it’s evil like that.
I ended up looking at butter dishes.
I hardly ever eat butter and only buy it once or twice a year for special baking. For others. Having a lactose intolerant husband has made the purchase of real butter rather irrelevant.
And that has been my argument for years. Lactose intolerant husbands negates butter. That’s why I have to eat emulsified edible oil products with a “buttery” taste. Really.
But that hasn’t stopped me from having my own bottle of milk. Or my own cheese(s). Or yogurt. Or cottage cheese. And his fruit allergies haven’t stopped me from eating apples, pears, peaches and kiwis right in front of him.
So what’s up with the butter? It’s better in every way. Why am I not eating it?
Oh yeah. Because I’ve never eaten butter. Ever. Butter was the essence of evil fat and cholesterol and was never in my childhood home. Neither was regular (full-fat) cheese, full fat yoghurt or homogenized milk. We even went through a period of fake egg whites. All in the name of health. And that’s what it was then. Butter was bad and margarine was by far better.
Yet I’ve happily adapted to eating ridiculously rich bries and yoghurt you can stand a spoon in.
I still feel vaguely naughty when swiping real, honest-to-gods butter on my bread. Like the cholesterol karma gods are going to sneak up behind me and smack me upside an artery any second. And the fact that I’m feeding it to my daughter? Sign me up for the gluttonous third level of hell.
Yet I still found myself looking longingly at the butter dishes. And then I realised some were a touch different from the others (mine aren’t as nice as these lovely creations!). They had instructions to cram the butter into the lid. The lid. And then stick it back onto the base. In water.
Apparently, the French figured this out eons ago to keep butter fresh.
It seems rather sketchy to me, particularly in light of the offhand note to change the water every “couple of days”.
But, what the hell. I’ve already condemned myself with my rebellious choice of real dairy blocks over manufactured margarine that’s made of the same stuff as the tub its packed in. Why not float it in water and store it at room temperature?