Yes, butter. Man, I love butter. Sometimes bread, for me, is really just A Thing On Which To Deliver Butter Into My Mouth. So let’s just indulge in some butter talk.
On Twitter today, we got into a big discussion about butter — specifically, how people store their butter. In one corner, you have the people who are afraid it’ll spoil and so keep it chilled in the fridge, even though this means it’s not easily spreadable. in the other, you have folks who’ve kept butter on the counter their whole lives and are comically AGHAST at the people who live any other way. (A subset of this group might be, say, Lidded Butter Dish On Counter vs. Proper Butter Bell.)
And somewhere in between, you get the folks like me. I’d never HEARD of butter going anywhere except in the fridge, and I had no idea what a butter bell was until today. (It’s a ceramic thingy — technical term — wherein you put cold water into a container, mash the butter into a dish-shaped part of the lid and then close it so that the butter is basically upside-down and facing or touching the water. I have so many questions. Why is it not creepy to have the butter in the lid touching water? How often does gravity win and the butter plops out of the lid INTO the water? And what if you forget to change the water every three days or whatever the rule is? I don’t know if I need one more thing to be paranoid I won’t do.) And then you factor in climate, and unsalted butter spoiling faster than salted butter, and my general nervousness about food spoiling… Y’all, have I been living wrong this whole time? Educate me, Fug Nation.
So, let’s talk butter. How do you store it? How much do you use it? How long will it last before it kills me from mold or toxins or bacteria or whatever? What is your favorite use of butter? How do you feel about ghee, for those of you who aren’t eating milkfat? (I once tried to make my own ghee and it went so, so badly.) What is your favorite butter substitute, either for spreading or cooking, when such a thing is required?
I assume it’s not this. (Also, remember Molly McButter? THEY STILL MAKE IT. Surely chemical butter powder will kill us all before actual butter does.)
And finally, since I assume many of you will say the best use of butter is on toast (UNDERSTANDABLY), what is your best toast technique? Best bread, best method — Fug National Jasmine copped to using a cast-iron skillet — best toppings with/other than butter, best timing for the best level of crunch… well, I guess I know what I’m going to be eating while I read the comments.