Butter Memories, Past And Present - New Horizons in the Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 272001

New Horizons in the Kitchen

Butter Memories, Past and Present 
 
Apr. 4, 2012 1:58 pm 
Updated: May 9, 2012 5:18 am

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and America’s Dairy Farmers have asked the Allrecipes Allstars to participate in their “Go Bold with Butter” promotion during the month of April.  Yeah, you know how much all of us hate this one...who doesn’t like BUTTER???   We’re all saying BRING IT ON.  In addition to the cooking this month, we’ve been asked to share some butter memories, and I actually do have a few.

I grew up in Cincinnati and can remember Saturday morning family outings to  Findlay Market, an open air farmer’s market which was near the downtown area, not the best part of town I might add.  There was one very long building in the center, and on weekends, you’d find long rows of produce stands on each side of that building.  

But as a kid, I remember that the special stuff, the good stuff, was inside that building.  It had fresh meat including goetta (a Cincinnati breakfast meat), all types of Cincinnati sausages, freshly grated coconut and horseradish, cheeses, one vendor had olives, pickles, and sauerkraut in large crocks, homemade jams and jellies, farm-fresh eggs, bakery goods, and my very favorite, a vendor who sold nothing but fresh BUTTER.  I think that’s where my love affair with butter began.

We were mesmerized by those gigantic (at least to little kids they seemed gigantic)  chunks and blocks of freshly made butter.  They’d take a large knife and cut off a chunk of butter, wrap it up, and off we’d go.  The tough part was waiting until we got home to put some of that butter on those fresh jelly-danish rolls that we bought.  This was a real treat for the kids.

We were in Cincinnati several years ago and stopped by Findlay Market.  We’d heard it had fallen on hard times but had been renovated and was back on its feet.  It was a weekday, so there wasn’t much going on, but the building was still there, looked brand new, and the area surrounding the market looked significantly nicer (and safer).  We walked through the building, and it was almost exclusively meat vendors.  And to my dismay, the butter man was gone...so sad!  Here are a couple photos that I shot of the renovated market.

Renovated Building at Findlay Market


This is where the produce stands were on the weekend


Another butter experience I had was when I was in elementary school.  Now, keep in mind that I was a city kid.  We walked about a mile to school each day, except when it was raining, and then we’d take a city transit bus part of the way (but only if it was raining).  

I remember my class going on a day trip to a “real farm” outside the city, and I was so excited.  There were chickens, cows, pigs, oxen, but the most fun of all was they actually had an old-fashioned, hand crank butter churn.  Each of us got to crank the churn, and then we had saltine crackers spread with the fresh butter we’d just made.   Still have warm and fuzzy memories about that day.

And my most recent butter experience occurred several weeks ago.  I was taking a six-week Basics of Culinary course, and in the sauces class, we blanched some fresh asparagus, quickly sauteed it with sliced garlic, and served it with a hollandaise sauce that we’d made.  It’s spring, asparagus is inexpensive and fresh, and I wanted to eat as much of it as I could before it went out of season.  Well, I didn’t much care for all of that whisking to make hollandaise sauce by hand, so I checked the AR site and found a recipe for blender hollandaise.  Followed the recipe to the letter including using butter, and it was delicious.  

Later in the week, I bought more asparagus and thought maybe I can cut calories and fat in that hollandaise sauce, so I’m gonna try it with MARGARINE.  All I can say is BIG mistake.  Not only was it tasteless, but it was totally runny from all of the water in the margarine.  The chefs always asked us what we’d been cooking that week, so I said I’d cooked asparagus three times.  I admitted that I’d made hollandaise sauce in the blender, and they said, “...that’s OK.”  But when I told them I’d made it with margarine one day, all they said was “...tell me you didn’t.”   We all had a good laugh, and I should have known better.  The photo below shows you how it looks when you use  the real thing, BUTTER, not margarine.

Blender Hollandaise Sauce from the AR site


I remember once asking the chef if half-and-half could be substituted for the heavy cream in whatever it was that we were making.  His response was “yes, you could, but I’d recommend that you just use less of the heavy cream, so you don’t sacrifice too much flavor.”  Good advice, I thought.

And the same is true in the butter vs margarine scenario.  Sure, you may be using margarine because it’s lower in calories and fat than butter.  But whipped butter is a good option, its nutritional breakdown is similar to margarine, and it just tastes better.  I wouldn't cook with it, but if you want that creamy, rich butter flavor to spread on a piece of toast or a roll,  whipped butter won’t disappoint.  I always have sticks of butter in my fridge, but I’m a recent convert to the whipped variety, so now I have both.  Goodbye ICBINB spread, you’re history in this house because whipped butter has moved in.

Simply put, the thing I like best about butter is the taste, nothing else compares to the flavor of real butter, salted or unsalted. I think most of us know that you should use butter when baking, and that includes me.  But you won’t find me cooking with anything but all natural, 100% pure, real butter (especially when I’m making hollandaise sauce).




I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position), and I'm not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertisers are only used for experienced-based reviews on New Horizons in the Kitchen.  The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of lutzflcat.

 
Comments
Apr. 4, 2012 2:39 pm
For me, butter is a more enjoyable ingredient to read about than fiber sticks or frozen meat. Waiting for one of the Allstars to reminisce about using butter to get a tan. Beautiful pictures of the market and nice memories. Thanks.
 
Apr. 4, 2012 2:42 pm
Thanks Marie, and thank you, also, for recommending The Flavor Bible in a comment on my last blog. I ordered it, it arrived yesterday, and this book holds incredible insight on matching complementary flavors.
 
Apr. 4, 2012 2:43 pm
You will have so much fun with that book. It really helps you to get creative in the kitchen.
 
Apr. 4, 2012 2:52 pm
Nice blog - thanks for sharing your memories. There is nothing like the REAL thing - I remember explaining how to make clarified butter to a friend - she called the next day complaining - it was a total flop - well, it seems she didn't know that butter and margarine were two different critters. :/ Lesson learned!
 
Bibi 
Apr. 4, 2012 2:52 pm
Thanks, lutzflcat! Great pictures and great memories shared!
 
Paula 
Apr. 4, 2012 3:00 pm
Loved your blog post! I keep wracking my brain for butter vs. margarine memories, but I don't have any. Oh well!
 
Apr. 4, 2012 3:22 pm
That asparagus looks gorgeous. I love the blender hollandaise on AR. Simple! Thanks for the lovely Buttah blog :)
 
Apr. 4, 2012 3:58 pm
Great memories and pictures. Your asparagus looks like a burst of springtime.
 
Apr. 5, 2012 3:49 am
Baking Nana, well, that's a butter memory, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by.
 
Apr. 5, 2012 3:50 am
Bibi, thanks for taking the time to read.
 
Apr. 5, 2012 3:53 am
Paula, I agree, this one isn't the easiest topic to blog about. I was thinking about this yesterday, and all of a sudden, these things popped up in my head. So I thought I'm just going to sit down right now, and get it in writing.
 
Apr. 5, 2012 3:54 am
Thanks, mauigirl. I love this time of year because those asparagus spears are pencil thin and sooooo tender.
 
Apr. 5, 2012 4:01 am
BigShotsMom, asparagus is one of the many treasures of spring, as well as Florida strawberries. Our strawberry crop is just about done, one more week, they told me at the produce stand. I bought a flat (12 pints) of VERY RIPE strawberries for $4.99 on Tuesday, made a rhubarb-strawberry pie yesterday, and I need to either use the rest of them today or freeze. Operation Strawberry will be underway shortly. Thanks for taking the time to read.
 
Apr. 5, 2012 6:16 am
Mmmm, butter. I was trying to think when margarine was nudged out of the house by butter. I can't remember it's been that long. Your asparagus looks lovely which reminds me, I need to go out and pick mine :)
 
Apr. 5, 2012 6:40 am
Cat Hill, wow, how lucky you are to have fresh asparagus. I love all veggies, but particularly asparagus, and lima beans, which a lot of people hate.
 
Apr. 5, 2012 8:59 am
Here, Here!!! I am a firm believer in using real ingredients, butter being one of them! More people should use butter in moderation and stop using chemicals! They may save on calories but really what are they putting in their bodies! I love asparagus and yours looked gorgeous...picking some up for Easter. Thanks for a great blog!
 
Apr. 5, 2012 11:12 am
p and q, we all do put chemicals in our body everyday, don't we...tough to totally avoid doing that. Enjoy your asparagus this weekend. I have some in the fridge right now, but it'll be gone by the weekend.
 
Apr. 7, 2012 6:16 am
Hey, lutzflcat - I so wish we had an open air market by where I live! We used to have a large market when I lived in Detroi, but no such place here in Richmond. I don't mind supporting the farmers and getting some delicious produce and dairy products. With the whipped butter, it is essentially butter that they whip or incorporate lots of air into it. It makes it less dense and thus lower in calories and saturated fat. As I mentioned on my blog, try the recipe spreadable butter from Allrecipes as another option to. I make it all the time. It keeps well.
 
sh33p 
May 7, 2012 11:24 am
It surprised me so much to see someone who lives in my own hometown on this site that I joined! :) I've been printing recipes off of here forever, but just now decided to sign up. Thanks for the inspiration!
 
May 9, 2012 5:18 am
Welcome sh33p. Glad to hear there's another allrecipes enthusiast in Lutz!
 
 
 
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lutzflcat

Home Town
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Living In
Lutz, Florida, USA

Member Since
Jun. 2010

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Hobbies
Gardening, Boating, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting

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About Me
Retired from a high-stress sales career which involved lots of travel. I now have the time to relax, turn off the alarm clock and sleep in, read a book, magazine or the newspaper (every day, not just Sunday) and, most importantly, take in everything that the Florida lifestyle offers, and that's a lot! And, finally, I have the luxury to really pursue a lifetime passion, cooking.
My favorite things to cook
Enjoy all kinds of food and cuisines, and I literally can't think of one food that I would refuse to eat. And that even includes liver (don't like cooking it, but sure like eating it). I love good food, but you won't find me making a recipe that has 40 ingredients. I just don't have the attention span for that.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband's grandmother was from Bavaria, and his mother learned to cook many of her old-country recipes which she then passed on to me. Our traditional Christmas dinner is sauerbraten (which marinates for at least five days) with gravy, homemade egg noodles sauteed in butter, potato balls (which float to the top of the boiling water if prepared correctly), sweet and sour red cabbage, and freshly cooked apples (gotta have something healthy). It's an exhausting meal that literally takes all day to prepare, but it's worth the effort. Yeah, I know it's also a carbohydrate nightmare, but what the heck, we only have it once a year.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering the Christmas sauerbraten meal was a victory. Also, making homemade goetta, a breakfast meat from Cincinnati. My version is made with all pork, equal portions of boston butt and loin. Today's goetta in Cincy has beef in it, as does the recipe on this site, but I'm sticking with ALL pork. It is totally unhealthy for you, but it's a treat, and I don't make it often.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a number over the years like the potato balls mentioned above just disintegrating into a puddle of potato shreds. There's no recipe, it's just a matter of "feeling right" when you're mixing. Not long ago, I made a peach pie and got so caught up in trying to make the pie crust work that I forgot to add the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, etc.) to the peaches that were sitting in a bowl on the counter. Cooked it anyway, it was ghastly, and then threw it away. My ongoing tragedy is making pie crust. There must a black cloud hanging over my head when I'm making pie crust because I ALWAYS have problems. But I'm not giving up, one day this tragedy will turn into a triumph and be listed above!
 
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