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).
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.