Hello my Foodie Friends!
I love watching vintage SNL (Saturday Night Live) shows. Among my favorites is a classic skit of Mike Meyers playing Liz Rosenberg in “Coffee Talk.” During the “Coffee Talk” sketch featuring Mike Myers, Madonna, and Roseanne Barr; Barbra Streisand made a surprise appearance! In the skit, the three ladies from Queens had all finished saying that Barbra was “like buttah.” Barbra poked her head out and said, “All this talk about food’s got me hungry, girls!”
With all of the talk about butter, brings up how to store butter. I came to realize that while I use butter quite frequently with my cooking, having soft, spreadable butter was a missing component. I wanted my quality butter at room temperature from time to time, and I did not want the spreadable tubs found in the refrigerated section at the grocer which also (or only) contained margarine. My mind drifted back to my introduction to the butter pot from years past. The pottery container consists of two parts: a lid which resembles a bell, in which you pack the butter into; and the base, which the lid is placed into which contains water, about 1/4 inch to a 1/2 an inch depending on how big your butter keeper is. The lid combined with the water creates an airtight seal which keeps oxygen out, thus negating the need for refrigeration, and thereby allowing the butter to remain spreadable. The beauty of the butter keeper is that it serves as a presentation dish as well. Simply take the bell out of the base, flip over and place on the table. It looks as though it was intended to be a bowl holding butter. And when finished, no need to dirty another dish, just flip it back over into the base.
How to use a butter pot: Make sure the butter is soft enough to work into the lid. If it is too hard, then air pockets will develop within the butter in the lid, which creates a suction affect when the lid is removed from the base of the crock. We recommend using the back of a spoon to push the butter into the lid. Make sure the butter is smoothed around and no air pockets are found. The butter must adhere to the inside of the lid, meaning there should be no space between the butter and the lid. By smoothing the butter internally within the lid, this should ensure that it properly adheres to the insides of the bell. Add the cold water to the base, and replace every 3 days with fresh water. If you carefully follow these directions, you should have no problems with the butter falling into the water.
Store the Butter pot away from heat. Once your butter pot is packed with butter and ready to use, do not sit it next to the stove or store in direct sunlight. If the crock becomes heated, the butter can melt and fall out of the lid.
Change the water in the base of the crock. It is recommended to replace the water in the base of your crock every 3 days, with fresh, cold water. In warm summer months, we also recommend adding a few ice chips to the water to retain its coolness.
Wash in between uses. Your butter pot should be cleaned in between uses. It is very important to make sure that the lid of the crock is thoroughly dry before packing butter into it – otherwise the butter will not adhere properly to the inside of the lid.
At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, we carry marble and stoneware butter pots. We also carry butter dishes for those who like to refrigerate your butter. Storing butter is a preference. I know I like soft butter especially when making toast on Sunday mornings, having a cup of coffee, and maybe even watching or listening to Barbra Streisand. Her voice is like “buttah”. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula