Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Gone to Carolina Archive: April 12, 2005

Today's entry is about butter. Much vilified butter.

Some years ago, when I was in Weight Watchers, I had an epiphany about butter. I was looking through my points book and...whaddaya know? 1 teaspoon of butter=1 point. 1 teaspoon of margarine=1 point. I vowed from that point on to stop using margarine. I've never looked back.

Sure, there are things in margarine that are less artery-clogging than butter. For a while there, though, margarine and it's trans-fat ingredients was much slandered as being almost capable of dropping one dead on contact.

Butter does have its problems. When you keep it in the refrigerator it's too hard to spread. You can keep it in the cupboard pretty successfully in the winter but when the weather warms up, it starts to sweat and get an off-look and taste to it. And a certain preacher, who eats with us on a regular basis, makes snide comments about it then. So for his and our benefit, I switch to whipped butter when the weather is warm. It's not the same, but close.

Restaurants seem to still be trying to get us to eat margarine, though. That's what prompted me to write this missive. This morning we bus drivers are to meet at Bojangles for a breakfast paid for by the PTA. It's Bus Driver Appreciation Week and the PTA and staffs of the schools we serve are treating us all week to little things.

When I go to Bojangles for breakfast, which I do as little as possible, I pack my own butter. The only item they have on the menu that I can eat is grits. Excellent grits. But nary a butter pat in the joint. Those wonderful grits are completely ruined by that whipped yellow plastic they make available in the condiment area. I don't understand how a restaurant, that wins competitions with their biscuits, can fail to have butter on hand.

Our local diner opened with no butter. We went there for supper the night before my surgery and the poor waitress about turned the joint upside-down trying to find real butter for my baked potato. She had to come and tell me "even the kitchen doesn't use butter". The following week she did present me with real butter at lunch with our cornbread. I, or someone, must have made an impression on them.

I am NOT a consumer of fake stuff. I want real butter, I want real sugar and I want real salt. If we use all these things in moderation, and we move around a bit more, we don't need to worry about using these things. And so I encourage you, my fellow Americans, to demand THE REAL THING! Accept no Substitutes!

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