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Old 02-19-2018, 07:57 PM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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Butter.

In light of all of serious political debate going on here, I thought I'd lighten it up just a little bit with something non-political that causes a great debate among some people. This may be IMHO territory but I thought it would fit here nicely. Here it is;


Do you refrigerate your butter?

I do not. I leave a stick of it out for about a week in a butter dish. Some people think I am crazy and it will cause foodborne illness. Never had a problem. I just won't do it anymore because cold butter is harder to mix in recipes and it is essentially useless in terms of spreading it on bread.

Most of the opposition stems from one's fear of foodborne illness, I disagree.

What is your stance?
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:02 PM
CurtC CurtC is offline
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I keep the spare blocks in the fridge until the butter dish needs to be refilled. Then it stays on my countertop until it's used up.

About a week? Two or three is no problem.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:03 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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I thought butter went rancid after 3+ days? I guess not.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:13 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is online now
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You know, I've wondered about this. You have persuaded me. I'm throwing caution to the winds and trying this.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:17 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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I thought butter went rancid after 3+ days? I guess not.
Unsalted goes rancid faster.
We usually take a week or two to finish a stick. Never have a problem with rancidity.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:20 PM
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Unsalted goes rancid faster.
We usually take a week or two to finish a stick. Never have a problem with rancidity.
And I always buy unsalted, so that makes sense. So if I try this experiment, do it with salted butter.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:22 PM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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You know, I've wondered about this. You have persuaded me. I'm throwing caution to the winds and trying this.
It's almost life changing in the best possible way. Buttered crusted bread on demand...
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:27 PM
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One stick of butter in the dish out in the open. The rest of the sticks in the pound of butter in the fridge. The rest of the pounds of butter from the Costco package in the freezer.

I use butter every day for breakfast (well, most weeks), and it's never gone bad.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:39 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Parkay!
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:45 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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One stick of butter in the dish out in the open. The rest of the sticks in the pound of butter in the fridge. The rest of the pounds of butter from the Costco package in the freezer.

I use butter every day for breakfast (well, most weeks), and it's never gone bad.
This is pretty much my routine, too, except I don't buy butter from Costco (there isn't one close) and the butter dish is covered. It's never gone rancid. I do keep my house at a fairly cool 63F year round, though, so even when the butter is soft, it really isn't.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:53 PM
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I refrigerate it, lest it become a cat treat. I don't refrigerate my jar of ghee.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:59 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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While I appreciate the gesture, I'm still dropping this in IMHO.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:02 PM
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Yes, I do refrigerate my butter. But I didn't when I first moved here. It stayed out on the counter for days and was still good.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:11 PM
Not a Platypus Not a Platypus is offline
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We refrigerate ours, yeah. It's not that we're worried about it so much as we very rarely need softened butter. There's just no advantage to leaving it out to go bad faster. Pretty much the only time you'll see butter sitting out around here is when we buy a big log of Amish butter. We'll let that sit out to soften enough to easily portion it out into ice cube trays for convenient use.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:20 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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While I appreciate the gesture, I'm still dropping this in IMHO.
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!! a Great Debate!
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:37 PM
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I have an eighteen year old, unsealed (already opened), unused, and still fresh jar of Vegemite on my desk. No sign of rancidity(?) or other deterioration.

Shall I use it to coat my butter stick sitting on the kitchen counter so it keeps a while longer?
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:45 PM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!! a Great Debate!
I am surprised it even got this much traction, I guess I just assumed that there would be considering how varied the opinions on it are in some circles... Up next; Do you refrigerate your ketchup?
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:53 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Rancidity is caused by oxygenation, which means that reducing the amount of air exposure the butter gets will slow it. A proper butter dish has a slight moat you can fill with water to produce an airtight seal, and the lid is only slightly larger than a stick, leaving very little air in it, so it'll stay good for a good while. And even if it doesn't, rancidity isn't actually dangerous; it just tastes bad. So you don't have to worry about foodborne illness: If it smells and tastes OK, it is OK,
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:07 PM
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I keep the butter in a covered dish on the counter in the winter and in summer, that covered dish must stay in the fridge because otherwise the butter oils. In either place, I try not to place it next to onions, garlic, and the like lest it pick up the scent.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:12 PM
HipGnosis HipGnosis is offline
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Parkay!
Heratic!

From a guy in Wisc that grew up on a dairy farm.


I do refrigerate my butter, because I don't use it fast enough.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:21 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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I keep the butter in a covered dish on the counter in the winter and in summer, that covered dish must stay in the fridge because otherwise the butter oils. In either place, I try not to place it next to onions, garlic, and the like lest it pick up the scent.
Put a wet dish towel over the dish. As the water evaporates, it cools the dish/butter.
In an 80F house, the butter will be about 68-70F. You do have to keep an eye on the towel, it can dry out quickly (assuming your humidity isn't super high).
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:28 PM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Put a wet dish towel over the dish. As the water evaporates, it cools the dish/butter.
In an 80F house, the butter will be about 68-70F. You do have to keep an eye on the towel, it can dry out quickly (assuming your humidity isn't super high).
That's an awesome tip, thank you! I'm going to try this soon, once it gets to 50F outside, it tends to get close to 80 inside without heat, so I must plan my life according to how ready and useable my butter will be
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:30 PM
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Thanks running coach, I'll give it a try.
  #24  
Old 02-19-2018, 10:33 PM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Rancidity is caused by oxygenation, which means that reducing the amount of air exposure the butter gets will slow it. A proper butter dish has a slight moat you can fill with water to produce an airtight seal, and the lid is only slightly larger than a stick, leaving very little air in it, so it'll stay good for a good while. And even if it doesn't, rancidity isn't actually dangerous; it just tastes bad. So you don't have to worry about foodborne illness: If it smells and tastes OK, it is OK,
Never heard of doing this, I usually just keep it wrapped in it's wrapper as much as possible, or if a different type (not standard store bought sticks) I use wax paper. I am going to try it though, seems like a good idea. What of the buttered water though? If some butter mixes with the water, there is more water available that could help coax bacterial growth in the moat though?

and I realize I am thinking way to much into this...
  #25  
Old 02-19-2018, 10:37 PM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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Originally Posted by HipGnosis View Post
Heratic!

From a guy in Wisc that grew up on a dairy farm.


I do refrigerate my butter, because I don't use it fast enough.
Blasphemers!

Thou Shalt Not Spray Thy Butter!

Same with that spray on salad dressing...
  #26  
Old 02-19-2018, 11:24 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Rancidity is caused by oxygenation, which means that reducing the amount of air exposure the butter gets will slow it. A proper butter dish has a slight moat you can fill with water to produce an airtight seal, and the lid is only slightly larger than a stick, leaving very little air in it, so it'll stay good for a good while. And even if it doesn't, rancidity isn't actually dangerous; it just tastes bad. So you don't have to worry about foodborne illness: If it smells and tastes OK, it is OK,
I have a butter dish. I just got tired of being the only family member who bothered to refill it (either butter or water). I think I'll pull it out of the cupboard again anyway. Things are meant to be used! (grumble, grumble)
  #27  
Old 02-19-2018, 11:42 PM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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While I appreciate the gesture, I'm still dropping this in IMHO.
Not Cafe Society? Hmmm.

Anyway, I refrigerate my butter but that's because I live in the tropics where unrefrigerated butter would taste rancid very quickly and, since the air is so warm, it only takes a few minutes at room temperature to become spreadable. Also, I like the texture/temperature of slightly cold butter chunks on warm bread, so I'd prefer to cut off a small bit of cold butter and dab it on my bread rather than spread room-temperature butter.

Having said that, I completely understand why people would not refrigerate butter. If I lived some place like Wisconsin or Boston, I doubt I would refrigerate it, except perhaps for a few hot days in the summer.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:12 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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While I appreciate the gesture, I'm still dropping this in IMHO.
If I hijack it with a post about Margarine, will you move it to the pit?
  #29  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:49 AM
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We go through about a stick a week. That stick is left out at room temperature. Never had a problem.
  #30  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:58 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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We refrigerate our butter, because it surely will keep longer that way. Whether it's necessary to refrigerate it to keep it from spoiling before we'd actually use it is something I don't know, and have never put to the test. I do know that in Colonial Days they used to keep butter in rock-lined cool storage pits, but, of course, back then you had to worry about not getting all the little pockets of liquid out of the butter that could easily go bad unless it was kept cool.My wife and daughter will nuke it in the microwave if they don't want to wait for it t get soft. I myself have never seen the point to deliberately keeping butter cold on the table by putting it on ice -- it just makes it hard to spread.

I was astonished to learn last year about French Butter Keepers. If you are unfamiliar with these, as well, it's a sort of ceramic (or marble) cup into which you put the butter, then turn upside down and put onto another container, which usually has water in it. It looks like it's some sort of "kinda keep it a little cool" technology from Colonial days, as well, but it turns out that these were first used a little over a hundred years ago. Some people seem to be obsessed by them:

https://www.target.com/p/marble-butt...per/-/A-563271

https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitc...per-how-to-use
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  #31  
Old 02-20-2018, 07:21 AM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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You mean a butter bell? I finally got one after wanting it for years. (I only buy salted butter and never had it go bad anyway, but still wanted a nice looking way to store it, plus keep dust and kitty tongues off.) I got a cute green one from Amazon, here's a similar model:

The Original Butter Bell Crock by L. Tremain, Retro & Matte Collection - Classic Ivory https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H47H0A..._KbcJAbFGP1EB3
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:55 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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You mean a butter bell? I finally got one after wanting it for years. (I only buy salted butter and never had it go bad anyway, but still wanted a nice looking way to store it, plus keep dust and kitty tongues off.) I got a cute green one from Amazon, here's a similar model:

The Original Butter Bell Crock by L. Tremain, Retro & Matte Collection - Classic Ivory https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H47H0A..._KbcJAbFGP1EB3
Never heard it called a Butter Bell. The ceramic shop where I first encountered it (they made their own) called it a Butter Keeper.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:53 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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It takes us over a month to get through a stick of unsalted butter unless we're baking. So it stays in the fridge. I can't say I ever need spreadable butter right now. We usually have it on toast with our Saturday morning eggs. I just take it out when I start cooking.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:21 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Stays on the counter, wrapped in it's paper and in a butter dish. Never had a problem.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:29 AM
Grumbacher Red Grumbacher Red is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Rancidity is caused by oxygenation, which means that reducing the amount of air exposure the butter gets will slow it. A proper butter dish has a slight moat you can fill with water to produce an airtight seal, and the lid is only slightly larger than a stick, leaving very little air in it, so it'll stay good for a good while. And even if it doesn't, rancidity isn't actually dangerous; it just tastes bad. So you don't have to worry about foodborne illness: If it smells and tastes OK, it is OK,
What I came in here to say. I have a butter dish with a moat and all is well. Nothing like soft creamy luscious butter on a biscuit!
  #36  
Old 02-20-2018, 10:29 AM
Spiderman Spiderman is offline
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It takes us over a month to get through a stick of unsalted butter
Speed user. It takes at least a couple of months usually to go thru a stick in my house. I love bread & butter, just not something I usually buy for home consumption, though.

Was going to make garlic bread last night, but then they had the premade so I bought that instead. Big mistake; it was pretty lousy & not at all garlicky.

Last edited by Spiderman; 02-20-2018 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:10 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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One stick on the counter, the rest of the butter in the fridge. The exception is when the weather is hot.

I don't use a butter dish -- just keep in in the wrapper. Never had it go bad, though we probably finish a stick in less than a week.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:21 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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One stick on the counter, the rest of the butter in the fridge.

I don't use a butter dish
Same and same. I just keep it on a bread plate on the counter, no cats or dogs to lick it.

If I bake something and need a larger amount, just soften it in it's wax paper wrapper in the nuker. Works perfectly fine.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:27 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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On the counter in a covered butter dish. Lasts about a week.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:31 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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I keep a stick of unsalted butter on the counter, and it has never gone rancid, even if it takes a couple of weeks to use it up.

Tip: Buy Plugra butter, or any other brand that's sold in a block rather than in sticks. Take off only small chunk at a time to keep in the counter butter dish. That's if you're worried about it turning rancid.
  #41  
Old 02-20-2018, 01:09 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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I thought butter went rancid after 3+ days? I guess not.
If it's covered, it takes way longer than three days to go rancid.

We put half a block out at any one time; as it's used a lot in cooking, it doesn't last very long before it has to be replaced.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:03 PM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is offline
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I keep the spare blocks in the fridge until the butter dish needs to be refilled. Then it stays on my countertop until it's used up.

About a week? Two or three is no problem.
We have a covered glass butter dish on the counter - I don't think a stick lasts a week in our house. I've never had butter go bad from sitting out.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:40 PM
Spiderman Spiderman is offline
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we probably finish a stick in less than a week.
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Lasts about a week.
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Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
I don't think a stick lasts a week in our house.
How are you using it that you go thru a stick a week? Buttering bread/muffins every day for breakfast? Instead of cooking oil? Lots of baking? All of these?
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:21 PM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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I'm trying to think how much even goes on to a slice of toast. Say 2-4 slices per tablespoon, depending on how buttery you like it. That's 16-32 slices of toast. A family of four would do some damage if they have butter every morning.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:34 PM
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My wife has taken food safety courses, and is a fanatic about leaving food out, throwing it away exactly 7 days after preparation, using bleach to disinfect counters, rinsing vegetables and fruit with white vinegar, etc. And we always, ALWAYS have unrefrigerated butter in our cupboard, soft and ready to spread. [Well, not really soft in late December and early January this year, when the in-cupboard temperature was low enough to harden the butter. But, it's soft about 48 weeks of the year.] Apparently, it's entirely safe to leave butter unrefrigerated. My mother did the same thing, and I'm still around.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:38 PM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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Add me to the "one stick out, the rest in the refrigerator" crowd
Not sure how long a stick lasts me.

Brian
  #47  
Old 02-20-2018, 04:24 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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How are you using it that you go thru a stick a week? Buttering bread/muffins every day for breakfast? Instead of cooking oil? Lots of baking? All of these?
I use butter in the frying pan for any egg dishes, and I make our three dogs eggs each morning for breakfast (our hens produce more than we can use). Many dishes I make start out sweating onions, peppers, celery, garlic and I use butter for that. A stick goes quickly!
  #48  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:22 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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How are you using it that you go thru a stick a week? Buttering bread/muffins every day for breakfast? Instead of cooking oil? Lots of baking? All of these?
Mostly toast in the mornings. Two people, two slices each per day, 28 slices per week. We like our buttered toast.
  #49  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:31 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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I've got enough stuff sitting on my counter and too much in my pantry and cupboards. Where else would I put it?
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:34 PM
Orwell Orwell is offline
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How are you using it that you go thru a stick a week? Buttering bread/muffins every day for breakfast? Instead of cooking oil? Lots of baking? All of these?
We've been known to have three sticks of soft butter in the cupboard during corn on the cob season.
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