Use Butter Generously

I recently found this in a cookbook compilation from my mother-in-law. I like to collect old community cookbooks from around the turn of the century and my mother-in-law loves to hang out in thrift shops looking for forgotten goodies, so she often finds me great stuff. I usually find really nourishing, long forgotten recipes in these old community compilations, from ladies who really knew how to cook!

The Farmer’s Wife, was a monthly magazine published from 1893 to 1939 by Webb Publishing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota and is now in public domain. This is an interesting article written around 1929 when the USDA was doing its best to encourage people to eat more butter because of a butter surplus! What a different world that was. Corn and other vegetable oils were coming into the market–and the edible oil wars were just beginning. Here is an open hearted plea to the nation to eat more good old farm butter.

Use Butter Generously by Miriam Williams

Some women are naturally lavish. They set a good table–plenty of maple syrup and butter for the “stack o’ wheats,” an extra dish of sauce beside dessert, a full jar of crisp butter cookies.

Other women use creamery butter sparingly, usually buying a reliable brand of butter substitute, because it is “just as good.”

The butter-saving woman is not as scientific or wise a planner as it might seem if she looks to a cream check for cash. Multiply butter-saving and butter-substituting country cooks many times and it does something to the national supply of butter. I learned that the holdings of butter in cold storage were higher last August than during 1929, which marked the record peak of 151 million pounds. Folks must use butter a bit more freely if a surplus such as this is to be reduced and the price of butter kept stable.

Fats which are competitive to butter all have their place, but one does not yearn to be particularly lavish with them.

With butter it is different. I level-measure baking powder, spice, flour for cakes or gravy, but when it comes to measuring butter for seasoning, it’s a rounding tablespoonful or a generous lump.

Few things make me bristle like the restaurant sandwich which isn’t spread with butter, and clear to the edges too.

The dairyman who almost caused a rift in the church by his explosions over the “measurably skimpy” pats of butter which the ladies’ aid served at the church supper, has my sympathy.

Let yourself go when it comes to seasoning with butter. Folks always sit up with relish to the family table where there are melting butter squares on hot porterhouse or round steak and a golden yellow heart in the bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes. And who can resist vegetables cooked just to a tenderness, their own liquid cooked down, and seasoned with sweet flavored butter? Rich velvety cakes made with butter command a premium at the market or church bazaar.

Use generously of your own products. Set a good table, cook well so that you may live well. The Farmer’s Wife magazine recipes support these ideas.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Real Food Fight Back Fridays, please check out the other great articles posted there.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jafar

    I would definitely fight over not enough butter in my sandwich. And clarified butter is heavenly to fry with.

    1. hellaD

      Nice! Muummmmm indeed….

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