Give Me That Butter

whipped sweet butterThese days, I eat bread just for the butter.  I lather it on like frosting.  It’s the cold fall air (or maybe it’s the creamy, fatty butter, which if I’m being honest, tastes good in every season).  It wasn’t always this way.  I grew up in a household that spread butter scantly on toast, never on corn, and sometimes stocked the fridge with margarine (the “healthy” choice).

Then I discovered Weston A. Price and the value of fat.  Then I got pregnant, and said give me that butter!  And I haven’t kicked the habit.  And frankly I don’t see a need to.

Julia Child famously said, “with enough butter, anything is good.”  To those unsure, she said, “if you’re afraid of butter, use cream,” and also, “fat gives things flavor.”

Aside from all this, butter is beautiful.  So last night as I made gluten-free apple-carrot muffins (recipe to come), whipping two sticks of softened butter and sugar together, I had to stop and just admire the creamy golden waves.

This morning I fried a muffin in more butter, and the sweet salty fat of that butter?  It was delicious.


Blueberry Season

It’s blueberry season, and yesterday I took Waylon to our favorite pick-your-own farm in Craftsbury, VT.  I got a bucket for each of us, and Waylon crawled and walked (with help) between the bushes as I picked the berries out of his reach.  It went like this: one berry for Waylon, one for mama, and a few for the bucket.  We managed to pick 7 pounds before nap time set in, and with tired eyes Waylon held onto his bucket as I carried him back to the car.

So this morning: blueberry pancakes!  It was Waylon’s first taste of pancakes–gluten free so papa could eat them, too–topped with butter and the last dribble of maple syrup (time to buy some more).  He smiled and pointed at the plate, and from his blueberry-stained mouth it’s safe to say he liked them.

Seven pounds won’t last long around here, so we put them in the fridge for fresh eating.  This afternoon will surely call for a smoothie, and tonight’s dessert menu is a blueberry crumble.  We haven’t yet mastered the gluten-free pie crust, but it’s a necessary baking adventure that we’ll soon begin.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Until then, happy Saturday!


Sunday Comfort


It has taken me half the day to sit down and write.

I’ve made eggs, cardamom coffee cake, rinsed and re-soaked chickpeas, and started bread.  I’ve put laundry in the dryer, made a grocery list, and vacuumed up the cemeteries of flies that have been accumulating along the windowsills in my bedroom.

Before that, though, I woke up to the first morning light and snuggled into my love’s warm body.  When Edge got up, I laid in bed and read my book, Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver, and just as I began the last essay, Edge walked in with a fresh pot of chai for us to share.  While I finished my book and Edge began reading Home Cheese Making, we sipped the creamy spiced tea that marks the beginning of each of our days.

Now I find myself in the same feeling of comfort and calm that I began the day in.  Outside the air is still and the snow is piled heavier from last night’s storm.  Inside the house is warm from the woodstove and all our baking.  Snow slides off our roof as Edge makes granola and cooks the chickpeas for hummus, Jeff plays guitar, yogurt sets wrapped in a towel by the stove, and I sit upstairs by my bedroom window breathing in the sweet smells of maple and cinnamon that fill the house.

My mind is clear but for the immediate senses of the moment: hunger rising in my belly, the twang of Ralph Stanley now playing on the speakers, and the slight brush of air on my neck from the ceiling fan.

On a simple day like this I understand what Barbara Kingsolver means when she writes, “Maybe life doesn’t get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we’re willing to find: small wonders, where they grow.”  I am thankful for the wonders of bread rising, the creaminess of raw milk, the taste of cardamom, the plucking notes of the guitar found easily by my brother’s fingers, and the smile that arises in my whole being when my eyes meet Edge’s as we work together in the kitchen, moving always with the intention to live simply and eat deliciously.