Can you ever have too much butter?

“Is there anything better than butter? Think it over, every time you’ve tasted something that’s delicious beyond imagining, and you say, ‘what is in this?!’ the answer’s always going to be: Butter.” (Julie and Julia)
Perhaps I have such an appreciation for butter because it is the way I was raised… I grew up on a dairy farm with about 35 cattle on it in a small town in Minnesota. We lived on our products, drinking way more milk than you could imagine, and butter in and on EVERYTHING. But butter is such a magical product. Butter is the perfect accent to any flavor, the way it absorbs the flavors around it and adds its own sweet, savory touch.
Last night I served one of my favorite dinners for my family; Mediterranean green beans, cheese and spinach lasagna, veggie salad, and fruit. I have a few strategies I like to use when I cook/bake, such as using only Roma tomatoes for their retention of juices and flavors, never being afraid of garlic, and always using real olive oil when frying or keeping moisture in foods. None of these stands above the power I see in some good old fashion butter you can add to almost any food. The addition of butter to so many foods makes the difference between, “Mmm, these are some good beans,” and, “Wow! I love these beans! How did you get the garlic and seasonings to blend together so well?” The answer is in the way you roast the garlic and the final touch you add to the dish; adding butter, of course! It somehow magically absorbs and brings together all the flavors in a dish.
So what about margarine? The product from milk fat has received a bad rep, with many claiming margarine as an equal and healthier alternative. Excuse me if you are one of these margarine advocates, but I cannot imagine why so many honestly have followed this movement toward a fake trans-fat in exchange of a natural animal fat. Not to mention that butter tastes so much better than its hydrogenated imitation! I wouldn’t even bother with the flavor-adding touch of butter if it weren’t the real deal.
Although I would not eat a whole stick of butter this evening, I stand behind butter all the way for its magical deliciousness. I hope I have at least inspired a small change in someone out there that you will be motivated to add a little butter to a dish and name it your “secret ingredient” or brag about the remarkable addition to an outdated family dish and spread the word about butter!

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