Saturday, 22 August 2015

Butter me up

Have you ever stood on a beautiful sunny day, leaning over the gate of a field where a herd of dairy cows were happily grazing? In the stillness and quietness of the countryside you could hear them tear each mouthful of grass from their pasture. Then, have you watched as they lay down contented after grazing to chew their cud? I have and I find it very relaxing to just forget the world is rushing by and watch these beautiful creatures.....although I don't take the opportunity to do so these days. I suppose it's one of those happy memories that only someone reared in the country understands.

I  empathize with the farmers wanting more money for milk at this time but milk means so much more to me. Milk means I get proper butter! Butter....I just love it spread thick on my toast like cheese! New potatoes taste so good with loads of butter melted into them. Or what about a fried mushroom sandwich with the butter dripping out of it? O the taste of butter is sublime. Margarine just does not taste anywhere near as good. Give me butter any day.

Maybe it's an Armstrong thing but quite a lot of us love butter. It's like it is in our genes to like butter LOL. About 3 years ago I met a cousin of mine for the first time. He was raised in England and now lives in USA. His Dad was Sri Lankan but his granny was an Armstrong. We were amazed and delighted to learn that he liked butter too. We joked that he had inherited the Armstrong gene for butter. Now I don't know if he likes quite as much butter as I do but when I butter my toast in the morning I think of him. I understand that some of my grand-nephews are fond of butter too. If my love for butter is an acquired taste I certainly did not get it from my Mum for she just scraps it on and off the bread. It's my Dad who spreads it thick.

Butter and toast for breakfast
Many moons ago when I was in Bible college, the conversation came up one day around the dinner table about butter vs margarine. I never forget what one of the lecturers said. He spoke of how Abraham gave butter to the Lord. He expressed his opinion that if butter was good enough for the Lord, then it was good enough for him! He went on to say that the Old Testament dietary laws for the Jews did not forbid dairy products from 'clean' animals but rather fat on meat. He suggested that today we confuse dairy fat with animal fat in meat. Now let me make it abundantly clear: this is not the reason I eat butter rather than margarine spreads....and I do not believe in going back to keeping Old Testament dietary laws. I eat butter because I love it! However, I found his opinion interesting, and especially as today research is now suggesting that butter from grass-fed cows is actually better for us than margarine. But then again, I never needed to be told that butter is better than margarine. All I had to do was to look at the list of ingredients in them. The tub of margarine has lots of additives but the packet of butter is just simply milk with a little added salt (and you can get unsalted butter if you so desire). Common sense told me that eating all those chemicals couldn't be good for you.

This is an interesting article showing butter is better than margarine:

Butter vs Margarine – Why I Trust Cows More Than Chemists By Kris Gunnars, BSc 

Yes, I agree. I trust cows more than chemists. I love butter and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, as well as milk puddings like custard and semolina. But you know what the amazing thing is: Set a glass of milk before me and I'll say, 'No' to it! But when you give me tea, make sure there's plenty of milk in it please. I have no explanation for this :)

When I was a little girl I used to go to a neighbour lady for piano lessons. Sometimes I would go early and visit her Mum in the kitchen while I waited my turn. Her Mum always seemed to be busy baking bread on a griddle or making butter. Yes, making butter with her own little churn. You see, my Mum always bought butter in the shop for us, so, this was a fascinating process for me to watch as a child, especially when I got to turn the churn! These days I buy my butter and particularly like Kerrygold.

Now, I think by this stage you get the message: Rhonda loves butter. But don't get me wrong. I am not advocating that you go out and clog up your arteries with butter instead of margarine. I am not telling you to eat loads of butter every day at all your meals. Of course you must eat it in moderation. I have no intention of giving up butter but I do not eat wads of it at every meal (just some meals LOL). I make sure I eat fresh fruit and vegetables too.

So, thank God for the cows that produce I can enjoy proper butter. I hope the farmers get the few extra pence per litre for their milk, rather than the so-called 'middle-man.' And the next time you butter your bread, think of me and shoot a little prayer to God in heaven for me. Thanks!