I went to a friend’s house once and she had cheese in a cabinet. Not a block of Velveeta–cheese; like a hunk of cheddar you buy at Safeway. Not fancy cheese from a monger, who might advise you to keep it on the counter as it’s so damn yummy, it’ll be gone in two days. Or an hour.
This was a run-of-the-mill cheddar block, already opened, in the cabinet. It was a little sweaty. Nonplussed, she bit off a chunk. I declined. She didn’t die, so I guess that’s an okay thing.
Which brings us to the Great Butter Debate. I never knew it was a debate until The Norwegian’s mother came to stay. Once that doll got a taste of Arizona winter; she was a month-long houseguest every February. As you can imagine, a mother-in-law, or any guest for that matter, that parks it in your house for a month might get like cheddar stored in the cabinet–a bit smelly.
It became a joke between The Norwegian and myself, well mostly me, how much his mum loves butter. She is of the Paula Dean school of, “Butter is everything, goes on everything and should never be more than an arm’s length away.” Never bothered me when it was her house. I never used the butter but that’s neither here nor there.
Tables turned when February rolled around and the MIL rolled in. In making herself at home, she removed the butter from its comfy, cool refrigerator home and placed it on the counter. Butter arranging, along with commentary on too much cleanliness and not enough red meat, filled my Februarys for well over ten years.
Throughout the day, I would return the butter to its holder only to find it perched on the counter again. And again. And again. And again. Every February for over ten years.
More than once, I advised The Norwegian that my name was on the mortgage and if I want the butter in the fridge that’s where it belongs. He nodded as husbands do when they’re not really listening. They’re just so damn happy someone else is taking care of their mother, they promise to buy you shoes come March 1st.
MIL hasn’t spent a February with me since The Norwegian left us, so the butter remains safely harbored in the fridge and little thought is given to it’s housing. Until yesterday when an article passes across the desk titled, “The Butter Debate.” Evidently, butter in or out of the fridge is not an uncommon debate household to household.
The experts say butter can be kept out of the fridge, but only in an airtight container to keep bacteria away. I just gagged a little. Bacteria. On butter. Doesn’t happen if it’s in the fridge. Told ya.
Evidently, the debate rages on. It’s nice and soft if it’s out. It’s safe for ingestion if it’s not. Take your pick. Thoughts dolls?