Buttering Toast Is Hard

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

Buttering toast is hard

It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard, but it is. In order to butter your toast properly, you need to get the butter on IMMEDIATELY after it comes out of the toaster so it’s still piping hot and the butter will soak into the bread. But also, when doing that, depending how soft your butter is, it will disappear before you’ve covered much of the bread and you may end up using more butter than is really healthy to use to butter your toast.

I remember my father in law being at our house. There was maybe 2 tablespoons of butter on the tray and I was getting another stick out of the fridge. He pointed out the butter on the tray and I said that wasn’t going to be enough and he had quite a fuss about that. To which his daughter pointed out if we were at their house, he would have used a lot more butter than that too.

But ever since, I’m very self-conscious about how much butter I’m using on my toast. (The whole issue of whether butter is good for you or not set aside for the moment.)

Because we don’t have AC in our house and the butter stays on the counter next to the stove, the consistency of the butter changes by season. Winter it’s nicely firm, but soft enough to spread on bread or pancakes or whatever. Summer it’s generally soft, but it might be right on the verge of melted – if not actually softened into a puddle. And trying to butter your toast with that is just a mess.

Course if you keep your butter in the fridge, well, that’s a whole nother story. And if frozen, all bets are off. Then it’s just a mess with slivers of butter and randomly spotty buttered toast.

Ever tried to soften butter in the microwave? We have the button to do 30 seconds, which I use often, because you don’t have to do the full 30.

I’ve tried just a few seconds and then roll the stick over to a new side. I’ve tried higher power and turning more… There’s a very fine line between cold, soft, and melted. A line of about 1.5 seconds.

Does your toaster toast evenly? Ours does one of the two slices fairly evenly but the second slice toasts one side but not the other. So when the first piece is done I flip the second around and toast the other side of the second piece while I butter the first. But that’s only the first two pieces of toast. If I make 2 more pieces, side Two of the second will be a little more brown. But don’t forget to turn the level down or piece One will burn.

There is a play called ‘True West’ by Sam Shepard. Part of the show involves one character breaking into homes and stealing toasters. What we see onstage is the next morning with a dozen toasters spread around the kitchen. When I worked on that production, part of the issue was toasters take a lot of power and simply having enough power to run all the toasters involved extension cords from all over the theater. Well, not to mention, finding a dozen toasters. But for several years after that, no one involved had to purchase a toaster; we just went and got another one from the props room. And it gave me a line I’ve never forgotten when another character finally says “What is this bull**** with toast!?”

Waffles or pancakes for you?

95 thoughts on “Buttering Toast Is Hard”

  1. i’ve added a new variable

    i’m making sourdough with my son and we split the starter and i’ve started a second and a third to get them down the road to be head toward a gluten free version so i’m adding wheat free flours and ancient grain variations to the mix and when i make the bread the density is different in every loaf. the amount of rise in the yeast is also a variable so when you are done with that the loaf you get is a football with its own character so getting out the bread knife and sawing off a chunk is different from one loaf to the next and the toaster settings are a guess to be factored into the equation
    a success is memorable
    even a moderate success is good
    getting it wrong is a whack up side the head . after all the interaction between the starter and the loaf and the sawing off a slab to be toaster , to get it wrong by cutting it so thick the outside is brown but the inside in not is a possibility , the number of times i put it in the toaster and forget it is embarrassingly frequent and getting it ten minutes later leads to croutons, but when it’s right it’s what life is all about.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I looked into hose at some point in the past but the whole “put the butter into the container first” put me off. I have a cute little glass dish with a dairy scene and cows etched in the top that is the perfect size for two sticks of butter. We keep it in the cabinet so I completely understand Ben’s comments about the butter being different textures and softness depending upon the time of the year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. i sell good quality prescription pills so if your interested to buy contact me at my
        wickr: johndulk
        whatsapp number:: +1 614 983 o514

        Fen powder
        Ketamine solutions
        Ketamine powder
        tramadol 250mg
        Percocet 10mg
        Valium diazepam
        Oxy powder
        A215 oxy 30mg
        Adderall 30mg
        Xanax 2mg
        Alprazolam powder
        A-PVP CRYSTAL
        Mdma
        and more stuff still available

        Like

  2. Some of you might remember that Garrison Keillor used to talk about Jack’s Toast House, a restaurant with a toaster on each table. Toast was a big thing at our house. We loved it. My daughter once announced, “I’m going to try something different. This time I’m gonna eat raw toast.” I was surprised by that. I eventually suggested, “What you call ‘raw toast’ is what other people call ‘bread.'”

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I like thin pancakes. Husband makes great yeast risen pancakes and sourdough pancakes. We have two waffle irons. One we got as a wedding present from my aunt and uncle, and the other is from the Scandinavian store in Bismarck and makes thin, heart shaped waffles. It chirps like a bird when the waffle is done.

    I like butter and sugar on my waffles and pancakes. I don’t put maple syrup on them. It tastes too strong. The strawberries are ripening in the garden, and I like to have them and our raspberries along with whipped cream on the waffles/pancakes.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. But what about the butter? I like Land o lakes butter. Husband likes to splurge with Irish butter sometimes. It is hard to find cultured butter here, but that can be good, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Once in a blue moon I splurge and buy a French butter offered as a “crop share” by Cooks of Crocus Hill. It’s a butter made by a boutique creamery that specializes in all things French, and it’s delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I like pancakes best, with the one exception of my Raised Waffles recipe that is yeast risen. That is delicious and crispy. I also love toast (with homemade jelly) but I am allergic to yeast, so I must limit my bread intake. I have not been conscientious about that recently.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I concur with your friend, Steve. It is the best butter I can remember tasting, anywhere, not just the midwest. Apparently a lot of chefs buy it for their restaurants.

      Hope is just down the road (I-35) from us and we can buy it in the grocery stores.

      Chris

      Liked by 3 people

    2. When we were still milking, we could order our cheese and butter through the dairy coop and the milk man (remember, this was the bulk truck driver picking up our milk) would bring it with him the next day. (We could also order dairy cleaning products from them).
      So it was ‘AMPI’ branded butter and cheese. The cost was deducted from the milk check we received.
      After selling the cows, I would stop at the dairy and they had a small room with a cooler and the secretary would handle the sales.
      Eventually that closed and now the entire dairy has closed. It was right at the edge of downtown Rochester and I’m sure they were taxed out.
      We do still have a KEMPS Ice Cream plant on North Broadway.
      Now days I just pick up Hyvee butter; never thought about whether it was fancy butter or not.
      And we didn’t buy ‘Land O’ Lakes’ because that was a competitor of AMPI.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m old enough to remember when, in dairy states at least, it was illegal to sell colored margarine and you would get margarine as a bag of white fat with a button of colorant in the middle. One would have to knead the fat (in the bag) until the color was evenly distributed. Some legislators were also compelled by the dairy lobby to put forth proposals that the color yellow be forbidden altogether to margarine makers. I think blue was the alternative color suggested, but that was overreaching.

    Growing up, I think margarine was the standard spread in our household and in that of our neighbors. I couldn’t tell you why. Butter was only for company. It might have been an economy measure but it’s not as if my parents or their friends were uniformly economical. If they considered butter extravagant, I question their priorities. The only place where butter was generously served was in the school lunches. The schools must have been getting vast amounts of government subsidized butter because the cafeteria cooks would slather it on with a spatula.

    Since we seldom watch commercial television, I am not up-to-date on the current state of commercials. Are margarine ads as prevalent as they once were? I never really understood the premise behind “I can’t believe it’s not butter”. Doesn’t the name of that product acknowledge that butter is the platonic ideal? So what prevented consumers from going for the real thing? It hardly seems like it would be a health consideration, although those notions do spring up now and again. Was it, once again, an economic thing? Misplaced priorities I repeat. Many products are targeted at the credulous, but why reveal that up front?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I remember the oleo bags with the color dots too. If I recall, the best part was getting to mix in the color, because the oleo itself wasn’t all that great. But it’s all we could afford, so I didn’t know anything else.

      Chris

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Bill – When I was elementary school age, my best friend’s mother worked at our local creamery. She would bring home those bags of oleo with the button and my friend and I would knead them until the color was uniform through and through. We thought it was great fun.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter emerged during the decades when butter was still thought to raise cholesterol, be bad for the heart. When I had that job with the nutritionist, I learned about poorly designed studies… and still most of the nation things butter is bad for you. I’ve got articles – if anyone wants a link, email me.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. i sell good quality prescription pills so if your interested to buy contact me at my
          wickr: johndulk
          whatsapp number:: +1 614 983 o514

          Fen powder
          Ketamine solutions
          Ketamine powder
          tramadol 250mg
          Percocet 10mg
          Valium diazepam
          Oxy powder
          A215 oxy 30mg
          Adderall 30mg
          Xanax 2mg
          Alprazolam powder
          A-PVP CRYSTAL
          Mdma
          and more stuff still available

          Like

  7. Bill, I think there was a big move away from butter to margarine several decades ago. It seemed driven by the fact margarine was less expensive but also possibly healthier (it came from plants and had less fat in it than butter).

    As for ads on TV, what mostly airs now is ads for drugs and insurance, with a few ads for financial services. Many, many products once advertised on TV are not promoted that way now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your comment caused me to do a little digging into the origins of margarine, and it’s really quite interesting. Here’s a link if you care to explore: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margarine
      I found this quote to be quote revealing: “It was created by Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès in response to a challenge by Emperor Napoleon III to create a butter substitute from beef tallow for the armed forces and lower classes.”

      Liked by 4 people

    2. My recollection is that margarine was the choice of the frugal when I was small. My mother would have regarded butter as extravagant. It seems to me the suggestion that butter was bad for you came later.

      You can still get a pound of Blue Bonnet margarine for about a buck, maybe a third of what butter costs.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. i sell good quality prescription pills so if your interested to buy contact me at my
      wickr: johndulk
      whatsapp number:: +1 614 983 o514

      Fen powder
      Ketamine solutions
      Ketamine powder
      tramadol 250mg
      Percocet 10mg
      Valium diazepam
      Oxy powder
      A215 oxy 30mg
      Adderall 30mg
      Xanax 2mg
      Alprazolam powder
      A-PVP CRYSTAL
      Mdma
      and more stuff still available

      Like

  8. Waffles here. And we don’t use much butter except for cooking, so it stays in the fridge (I know, blasphemy to some folks.) To economize back in the day, and to keep the calorie count reasonable, I stopped putting butter in my PB&Js. Got used to that, then finally dropped the J a few years ago. Nowadays there’s a 50/50 chance I just scoop a bunch of PB out of the jar with a spoon and skip the bread entirely.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Pancakes, Danish ones, of course. We don’t make them often as we both prefer savory breakfasts, but we make them perhaps three times a year and serve with fresh raspberries, a tiny sprinkle of sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Alternatively, they are good with a dab of homemade strawberry jam, perhaps as dessert following a bagel with cream cheese, lox, cucumber and herb pesto main course.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. My family got to talking about waffle irons one day. I prefer square ones over round. And waffles over pancakes, but both are good. And milk taste SO GOOD when had with either one. I think it’s the sweeness of the syrup vs. the cold milk.
    I remember growing up Mom had a waffle iron but the trays could be swapped out so either it laid flat and you made pancakes, or change the trays and made waffles. And I thought that was really cool. I loved changed the plates. And my sister said she had the waffle iron and did I want it? YES! I thought moms had burned out and been thrown out; didn’t know anyone had it. So that was really nice to get that waffle iron back.
    It’s not as well insulated as the plastic coated one we had and I did burn my fingers a few times.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My best friend’s mom (mentioned in an earlier comment) made pancakes that were nearly as big as a plate and they were pretty fluffy. My grandma made silver dollar pancakes – thin and not much bigger than a silver dollar -when she babysat for me. Marilyn and I could easily eat about a dozen of those tiny pancakes. Her mom couldn’t understand how we could eat so many at my house and yet barely finish one of hers. We never told her about the difference between those ‘cakes, but maybe she eventually figured it out. I still prefer silver dollar pancakes with a bit of butter and maple syrup or good raspberry jam.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I don’t know much about butchering or smoking meats of anything like that.
    I used to get meat from a guy at the college. And his bacon was the BEST bacon we have ever had. It just had such a wonderful flavor! Then the last time I ordered part of a hog and the butcher asked how we want it processed. I said not to smoke the bacon and he said it has to be smoked otherwise it doesn’t have any flavor. Huh. That whole pig was a dud. The guy I bought it from let it get way too big and it was all fat. The bacon would shrivel up to a tiny little sliver.
    We’ve never had bacon again as good as we used to get from that guy at the college and I don’t know what his secret was.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. In my day in MN it was called side pork, which I grew up on with fried eggs fried in the fat in a cast iron skillet.
        Kind of waffle iron: cast iron over wood stove. Which I also grew up on.
        Pancakes with cream ans sugar on them. Which I also grew up on.
        One day a week: Cream of Wheat or Malt-O-Meal. Which I refused to grow up on.
        Clyde

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Mom had a cast iron pan she used for a lot of cooking. I’m not sure if she still has it?
          We tried a few cast iron things and could never get them seasoned correctly.

          Like

        2. Hey Clyde, we do cream of wheat in Malt o meal here as well. Have you ever had a chance to try the Ralston hot wheat cereal? You can’t get it in stores anymore but you can get it online. I grew up with it in St. Louis since Ralston is right there and for many years my mom used to send it to me from the local grocery store but she can’t get it there anymore either.

          Like

        3. Hueband loves grits. His people come from southern Ohio. I have no appreciation for grits, no matter how much cheese you put in it.

          Like

  13. My first day as a nanny at the Bridges’ household in Moscow, Mary Jane pointed to a box of pancake mix and told me the kids were used to having pancakes for breakfast. The idea of pancakes for breakfast was new to me, and having never experiences American pancakes was perplexed as to how to make two or three pancakes at a time, so asked her to please show me. She seemed bewildered and rather annoyed at this request, but wanting her kids to be fed, she obliged. I had never seen anything like it, and volunteered that the following morning I’d make Danish pancakes from scratch so she could better understand why I was confused.

    The following morning the we all gathered in the kitchen and I whipped up a pancake batter from scratch. The kids were fascinated and loved the Danish pancakes, and that’s what they had for the rest of my tenure with the family. Mary Jane loved them to, and suggested that I make some savory ones for a cocktail party she was hosting the following week. Essentially Danish pancakes, crepes, and blini are all variations on a theme, the possibility are endless.

    Fast forward thirty some years and I tracked down the Bridges family here in the states. Oldest son, David, has followed in his dad’s footsteps and was, at the time, stationed by American Foreign Services at the US embassy in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A lively email correspondence between David, his middle sister, Elizabeth, and me ensued. David confided in me that he still makes Danish pancakes for his two daughters. He’s careful not to call them that in front of his mother-in-law who calls them German pancakes, “but I know better,” he wrote.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. No, Danish pancakes are essentially crepes. Æbleskiver require a special pan for cooking them. Can’t be done on a flat skillet. It’s kind funny, Danes eat neither pancakes nor æbleskiver for breakfast, they are usually served either as a dessert, or perhaps with eftermiddagskaffe – afternoon coffee. However, even the Danish American Center in Mpls. now serves the occasional Sunday morning brunch that includes æbleskiver. Second and third generation Danish immigrants have developed an American sweet tooth, they can’t believe that æbleskiver and pancakes were not meant to be breakfast foods.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I also have an apple ski for pam, maybe I should drag it out one of these days. I haven’t made double skewers for a couple of years.

          OK I’m leaving the voice recognition the way it is because it’s so bizarre. I guess voice recognition doesn’t really like the word Apple skipper. (aebleskiver)

          Liked by 4 people

    1. A little cardemom never hurts. On Saturday after my Farmers’ Market trip, I decided to use the radish and salad turnip tops, plus some cilantro to make a variation of Zhoug. I added a pinch of cardamom to add just bit more complexity of flavor to an already delicious sauce. I also made a batch of Afghani cilantro chutney. It feels like having money in the bank having a couple of containers in the frigde that can add some spice to our meals.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. As Hercule Poirot says in Murder on the Orient Express “I have no prejudiced against either“. I like waffles and pancakes with equal abandon.

    My favorite pancake is the blueberry pancake at Lowbrau, here in Minneapolis. It takes up the whole plate and it is so good that I put a little butter on it but no syrup. Fabulous.

    And of course I’ve written about my favorite waffle before at Black Coffee and Waffle over in Saint Paul with almond butter and fresh fruit and whipped cream. In fact just yesterday I put Nutella and strawberries and whip cream on an Eggo waffle. Really improves the Eggo.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. My favorite is Swedish pancakes – and I have a special pan… they’re a cross between silver dollar and PJ’s Danish ones. And crepes, I love how they can be sweet or savory.

    When living in NYC I learned about Blintzes, the “Jewish version of French Crepes”, my cookbook says.. Filling can be a combination of cheeses (cream cheese and pot/farmers cheese – we used ricotta, too) and egg yolk, vanilla. Or a sauce of strawberries or blueberries, etc. Filling is placed in center, then encased by folding till you have a little packets, that are then baked or fried in butter. Hmmm – comfort food!… going to have to do this one of these cool mornings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I ended up making blini, tiny savory pancakes, for the Bridges’ cocktail parties. Served with fresh caviar on a dollop of crème fraîche and a squeeze of lemon juice.

      Which reminds me, are you all familiar with John Gorka’s song “The Mercy of the Wheels.” I’d like to get on that train, too. I’d make a stop in Moscow of 1964, for sure:

      Liked by 3 people

  16. Our garden seems to be doing spledifiours already this year. Other than I think my onion seedlings got fried a couple weeks ago on that first 90 degree day. They were looking pretty shriveled by late afternoon and I turned on the hoses, but there’s no sign of them anymore.
    But we’ve been eating radishes for a couple weeks already. Kohlrabi is nearly baseball size, potatoes are towering over everything else. Pumpkin plants are taking off. Not sure if it’s just that I prepped the straw bales better or what, but boy are things growing.

    Besides Jacque’s raspberries, how are everyone else’s gardens doing?

    Like

    1. My bales are doing fine. In fact I have small tomatoes already on my Roma plants and my Santa grape tomato plant. I know they won’t be red and edible for quite some time but it’s fun to see them before it’s even officially summer yet. The rest of my yard and garden is fabulous. I expect that has to do with the fact that I have time every darn day to go out and play around.

      Liked by 3 people

  17. There was a time, Ben, when i could have single-handedly supplied all the toasters you needed for the Sam Shepherd play. I’ve talked before on the Trail about my toaster collection. Not all of them necessarily worked. I still could probably scrounge up a half dozen- the residue from thirty years ago.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Well, yes. I am amused by collections of things that are unusual. As for toasters, the early ones came in a wide variety of styles and mechanisms. They were nicely styled and solidly built. A seventy year old toaster is likely to still work, or it will if it is only cleaned a little. At the time I collected them, they were available and they were inexpensive. As with anything else, once you research them a little, they become distinctive and interesting. The first pop-up toasters were manufactured in Minneapolis. It’s still possible to find examples of those first pop-up toasters.

          Liked by 4 people

      1. I have a collection of empty 22 shells. Started when I was a kid and our old pump 22 would hold, I don’t know, 14 shells? More? And I’d shoot at tin cans and fire it as fast as I could. Then I’d save the empty brass shells. Now that I mention it, that little suitcase is probably still down in a closet. I had a couple thousand empty shells. Just because.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Norwegian Pancakes

    3 eggs, beaten
    1 T. Sugar
    1/2 c. melted butter
    1 1/2 c. milk
    1/4 t. salt
    1/2 t. ground cardamom
    1/1/4 c. all purpose flour

    Mix together. Fry pancakes in a large skillet. Put 2 T of batter in center of pan. Tilt pan and quickly rotate so batter spreads out very thin. Turn. Eat hot with butter and jam.

    This recipe was from the Grace Lutheran Cookbook in Luverne from 1976. (The woman who shared it was married to the Culligan man in town, and then she ran off to Iowa with the high school wresting coach.)
    It was a very old recipe from a Norwegian family in town and had been in the family for generations.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. i sell good quality prescription pills so if your interested to buy contact me at my
    wickr: johndulk
    whatsapp number:: +1 614 983 o514

    Fen powder
    Ketamine solutions
    Ketamine powder
    tramadol 250mg
    Percocet 10mg
    Valium diazepam
    Oxy powder
    A215 oxy 30mg
    Adderall 30mg
    Xanax 2mg
    Alprazolam powder
    A-PVP CRYSTAL
    Mdma
    and more stuff still available

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.