Welcome to the final day of Butter Week. It’s been a high-cholesterol trip, and it’s only going to get worse from here.
What else can we do with butter?
Well, before we leave the area of eating it, how about swinging by the Iowa State Fair for a stick of butter on a stick. Dipped in cinnamon honey batter. Deep fried. And then sugar-glazed. Makes Paula Deen’s Fried Butter Balls sound healthy by comparison.
I’d also suggest that you avoid watching Butter. (No, I haven’t seen it myself; the summary sounds hilarious, but based on the reviews it doesn’t sound either so good or so horrible that it shouldn’t be missed.) And while we’re skipping butter-and-movie-related things, let’s also skip the usage made famous in “Last Tango In Paris” – there are safer alternatives available. Easier to clean up, too.
How about sculpting butter?
This is rather impressive. So is this (check the full-sized image). This is somewhat so. These rather less impressive, but amusing. These are quite amazing. And… um… Didn’t I say we would skip that use? And besides, that’s not a butter sculpture so much as a buttered sculpture (though I will admit to liking the last sentence of this article about the piece.)
Or we could use it to generate power.
For what it’s worth, my own experiments showed that the bread only lands butter side down about half the time, which would rather limit the amount of power generated. This video suggests that we might do better with grape jelly, but that’s taking us away from butter. A more scientific enquiry into the mystic cat/buttered toast generator is here and worth a look. A side note: even if you can get the bugs out of the process, you’re going to need to keep your generators well separated or risk a generator breakdown due to feline interlingual interference (translation: if they’re too close together, the cats will lick the butter off each others’ toast).
That said, I should note that butter has been used as an alternative to oil in lamps for hundreds of years, and at least once as a source of methane to power a farm.
But I suspect most of you don’t care about that. I know which side of my bread the butter is on. You don’t have to butter me up to get me to make with the snarky remarks. Let’s face it, snark is the bread and butter of this blog. (I think we’re descending a slippery slope here…)
The point is that butter has been part of just about every culture since the dawn of agriculture, and it’s worked its way into our language, even into places where it doesn’t make sense. Case in point: nobody is quite sure where the name “butterfly” came from. The name apparently goes back to Old English (“butorflēoge”), a combination of “beater” and “fly”; it may later have merged with the belief that butterflies eat milk and butter (as always, thanks to Wikipedia), but that’s highly speculative.
Keeping things close to where we started (eating – isn’t that one of the basic human drives?) it appears that most butterflies are edible, though reports suggest that the taste may be less than fabulous. The few pages I was able to find suggest that you skip the wings, and one also suggests skipping the antennae and legs. Oddly enough, I was only able to find one recipe for butterflies. Perhaps it’s the difficulty of gathering enough for a serving. After all the work of catching them and removing the various appendages, a drink may be in order. How about a Black Butterfly, Kapalua Butterfly, Butterfly Nipple (since when do butterflies have nipples?), or a… Oh, come on, who names these things, anyway?. Better yet, have one of each while you’re cooking. I suspect that would improve the taste of the main dish significantly.