Butter seems to be at its most useful when it is room temperature. I own an attractive ceramic butter dish that holds my butter cube. It lives on top of the microwave. When the butter is finished I clean the dish and take a fresh cube from the refrigerator placing it on the white porcelain plate that underlines the butter dish. Today when I put the fresh butter chunk on the dish I was aware that it was rock hard from being in the fridge. I was about to toast some homemade bread and it occurred to me that if I softened the butter just a little it would be much easier to spread.
When he built our house in 1996 my husband Ron created a handy feature above the kitchen stovetop. Under the hood are fashioned “heat lights” designed to keep food warm before serving. There are fold down metal trays where I can place a dinner plate to keep it warm. They do a fine job. Without thinking clearly (that’s not true; I had a premonition of disaster at precisely the moment I put the open butter dish under the heat lamps) I put the butter there to soften for a moment.
About a half hour later I noticed a gummy substance trickling from the dish under the heat lamp. A quarter of a pound of butter was now liquid and running all over the stovetop, into the stove burners, the counter next to it and the ceramic kitchen utensil holder at the edge of the stove. Mess-o gigundo. This could take a lifetime to clean up.
Ron was in the kitchen with me when this discovery was made. “I’ll clean it up,” he announced cheerfully. This is the kind of man he is. When something messy or unpleasant occurs around the house (or anywhere) he is the first to step up to the job of cleaning the mess. I marvel at this and it fills me with gratitude and wonder. Thank you Ron for being my hero.