In Praise of Butter

Did you ever do that thing as a child where you hold a buttercup to your chin to see whether you like butter? If your chin goes yellow (which it invariably does), you do.

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Now, I’m never going to single-handedly save the dairy industry: I don’t drink milk or take it in my tea. I’m more partial to cream and even that I don’t really have much anymore. I occasionally (rarely) eat yogurt or cheese-on-toast. Ice-cream, yes, it’s necessary in this heat.

What I like, though, is butter melting on my toast. Jam is good for cream teas, but not on my toast.
There is nothing better than golden pools of melting butter on toast; on crumpets toasted on an open fire; on Sunday breakfast drop-scones that your dad made because your mum hasn’t made pain au chocolat. It’s just so gorgeously decadent, so wonderfully luxurious, to be eating something dripping with melting butter.

Now, usually, I buy basics butter, on the premise that, you know, butter is butter. Is there really any difference between basic brands and more expensive butters? There’s no point spending more than I need to, thought I, reaching for the cheapest. Well, actually, in a word, Yes. My goodness, yes.
You see, the other day, ASDA forced (yes, I will use that word) me to deviate. It had none of the Value Butter. I had to look towards the more expensive ones. Trying to stick to my budget, though, I went for the next cheapest. Only about 50p more expensive, so not break-the-bank expensive. It was a half-pound block of green-foil-wrapped Cornish butter, from Trewithen’s dairy.
It is, by far and away, the most delicious butter I have ever tasted. Mark and I ate the entire block, and the loaf of bread I’d just bought, in about two days. Honestly, this butter is all I need on my toast. I can’t begin to do justice to the taste of Trewithen’s butter. I have been raving about this butter to all who’ll listen. I eschew making “proper” meals to have more toast, just to eat the butter.

And now that I hear that fats are supposed to be good for me, so much the better. I suspect that, ideally, the powers-that-be would prefer me not to be slathering it over toast, or crumpets, or drop-scones, or whatever, but screw that. Life’s too short, and buttery toast too delicious.

To Eat, or Not to Eat? (Sorry, Shakespeare.)

My mind for the last couple of days has been unhealthily occupied by food and weight because of finding the pretty dress. I’m not particularly unhealthy or overweight or anything, but the dress was pretty and apparently doesn’t have any room for letting it out. Which is a shame. So I’ve been debating the possibility of losing the few inches or so needed to fit into it. I have no idea of my weight – the only scales I have are my kitchen ones – but I know my measurements. They, and my clothes, guide me through my body image issues.

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There’s a plethora of information and disinformation about eating “correctly”, the optimum diet for health, often with weight loss as a side-effect. Every year gets its own little fad, an exciting new method promising an easy and permanent way of becoming healthy. There’s the 5:2 or Intermittent Fasting diet. Various high protein, low carb ones, like Atkins, Dukan and Paleo. High carb, low fat. Juice fasts. Weight Watchers. Slimming World. You name it, someone’s written a book about it.

But, really, the only thing I’ve worked out about all of these diets, and my own years of disordered eating, is this. One of them, one way of eating, will work for you. You’ll be happy, your body will like you. But what works for you might not be the Holy Grail for the next person.

My diet tends to be more of the Intermittent Fasting variety, without really trying. I don’t normally get hungry until early to mid-afternoon, so I usually have a late, light breakfast and dinner. It works for me. I don’t restrict my eating – I like cakes and chocolate and slabs of steak and vegetables. I try not to over-eat, but sometimes I do. I walk a lot but I don’t do any formal exercise, like going to the gym. (I would if they were like old fashioned gyms, and were more about gymnastics: rope-climbing and the like.)

This works for me. Listen to your body; what works for you?