Hey there Internet.
Seems like you maybe were a bit… erm… grossed out by my admission the other day.
You know. The one where I said RANCID BUTTER had been reclining behind my toaster oven for at least a week.
Listen, I get it. It was a poor choice of words. I know the word “rancid” is kind of barf-inducing. But let me tell you… Rancid butter doesn’t even have an aroma. And rest assured there were no bugs involved. Nor was there any mold or discoloration of any kind.
And that brings me to a question…
Isn’t butter that’s been sitting outside of a fridge always rancid?
I mean, as long as it’s been sitting outside of the fridge for a few days?
That was my impression, although ADMITTEDLY I might be mistaken, considering I couldn’t find anything to that effect on the Internets.
Although ADMITTEDLY I didn’t search for very long. Turns out I have limited patience for looking up facts about butter and its spoiling point.
My belief in the Rancidity of Non-Refrigerated Butter is rooted in a comment made by the bespectacled Christopher Kimball on either Cook’s Country or America’s Test Kitchen. (Which our DVR records every week, by the way. If you aren’t watching these shows, you are missing out on much deliciousness and mildly lame cookery-related banter!) If Christopher Kimball says something about food, I believe him. He could tell me that eggs are alien tracking devices and sugar is unicorn skin and I would be like, “Yes, I agree.” And if he told me that porpoise blubber was better than olive oil for sautéing mushrooms, I would immediately seek out my closest local porpoise blubber purveyor. (HUMANE porpoise blubber purveyor, people. I am not into senselessly hurting beautiful marine animals.)
Although… hmmm… Now that I think about it, maybe my belief in the Rancidity of Non-Refrigerated Butter comes from my mother-in-law, who refrigerates her butter with great vigor. And is, I’m pretty sure, quite creeped out by the fact that my husband and I leave our butter out on the counter forever and ever amen. Or at least until all the butter is gone. (Note: It doesn’t last all that long around here. Because I like me some butter. Also, the other day I made macarons with butter cream and chocolate ganache filling [more on that to come if anyone cares] and I kept effing things up so I used LITERALLY a pound and a half of butter. I am not someone who uses the word “literally” liberally. So yeah.)
Okay, so I’m not 100% sure where my belief in the Rancidity of Non-Refrigerated Butter comes from. I could have dreamt it for all I remember.
But it matters not, for I have always been a butter-leaver-outer. I have little patience for cold slabs of butter that refuse to spread on toast or English muffins.
Rancid or not, that’s the way I like my butter. And I’m not dead yet.
P.S. Since I KNOW that my mother-in-law gets the heebie jeebies from the unrefrigerated butter, I make sure to serve her fresh, cold butter when she comes to visit. Just in case you were worried about her. I CARE, Internet.
P.P.S. Doubtless, some readers are feeling a little surprised that I would be so. very. picky. about so. many. things. and yet be perfectly fine with the Rancid Butter. To you I say, I am COMPLICATED. And also, I never pretended not to have Serious Double Standards That Make Little Sense to Anyone Not Inhabiting My Strange and Messed Up Brain Space.
P.P.P.S. I’m not the only one who does this, right? Not “has weird and cracked out double standards” – but “leaves the butter out on the counter.” I mean, that’s the sole reason butter dishes EXIST, right?
P.P.P.P.S. I am not really sure why I’m writing this post as though it’s a letter. I realize that, in reality, it’s just ME writing to MYSELF on the Internet. If someone chooses, out of the goodness of her heart, to RESPOND to my rantings, well then that only makes me LESS crazy, not NOT-crazy.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P. Oh screw it.
I am suddenly realizing that MAYBE you were grossed out not by the Rancid Butter Factor, but by the fact that I didn’t clean behind my toaster oven in so long that there was BUTTER back there. UNNOTICED.
Well. I don’t really have a defense for that. BUT I actually DO clean behind the toaster oven more often than never. Otherwise I wouldn’t have FOUND the butter in the first place.
Other places I clean more often than never:
- The DVDs on our TV stand
- The wine glasses hanging upside-down in our wine “bar”
- The little-used electric piano
- The faucets
- The floor under the couches, dining table, and coffee table
- The door handles
- The wall adjacent to the stove
- The inside of the freezer
- The bathroom scale
Places I am (newly) afraid to clean:
- The guest bathroom bathtub, which has become The Place Where Spiders Go to Die (I’m afraid to look behind the shower curtain. Mainly because the last time I looked behind it [usually, I check behind there periodically to make sure no murderers are waiting there to pounce on me] [I wish I were joking] there were two crispy spider corpses in the bathtub. At least, I assume they were crispy. The thing is, I can’t remember if I actually DISPOSED OF the spider corpses or if I just tried to nudge my husband into doing it for me by leaving the shower curtain open… And if I did the latter, which is more likely, I don’t know if he actually took the bait or just closed the shower curtain without even noticing the arachnid corpses. [Or if he DID spot them but decided to overlook them. Like I did.] So now I am afraid to open the shower curtain lest I come face-to-face with MORE spider corpses… Or, worse, LIVE spiders. I mean, the dead ones have to come from SOMEWHERE, right? The thought of a Spider Death Trap in my guest bathroom gives me some serious willies. I never thought that “bathtub spider death trap” would trump “murderers,” but so be it.)
Well. That took an unexpected turn.
Anyway. Butter. Turns out to be a more convoluted subject than meets the eye.