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Meal plan for May 30th – June 5th

Ok, so know how I usually keep this place free from excitable topics like religion, politics, and those kinds of things?  Today I’m blowing up that policy, because I want to talk about choice.

A conversation with my friend that we stayed with in Los Angeles really got me thinking, and even though I steer clear of upsetting discussions on the blog, I really do need to bring this up.  We need to talk about it.  And we need to have a conversation about beliefs – yours and mine. Ok?  Can we agree to keep a civil tongue and act like grown ups?  Cause we need to talk about something in particular…

Where do you store your butter?

The first morning we were there, Troy made everyone French Toast.  He was looking all over the counters for a butter dish, and finally asked Elaina where their butter was.  She pulled a stick out of the fridge, and I saw Troy’s face fall because hard butter on warm melty French Toast is kind of a let down.

The next morning, Elaina informed me that she had left the butter out of the fridge overnight and had to throw it away.  My eyes opened wide as I exclaimed “it’s still good; people store butter at room temperature all the time”.  What ensued was a deep dialog of “really? Gross” with a response of “yah huh”.  No one had to raise $10 million for that debate, but it ended in a stalemate of each side thinking the other had some weird butter habits.

You may think butter storage is regional.  Perhaps.  But I know when we lived in Los Angeles, we still kept a butter dish in the cupboard so that we had delightful, spreadable butter at our finger tips.  When we moved back to Washington, Troy was saddened that our apartment was so cold, every winter and fall our butter was almost as hard as if we had kept it in the fridge.  He rejoiced in warmer weather and the return of “summer butter”, and we even would hum a little ditty to the tune of “Summer Lovin'” from Grease (summer butter, happened so fast.  Summer butter, spreadable at last.  Met some toast…”).  Now that our current house is a bit more climate controlled, we store our butter in a cute little butter crock to keep it fresh and spreadable throughout the year.  We’ve never had butter go rancid on us, and always appreciate the fact that we don’t tear holes in our rolls (dibs on Holes in Our Rolls as a band name).  Edited to add: we buy a ton of butter at once, and store it in the freezer.  We keep a pound at a time in the fridge, and one stick at room temp on the counter.

So folks, what say you?  Where does your lovely butter spend its time awaiting your needs?

The weather forecast for Seattle is showing sun and gorgeous weather (except for one day of rain) for the next ten days.  I’m so glad, as it allows me to use my Mother’s Day present; the new retractable clothesline. There is nothing better than sun-dried clothes, towels, and sheets. I always put line dried laundry in the dryer for 10 minutes to “de-crunchify” them, but they still smell fresh, clean, and like sun.  Our diaper inserts are the best things to dry outside, as no matter what we do, they always have a bit of staining.  A few hours of sun bleaching, and Bennett’s able to wear diapers as white as snow.  Because babies care about those things.  🙂

With both sets of grandparents, I remember certain things about my childhood at their houses.  At my mom’s parents, I remember their epic raspberry bushes, going shopping with my grandma, playing in the flour drawer in her kitchen, and the giant spiders in their basement.  My memories at my dad’s parents revolve around picking blackberries, eating pickled beets and canned crab apples, and running through the sheets Nanna always dried on the clothesline when the sun was out.  Here is hoping that Jack and Bennett have fond memories darting among line dried sheets.  And not the fact that their mom was a giant hippie.

Every night that Troy is on shift, Jack insists that we sleep in the bed in Bennett’s room.  His rationale is Bennett needs me to eat (truth), and Jack is the man of the house and needs to be close in case anything happens.  Bennett sleeps in his crib, while Jack and I share the super cozy 4Sleep double bed. The other night, during our sleepover, Bennett woke up crying (of course), and I noticed his hands were fairly cold.  It was time to feed him anyway, so I brought him in the bed for his meal and to warm him up.  After he ate, I put him on the bed to run and pee (isn’t sharing fun?), and came back 20 seconds later to this sight.

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And no, Jack is not wearing a tank top; just a shirt that is too big for him so it rides up on the arms.  He has decided that getting dressed every morning is too cumbersome of a task, so he has started just wearing his clothes to bed.  Boys.

Thinking that ants were getting in our strawberries, I was researching an organic method to rid us of the six-legged pests.  And then one morning I was looking out the window and saw the wild neighborhood peacocks in the strawberry patch.  Oy.

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The one head-deep in the berries is a juvenile, and his beautiful butt feathers have not yet grown in.  But both find the berries equally delicious. Overall the peacocks eat every slug, snail, and naughty insect that could attack my garden…and they never touch my tomatoes.  I can share a few strawberries with them.

Meal plan time!

Monday:: Organic hot dogs, organic tator tots (this is shaping up to be a fine gourmet meal, yes?), and salad

Tuesday:: Penne and grilled asparagus.  Asparagus season is quickly coming to a close, and I am eating as much as I can until next year.

Wednesday:: Grilled chicken on Asian crunch salad (it’s from Costco, have you had it?  Delicious.  We add the chicken), and garlic flatbread.

Thursday:: Kebabs (chicken, potato, sweet onions, and pineapple), asparagus, and garlic flatbread.

Friday:: Popcorn night

Saturday:: either burgers, or we will clean out the fridge depending on our needs.

Sunday:: Family dinner

What are you having this week?

 

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23 comments on “Meal plan for May 30th – June 5th”

  1. The pic of your boys is adorable! So cute.

    I keep my butter on the counter also. I feel like it’s the best place for it. Well, I keep one stick out at a time and chill the remaining. Between baking, cooking, toast for breakfast, etc I’ve never had butter go bad. I keep it in a covered dish and have never had a problem. Except when someone uses the last and doesn’t set out a new stick and we all have hard butter in the morning. Ugh. 🙂

    Here’s my meal plan for the week:

    Sunday: Roast chicken (leftovers) sandwiches and salad

    Monday: Hamburgers/hot dogs with potato salad, cole slaw, deviled eggs, Watergate salad, chips and dips (for some reason I’m dying to make homemade old school bean dip. Wish me luck). Strawberry shortcake for dessert.

    Tuesday: Thai red chicken curry with broccoli and rice

    Wednesday: Breakfast and fresh fruit (probably strawberries and pineapple)

    Thursday: Chicken piccata with fresh green beans, salad and Cheddar Bay biscuits

    Friday: Fend For Yourself night

    Saturday: Pinto beans & cornbread

  2. In this house, we leave the butter we are currently using in a dish on the counter. We live in Indiana. I grew up in a house that also left the butter on the counter. Heaven forbid you have hard butter for fresh bread! We keep the rest of the sticks in the fridge until needed. We also buy kerrygold butter. We do keep this in the fridge. Not really sure why…maybe because it’s not the same shape as the butter dish?? But, it melts pretty fast on hot waffles so I don’t really mind. So sad that she threw all the butter out. 🙁

    We buy 1 bag of the Asian salad mix and one of the kale/broccoli/cranberry mix bag per week!. Love those easy salad mixes! We also add chicken to them for easy work lunches.

    • We used to buy organic cultured butter from Organic Valley (bought it via Azure Standard), but with one solid income these days, I recently discovered Costco has Kerrygold at a much cheaper price than the Organic Valley. Kerrygold is pretty darn delicious! I just cut it down the middle the long way so it looks like “normal” butter, and keep 1 stick at a time on the counter. The rest lives in the fridge or freezer.

      The kale salad (superfood?) is absolutely delicious!

  3. I haven’t tried that salad mix yet, but now I’ll keep an eye out for it! When we ate the plastic stuff out of a tub, we kept it in the fridge (I did have one go bad) But now that we use real butter, it stays on the counter in a vintage glass food storage container. So pretty. But only one (or one & a half) stick at a time
    What an absolutely adorable picture of your boys, too!

  4. Growing up we kept it in the fridge. At some point my mom and I simultaneously started keeping it on the counter in our respective kitchens. She had climate control and uses a covered dish. I don’t have A.C. and use a butter bell. I’ve had butter last close to a month this way (I don’t eat much bread – prefer rice etc).

  5. In winter I leave the butter, in a covered dish out and it is spreadable without being liquid. It needs a covered because I have discovered that our mice – tiny claw marks, and our cat – dainty tongue tracks, all like butter. In the summer I struggle because the edges of the butter dish, even when covered, tend to develop green fur. I don’t remember that from other years so I am still trying to figure it out. I would prefer to keep it in the fridge overnight and leave it on the counter for use during the day. Toast tends to be an evening snack and not a breakfast staple.

  6. Butter lives on the counter here, 500g (roughly 1lb) blocks at a time, and it’s never gone off! I live in a warmish part of Australia, and as Winter is approaching, we’re finally getting to what I call “Butter Weather” – in other words, it is cool enough that the butter is solid and spreadable at room temperature, without liquefying like it does in Summer. In Summer I have to constantly juggle the butter in and out of the fridge to prevent it melting!
    Enjoy your clothesline! Line drying is the norm here, every house has a Hills Hoist (Google it) or a wall-mounted alternative. I hate the feel of clothes or towels that have been in a dryer, they seem weirdly floppy to me, LOL
    By the way, did you know the sun is not only great at removing poop stains, it will also remove tomato stains (like pasta sauce) and curry stains (turmeric)? Just take the stained item straight from the washer and place it in the sun while still wet, and the sun will fade it completely.

    • Oh yeah, I use the sun for all kinds of stains; it is the best! People spend a fortune on stain remover, and the sun is free. 🙂

      We only keep one stick at a time on the counter; the rest lives in the fridge.

  7. We store are butter in a covered dish on the counter. Drives my mother inlaw nuts. 🙂

  8. I absolutely store my butter out of the refrigerator as I live near Seattle as well. I would never have a whole piece of bread if I didn’t…..lol
    The Asian salad from Costco is uh-mazing!
    Thanks for the beautifully funny entry to this post:)
    I am new to blogging, if you get the chance please check it out. It’s exciting to meet a blogger so close 🙂
    http://www.thefrugalbranch.com

  9. We store ours on the counter, too. My quick soften tip is this: open a stick, leave on wax wrapper, microwave 8 seconds, turn on other side and mw for 5 seconds, do a quick ‘squish’ test and If not quite soft enough turn again and mw 5 more seconds; ALMOST as good as properly softened.

    I love the scritchey feeling of line dried towels, they dry you better!

    Steak and shrimp, oven roasted potatoes and asparagus
    Pan-grilled flounder, slaw, white beans, jiggly salad (Jell-O with fruit)
    Vegetable beef soup and cornbread (using left over steak)
    Baked chicken thigh-quarters, mashed taters and gravy, lima beans and pickled beets
    *Wham casserole (using leftover chicken)
    BBQ pork, mac & cheese, slaw and green beans
    Angel hair pasta, marinara, zucchini and garlic bread

    *Wham Casserole (so named because it calls for Wham or Soy Ham which isn’t as horrible as it sounds)

    1 1/2 cups diced leftover meat (or vegetarian meat product)
    1 onion, diced
    1/2 bell pepper, diced
    1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
    1/2 stick butter
    1 TBLS lemon juice
    1 cup fresh or frozen peas
    **3 cups cream sauce
    12 cheddar cheese biscuits

    Place onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, butter and lemon juice in saucepan. Cook over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent, stir in meat, peas and **cream sauce (some people use cream of mushroom soup and I soup can of milk—ICK),
    heat through and pour into greased casserole, top with raw biscuits and bake at 350* until biscuits are golden brown.

    My version of cream sauce (makes 3 cups)

    4 1/2 TBLS butter
    4 1/2 TBLS all-purpose flour
    Salt & pepper, to taste
    dash of dry mustard
    dash of dried thyme
    dash of cayenne pepper
    3 cups whole milk

    Cook butter, flour and spices together and stir in milk all at once, whisk until thickened and bring to a boil. Cook 2-3 minutes to remove the taste of raw flour and it is ready. I also use this sauce with half cup shredded cheese added and poured over green beans, which I then dump into a casserole dish and bake for half an hour at 350*F which is so good you will want to slap yer granny!!!

  10. I keep butter in freezer first then in fridge then butter dish. since you brought it up what is a stick of butter we don’t have that here in the UK.

    • Hi Phyllis!

      I will answer, in case Sarah doesn’t see this. Our butter is sold by the pound, 4 one quarter sticks to a box. Each stick is wrapped in waxed paper, so you can split it up instead of having the whole pound out at once.

  11. We leave the butter on the counter in a covered glass butter dish (old school kind). If it’s really hot in the house I will put it in the refrigerator for a few hours.
    Sarah, I am looking for a pea salad with smoked almonds recipe you posted a while back, but I don’t see it in your recipe archives. Assuming this means maybe you had a link then to another site? Please let me know how to find the recipe as I remember you raved about how good it is and I have a craving for it. 🙂

  12. Our butter is stored in the fridge with one stick in a dish in a cabinet. In Iowa, we have the same issue with the cold butter in the cooler months and we, too, rejoice when the temps are high enough for spreadable butter! I LOVE smooth butter season!

  13. I too am in Washington.. we leave 1 stick of butter on the counter in a covered glass dish, unless my kids use it all and forget to replace. During the summer, like last year was so dang hot for this area, I rotate the butter from counter to fridge and back to keep it from becoming a puddle on the counter. The butter area in the door of the fridge is usually full of butter and then I have some in the freezer as well. It gets rotated accordingly. I like to have a lot of butter in the house! 🙂 having some on hand for whenever the baking mood strikes.

    Your kiddos look sweet. Every night I have a 5 year old, 2 year old, and 6 months old in my king size bed with me 😉 my 7 year old sleeps in a bunk bed in my room as well. My 2 oldest kids, 15 and 12 years, are the only ones who sleep in their own room! I sleep better with my little ones near me. Gives me peace of mind! I find breastfeeding and climate control much easier when the baby is next to me all night.

  14. Add another tick to “keep the butter on the counter, always” column. I grew up with butter on the counter and still do it myself. Although I forgot to replace the lid today and found a stink bug noshing on it–THAT butter got thrown away. Do y’all have the stink bugs out there? Rejoice if you don’t, they’re horrid and impossible to get rid of.

  15. I live in SC so we keep our butter in the fridge. I take it out ahead of time when I want it soft. I have no problem with leaving it out – relatives in Indiana left it out on the breakfast table in their kitchen all the time.

    Organic fix for fire ants or possibly all ants – Medina ( as in funky cold medina! ) orange oil mixed with dawn and water. I think its from Texas A&M – the study anyway. Google it and you will find the exact recipe. I get the Medina from Amazon – it’s pricey but works and keeps your garden free of pesticides.

  16. i make my own butter (yay raw milk, shhh dont tell..) and i keep it in a butter bell on the counter. this is a butter bell http://www.thekitchn.com/good-question-d-2-14288

  17. We staunchly believe in storing our butter on the counter! The only downside is that it gets pretty hot here in Texas, so our butter can go from “spreadable” to “molten” in seconds. But people do need to see that you don’t need to keep it in the fridge, either! I keep mine in a plain glass butter dish, but a butter crock might be better for us, since our butter tends to melt on the counter.