Daily Challenge: Cook with a Local Oil or Butter
Food of the Day: Butter
Having local butter is never an issue in my house. It’s all we ever have. I usually buy from Ronnybrook at the greenmarket: They have sweet, salted, cinnamon and garlic. While I like making my own garlic butter, theirs is so much more convenient. I’ve only gotten their cinnamon butter a couple times, which goes great on vegetable breads (I have zucchini bread at present) or in Butterbeer (if you don’t know what it is, ask a Harry Potter fan). My go-to butter, however is the sweet butter.
I don’t cook a lot with butter. Part of this stems from a preference for olive oil. However, as noted in an earlier post, I have done a pretty good job of limiting olive oil during the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge. I’ve been using a combination of sunflower oil and butter for my cooking, and it hasn’t been a drastic change for us. In truth, I think the kids are happy with less olive oil.
Butter is a very interesting fat. For years there was this campaign against butter (owing to people’s high cholesterol), but then came the realization that margarine wasn’t any better with regards to health. In fact, a lot of new/old research shows that traditional saturated fats—butters, coconut oil—in fact are better for health than most of the manufactured fats created today by corporate ag.
Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery tells a great story about traveling in the south many years ago. He and his companion wanted to stop off to get some breakfast. They found a country diner along side a small dairy farm. They thought the position of the restaurant to the farm was auspicious. When they ordered their meal, it came with small pats of yellow goo on a paper square. He asked the waitress, “What is this?” She replied, “It’s butter.” He corrected, “It’s margarine.” And she shut him up with, “It’s the only kind of butter we have.” He determined at that point that the closer you get to a cow, the further away you get from real butter.
He makes a good point, which is that our current standard practices of growing, harvesting and eating food has gotten far away from our native roots. We’ve forgotten that cows provide milk, that churned milk creates whey and cheese and butter, that real food comes from real farms.
So spread some butter on that bread and enjoy!
Where I Soared: I’d say I did well today, particularly since I put in a full day’s work while having a cold. I even had time to try out making my own pizza dough for a white pizza with arugula I made for dinner.
Where I Sunk: Not reading the comments on the pizza dough recipe. Apparently it was for a thick crust pizza, so I would have used a different recipe or a different pan. Spread out over a standard pizza plate, it was too doughy in texture.
My Grade: Since it was the first day I’ve been back on the Challenge with zeal, and I have a cold (drinking local tea!), I’m gonna award myself an A+.