Julie and Julia – is butter better?

Tarte Tartin: pastry is not pastry without butter - the addition of cream is sheer bliss...!

It took me a while to get to see it, but finally – thanks to SKY – I’ve seen the movie Julie and Julia.

Having recently spent a few days in Paris, and being a lover of food and sometimes cooking, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I laughed and laughed and of course am now keen to try all the recipes – even the boned out duck!

It made me question why I have this blog. It doesn’t have any particular reason to be, or any specific theme as it did in the movie. The cookbook diary, such a damn good idea, has already been done unless of course I copied the idea focusing instead on Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver or even New Zealand’s Peter Gordon. But no, that’s very heavy duty cooking and on a daily basis, I just couldn’t be bothered.

So what on earth could I write about?

The subject of butter was touched on briefly in the movie – how much better things (eg. béarnaise sauce) taste with butter! It’s true – I’m a butter-lover from way back. I couldn’t possibly entertain the idea of toast without butter, sandwiches without butter (although I do alternate with Olivio), cheese scones without butter or baked potato without butter. Yet my children from very young ages spurned sandwiches and toast with butter – ooh YUK! The went without … totally … just the filling. They still don’t routinely use butter in the same way that I do if at all…

I don’t understand them, I really don’t. But I’m secretly pleased that that’s one addiction less to cope with.

I’m also pleased that the Sunday bread of old – the one that used to come in a whole loaf, crusty on the outside and soft within – is no longer. You couldn’t possibly eat that without a generous lathering of butter. Before it was placed on the table we used to nibble away at the crust on either end to form holes from which we would pick at the beautiful soft bread. I can’t recall my parents ever complaining about the desecrated loaf.

The smell of bread fresh out of a breadmaker has similar appeal – the crusts are not the same though. Nothing ever is with childhood memories…

Correct me if I’m wrong – there is no real substitute for butter…it gives pastry its texture, it enhances freshly boiled or barbecued corn on the cob, a dob of it inside a baked give delicious creaminess, and its unbeatable when spread underneath vegemite.

I will never give up butter. I might moderate my intake in favour of healthier options, but will always yearn for the distinctive flavour and texture of butter.


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