From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

It's Not Butter

Pass the spread, please.



In our family, we have real butter for a few special occasions during the year. The rest of the year, we misapply the word "butter" to any butter substitute. We say "Please pass the butter," when there hasn't been butter in the house for months. What we really mean is, "Please pass the spread."

We like the word "butter" a bit better than "spread." I think most people do.

I've never seen a butter advertisement that claimed it tasted just like spread. However, lots of spreads claim to taste like butter. It's clear which word has a desirable connotation.

(If you wondered where this post is going, we have now arrived.)

Have you ever noticed this? With no added letters and only a slight punctuation change, the spread named "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" would be named "I Can't Believe It! Snot Butter!"

Snot butter provided material for kitchen table jokes at our house for years. A few days ago, I asked Keely to get the butter out of the refrigerator. When she found a tub of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," she made a scornful remark about "what you call butter."

I figured she was testing me to see if I still remembered, so I replied, "That's not butter; that's snot butter!"

She seemed oddly pleased.

By the way, a Google search reveals that quite a few people have read the words "Snot Butter" on the tub of spread!

3 comments:

KennethF said...

Hey "G":
Your photos are better & better... up to postcard Q (resale) but not real butter? THEY took my spread off the mkt!!! We have checked all over. The Fleschman's replacement product is much different!!! Besides taste... it falls off my knife :) YES! I have to hold the knife level on the way to my morning begel :) Yes! Your post hit me right between the %$#@! and I hope to make you laugh___ it's all true!
on another note: I have three new trellus...isz? and a new water deco for the patio yet to be instahled & May is spelled FLOWERS!!! :) later, ~(:-_))-kfh

Genevieve said...

Hi, Kenneth. We had some "butter" recently that gave us the same trouble -- wanting to slide off the knife. It's a little irritating. As for the yard and garden, I haven't been out there much yet this year, but I'm making plans for the week after Mother's Day.

ptg said...

Real butter can't be imitated.

When margarine was first introduced, the dairy lobby stopped the use of coloring. Margarine then came with a colorant that you could mix in yourself. Otherwise, it was much like spreading Crisco on your bread.

If I can't have real butter, I use a tasty olive oil.

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