Introducing November: Butter Month

[Photo by Taryn]

In our house, the moment that Halloween is over, it’s officially the start of what we refer to as “Eating Season.”  

It’s a truly exciting time in the land of Elevenses!  To help ease into this truly food-centric time of year, we felt it was absolutely vital to focus on one of the most important ingredients in the Elevenses collective metaphorical kitchen for the month of November (as lately we’re all spread all over hell’s half acre…)  

Butter, over the last few years, has become a cornerstone of our foodie endeavours.  

But some concepts, especially when it comes to food, are never that simple.  I’ve always found it interesting how the mere mention of the word, “BUTTER,” has the power to elicit a wave of nervous and guilty laughter from North Americans in particular.  

Fat, in our culture, carries such an emotional significance, and we in turn tend to impart this onto our food.  Do you feel an “ism” coming on?  Absolutely.  As a generation x-er, I feel as if I’m caught in a crossfire; on one hand, I was taught from very young that butter, although delicious, is evil and I must guard myself against anything but sparing consumption.  

This perspective left its mark on my foodie soul.  I spent the better part of two decades, starting in adolescence, painstakingly avoiding fat in pursuit of health, wellness and a particular jean size.  (Come now, doesn’t anyone remember the fat-free, sugary, flavorless 90’s?)

whipped butter

Fast forward several decades, as I’ve swung over to the Paleo and allergen free way of eating and cooking, good quality butter has become something of a miracle fat in my kitchen, delivering nutrient density, caramelization and delightful flavour to anything that it touches.  

In culinary school, while learning classical French culinary techniques, butter was practically treated as a food group.  The precious, golden matter was used constantly; crowning a lovely reduction, whisked into mother sauces and anchoring numerous pastry projects.  It was a whole new world, and I acquired a whole new respect for the dairy product I previously treated with disdain and fear.  In my mid forties, I’m still juggling these different perspectives; but now it occurs while I gleefully throw generous spoonfuls of ghee into a pan to sauté whatever is in need of cooking.

And now it’s time to weave our Elevenses voices into our monthly focus.  You know the game rules, folks!  November is Butter month.

The Elevenses team will be focusing on this versatile food from various perspectives, because food is imprinted with not only the potential of how it can nourish us, it begs us to explore where it comes from and how it serves our bodies… and souls.  

butter

I can provide pages of testimony as to why butter will provide superior caramelization and flavour in your baking or cooking because that’s where my passion lies; in the hands- on preparation of food.  But that is just scratching the surface.  It is the research and lived experience of my offspring, which has been such a sharp contrast to my own, which helps me understand of why it’s superior, how our body efficiently utilizes all of that golden magic.  This has been the game changer for me.  I know butter tastes amazing and how to best use it.  The younger folk will tell you why it IS amazing.  

I occasionally still hear gasps from the ghosts of my fat-fearing relatives when I reach for the good stuff, but sometimes understanding comes gently with time and lived experience.  At least I’m on my way. 

Hope you’ll come along for the ride!

– Patricia (and the rest of the Elevenses family)

[Photo by Taryn]

In our house, the moment that Halloween is over, it’s officially the start of what we refer to as “Eating Season.”  

It’s a truly exciting time in the land of Elevenses!  To help ease into this truly food-centric time of year, we felt it was absolutely vital to focus on one of the most important ingredients in the Elevenses collective metaphorical kitchen for the month of November (as lately we’re all spread all over hell’s half acre…)  

Butter, over the last few years, has become a cornerstone of our foodie endeavours.  

But some concepts, especially when it comes to food, are never that simple.  I’ve always found it interesting how the mere mention of the word, “BUTTER,” has the power to elicit a wave of nervous and guilty laughter from North Americans in particular.  

Fat, in our culture, carries such an emotional significance, and we in turn tend to impart this onto our food.  Do you feel an “ism” coming on?  Absolutely.  As a generation x-er, I feel as if I’m caught in a crossfire; on one hand, I was taught from very young that butter, although delicious, is evil and I must guard myself against anything but sparing consumption.  

This perspective left its mark on my foodie soul.  I spent the better part of two decades, starting in adolescence, painstakingly avoiding fat in pursuit of health, wellness and a particular jean size.  (Come now, doesn’t anyone remember the fat-free, sugary, flavorless 90’s?)

whipped butter

Fast forward several decades, as I’ve swung over to the Paleo and allergen free way of eating and cooking, good quality butter has become something of a miracle fat in my kitchen, delivering nutrient density, caramelization and delightful flavour to anything that it touches.  

In culinary school, while learning classical French culinary techniques, butter was practically treated as a food group.  The precious, golden matter was used constantly; crowning a lovely reduction, whisked into mother sauces and anchoring numerous pastry projects.  It was a whole new world, and I acquired a whole new respect for the dairy product I previously treated with disdain and fear.  In my mid forties, I’m still juggling these different perspectives; but now it occurs while I gleefully throw generous spoonfuls of ghee into a pan to sauté whatever is in need of cooking.

And now it’s time to weave our Elevenses voices into our monthly focus.  You know the game rules, folks!  November is Butter month.

The Elevenses team will be focusing on this versatile food from various perspectives, because food is imprinted with not only the potential of how it can nourish us, it begs us to explore where it comes from and how it serves our bodies… and souls.  

butter

I can provide pages of testimony as to why butter will provide superior caramelization and flavour in your baking or cooking because that’s where my passion lies; in the hands- on preparation of food.  But that is just scratching the surface.  It is the research and lived experience of my offspring, which has been such a sharp contrast to my own, which helps me understand of why it’s superior, how our body efficiently utilizes all of that golden magic.  This has been the game changer for me.  I know butter tastes amazing and how to best use it.  The younger folk will tell you why it IS amazing.  

I occasionally still hear gasps from the ghosts of my fat-fearing relatives when I reach for the good stuff, but sometimes understanding comes gently with time and lived experience.  At least I’m on my way. 

Hope you’ll come along for the ride!

– Patricia (and the rest of the Elevenses family)

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