THE GREAT BUTTER WARS or “HERE’S TO BACON GREASE!”

Our oldest son is a physician and, judging from what he had to spend for his medical education, somewhat of an expert in the field.  Therefore, I urge you to follow your expert doctor’s advice, not mine.  My son, loves to tease me about being “a MOD”, mother of a doctor.  He claims that I give advice freely which, of course, I do.  You can’t possibly have raised three children, cared for 13 newborn babies for a couple of months each until they were place for adoption, and not learned a thing or two!  Such as that kisses and hugs begin the healing for many cuts and scrapes long before the Neosporin is applied.  

Now, I love to “talk about recipes” with anyone remotely interested, but I have been given some mighty lectures about  “using butter when margarine is better for you” or “using margarine when butter is better for you”, ad nauseaum …..

This is what I have gleaned from the famous medical hospital experts who write on the subject, but it is only applicable for today.   I am sure that by tomorrow the experts will have collectively changed their minds, so don’t fuss at me!   Here are a MOD’s thoughts on navigating the butter vs. margarine rapids.


If you have a medical or weight problem, just plain avoid adding any extra butter or margarine to foods period.  Try a smear of all fruit jam on an English muffin or a piece of toast instead.  Or, try extra herbs, spices, lemon juice, etc. on vegetables.

When a recipe calls for butter or margarine, try a little olive oil instead, unless that is not a reasonable substitution.

In many recipes, the amount of olive oil, butter, or margarine listed in the recipe can be reduced with the same good results.  Experiment!   Make it a game – “Do the Limbo” - how low can you go and still make it taste good?

If you really want a butter taste, then go for whipped butter, light butter, or butter with olive or canola oil.

Use tub-style butter or margarine rather than stick-style.  You get less of “the bad stuff” with the more “spreadable” consistency than with the solid stick-style.

When using a cake mix, I often successfully substitute applesauce for the oil, butter, or margarine.  I can’t guarantee success every time since I have not personally made every cake mix on the market.  Use your own “noodle” here or try either of these cliches:  “When in doubt don’t!” or “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”  The cliche you choose would be of great interest to my daughter since she absolutely loves the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator.  She tells me that the recipe a reader selects to cook will tell something about the reader’s personality.  I’ll have to also admit to being a big fan the Personality Indicator particularly via Dr. David Keirsey’s wonderful book, PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME II.  Wow, Myers, Briggs, and Keirsey would have plenty to say about me getting so far off the subject of butter and margarine!

All of this being said, follow your own physician’s recommendations, and please don’t feel free to fuss at me about which would be “better for you” since I don’t really know.  For my blog, I have “copped-a-plea” and used “butter or margarine” on all recipes.

A final note, most of my ancestors lived to be in their nineties, and very thankfully with all of their “marbles” in place.  Their cooking was laced with butter, lard, and bacon grease.  
So, “Here’s to Bacon Grease “


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