Monday, April 5, 2010

Butter, Bling, Poetry*

I was listening to The Splendid Table and heard this poem:
My mother loves butter more than I do,
more than anyone. She pulls chunks off
the stick and eats it plain, explaining
cream spun around into butter! Growing up
we ate turkey cutlets sauteed in lemon
and butter, butter and cheese on green noodles,
butter melting in small pools in the hearts
of Yorkshire puddings, butter better
than gravy staining white rice yellow,
butter glazing corn in slipping squares,
butter the lava in white volcanoes
of hominy grits, butter softening
in a white bowl to be creamed with white
sugar, butter disappearing into
whipped sweet potatoes, with pineapple,
butter melted and curdy to pour
over pancakes, butter licked off the plate
with warm Alaga syrup. When I picture
the good old days I am grinning greasy
with my brother, having watched the tiger
chase his tail and turn to butter. We are
Mumbo and Jumbo’s children despite   
historical revision, despite
our parent’s efforts, glowing from the inside
out, one hundred megawatts of butter.

I'm surprised there aren't more poems about butter.  My Great Aunt Kate (for whom I was named....) used to say "Everything that is good with butter, is always better, with a little more butter. " I believe she pre-dated Julia Child's program when she made this observation.  Great Aunt Kate was, according to Bad Grandma, a legendary character.  She was about 5 feet tall, and wore heels which fit my mother (5'10") at age 6.  She maintained bright red hair until she was 65. She wore mink coats and lots of bling.  She had no children, but considered herself an expert in childrearing and deportment.  She dispensed advice freely.  Much of the bling went to my mother and my aunt.  Bad Grandma isn't really the bling type.  She's more the LLBean type. She keeps the bling tucked away, and doles it out for important events such as weddings and births.  

My sister called me today to inform me that Senor Cupcake likes to lick the butter off his toast.  "You're just like your Aunt Kate,"  she told him.
   "Aunt Cake,"  he answered, "More."  

Butter may explain my little toast problem---toast is such a good vehicle for butter. It also may have something to do with the width and breadth of my...self.  I try to temper my width and breadth with exercise.  It's a fine balance:  butterlove vs. aerobicloathing. 



  1. Now he's just requesting butter, straight up. Preferably spread directly on his fingers. He is definitely related to you.

  2. When talking about how much she liked to eat butter, Annabelle (5) told her Grandma Jeep, "Oh butter! I sneak up on the butter every day!"