As the years have progressed, my lactose intolerance has become less severe, so I can handle yogurt, butter and harder cheeses in reasonable quantities (and even a bit of ice cream), but not milk. But I never quite found a way to really substitute the glorious satisfaction of a bite of baked potato with sour cream…until now.
But first, I have to take you with me to last summer. When I was still a corporate exec, my company flew me to London, England to train the English (and some of the European) education team. While there I had the privilege of staying in a beautiful apartment in a small countryside town, just minutes walk from the local village shops. Fresh and Easy is a new concept of grocery store in the US, but it is the Trader Joe’s of England. There I was able to pick up outstanding frozen Indian dinners, real farm fresh eggs and best of all… Irish butter. I thought I was just buying butter, as I’d gotten used to it in the US. But with my first piece of toast, with just a bit of butter, I was TRANSPORTED back to the breakfasts of my youth. It was the butter I remembered. Of course, everything I could get butter on after that was literally slathered. And so went my butter experience in England.
Last week, in the doldrums over the economy, but feeling a heck of a lot more optimistic over the outcome of the election, I decided to treat myself when I saw IRISH butter in the dairy section at Trader Joe’s. Twice the price of US butter, but I thought…what the heck. I had the $3.69 in cash, so I went for it.
And when I got home, I baked up a sweet potato (not allergic to those) and slathered on the Irish butter and ladled on some 2% Greek style yogurt (ALMOST as good as sour cream) and found myself in a little bit of heaven. After a 20 year absence, I was able to capture, if not exactly, then almost, the glory of a baked potato with real butter and sour cream. Ah…blessed comfort!