Butter. Real Butter.

As the economic disaster continue to unfold, I find myself turning to comfort foods. I had always loved a good baked potato with sour cream, but in my late 20’s I became allergic to white potato starch and also VERY lactose intolerant.

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!

3 thoughts on “Butter. Real Butter.

  1. Have you ever tried lactaid, or one of the lactase producing probiotics? I’ve been lactose intolerant 5 years, I never have a problem. I just keep a few in my purse.

  2. Of course you year for sweet, fatty Irish butter. I experienced the same when I was commuting to London. That’s the primitive part of our brain driving your behavior.

    Great that you’ve discovered the joys of sweet potatoes (even though your grocer may incorrectly mark them “yams”). Try a light spray of butter-flavored olive or cannola oil, coated with cinnamon and allspice. Almost the same taste sensations without the unnecessary fat. As incentive, think about how many dogs you’d have to walk how many miles to balance the butter.

    P.S. I use low-fat (1%) yogurt as a mayonnaise substitute. Nonfat yogurt uses gum fillers without an appreciable calorie deficit.

  3. I have subsidized the Lactaid industry, personally. Definitely a big help, but I’m SO intolerant that often times even that doesn’t help.

    As for the butter…it is definitely a rare treat. But, boy, did it warm my tummy! (Like the suggestion on the low-fat yogurt.)

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