Butter on toast is something that I enjoy for breakfast or a late evening snack on occasion.
It wasn’t until I moved to Iowa that I learned that Midwestern’s not only enjoy butter on toast, they enjoy butter on their sandwiches.
That was a new concept for this southern boy who moved to Iowa. Back home, I used mayo (mostly Miracle Whip or Hellman’s) and mustard on my hamburgers and sandwiches and ketchup on my fries and onion rings.
I first learned the concept of butter on sandwiches in the late 90s, not long after moving to this fine state. I was in Marengo covering damage from a windstorm that knocked down trees and cut power to the area. My boss, who happened to have a gas stove, invited me to his place in town that evening to cook some hamburgers.
As the hamburgers sizzled in the frying pan, I dug through his sparsely-filled refrigerator looking for some mayo.
“Do you have any mayo?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “I have butter.”
“Butter,” I’m thinking. “Butter on sandwiches?”
I made due with what I had. It was OK, but not anything to call home about.
Fast forward 20-plus years.
Earlier last week I had stopped at Dayton Meats in Malcom for some sliced ham and dried beef for sandwiches.
Debbie enjoys dried beef and when I am able, I buy her some for sandwiches. She typically uses butter on her sandwiches and one her favorites is a toasted dried beef sandwich with butter. Toss in a salad with some Ranch, croutons, cheese and bacon bits and that make a great meal.
The other night for supper, I decided to fix dried beef sandwiches on toast for both of us. I had gotten the butter tub out and decided to take a detour and use butter on my sandwich instead of mayo.
I mentioned this to Debbie, who said, “You’re coming over to my side.”
Well, maybe on occasion, but I don’t plan to make a habit of it anytime soon. I still like my mayo and mustard.
I have also discovered that some folks in this part of the county leave their stick butter on the kitchen table day and night. In the south, or at least in my family, we put the stick butter back in the refrigerator after use. I’m sure there are folks in the south who do that, but my family didn’t.
I have learned that leaving it on the table allows it to soften for use. I would think it would spoil, but I guess not. It does enough preservatives to survive a winter blizzard. I would much rather use stick butter for cooking and soft butter in the tub for my toast.
I usually always put a small slab of stick butter when cooking a vegetable on the stove or in the microwave. I sometime use it when cooking fried potatoes by adding some to the cooking oil. I’ve even been known to cook popcorn in the popper in butter.
Growing up, I had an old electric aluminum popcorn popper that had a separate burner and pan with lid. It was probably a Mirro Matic brand. I see them on eBay on occasion.
My neighbor to the north, Mr. Belknap or Mr. Bell as I called him, often fixed me buttered popcorn in his electric popper and then we would play a few rounds of dominos.
I would sit on a wooden step stool and on occasion, while waiting for the popcorn to cook, Mr. Belknap would cup his hand and slap me on the knee when I wasn’t looking. It would make me jump, sort of like the doctor does when checking your reflexes with the rubber hammer.
Mr. Belknap was born in the late 1890s and was from Harris, Iowa, a small town in northwestern Iowa. He left Iowa after high school graduation and attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth where he met his wife, Madge, of 60-plus years. She worked for Pinkerton Agency, I believe. It’s kind of ironic that they were my neighbors for years and I ended up moving to Iowa. I hope to make it to Harris sometime down the road.
In closing, there’s lot of crazy stuff going on in our world. My advice for you in the coming days and weeks, turn off the news, spend time with your family and friends, and keep on walking and chasing your dreams.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.