Mrs. Sell's Blog of Household Management

The continuing saga of the butter dish, part 2 or something

I never really thought of myself as a butter aficionado, but then I looked back and realised that a butter keeper is what got me started on this blog in the first place, and it keeps popping up.

As you can see, I found the best butter keeper ever, but I’m still in the midst of a search for a good, pretty butter server. This is harder than it sounds, since living on the West Coast I have short, fat sticks of butter, and most butter dishes are designed for long, thin sticks of butter (East-Coast style).

For special occasions, I am set with this lovely thing:

Mikasa butter dish1

This is the butter dish from the Mikasa French Countryside pattern. It retails for $56 (gack! *gasp, choke, cough, passes out onto the floor*), but I found one in brand new condition on Ebay for $10 (YAY!). It’s beautiful, and it brilliantly holds both sizes of butter stick. To wit:

Mikasa butter dish2

That’s my short, fat stick of butter, and the lid fits over it fine. And it’s plenty long enough for East-Coast style butter sticks.

However, since this is my ‘nice’ butter dish, I am reluctant to keep the butter in there permanently, especially at room temperature, where it really needs to be for easy spreading. I had a very unpleasant experience with a butter dish from Ebay in my Pfaltzgraff pattern. In addition to being shaped for long, thin sticks of butter (not their fault), it was saturated with the smell of rancid dairy. Blech. It was worth $7 to learn that letting butter go rancid will DESTROY the container it was in.

I had briefly considered this adorable item from Anthropologie. It’s so cute, and I love the color, but it is actually shaped for HALF of a stick of long, thin butter. Some people complained that it was too short, but I thought about it, and it actually makes a lot of sense: how often do you serve butter and a whole stick gets used up? Would you not rather just set out half a stick and preserve the rest in the fridge for later? If I had butter that fit this, I would totally buy it. Unlike this other one, which not only requires you to cut the stick in half, but actually carve off some of the top before the lid will fit. I cannot figure out what they were thinking when they designed it.

My last option, which I have yet to purchase (still researching styles), is a butter bell. Sometimes called a French butter dish or butter crock, this device holds softened butter in a dome, which is inverted into a container filled with water. The water keeps the butter airtight and prevents it from going bad, but allows you to leave it on the counter so it stays soft. I really like the color of the Le Creuset Butter Crock in Marseille, but have read great reviews of the Norpro Stoneware Butter Crock, which is much less expensive than Le Creuset (what am I saying? there are HOUSES that are less expensive than Le Creuset.  I kid; it’s supposed to be great quality stuff). And then there’s the ‘official’ Butter Bell Crock, which splits the price difference, and comes in all kinds of cute styles.

Hopefully I’ll get to try at least one of these butter crocks soon, and I will be able to move on in my life (and blog) to some non-butter-related topics. 🙂


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