Kitchens churning for butter
Spread makes a comeback as margarine loses its fans
BUTTER. It’s a “sinful” spread that’s been frowned upon for decades. But now it seems butter – beautiful, creamy butter – the reason cows walk on this green Earth, is making a comeback. A new Roy Morgan Research study has found Australians are starting to pop more blocks of butter into their shopping trolleys. In the 12 months ending at June 2016, 54.7% of Australian grocery buyers bought butter at least once in an average four-week period, up from the 47.2% who bought butter in the 12 months ending at June 2012. Meanwhile, margarine is slipping down the greasy pole of spreads, with only 44.6% of people buying margarine at least once a month in the 12 months ending June 2016, down 20% on June 2012 figures. Why are people choosing butter over marg? I don’t really know. It could be there’s more of an awareness of the chemical processes involved in making margarine. “As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists,” said Joan Dye Gussow, a professor, environmentalist and food policy expert. I’m on her side of the fence. It could also be due to the popularity of cooking shows and the rise of the foodie. Perhaps people are realising most dishes actually taste better made with butter. I have many fond memories of butter from my childhood, even if margarine made more of an appearance on the breakfast table in those days. My mother would read AA Milne’s verses to me, including the wonderfully rhythmic King’s Breakfast, which was all about the king wanting “some butter for the Royal slice of bread” and the saga that ensued so he could have some. It’s still one of my most loved poems. But my favourite butter memory would have to be eating my grandmother’s shortbread. When I think of butter, I think of her shortbread. She passed the recipe on to me and now it’s a tradition for me to cook it for my family at Christmas time. I’ve also found it freezes well so you can store it away and pull out a piece for morning tea whenever you get the craving.
Grandma’s shortbread Ingredients
225g butter 250g plain flour 125g icing sugar 85g cornflour
Cream butter and icing sugar. Sift flour and cornflour, add to butter and icing sugar and mix. Knead and then roll into a small log shape. Wrap in cling film or greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes. Slice pieces about 1cm thick, place on a greased tray and prick with a fork. Bake at 150C for about 20 minutes or until just turning a light golden colour. Makes about 25 biscuits