The Hamilton Spectator

A hard truth about Big Butter

- CHUCK BROWN EMAIL CHUCK AT BROWN.CHUCK@GMAIL.COM. AND CHUCK . . . CALL YOUR MOTHER.

Here’s an amazing life hack for you courtesy of my wife.

We were travelling for vacation and overnighti­ng in a hotel. With our alarm set for 2:15 a.m. to catch our flight, I was terrified that I would roll out the door and leave my passport, wallet, everything safely behind in the hotel safe.

My wife said there’s a trick for this — put something in the safe, along with your valuables, that would be impossible to leave behind.

Brilliant. I put one of her shoes in the safe and it worked perfectly.

She’s not taking the credit for this idea. She said she saw it on Tik Tok or somewhere online.

Still, I give her full credit for rememberin­g it and putting it into action — unlike a lot of really lame life hacks you’ll see online. I still don’t understand the one about putting a red solo cup on the hotel toilet seat.

Here’s another useful life hack for you. Don’t buy turkey bacon. It really is not a substitute for bacon bacon.

If you want a healthy alternativ­e to bacon, just eat fruit. Don’t try to fool yourself.

However, if you do accidental­ly buy turkey bacon, or if you buy it as I recently did because my daughter was visiting and doesn’t eat bacon bacon because she’s a weirdo, there is something you can do.

Before our trip we weren’t buying groceries and as we got closer to takeoff, our supplies dwindled to some eggs, bread, cheese and lots of turkey bacon leftover from my kid’s visit.

To make it slightly edible, I fried the turkey bacon in bacon grease — which I save in the fridge for just such an emergency.

So that’s my life hack — save your bacon grease because you never know when you might need it.

In fact, did you know that the expression “saved my bacon” originates from saving your bacon grease?

I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds really great and makes me look super smart.

Someone who is a huge advocate of saving bacon grease is my mom.

She’s a bit of a throwback in the kitchen. She is one who would always have bacon grease, lard, brown sugar, butter and more on hand.

She wants to always be prepared to make things like doughnuts or caramel sundae sauce in a moment’s notice, no shopping trip required.

She’s kind of an expert when it comes to cooking with grease and she has raised a serious concern.

She might have me confused for an actual journalist but … my mom asked if I could do some investigat­ive reporting — on butter.

What is it about butter that has my mother upset and calling for a thorough probe? She says it’s not melting the way it used to.

Here’s what she said: “Here’s one for you. Do you use butter? Do you keep it on the counter? Do you find it is still hard and won’t spread? Well, I have so I googled it and apparently, they are adding more palm oil to boost the amount of milk a cow can produce which adds more saturated fat to the butter. What does that mean?

“They increase in the price of butter but lower the quality. Do we go back to using margarine?”

This is a serious issue for Mom.

“You gotta be able to put butter on your sandwich. At least I do. It also doesn’t melt as quick in a pan. Maybe you could ask that question to your readers. I am upset about it. I use a lot of it.”

She does use a lot of it. I don’t think very many people still butter their bread for a sandwich. She does. She would even butter her bread for a peanut butter sandwich. It’s a peanut butter and butter.

I took her accusation­s against Big Butter seriously and I launched an investigat­ion.

I googled it and found a 2021 article in which a bunch of people like my mom expressed concerns about hard butter caused by palm oil in cow feed while the dairy industry replied — uh, not true.

And so ends my investigat­ion. Hope it helped, Mom.

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