I like molded butter. I take pleasure when I see a perfectly molded fat disk of butter shaped into a 3 D replica of a rose or a chicken, with seamless outlines of feathers and all, delivered to my restaurant table with rolls. I take great pleasure in knowing that I will dip my knife into this beauty of artwork and spread the butter onto my roll to eat it. My roll has now been adorned with the beauty of artwork that is the butter. It suddenly tastes better.
I have concluded that it is the simple pleasures in life, such as those that I find in molded butter, that excite me. And so it is. I am a cheap thrill. What does this say about me? Well, besides the fact that this is the only time I condone one fussing too much with food, or for that matter shaping food into objects, I really do enjoy the simpler things in life.
I could have been a prairie woman, shaping butter all day long into fanciful molds I worked at carving in front of the fire while my husband played the fiddle. The image is funny to me as I sit here, but I believe that moments such as that truly happened at a certain time and place. But why? What spurred the prairie woman to undertake such a task? Such as butter is, the answer is simple: Because we humans take great fancy to transform the simple into the extraordinary with whatever we got whenever we can, and forcing butter into a mold only to reveal its more distinguished self is one way in which we do that.
We do this in other ways as well: Adorning a plain tree with decorations, making liver into a pate, or boiling plain cornmeal into polenta to serve at the fanciest brunches, photographing an frozen piece of water.
Seeing the beauty in that which is simple is an undertaking that will never fail you. You can transform it into whatever you wish, you have nowhere to go but up, and it is within anyone’s grasp.
I’m going to mold some butter now, into shapes of roses-- and it will be beautiful. That I know.
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