Butter and Love

I have been away from this blog for far too long, dear readers. Today, a memory inspired me to return. Butter and Love. 19 years later, this phrase still brings a smile to my lips, and warms my heart.

When I was in high school, I was involved with an organization called “Peer Leadership”. The upperclassmen who were selected for the program were paired with incoming freshman matches – one per student. We served as mentors, helping them acclimate to high school, balance their new schedules and life demands, get involved in extracurriculars, and most importantly, we were there for them, listening and supporting them. Being good friends to them.

Every summer, the entire organization traveled to a camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a weekend orientation. We would bond with our matches, and work with our bigger groups, developing teamwork, problem solving and communication skills. (Trust that there were a lot of trust falls!) One of the best parts about this camp was the outdoor ropes course. SO MUCH FUN!! Obstacles galore and super scary high ropes. We looked forward to it every summer.

As I ran today along my favorite route, the sky so perfectly blue, with nary a cloud in sight, and the sun beaming down upon me through the amber leaves of the trees, I was reminded of those summer weekends in Wisconsin, the woods filled with the gleeful shrieks of high school kids sipping through the tree line.

The camp also had a wonderful old kitchen, manned by a wonderful elderly lady. Every morning, we’d line up to get breakfast, and every morning, we’d giggle with delight at the hand-crocheted framed sign that adorned the faded yellow wall:

Everything in this kitchen is made with butter and love

Even then, at the tender age of 15, I loved it because it reminded me of my grandmother and her mother. They didn’t use processed anything – and you could tell! Another heaping serving of butter and love, please and thank you!

Here I am, 19 years later, following in my ancestor’s footsteps. From my flaky pie dough (no lard here!) to my irresistible croissants (which I patiently laminate by hand!), to my luscious curds and buttercreams, all made with European butter (the good, rich, yellow, high fat stuff!) presided over with loving devotion.

I want that sign. I need that sign. If someone crafty with a crochet needle needs an idea for a Christmas gift for me this year…you’re welcome! And to show my appreciation, I’ll whip up something extra buttery and lovely just for you!

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