Saturday, May 14, 2011

bread and butter

Thinking a lot about this time last year. Apparently, I was all about simple food combinations: strawberries and whipped cream, artichokes and mayo, pairs that are so good together that they just sing. And so while there are some Big Deals around these parts-- planning a move, convalescing from this viral weirdness, kicking this scifi design project into high gear, submitting a grant and all the other school work and life chores, the Biggest Deal around here is bread and butter.

A recipe for the first free Saturday in recent memory:

Slice a nice loaf of country bread (hello, Bread and Cie! are we going to be neighbors soon? only time will tell!)
Spread with salted butter, salted butter, salted butter. Thickly!

It is, as James Beard says, one of the perfect matches in gastronomy. I think that all the salted-sweets hype lately, with big chunks of sea salt on everything from brownies to bacon cookies, is kind of gilding the lily. Don't get me wrong-- I love a compost cookie more than the next girl. I am a cheerleader for team salty-sweet. But let's be real about origins here. Salted caramel, the French godfather of this whole craze is made with, not a crapload of table salt but-- what?-- SALTED BUTTER. Oh, it's so good.

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