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Old 10-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #21
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When I was working on my doctorate, one of my cohort (all of whom were young enough to be my children, some were actually younger than my actual child) got all hysterical over my leaving some butter out of the grad student fridge (MY butter, mind you) so it would soften up enough to spread on my roll for lunch. She went and complained to somebody in the office about me leaving food out "to rot". (I was NOT kidding when I used the word "hysterical")

I was flabbergasted. I have since heard similar opinions re the "rottability" of butter from more recent generations of human beings in this country. Younger folks these days seem to have some odd ideas about food safety.
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:05 PM   #22
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When I was working on my doctorate, one of my cohort (all of whom were young enough to be my children, some were actually younger than my actual child) got all hysterical over my leaving some butter out of the grad student fridge (MY butter, mind you) so it would soften up enough to spread on my roll for lunch. She went and complained to somebody in the office about me leaving food out "to rot". (I was NOT kidding when I used the word "hysterical")

I was flabbergasted. I have since heard similar opinions re the "rottability" of butter from more recent generations of human beings in this country. Younger folks these days seem to have some odd ideas about food safety.
I know what you mean. I left it out as long as I can remember but my husband & his family never have so thinks Im out of mind & everyone will get sick. So I tell my husband he can keep his the fridge & spread his own & I'll use the "soft" butter....agh such little things !!!!
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:41 PM   #23
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As I child, there were no plastic containers for every food need. Just glass. Every home I ever went into had a square dish with a glass cover dish along with the S*P shakers and a napkin holder sitting on back of the table all the time. Butter (or oleomargarine) was sold as tubs. Not in quarters. Just a full square of solid spread. That square dish was designed specifically for a 'tub' of butter. It often was cut glass and had a little knob for a handle on the lid. If you find one of them today in an antique shop, you pay dearly for it. Yet it was an item you picked up at Woolworth's for a dime or so. The only time that dish went into the fridge, was on a very hot summer's day. But it came out in time for the butter to be soft for the evening meal. The softer it was, the less you needed to spread on your bread. Frugal thinking.
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #24
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I love my butter bell, it is small--perfect for one person. My friend from Poland is appalled that in NA people keep butter out--it is a dairy product. I take butter out when I know I need it to soften it, otherwise, it is in the fridge. Since I no longer eat bread, I don't need "soft" butter for spreading.
I was appalled when we were visiting our German exchange student's parents and he took leftover grilled sausages and potato salad in the car with us from their home to his in Berlin - several hours with no refrigeration. Just in a bag - no cooler or ice.

I have never seen butter go bad. Ever. From childhood till today. It's a dairy product, but it's a preserved product, like cheese. Who here throws away cheese with a little mold on it? If you do, you're throwing money away. Cut it off and proceed as usual
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:13 PM   #25
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I was appalled when we were visiting our German exchange student's parents and he took leftover grilled sausages and potato salad in the car with us from their home to his in Berlin - several hours with no refrigeration. Just in a bag - no cooler or ice.

I have never seen butter go bad. Ever. From childhood till today. It's a dairy product, but it's a preserved product, like cheese. Who here throws away cheese with a little mold on it? If you do, you're throwing money away. Cut it off and proceed as usual
Most European recipes for potato salad contain vinegar, which in of itself is a preservative. So that wouldn't surprise me. But the sausages, unless they are smoked, would give me cause to raise my eyebrows.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:27 PM   #26
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It's a wonder the people of Germany are still alive. lol
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #27
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If you can kill it, chop it up, and stuff it in a casing - Germans will eat it. Only the Poles are in the same class when it comes to sausage-fiendery.

Honestly I don't worry that much about a few hours in a car. I once lived in a place where the nearest affordable grocery shopping was an hour away (one way) and I routinely brought my purchases back in the car, with only frozen stuff going into a cheap styrofoam cooler. It clearly didn't kill me, LOL!
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:08 PM   #28
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I haven't decided if the problem these days is that food just Wdoesn't "keep" as well as it once did, or are the food safely experts a bit over-the-top with their doomsday mentality. Don't eat this! You must put food away like that! All these cautions and warnings get me so conflicted because they change direction so frequently!

In my parents' days and earlier, holiday food was left out for hours and hours so you could graze all day and it was right there when drop-in company showed up. Veggies from the garden often ended up in the spare 'fridge just shaken clean and wrapped in paper, not really cleaned off until you were going to use it. And I honestly don't remember people getting sick from food like they do today. AND they lived longer a lot of times. Who out there has family that lived well into their 80s? (raises hand) How about 90s? Two aunts and untold great aunts and uncles, Himself still has two aunts in their 90s, one still living just fine on her own. I even had one great-aunt hit 102. She got tired of living someplace after a few years and would move on, sometimes from relative to relative. My Mom always side she lived to 102 because God and the Devil argued about who had to take her first...
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #29
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SO always carries a couple of insulated bags with ice packs to transport our perishables from the grocery store to our home 15 minutes away. She doesn't want to hear me tell her she doesn't need them.

I think may people overreact to safety warnings and do things "just to be on the safe side."
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:38 PM   #30
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SO always carries a couple of insulated bags with ice packs to transport our perishables from the grocery store to our home 15 minutes away. She doesn't want to hear me tell her she doesn't need them.
I think may people overreact to safety warnings and do things "just to be on the safe side."
As the saying goes, "You pick your arguments."
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:17 PM   #31
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Most European recipes for potato salad contain vinegar, which in of itself is a preservative. So that wouldn't surprise me. But the sausages, unless they are smoked, would give me cause to raise my eyebrows.
I don't remember exactly how this one was made. I do remember being surprised that it wasn't the "German" potato salad we're used to having here, with bacon and vinegar. That's a Bavarian dish and our student wasn't from that part of Germany.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:23 PM   #32
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I have an insulated bag: for summer I add ice and refrigerated/frozen items go in the bag, my shopping trips can be hours long and several stores. In the winter I use the same bag, no ice and use it for things like greens etc. that cannot handle the cold. Works for me.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #33
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I have an insulated bag: for summer I add ice and refrigerated/frozen items go in the bag, my shopping trips can be hours long and several stores. In the winter I use the same bag, no ice and use it for things like greens etc. that cannot handle the cold. Works for me.
I learned the hard way that potatoes can't take too much cold. When I lived in the country, we made a trip to the nearest town to do some grocery shopping. It was close to 20 km and half an hour away. We ran into friends and went for pizza. It was something like -30C. The next day, my potatoes were little bags of mush.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:18 PM   #34
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I learned the hard way that potatoes can't take too much cold. When I lived in the country, we made a trip to the nearest town to do some grocery shopping. It was close to 20 km and half an hour away. We ran into friends and went for pizza. It was something like -30C. The next day, my potatoes were little bags of mush.
I've hauled fresh herbs and lettuce home in the bag in the middle of winter, they make it home just fine. And this is after hours in the back of the car, when I'm shopping the sales.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:27 PM   #35
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I learned the hard way that potatoes can't take too much cold. When I lived in the country, we made a trip to the nearest town to do some grocery shopping. It was close to 20 km and half an hour away. We ran into friends and went for pizza. It was something like -30C. The next day, my potatoes were little bags of mush.
That's not just "cold." That's way below freezing. I took care of a friend's indoor plants over winter break in college once, bringing them from her dorm to my apartment. It was -20F. They died instantly from being exposed to that level of cold. Very cold temperatures change the chemical composition of foods, similarly to the way heat does.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:20 AM   #36
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I leave it out almost all the time (unless, as mentioned, it's too warm in the house), in a covered butter dish, and have never had a problem with it. I have found, though, that using a vegetable peeler to scrape thin slices of cold butter works well for spreading, especially if the food you are spreading it on is warm.
What a brilliant idea! Why has it never occurred to me. Thanks, GG.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:40 AM   #37
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I too have a butter bell and I love it. Would be lost without it. I change the water every day. Everyone should have one.
I hadn't heard of the Butter Bell until I read this thread. Sounds like a good idea.

I have a butter dish that has a glazed terracotta saucer with a domed lid made of terracotta, glazed only on the inside. You soak the lid in cold water and place your butter on the saucer with the lid on it. Keeps the butter fresh for ages as long as you keep the lid soaked. I suppose it works on the evaporation principal

I inherited it from an aunt so I don't know its age or where she got it from.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #38
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What a brilliant idea! Why has it never occurred to me. Thanks, GG.
I use a cheese plane.

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