Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Enjoy Ye Butter While Ye May

I was dozing to the news last night, when I saw a story on the current Norwegian butter shortage. Apparently, the people of Norway have been on such an extreme low carb kick, that the demand for the creamy condiment has skyrocketed. The increase in demand, coupled with a weather related decrease in dairy production, has lead to a notable absence of butter on Norwegian grocery shelves.

The absence of butter is being felt especially hard right now, because butter is the key ingredient in their traditional Christmas Pudding.

Servings 6

1lb Butter
2 cups Water
6 tbsp Flour + 1 1/4 cups Flour
6 cups Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Beaten egg
2 tsp Sugar
Cinnamon to taste

Melt butter & water, bring to a boil for 5 minutes, add 6 tablespoons flour, stir in with a whisk. Wait a few minutes & remove the fat that comes out (this is used later). Add 1 1/4 cups flour & stir again, add milk which has been heated, use electric mixer to keep it from getting lumpy. while beating, add salt, egg & sugar. Put in crock pot to keep warm with the skimmed fat poured over pudding & add sugar & cinnamon.

The public's clamoring for butter has created a black market for the dairy based spread. Anyone in Norway can buy a pound of butter for $32.00, six times the normal price, provided they have no qualms about dealing with elements of organized crime.

Although I'm a food enthusiast, I probably would have forgotten this story, once I fell asleep, if I hadn't already been wrestling a buttery issue of my own. As shocking as it seems, at the ripe age of 41, I have a ponch around my middle. Parish the thought.

Keep in mind, I'm far from what any objective person would call obese, I simply have some tummy flab. OK, my most recent blood work came back with my Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels a few points higher than the accepted ideal. In response, my doctor sent my a list of foods to avoid, including;

  • Untrimmed fatty red meats,
  • Goose & duck meats,
  • Bacon,
  • Organ meats,
  • Processed meats,
  • Eggs,
  • Butter and lard,
  • Foods with tropical oils (such as coconut, palm, or palm kernel),
  • Whole milk,
  • Whole milk yogurt,
  • Cheeses,
  • and Ice cream.

  • With this, and the ponch, in mind, my mother is "encouraging" me to join her on The Mediterranean Diet after the New Year. And yes, even at 41 years of age one's mother can still wield quite a bit of encouragement in one direction or another.

    The Mediterranean Diet focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, seafood, yogurt, olive oil, and small amounts of wine. I've weighed the options; keeping in mind my current low salt regimen, which has already lowered my blood pressure; and I've decided to be careful, but not to cut out any foods.

    My doctor's plan allows me healthy processed cereals but no eggs, whereas The Mediterranean Diet allows eggs but no processed cereals. That basically leaves me with oatmeal for breakfast, which I couldn't choke down if Joe Rogan was standing over me with a million dollars in prize money.

    No, I'm convinced moderation is the key to health. While eating and drinking anything to excess is stupidly unhealthy, I'm convinced low-salt butter, cheese, eggs, salami, steak, etc... can be elements of a healthy eating plan. Does that mean I can have; eggs, bacon, sausage, and brie on toast; for breakfast, a burger & fries for lunch, and a steak for dinner each day? OF COURSE NOT! However, I can have Special K & fruit for breakfast, and reasonable lunches a dinners 5 or 6 days a week, splurge a bit on the weekends, and be reasonably healthy. As far as that goes, when I have dinners with my mother, I can totally eat her Mediterranean meals, I like fish.

    Will I lose my ponch doing it my way? No, but I most likely won't lose it anyway, it's simply a sign of age for many men. Since, I'll NEVER be mistaken for Charles Atlas under any eating plan, I choose to partake of reasonable delicious foods, including butter while I can. After all, just like the Norwegians, we may wake up one day and discover it's too late to enjoy our favorites.

    Carpe Diem my friends! :-)

    Recipe prints as one page by itself (page 2).

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