No Substitutions Allowed

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I always buy real butter now, but I grew up on margarine. The first time I remember buying real butter was one Christmastime when Ray and I were living in Mississippi, and my friend Arlene and I made a recipe of her mother’s real English toffee. Oh, it was good.

You can put margarine in a pretty butter dish, but that won't make it real butter!
You can put margarine in a pretty butter dish, but that won’t make it real butter!

While I was growing up, we called the yellow sticks on our chrome and gray dinette table butter, but it wasn’t the real thing. I was used to making recipes that called for butter, but I had always substituted margarine. When we made Arlene’s mother’s toffee, we had to use real butter — no substitutions allowed.

Did you know that the margarine homemakers purchased when my mother was growing up was white and came with a packet of coloring to mix with it. Can you imagine spreading white margarine on a hot biscuit? For margarine to be palatable, it at least had to look real! Real butter and other dairy products and their fake “equivalents” (which are not equivalent at all) became so interchangeable in our language that manufacturers had to start putting little real symbols on real dairy products!

Just as our bodies thrive on real butter, our children also thrive on what is real. Real time, real laps, real books, real walks in the park — and lots of ’em. Real parental love. Real relationships. Real attention. Being real:

. . . when you sit in your house
and when you walk along the road
and when you lie down
and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 11:19

No substitutions allowed.

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  1. I know this post isn’t “really” about butter, but interesting side note: I used to shy away from real butter because it was so hard to spread fresh from the fridge. Then I learned that it could sit at room temperature for a LONG time before spoiling, since it is a stable fat. We now keep a stick or two in a container out of the fridge, and always have real, soft butter on hand!

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