I cook mostly with olive oil, but we do use butter from time to time. Some time ago, I wrote about wanting to get a butter crock. Where we live, it gets quite hot during the summer, and if I leave butter out in the traditional butter dish, it gets much too soft. If I put it in the fridge, it gets too hard and tears the bread when you try to spread it.
Dan often likes to have cinnamon-raisin bread for breakfast, so this can be a problem. Then I saw the butter bell, which is supposed to keep butter spreadable, yet cool. You put the butter in the top, then put a few inches of cool water in the bottom. When you put the top into the bottom, the water forms a seal that protects the butter from the air, so it lasts longer and doesn’t absorb odors, and the water keeps the butter cool and spreadable. That’s it.
I wasn’t crazy about the butter bell I linked to above, because it’s French and my new kitchen is Tuscan-looking (that’s not a political statement, just an aesthetic one 😉 ). Then on Amazon, I found this – an Italian-looking butter bell with graphics of herbs around it. Bought it right away, it arrived earlier this week, and it works just as advertised. Love it and recommend it highly.