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A Better Butter

Who knows how my mother fell victim to the siren song of a 1970’s advertising campaign, but one day she took our butter dish from the refrigerator and casually tossed it aside. Later that evening as we waited for our supper, she placed a blue plastic tub next to the bread basket. My brother and I peered into the tub at the much too yellow spread until my brother asked in a strikingly confident tone, “Where’s the butter?”  My mother looked at him squarely, zipped up her pink jogging suit, and without hesitation, pointed to the plastic tub and replied, “This is far better than butter.”
Of course, it wasn’t better. Nothing was better than butter. Her intentions, while admirable, unwittingly set off in me an insatiable craving for butter. I dog-eared the pages in my Little House on the Prairie book where Laura helped Ma churn the butter and reread them so often that I could recite the passages by heart. And, I begged, incessantly so, to visit my grandparents, who kept their butter dish o…

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