(Hey, wanna read Argument, round one, first? That way no spoilers.)
“You didn’t really?” I said, trying to keep the incredulity from my voice. I knew I’d failed when she drew her brows together in that irritating way that made me feel like I was shouting in a library.
“Yes, I did. And I don’t think it was too much to spend, either.”
“Are you shitting me?” I didn’t bother to keep up the sham of impassive curiosity. “$11 for a pound of butter? I could buy the new Pharrell Williams album for that, and it wouldn’t end up as crap in the toilet the next day.”
“That’s crass.” Cassie turned away from me, pulling groceries out of her reusable, Lancome bag. “I bought it at Costco. It would have been a lot more at Natures.” Like this was an argument that would impress me? ‘I paid an exorbitant amount for butter, but I could have paid a ludicrous amount.’
“It’s freaking butter! Not liquor. Not steak. Not truffles sniffed out by truffle-sniffing-pigs, for crying out loud.”
“It’s Kerrygold!” Carrie glared at me and jabbed her finger at the gold-foil package. “From Irish cows!”
“Oh, so they feed the cows gold and that’s why their frickin’ butter is $11 a pound?”
“First of all, it’s a pound and a half. And second of all, these cows are pasture-raised. They don’t eat all that grain and shit like American cows. There’s more Omega 3’s in their milk.”
As though that destroyed any possible argument I might make, Carrie turned her back on me and began unwrapping the foil from her precious block of Irish fat. Sometimes I wondered what went on in that woman’s mind. Like the whole gladiator fiasco last weekend. Jesus, I’d never hear the end of that one. I was a lion–a perfectly good costume for a Roman party, but she didn’t speak to me all night. Left me with Gordon, the seventy-year-old CEO with a hearing problem.
He was dressed in a toga, for Christ’s sake; how original is that? And do I really need to see some septigenerian’s flabby nipple as he natters on about what pills he has to take every morning?
But still, it was better than the couple who showed up in nothing but fig leaves…somehow they thought Rome and the garden of Eden were the same, I guess. Or maybe they were thinking of Caesar’s crown of fig-leaves and put them in the wrong place. Oh, and forgot to wear clothes? They needed to go to the gym everyday for six months before slapping those little leaves on. No more Kerrygold for them, ever.
“What are you smiling about?” You could have cut Carrie’s annoyance with a butter knife!
“Nothing.” I swallowed the snigger I felt building. That’s all this afternoon needed–Carrie through the roof ’cause I snickered at her damn butter. “How’s it taste?”
She narrowed her eyes, studying me to see if I was shitting her, or if I meant it. I actually did want to know how it tasted. Better taste like a little bit of heaven for $11 a pound. It better taste better than a rib-eye for $11 a pound. I want it to make my mashed potatoes stand up on the plate and do a dance for $11 a pound. I want Carrie to rub it on my–
“You’re smiling again,” she said, pointing a butter-knife at me, her voice accusing. “Just thinking of all the things this butter will be good on.” I leaned over and smelled the block, showing her I was open to her gold-wrapped butter.
She huffed, but didn’t say anything else, which meant the argument was over. She sliced corner off, and examined it as it lay on the foil. “Do you think it’s gonna be sweeter than our butter?”
I just shrugged, waiting for her to slip the fragment onto her tongue. She picked it up with the edge of the knife and took a bite out of it like you would a piece of cheese. Her mouth moved as she swished the butter over her tongue and teeth. She looked thoughtful, her eyes distant. Did it taste like the wind-swept hills of Ireland she’d visited in her youth? Did it taste like butter served in heaven?
“Well? How is it?”
She shrugged. “It’s alright.”
OK, this is fiction, but only kind of. It’s sort of both sides of my brain when I finally broke down and bought Kerrygold today. I’ve wanted to try it forever, and never have because I felt like I shouldn’t pay that much for butter. Now, I’ll pay $15 a pound for cheese (Kerrygold makes a Dubliner that is AMAZING and worth every penny), but should I for butter? What the hell. As one fabulous Irish blogger, Tara Sparling, told me, it’s cheaper than a trip to Ireland. How does it taste? It’s good. No oily-fat sort of off flavors I find in some butters (sadly, my local Tillamook). But, I was thrown by the salt. We buy unsalted butter, and I didn’t even think of that. When I put some on a muffin for my eleven-year-old son, he said, “Mom, is this butter salted?” in an accusatory voice. He’s quite the gourmet. In any case, I’m glad I bought it. Next time, though, I’m buying the Dubliner.