Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Taste of Christmas

It has been WAY too long, people.
I miss blogging. But with no internet I've found myself out at our house at night after the kids are in bed writing in hopes that one day I'll have myself gathered enough to put said writings on a flash drive, haul all 4 kids and Mark's laptop into town, and get on wifi to post.
Today is that day.
I may or may not have showered,
I may or may not have done my hair,
But by golly I have a post for the blog.

I’ll never forget the first time I tasted the flavor that said, “CHRISTMAS” and yet it was July.
I was in college, in Indianapolis, on a trip to the North American Christian Convention. Supper was the one meal where we ate at a nice restaurant courtesy of the college. This particular evening we went out to an Italian place downtown. I ordered a pasta dish tossed in a lovely cheese made of sheep’s milk. When I tasted it I immediately tasted Christmas.


I puzzled over this. Bite by bite it took me to thoughts of reindeer, cider, carols, nativities and cookies.


That was it! This reminded me of Christmas cookies. Not because it was sweet, but because it was tossed in butter.
That’s right, here I was in college and the only times in my life I’d had REAL butter was at Christmas when my momma pulled out the big guns for Christmas baking and used the pricey real stuff to make Scottish shortbread, toffee, and cherry surprises.I can honestly say I never spread the stuff on my toast, rolls, or grilled cheese. I was a Country Crock girl through and through. But oh my, oh my, the taste of real butter…
It spoke to me.

For years I remembered that experience--butter outside the confines of Christmas, but I guess I didn’t apply it to my life. 

Skip to when I was a newly wed housewife grocery shopping for the first time. I had purchased the gigantic tub of good old Country Crock and my husband stood looking aghast at it in the fridge the next morning.

“What’s this?” he politely inquired (because everything is polite when you’re newly weds). 

“Butter,” I replied, just as sweetly. 

“Actually it’s not.” he countered as he pulled it out to set on the table.

“Well what would you call it?” I replied a bit less sweetly.

“That’s margarine, it’s fake stuff.” he calmly answered as he popped the lid open.

This is where my calm fled; “What?! It’s not fake! Plenty of people use it!” 

He kept his cool while spreading a layer on his toast and said, “Yeah, but it’s not real and it’s not good.”
Oh no he did-ent.

“Well it was good enough for ME growing up!” I stood angrily glaring at my husband of 2.5 weeks.

“Don’t we have real butter?” Mark took a bite of his toast obviously moving past the ‘define what the junk this is’ point.

Me: (matter of factly) “Of course not, it’s not Christmas time.” 

Mark: “……”

Me: sigh, “You only use real butter in Christmas baking.”

Mark: “Well not me. I like it so could we please get some?”

Me: “It’s May.” 

Mark: “Yes, well I could just be the one to use it then.”

Me: “It’s hard as a rock and unspreadable!" (Note: I’m not above using made up words in an argument, even though I know it’s a risky move.) 

Mark: “Well we could leave it out.”

Me: “I can’t believe it. You expect me to get it out of the fridge a half hour before breakfast just so you can put expensive stuff on your toast!”

Mark: “No, I mean leave it out all the time.”

Me: “WHAT?! That is a DAIRY product, Mark. Do you want us to die of botulism?”

Mark: “It’s fine, my grandma always left it out on the table in a covered dish.”

Me: “It’s a wonder you’re still alive today!”

Mark: “Actually they found butter preserved in the pyramids in Egypt.”

Me: “That’s disgusting. I wouldn’t touch mummified butter. And I’m not leaving butter out--it’s not even Christmas time for goodness sake.” 
I huffed out of the kitchen at this point, incredulous, in tears. 
I thought I KNEW him.

Mark: (shrugs and continues his toast).

Fast forward 11 years and...
Ladies and gentlemen, I know not how he did it, but that was the last tub of Country Crock margarine ever found in our home. We now own a lovely FiestaWare butter dish that sits on our counter keeping our REAL butter nicely room temperature* for buttering our toast. 
*Shout out to my dear friend Leslie who did inform me that butter can go rancid if not eaten in an expedient manner. But y’all, it ain’t a problem, this household has a high turnover rate for butter.

The icing on the cake came a few years later when we were in our first ministry job. We’d eaten with the youth minister and the topic came up that we were a real butter only household. He replied. “Oh yeah, cool. Did you hear that they found margarine is only one molecule removed from being plastic?”
Mark and I secretly did a high-five behind his back.

Newlywed Mark and Jordan.


  1. As always very entertaining! But this time I was rolling on the floor because ... As newlyweds who were maybe a tad bit suborn we had this EXACT same conversation, literally segment by segment! Not only that but we had a long standing joke about, "It's May," I suspect you may have one as well. Missing you and those babes via social media. Thanks for making the trek to post this!