Thursday, January 25, 2018


Butter is a dairy product containing up to 80% butterfat most frequently made by churning cow's milk but can also be manufactured from the milk of other mammals including sheep, goats, buffalo and yaks.  It generally has a pale yellow colour but varies from deep yellow to nearly white.  Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water, and in some types, added salt. I like butter (and salt too for that matter) - its consistency, taste and colour.  I use it as a metaphor for other buttery things I like - such as yellow gold. The word butter may have derived from the Greek for "cow cheese". I also like cheese. The use of the word has extended to include puréed vegetable, seed or nut products such as peanut butter and almond butter (ditto approbation for that stuff too). It is often applied to fruit products such as apple butter even maple butter, cocoa butter and shea butter. Certain butter - such as cultured butter - contains an element of fermentation (yet another good thing in my opinion). There's even butter coffee!  And did I mention 0 grams total carbohydrates per serving?

The term unctuous springs to mind when talking of butter - though I don't here intend the wheedling sense but rather its oily character. There is something sensuous about oil generally quite apart from its connotation of anointing. Neither is the alignment with salt to be overlooked, having as it does the biblical overture of decency.  It's  a formidable combination!

I have a confession to make.  I owe a candid rendition of my breakfast this morning.  There was as usual thinly sliced ham layered in American cheese (the stuff which traditionally ornaments hamburgers) and two fried eggs.  But here's the difference: Spam!  Yes, that's right, Spam!  And it was fried in salted butter! Oh, and I forgot the pancetta, broiled to crisp, smoky perfection.  Okay, so it was an orgy of fatty, salty protein.  I didn't contaminate the mess with tomato slices (though I reckon that would have constituted a favourable addition). The two new ingredients - Spam and pancetta - are the carry-over of dining expeditions during our recent haul to the Florida Keys.  Travel can be so elaborating!

Stimulated by these nitrogenous organic compounds it was the work of passion to set off on my bicyce into the 32 km/hr north wind along S Atlantic Avenue.  The large molecules of amino acids echoed the primary root of the dietary component.  I was pumped!  Though on this cool day I was patently under-dressed by Floridian standards (I wore shorts while preposterous locals were sporting toques, leather jackets and long pants), the sun tingled upon my bare face whenever I sheltered in the lee of the beachfront condominiums.

My first stop near the rim of Daytona Beach was Frank Rendon Park adjoining the Shores Resort and Spa.  There are "facilities" (as my late father used to describe them) and WiFi connection (actually pilfered from the hotel). If I hadn't noticed until then, it certainly came home at that point that the entire scene was tranquil today.  The tranquillity continued later in the afternoon when I took the car to Ormond Beach for its much-needed bath and polish.  When driving home afterwards I felt as though everyone had gone to the moon.  I passed a dusty pink home with a terracotta roof.  Flocks of white birds suddenly appeared mysteriously diving eastward to the sea.

Back on the beach I knew from my WiFi preview of the Tide Chart that the water level had only recently peaked.  Nonetheless I detoured onto a beach access on Silver Beach Avenue to examine the situation more closely.  The entry gate was down and the guard was asleep in the booth. There was a thin ribbon of sand between the receding tide and the limit of the shore. I decided to try it.  The going was passable (pardon the pun) but not great.  Once I had to relinquish my locomotion momentarily and walk the bike a short distance before recovering sand which was firm enough for passage. The beach was virtually abandoned. The few people whom I passed were as intent as I upon their own endeavours and none of us poisoned our private communications by exchanging either nods or hellos with one another.  When I encountered a gross narrowing of the shoreline I conviently exited at another access point.  But not before snapping a shot of whence I came.  Watching me was a gentleman walking his small dog.  As he descended the access onto the beach he became curious to see what was attracting my attention for a photograph.  There was nothing other than the empty beach.  But he had to have a look and stood there in my line of fire searching to see something.  I decided if he were going to interrupt my view I would include him in the photo.

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