Friday, October 22, 2010

All i never knew about a stick of butter

I got a new oven so of course i wanted to try it out and bake something.  I googled to find the newest and most modern cake and cookie recipes but just about all of them called for an ingredient i've never seen before and that is a stick of butter.

So.....whats a stick of butter?  i mean i know the butter part but how much is it, in lbs. cups or tsp.or TBS.
I guess photoshopping one won't tell me much but i tried to imagine one 
How about an old Burt Reynolds movie called Stick?
No?  Me neither!
How about carrot and celery sticks

or hairsticks, stickpins, glo sticks, glue sticks chapsticks

and i even saw a wiping stick..... 
Yes, there is such a thing! but didn't think you'd want to see it

And a very funny old Fed ex commercial of a guy tying a stick to a Pterodactyls leg which wouldn't stay in this post. It went last night after everything else was so messed up and had to be re-done. Look for it under this post and sorry if you got notified of a blank post.

Yeah, i know about other kinds of sticks like
Living in the sticks.....don't do it! 
Lacrosse goalie stick
hockey sticks
woman with her hockey stick
                         Daniel Sedin with his hockey stick
candlesticks, incense sticks
swizzle sticks
marijuana is sometimes called a stick
yowsers this disorder is making me crazy. What sticks did i miss? Which ones are twice?
 and a Chapman stick is a musical instrument.
And then there's joy sticks, stick-it notes, a British band,a baton stick and a stick of gum but they’re not in the recipe i chose which quite proudly boasts “Who says you need a pound of butter for cupcakes? This recipe makes a doz. cupcakes and uses just one stick!”
My first thought on that was “if there’s only one does that mean it’s unimportant and can be left out without causing a recipe failure”?
As far as i knew it could be anything from say, one lb. of butter (that would be one very fat stick and probably called a pound cake) but I think it has to be skinnier and twiggier to be considered a stick.

A stick with walking stick insect on it

                 A different walking stick -            
Am i the first person to inquire of a stick?
 Heres a stick a guy had to use to fight off a cougar
 The blue and white stick is a pen
  and here's a stick family
a comic book character named Stick
                                                                                                                   a pool stick

A dog with his stick

                       Led Zeppelin album cover Stick
Some youtube people are saying that eating butter is bad while others say it'll improve your arithmetic and maybe it'll improve spelling too.  I'll try it and see.
I’m guessing all the recipes i found were created by American cooks who probably buy their butter already formed into sticks and therefore understand the term.  That’s great, but it doesn’t tell me how much to use, we who purchase our butter in one lb.                                  
blocks. If all the other ingredients are in measurements of cups or tsp. and TBS. why go and complicate the butter?
Imagine a recipe calling for a large brick of butter, 1 kg.+ 5 cubes of sugar, a lb. + 8 tsps. of flour, 5/8th of a litre of milk 1/12 of a ladle of cinnamon, an ounce of salt……probably not many bakers would tackle such a recipe and whatever it would make would likely turn out awful!
ok, seriously i know that 1 cup of butter would be half a lb. It’s easy to chop a 1 lb.brick of butter in half cuz there’s a line on the half way mark!  Half a cup would obviously be one of those halves cut in half (also marked) and so it’s not even necessary to melt it and messy-up a measuring cup.  But where does the stick come in on this? Mine look like mini blocks and mini block isn’t in the recipe.
So to make a very long story even longer because i’ve never seen a stick of butter in my life
i had to re google for  “what is a stick of butter”
i found butter eating contests, mostly challenges that people take for anything from $2.00 to $100. to eat X amount of butter in a very short time. There’s youtube videos of throwing up said butter in fun locales such as home parties, limo’s and on keyboards. There’s people drinking huge quantities of beer and eating a lot of butter, a guy inhaling a gal of milk and eating a lot of butter, people  slurping down 5000 calorie milkshakes which evolved into lots and lots of vomiting videos which then went totally off the subject of what is a stick of butter.
I got back on track by reading “how much is a knob of butter?”
Answer: Some butter.  More than a dash.  More than a pinch.
Less than 3 TBS.  More than 1 TBS.
In other words i'd say it’s about 2 TBS. or however much you want it to be.
Now, i ask you where’d all the recipes go for knobs of butter?
Also found out how “to dot” something with butter and this butter stick which would be great for
corn on the cob.  I’d love to find one of these
and it would be great for toast too i think. Or maybe not as hubby already leaves behind way too many crumbs and he’d have a butter stick all messy in no time flat.
Well, it took some time but i finally found out:
1 stick of butter = arrghhh omg! this post has been so stressful i’ve already forgotten!
Then i noticed the chosen cupcake recipe had already divied out the one stick proudly mentioned into
3 TBS. of butter for the batter and 5 TBS. of butter for the frosting for a grand total of 8 TBS. What the heck!  But at least now i’ve a clue how much a stick consists of but i’m sure not about to use my measuring spoon to find out by filling it with butter 3 times, then 5 times digging it out from a block, brick or tub or whatever to know i’ve got the correct quantity cuz that’s not only time consuming but messy, goofy and just plain wrong.
And then to top it off the recipe says to use UN salted butter and then later on it says add a tsp. of salt!
What a crazy world; i don’t want any part of these new fangled complicated cupcakes new oven or not.


A Plain Observer said...

well! that was some post! I really enjoyed all the different sticks you researched. Maybe it would have been faster to call someone and ask but dont call me because I dont know. I just buy the sticks but never worried about how much butter is in them. A 1/4 since there is 4 in a box? then again, the box might be 1/2 a pound.
Thanks for a good laugh

Lorraina said...

Glad you liked my schtick, lol. Once i started thinking of different kinds of sticks (i think i thought of maybe 3)and found so many more had to go for it. I love Google!
Hopefully we'll be able get butter in sticks one day too and then be able to make stuff without measuring. But new-fangled things and great idea items sometimes take forever to reach our distant shores.

Kate on Clinton said...

Wonderful post! It is amazing what comes up when googling a simple question. Microsoft's ads for their search engine, Bing, say they cut throw the flotsam and jetsam (my words), but that takes all the fun and inspiration out of it.
Sticks of butter are the standard I know, but it is a rather poorly worded recipe that doesn't provide the tablespoon equivalent.

Lorraina said...

Thanks Kate, Well, like alot of things recipes are written for the masses and with Canada having just 33 million compared to the U.S. 310 million it's ok to use terms that the majority know and understand and so we convert. Now that i know a stick of butter = 1/2 cup it's easy and no longer an issue. Today i'm going to make choc chip cookies with 1/4 of my block of butter which = a stick.

Unknown said...

Ahh..don't be such a stick in the
Just throw in whatever seems good...can't have too much butter...


Lorraina said...

Bunny i did that once and had very good but super greasy cookies and nobody wanted to eat them with a fork and knife....I'm so measurement impaired just can't be trusted to know whatever seems good!

Lalala said...

you are funny! I love the dog with the giant stick!