Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Butter Makes Everything Better

These days I always check the weather channel when I wake up. 


It’s arguably unhealthy, seeing as how the definition of insanity is opening a web browser ever day and expecting lower temperatures. No, that’s not it? Must Google to clarify.

I act surprised at whatever ungodly temperature the screen reads. I then usually open my blinds and just stare out the window. I stare at the people going in and out of McDonalds on the corner. They look like little fire ants, and they look hot. How can they look hot from this far away? Easy. The posture, their pace, everything is slower when it’s this hot.

Probably every once a week, I seriously consider wearing my bathing suit. Why couldn’t I have worked at a summer camp, where shorts and tank tops are acceptable? Or lifeguarding? Better yet, why can’t I just live in a pool? And then I come to my senses because I love my job (see my post for reasons why).

Now, I could write a very long, thorough post (book, even) about how terribly hot D.C. is at the moment. But it would be depressing. And the thought of writing a book makes me a little hot and nervous, which as you can imagine is not the goal here.

My goal with this post is to share the other side of living in a city, the awesome side.

The awesomeness (you can tell I’ve been keeping up with my “word of the day” calendar, right?) of urban living comes in many forms, and most of them are edible.

Take last Saturday. A few friends and I decided to venture out and celebrate la Fête Nationale, also known in America as Bastille Day.  Also known as my excuse to eat insane amounts of French food.

The night was a smashing success. How do I measure success? Years from now someone will ask me this question in an interview (that I paid them to do) and I will answer with one word—butter.

I come from the Paula Deen school of thought and truly believe that butter makes everything better.

Consider, again, this Bastille Day scenario.  The walk to the restaurant was filled with the typical summer un-pleasantries: the constant squeegee-hand maneuver to minimize visible sweat, comments about how hot it was and the occasional thought of regret for ever stepping outside.

Enter a basket of a French baguette and cold, good, plain ‘ole butter. Suddenly there is hope for the evening. We can actually see each other and maybe strike up a weather-free conversation. The rest of the meal followed a similar pattern of heavily (on the less subtler side) flirting with the line between gluttony and fine dining.

One friend had never tried mussels (i.e. never lived). I tried to explain to her that the best part of the dish isn't even the mussels. The real star is what’s left in the bottom of the pot. The sauce that—no matter what the style—is held together by butter.

The French were clearly classmates with Paula. Or perhaps they came first? I’ll Google it later.

Literally, I guess butter can't make everything better. You can’t directly apply a stick of butter on yourself to cool down. (Although you should try this, and get back to me!)

Coming from Athens, GA we didn’t have this problem. Not having air conditioning is practically illegal, and we use our cars when we absolutely must leave those wonderfully air-conditioned spaces.

But in Athens we also don’t have a French eateries, Ethiopian hangouts and speakeasies all on one street, let alone offered in multiple forms across the entire city.

So in short, my friends, seek refuge in butter and all things delicious, and take time to just bask in how lucky we are to live in such amazing cities.

Au revoir!


Christina Downs
ASME Intern, AARP The Magazine
Howard University



1 comment: