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Barbara Costello, better known as Babs, is a grandmother to eight children and the homemaking expert behind Brunch with Babs. She shares her kitchen wisdom and traditional family recipes on her TikTok account, as well as her Instagram and website.
Known as “America’s Most Lovable Grandma”, Babs is also the author of Celebrate with Babs a collection of her most loved food recipes.
She has recently advised her two million TikTok fans about keeping butter, recommending a “butter bell”.
The grandmother said: “This is found in most French kitchens but I’m not too sure you know what it is. It’s called a butter bell, a butter crock, or a butter keeper.”
Thanks to the kitchen utensil, Babs says: “We have spreadable, wonderful butter, any time you need it, stored on the counter for up to 30 days.
“Just take your softened butter and fill your bell, and use a knife to just spread it out. Next, I’m adding a third of a cup of cold water right to my crock.
“I’m using salted butter so right into the crock she goes. Unsalted butter? Just as a pinch of salt to your water.
“Make sure you change the water every few days and it’ll last up to 30 days right on your counter.”
A butter bell keeps butter cool, even in hot weather, according to advocates. It uses water and insulation to cool butter.
They are also known as “French butter dishes”, and were devised in the European country in the 1800s.
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It keeps the putter in airtight conditions, and so preserves butter is kept below 27C. The device is thought to have been invested in Vallauris, France, which is known for pottery.
Some of Babs’s fans use their own butter bells. One wrote: “I love my butter bell!”
Another said: “Yes, I have one. They are lovely to have.” However, one had a bad experience with theirs.
They wrote: “Someone got me one of these as a gift and my butter always goes bad so fast in it. I use it for sugar now.”
Some have never used the item. One wrote: “A normal butter dish is fine and butter keeps well and won’t go off for months anyway.”
Another said: “I’m English and we’ve always just used a glass box thing for room temp butter.”
Another food expert showed a way to defrost or soften butter fast without a microwave.
The hack was posted by America’s Test Kitchen on its YouTube account. She said: “Start by filling a glass with hot water and very patiently let it sit for a few minutes.
“Then dump out the water and place the warm glass on top of your butter.
“Wait very patiently for just a few more minutes until your butter come to room temperature.”
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