Butter, Elevated

Much of what critics are saying about Julie & Julia is true -- that the latter half of the title's subject is fascinating and compelling, while the former is mildly entertaining at best -- so I won't repeat it here.  What I will repeat is Julie Powell's best quote: "Is there anything better than butter?"

Well, yes.  Homemade butter, made from raw cream, made from cows who eat grass out of an open, sunny field.  It's easy.  Just put the cream in a jar and shake, preferably to a Led Zeppelin soundtrack, until you have a lump of pale gold.  And if you need more convincing, here's something I've been making recently, which I think I got from Martha Stewart Living but cannot locate at present:

Take 1/2 cup (one stick, if storebought) softened butter.  Finely chop and stir in about a dozen Kalamata olives, 2 cloves  garlic (I put it through a press) and 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts.  Put into a pretty dish and leave overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day, bliss will await you -- the best way to eat this is slathered on grilled ears of corn, but it's also wonderful on stir-fried pattypan squash, or even whole-wheat toast.  It will transform anything it touches.  That's what makes butter great.

Oh, and if you dare to try this with any of the non-butter products out there, please don't tell me, because I will be forced to hunt you down and cause you pain.