I first heard about the French butter dish through my friend and Pear Tree contributor Darcie Hossack. There was a pottery studio in Peachland, B.C., that used to make them and, after falling in love with hers, I headed straight there to get one of my own.
An admirable blend of quirky and clever, the French butter dish is a tall bowl with a cylindrical lid. The butter is packed into the lid, while a few centimetres of water sits on the bottom of the bowl. It’s a natural way to keep your butter fresh without refrigerating, which keeps it soft and spreadable.
Right around the time that I broke mine, the Okanagan Pottery Studio disappeared. If it has since reopened in a new location I have not heard about it, and their former web address no longer works. And no other potters I have come across in the ensuing years have heard of, never mind made, this wonderful pottery.
(That said, since posting this I got a message from potter Jock Munroe that The Gallery in Peachland has French Butter dishes. It sounds like they took over the space where the Okanagan Pottery Studio used to be, on Hwy. 97. After they opened they had so many requests for French butter dishes that they added them to their line-up. The gallery openes on Saturday.)
Recently, a secret source (okay, it was my mum) unearthed a stash of these dishes somewhere, and picked up three of them for me. I am a butter fan (and, ahem, a bit clumsy, it’s true), but that’s more than enough for the Pear Tree House. So I’m going to share one butter dish with an interested reader!
Just leave a comment below, telling me what you like real butter on, and I’ll randomly pick a name on Friday at noon PST. You can get extra entries by blogging, tweeting or Facebooking the contest – just leave a separate comment for each one you do.
Good luck, and check back Friday!
– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier
Giveaway Winner Announced!
The randomly-drawn winner of the French butter dish was Elaine M. Philips! Congratulations! We will be in touch with you shortly to arrange getting your butter dish to you. For everyone else, watch for more fun giveaways down the road.