The Three-Week Butter Window

One of the problems with living in Italy compared to the UK is that in summer and autumn you cannot leave your butter out of the fridge without it becoming a river of yellow fat or in winter when it becomes so solid you have to pop it under the grill before you can make a sandwich.

Last year we noticed that this window of opportunity for perfect butter spreading only lasted for three-weeks and at the moment we’re between the solid and slush periods. Yes, the daily temperatures are perfect for leaving the butter dish out and having a knife slide into it and depositing a portion onto soft bread where it spreads smoothly.

Now I know what you’re thinking, surely this topic can’t be that important to warrant a blog post, maybe not, but there are other things that happen during this three-week window of opportunity.

1. The white irises in lane blossom. They tend to be a couple of weeks later than the purple ones and they last for just three-weeks before they have faded away and become just a distant memory.

2. We are also in what I call the buzzing season, men are in the olive groves with their strimmers cutting the lush green grass beneath the trees down to ground level, and those who left pruning until now are thinning out the central branches to the recognised vase shape that allows air to circulate around the emerging olives.

3. Hairy caterpillars seem to be everywhere at the moment, they’re not the dreaded pine processionary moth that decimate pines and have hairs that carry nasty toxins. The ones we get here are fat, black ones that amble over the borage plants. Last year we saw plenty of them but again only for three weeks, so I’m assuming they’re filling up on greenery before turning into pupae.

Oddly enough, so far this morning three songs have shuffled on the iPod with the word, three, in the title. Three Colours Blind by the Alice Martineau, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers and the haunting, Three Babies by Sinead O’Connor.

I’m no off to spread some butter on my toast, have a good day everyone.