During the World War II food shortages, people were forced to make the most of what they had. With today’s escalating grocery prices, one hint from that time still makes a lot of sense (and cents!)… how to turn one stick of butter into two. This extended butter has the same taste and texture as regular butter. It’s frugal… half the cost… but it’s also healthier… because it has half the fat and half the calories of regular butter. You can use extended butter almost anywhere you would normally use butter, but remember that it contains only half the amount of fat, so you cannot use it in any dish that depends on a certain fat content. This is why you cannot use it for baking.

Extended butter is easy to make. Just beat one half cup of lukewarm water into one softened stick (one half cup) of butter. If you use a mixer, start slowly to prevent splattering. Add small amounts of water at a time and keep beating until the water is thoroughly incorporated into the butter. The mixture will be smooth and fluffy, and you will end up with one cup of soft butter. After this soft butter is refrigerated, it will become as firm as regular butter. I make up only one stick at a time and usually store the butter covered in a stainless steel measuring cup that lost its handle some time back. If your preferences run to something fancier, try shaping it or putting it in a pretty dish. This butter will also pick up detail nicely from a mold.


Common foxglove (Digitalis)