bread and butter

Bread And Butter: At The Kitchen Table

May 25, 2021

I grew up, the whole of my life, with one dining room table. It’s heavy but thin. Angular when collapsed and smoothed outsides in the middle when extended to fit our large family. It still sits in my parents’ home. Every trip we make, we gather around, meals piled in the middle to be served counterclockwise, surrounded by dishes and condiments and as I sit, time bridges and it feels just as it did all of my growing up years: towers of biscuits and bowls of gravy, taco salad mixed to the perfect nacho cheese chip to lettuce ratio, chocolate pudding pies, a work surface for canning and bread making. It was our home’s heartbeat, figuratively, but literally as well, situated where it was, in the upper left corner as seen from the front door. As things changed, people moved out, paint done and redone, it was the forever constant.

Bread And Butter: Cultural Appropriation And Food

May 11, 2021

I want to tackle a subject I’ve been pondering for a while, but frankly haven’t yet dared address: cultural appropriation as it applies to food and eating. I’m hesitant about this because, one, as you may have noticed, ‘cultural appropriation’ is a tetchy term, a signal to gather your people and prepare for war. Two, because I’m part of the dominant culture here, I don’t want to come across as preachy about something that I’m just really trying to understand myself. And three, I really don’t want to assign guilt to some of my favorite food experiences. There are so few real pleasures left to a lady, you know?

Bread And Butter: Homemade Mac & Cheese

May 4, 2021
Tawnya Gibson

In a recent segment, I mentioned that the one restaurant meal I’ve tried to recreate at home is a BBQ pork macaroni and cheese. I feel I need to state, here and now, the macaroni and cheese was not, in any way, homemade. It came from everyone’s favorite little box and the reason for that is very simple. I CANNOT make homemade macaroni and cheese. Not even a little.

Bread And Butter: Recreating Restaurant Food

Apr 29, 2021

I wonder if everyone who loves food and at least tolerates cooking has tried replicating their favorite restaurant meals at home. One day, not so recently, my husband was musing about how difficult it would be to recreate your favorites at home. It is definitely something we haven’t done a lot, preferring the ease and convenience of simply ordering our favorite take out, but I can see the lure of trying.

Bread And Butter: Pandemic Cooking

Apr 20, 2021

Lael Gilbert: So I was asked recently how this whole pandemic experience has changed food in our house. So the one big thing that I've noticed is that, for most of my married life, I have been the lead for planning, prep and cooking for the family. Before the pandemic, my husband would jump in from time to time, but that has really shifted. 

Bread And Butter: Chicken Biscuit Stew

Apr 5, 2021

I sat down fully intending to write about jelly beans. There is a lot to say about jelly beans, oddly, both good and bad. But instead, I find myself drawn to writing about chicken biscuit stew, which is not even close to the same thing as jelly beans. 

Bread And Butter: Egg Enchiladas

Mar 29, 2021

Over the past several pieces I’ve written for this program, I’ve mentioned egg enchiladas several times. Every time I do, I inevitably get questions. And along with the questions, I get requests to do a Bread and Butter deep dive on the topic. I’ve put it off, not knowing if I could write 800 words about something so simple, but here we are.

University of Utah Press

It’s UPR’s Spring Member Drive. On Access Utah that means some very special programming, including some Best Of segments from favorite episodes and some great new conversations. Today we’re talking about food and food culture and folklore with Lael Gilbert, one of the hosts of UPR’s Bread & Butter feature; and Lynne McNeill, folklorist and Associate Professor in the USU English Department. We’ll hear some Bread & Butter segments and a portion of our Access Utah conversation from October with the editors of the book This is the Plate: Utah Food Traditions. 


Bread And Butter: Green Foods

Mar 15, 2021

There are plenty of naturally green foods out there: peppers, honeydew melon, lettuce, grapes, some kinds of cabbage. And then there are foods in my kitchen, and maybe yours, that are not meant to be green, but are. Old bread. Old cheese. Old sour cream. 

Bread And Butter: Every Day Is Egg Day

Mar 1, 2021

Eggs are eaten in our home every day. And I’m not exaggerating that truth, even a little. If they don’t show up at breakfast, they definitely come around for lunch or dinner. For a family of three, we go through around five dozen eggs nearly every week. 

Bread And Butter: Expanding Children's Palates

Feb 24, 2021

  A while ago, a friend asked how she could get her kids to be better eaters. I wasn’t sure how to answer, because there is a difference between getting a family to eat healthier, and to be more adventurous in their food choices. But the advice, I’ve realized, has some crossover.


Sometimes people make suggestions for topics for me to cover in this food segment— everything from a neighbor who makes r eally good pie to the science behind digestion. Often these suggestions are problematic for one reason or another, but I hate to ignore them completely. 

Bread And Butter: Chocolate And Valentine's Day

Feb 13, 2021
A jar of chocolate shavings.

During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, 58 million pounds of chocolate are typically sold. And that’s just in the United States. That’s a lot of chocolate!  And, as the girl who, growing up, didn’t love chocolate, that number is absolutely mind boggling. 


What do we really mean when we say that we want to eat healthy? Ask anyone who’s moderately informed and they’ll likely mention one key practice: avoiding processed foods. 

Bread And Butter: Merging Food Cultures

Jan 26, 2021

I’m from southwest New Mexico. My husband is from southeastern Idaho. Geographically, they are not far one from another. Food culture wise, however, they are worlds apart. I was asked, recently, what we had to sort and merge by way of food preferences after we married. Honestly, I didn’t think it was a lot, but then I actively started thinking about it and quickly changed my mind.

Bread And Butter: Healthy New Year

Jan 21, 2021

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Eric Carle’s classic children’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Do you remember it? My December was a bit stressful, okay? And although I didn’t eat through a 15-pound stick of salted salami, as the poor bloated caterpillar did, at some point last month I did buy an entire wheel of brie with full knowledge that I’m the only one in the house who likes it. And I don’t have it anymore.

Bread And Butter: COVID-19 And Smell

Jan 20, 2021

Lael: The smell of a pine forest, melting butter or a favorite blanket from childhood, what happens when it's all gone? I used to think of the loss of the sense of smell as a minor inconvenience. But now, as thousands of people are experiencing it as a symptom of COVID-19, I've realized we really take our sense of smell for granted. For some, it's temporary. For others, the symptoms go on much longer. 

Bread And Butter: Pantry Cooking

Jan 6, 2021

Last week, while making my mom’s goulash, I used the last cans of diced tomatoes in my pantry. I hadn’t realized I was so low until cracking open that last one to dump into my pot of simmering garlic, onion and peppers. I immediately had my son add it to the perpetual grocery list hanging on our refrigerator and bought several cans during my weekly shopping trip last weekend. (Future) crisis averted!

Bread And Butter: Unusual Food Preferences

Jan 6, 2021

In college I discovered the absolute greatness that is dipping tortilla chips straight into sour cream. No mixing with salsa required, although, that’s pretty great, too, and still a favorite standby lunch. The first few times I ate my chips into cream concoction, it felt a little wrong, like I was breaking some sort of rule and, even still, decades past living in a dorm, I sometimes catch myself feeling unnecessarily guilty about my unusual snack. Not enough to stop me, of course, but I do sometimes give pause. 

Bread And Butter: Goldrod Eggs

Dec 28, 2020

There are some foods that just scream Holiday Season—the warm and spicy snap of gingerbread, the creamy throat-coating decadence of eggnog, the crisp and golden-warmth of apple-sauce-smeared potato latkes.

'Bread And Butter:' Twice-Baked Cookies

Dec 14, 2020

Here’s a question for you—what’s your holiday cookie of choice? Is it the deep molasses and fragrant spice of traditional gingerbread? Or the decadent calorie blitz of a simple frosted sugar cookie? Maybe the pastel and light-as-air french macarons? Or a dollop of fruity, thickened jam with the crunch of a Linzer cookie?

Bread And Butter: Favorite Soup

Dec 9, 2020

Over the past year, my soup game has strengthened, slowly. While I love soup, I had only a small repertoire of homemade varieties, the main one being a corn chowder. And my soup was good. Passable, really, but definitely lacking in any layered intricacies. That is what I really wanted to change.

The Spruce Eats

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when extended family gathers together. This year many of us will be gathering in smaller groups, but many of our traditions will endure and hopefully the food will be just as delicious. Today we’ll ask you about your traditions and your plans in this unusual year and we’ll answer your cooking questions.

Raisin Pie On 'Bread And Butter'

Nov 24, 2020

We’re deep into the months of holidays. While it might look different, feasts are still looming. In my house, certain things are likely during the holidays and one of those things is a Thanksgiving raisin pie.

Bread And Butter: Preserving Family Recipes

Nov 17, 2020
A loaf of banana bread with a slice cut off of it on a white plate

Grandma Madsen—my dad’s mom—always had banana bread in her kitchen. Always. When I was a child on my way to visit grandma and grandpa, there were two things I could count on: playing with toys in the sunroom and sitting at the table to eat a fresh slice of banana bread—perfectly browned, sweet and always dotted with walnuts.

Rolls of toilet paper stacked on end.

Remember way back in March of 2020, when we were awkwardly trying on masks for the first time, cautiously edging into grocery stores and desperately searching empty shells for hazelnut spread and yeast? 

Bread And Butter: Kitchen Organization

Nov 10, 2020
A line of mason jars filled with colorful fruit preserves on a shelf.

How organized are your cupboards, pantries and refrigerators? Organized and in line or organized chaos or simply chaos? Does it affect how you cook or if you cook at all? How many times have we been in the aisle of the grocery store, simply knowing we have a certain ingredient at home…or do we? Was it behind the flour or the canister of cashews? Or was that months ago? Now, how long has it been since you’ve looked behind those cashews, anyway?  And whoops! Those leftovers shoved deep behind the cheese and cream, was that last week’s soup, or wait. Enchiladas from weeks gone? It’s gone so far, you really aren’t sure.

Bread And Butter: First Jobs In Food Service

Nov 10, 2020
Seven balls of rising dough by a rolling pin

Lael: Tell me what your first job beyond babysitting was. 

Jen: My first job was in the food service industry. This will give you a little Utah history here and date me some, but I worked at the Word Perfect eatery. Word Perfect, of course, was a technology company started in Utah. It was at the Hard Disk Cafe. 

Soft Foods On 'Bread And Butter'

Oct 29, 2020

Five years ago, almost exactly, I dislocated my jaw. It had been an exhausting few days and we had run by a fast food drive thru as a hail Mary on the day. And as I opened my mouth to eat that first bite of juicy burger, my jaw locked open. Wide. Nothing I did would close it back up. A trip to the emergency room finally fixed it and a follow up doctor’s visit gave me a list of instructions for a six week recovery period. The top instruction was the order of soft foods, no exceptions, for the entirety of the six weeks.

Underwhelming Food On "Bread And Butter"

Oct 28, 2020


Jenn Ashton: So I saw an advertisement for a state fair. And it reminded me of an experience—an underwhelming food experience.