The Butter Lickers

I remembered the butter dish was nearly empty as I began to peal the first potato. Drying my hands and turning away from the sink to get a stick from the refrigerator, I nearly fell in avoiding killing the family pet. Flicker, our tuxedo cat, lay stretched to his full length in the center of the kitchen floor. His gorgeous, soft belly fur on full display begged to be stroked. He calmly blinked up at me with a kitty smile on his face. He had no idea he’d narrowly escaped a mortal danger.
I shouted in a loud voice, “Flicker, you dumb cat! I nearly stepped on your big belly! Get out of the kitchen while I’m preparing supper!” My ten-year-old daughter, trailed by her six-year-old sister, appeared in the kitchen doorway. I sighed and asked, “Will you please take Flicker into the living room? He would get hurt very badly if I accidentally stepped on him.”
As the children left the room with Flicker, my husband Arnie walked in. He asked, “Do I have enough time before supper to run into town to get gas for the truck?”
Glancing at the unpealed potatoes in the sink and the stick of butter in my hand, I nodded and assured, “You have plenty of time.”

Making a meal every afternoon immediately after arriving home from work always made me feel stressed. The girls usually wanted after-school-attention and all three of us were often impatient with hunger. As soon as I manage to put a meal on the table, I feel instant relief and more relaxed. That evening was no different. Placing the butter, salt, pepper and sugar tray on the table, I called my family to eat.
As soon as my family had eaten, they disappeared, leaving me to deal with the leftovers and dirty dishes. Desperately needing some ‘down time’ I put the cold potatoes and one piece of meat in the refrigerator and left everything else on the table. Taking the newspaper, I laid down on the living room floor to read it.
I didn’t clear the table until after the children went to bed that night, but only stacked the dishes next to the sink to be washed tomorrow. Picking up the butter, sugar, salt and pepper tray to return it to the cupboard, I glanced down and noticed there were strange marks on the butter. It looked like someone had dragged a small paint brush over it. A moment later I forgot all about the mysterious marks.
The next evening followed the same pattern, but while reading the paper, I heard a funny sound in the dining room. Mother’s instinct told me some mischief was afoot. I got up and tiptoed into the dining room and found my six-year-old laying on the table in order to reach the butter tray. She was using a spoon to eat butter!

When I scolded Tammie, she reported, “Flicker licks the butter whenever you’re not in the room, so I thought I’d try tasting it, too.” Chagrinned, I suddenly remembered the strange ‘brush’ marks I’d been seeing on the butter. Cat tongue. Mystery solved!
Recently, while reminiscing with my now adult daughter Tammie about the three cats she grew up with, Flicker, Berry and Oskar, I found out that the butter-licking incident wasn’t a onetime affair.
Tammie admitted, “I liked the taste of butter so much, I sometimes took a spoonful and sprinkled sugar on it when you weren’t looking. It tasted like raw cookie dough.”
I stated, “You still like eating raw cooking dough. People can get very sick with by doing that.”
Nodding, my daughter answered, “Of course, but now I never eat raw cookie dough that has egg in it.”
I told her, “Raw eggs aren’t the only problem. Flour can contain E. coli contamination, too. When you make cookie dough to eat raw, you should pasteurize the flour by putting in on a pan and bake it in a 350-degree oven for five minutes.”
Thinking about my daughter’s thirty plus years after-the-fact-confession, I had to laugh. Although I thought I knew everything going on in my house while she was growing up, I clearly had not.


Edible Cookie Dough Recipe CREDIT: MEREDITH
Ingredients:
• ½ cup butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup all-purpose flour, heat treated
• 2 tablespoons milk
• ½ cup milk chocolate chips
• ½ cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions:

  1. Combine brown sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Beat in vanilla extract and salt.
  3. Add flour; mix until a crumbly dough forms. Mix in milk.
  4. Fold in milk chocolate chips and mini chocolate chips.
  5. Cover and store leftovers in refrigerator.

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