MAY IT PLEASE THE PALATE: Seven shocking things you didn't know you could do with butter

By Nick Roumel

Journalism is dead. It has been replaced by lists.

1. If you rub 1/4 cup of butter on a snow shovel, you will prevent the snow from sticking to the shovel. This saves the time of always having to always smack your shovel on the ground to remove the snow.

Journalism was once a fine thing. It told stories which had a beginning, a middle, and an end.

2. After you move to a new house, butter your cat's paws before you let it outside. Instead of freaking out and running away, it will stop to lick the butter off its paws and more gradually get used to its new surroundings.

Vivid examples and detail were used to illustrate the story. They helped readers not only to understand the theme, but to feel personally connected.

3. Out of oil or WD-40? Rub butter on that squeaky hinge.

I awoke at 2:51 AM. I know because I looked at my phone. I lay, unsleeping, until I'd had enough. I moved to the couch where I looked up insomnia cures. I learned about "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response" or ASMR videos. I found one where a slightly lisping woman with crooked teeth offered me a peppermint, and tried to soothe my nerves. But every time she said "anxiety," I was jolted awake.

4. Butter can substitute for shaving cream in a pinch, softening your whiskers and skin for a close, soothing shave. And your cat won't stop licking your face or legs.

Write a good lead to grab the reader's attention. There are two kinds. Direct leads tell the essentials of a story: "Along party-line votes, Congress yesterday passed a bill banning the practice of providing butter to housecats." Then there's the mysterious one that entices one to read further: "Families that move may be at greater risk of losing their housecats, after yesterday's historic vote in Congress."

5. Butter will give your leather goods a nice shine. Try it on baseball gloves, jackets, and purses. It has amino acids and won't hurt the leather.

Check your sources. Used to be that a publisher wouldn't state an assertion without two sources behind it. Now, who cares, as long as it's interesting? For example, have you ever received an email stating something like, "I have no idea if this is true, but I find it fascinating?" (If so, you're on my dad's email list.)

6. Putting a pat of butter in your underwear keeps zombies away.

Look, I'm just saying. I read it somewhere, and while it's a bit messy, I haven't encountered any zombies ... at least not since that federal judge I drew on a case last year.

7. Butter removes inky and gummy stains. Child wrote on the new doll's face? No problem. Butter will also get tree sap off your car's finish.

No matter where your story goes, a good article should always find its way home and return to the theme by the end. Take the article I found in "Bon Appétit," entitled "9 Rules for Naked Dining: The Etiquette of Nude Resorts." Guess what they said about eating with a cat in one's lap -- I mean, besides not feeding it butter?


Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard, and Walker PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for "Current" magazine in Ann Arbor. He occasionally updates his blog at

Published: Thu, Apr 3, 2014


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