Every now and then you come across the perfect kitchen product that you really don't know how you ever lived without it. Since I was young I have absolutely HATED the taste of rancid butter. I seem to be very sensitive to the rancid taste and can detect it after the butter has been on the counter for only one day. Because of this I was forced to keep my butter in the refrigerator, which made my toast making experience less than ideal. My buttering life changed when I found the butter bell: This little contraption is amazing!
The top opens up and you smush an entire cube of butter inside it. Then fill the bottom with a bit of cold water (I add an ice cube for the really hot months) and your butter stays soft and fresh. We eat enough toast that a cube of butter never lasts more than a few weeks but I haven't ever had the butter go bad.
It appears that not all butter bells are created equally. My mom owned a square glass bell and the butter was always falling out. I have owned 2 ceramic ones and haven't had a problem with sliding butter. I have noticed that in the summer it works best to put the butter in when it is still quite hard, in the winter it doesn't seem to matter either way.
The array of available kitchen gadgets is immeasurable with most being nothing more than a cluttering nuisance. The butter bell is well worth the pennies paid. I think EVERYONE should own a butter bell!
*If you love butter as much as I do (think Snow Crab, Banana Bread, and Blueberry muffins) check out this fun blog called Butter Journal.