The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Use a cheese planer to cut butter and relax


Photo: Cheese, butter and cucumber planer

Photo: Cheese, butter and cucumber planer

This might seem ridiculous but I struggle to butter toast every morning. We keep our butter in the kitchen rather than in the fridge but even in the summer the kitchen is a chilly place and the butter is rock hard.

I’ve tried slicing off slivers with a knife but it takes ages and the pieces tend to stick to each other. I’ve cut blobs and let them melt a bit on piping hot toast. This works sometimes but drives me mad, as the last two slices have cooled enough to hold the butter like icebergs. Danny isn’t keen on spreadable butter. The problem was beginning to really annoy me.

I kept on thinking about the butter balls that used to delight me in old fashioned hotels. Where could I get a tool for making them? This would be the answer to my breakfast hiccup.

Then this morning I had a brainwave. I was slicing some cheese with the cheese planer.  This is a nifty gadget. The Penultimate Paramour insisted that I bought it years ago. At the time, I thought it was dinky and faddy. But over the years have learnt to love planed cheddar cheese in sandwiches. Somehow it tastes so much better than thick lumps of clumsingly hewn cheddar.

As the toast popped up in the toaster I prepared a buttering board. My eye fell on the cheese planer. Why not try using the planer on the cold butter?

Well it worked like a dream. Lovely slices of butter as thin as gossamer adorned our toast.

I was so excited that when my friend Jo rang this afternoon with a computer problem I couldn’t resist boasting about my discovery. Her response was swift.
“Yes and it’s great for slicing cucumber too. I’ve probably got three knocking about my kitchen.”

Now this is a lady who uses a grapefruit knife to cut her excellent asparagus.

The fall from latter day kitchen equipment Einstein to someone who hasn’t even had the common sense to experiment with her kitchen tools was as swift as my next breath.

But someone out there might have been struggling with the same problem as me, so I’m posting this tonight.

Jo did say I was a genius for solving her computer problem so we’re still talking. And actually we solved the problem together. Which is the best result all round.

  Leave a reply


  1. angiemay

    That’s such a good idea! Like many others who have commented, my cheese slicer also came from Norway. I was an au-pair there 30 years ago and the Norwegian goats cheese (Geitost: brown, quite sweet, and nothing like the white soft goats cheese we’re used to here) that is eaten at breakfast has to be sliced very thinly (you can’t cut it with a knife), hence the ubiquitous slicer. I’ve used it for cucumber, parmesan shavings etc but had never thought of involving in in the battle to butter the toast (and we don’t have a microwave).

  2. markfromireland

    If I have any dish that calls for thinly sliced spuds out comes my cheese slicer…….

  3. Heather

    What a terrific idea! We have one of those which my sister bought me years ago on a trip to Norway. It has a beautiful decorative metal handle. I have only ever used it for cheese. I’m going to try it on cucumber. Great!

  4. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    It’s the little things, isn’t it? Like how to get the right amount of butter on the toast. I use whipped butter, which comes in a tub and is easy to shave off with an actual butter knife. As for that cheese planer, I use it to shave fennel for salad. Add a little arugula, a little (shaved) Parmesan, and a lemon vinaigrette.

  5. Toffeeapple

    Président spreadable butter has no additives apart from salt.

  6. Brilliant idea – I know there is one kicking around the kitchen somewhere – i don’t like spreadable either – there are bad things in it – and my kitchen never gets hot enough to keep the butter soft either

  7. Emma Anderson

    Excellent idea. Mine was a gift brought from Norway almost 40 years ago and is in everyday use. I too have used mine for slicing cucumber and sometimes peel large spuds with it!

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