How many calories are in a pat of butter, anyway?

Growing up, I thought the height of luxury was a restaurant’s basket of freshly sliced bread, and the accompanying foil packets of butter softening over a candle. I’d go through one or two (or three) of the packets, and who knows how many pieces of bread, while waiting for my entree. Sometimes, I’d wonder…how many calories in a pat of butter? I had no idea. Intrigued, I investigated and fell down a bit of an Internet rabbit hole. Here’s what I found. Psst! Is it safe to leave butter out of the fridge?

What is a pat of butter?

Generally, a pat of butter is a single portion of butter, typically served up in a foil packet, tiny plastic tub, or artfully molded and shaped into a ball or square.

How much butter is in a pat?

There’s no uniform size or quantity of butter provided in a pat. Most pats, however, contain between 1/3 and 1/2 tablespoons of butter. (That’s about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons.) If you wanted to make your own pats—to serve at a dinner party, say—a good size is 1″x1″ square, and about 1/3″ thick. If your recipe calls for a “pat,” that generally means it’s a flexible measurement, and you can add to taste.

How many calories are in a pat of butter?

  • 1 teaspoon of butter has about 34 calories
  • 1.5 teaspoons have 51 calories

Generally, pats will be on the small side of that spectrum.

Why is it called a “pat”?

Restaurants used to press butter into wooden molds to press it into unique shapes, like flowers, before serving on a plate with bread. The cook would “pat” the butter into the mold, and the name stuck. The next time you’re cooking with butter, try using these butter hacks you didn’t know you needed in your life.

The post How Many Calories Are in a Pat of Butter, Anyway? appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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Unusual uses for peanut butter
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Unusual uses for peanut butter

1. Shaving

The oils in peanut butter are really good for your skin. If you find yourself out of shaving gel, just slab some on and get shaving. Plus, it won't ruin your razor. 

2. Cleaning leather 

Use peanut butter to remove stains and scratches on leather. Using a quarter-sized dollop, apply the peanut butter to the stain and scrub with a buffing washcloth or dry sponge. It works well on clothes, bags, shoes, furniture and more! 

3. Removing gum from hair and other surfaces

You're probably already aware of this age-old trick. Rub the gum with peanut butter and voila, you're free! 

4. Removing scratches from CDs and DVDs 

If you notice your favorite DVD freezing or skipping over scenes, just dab a bit of peanut butter on it and wipe away with a dried cloth. It'll be as good as new! 

5. Rid yourself of annoying squeaks

Squeaky door or restless wood floor? It's nothing that a little bit of peanut butter can't fix. Add a little bit to a rusty hinge or a floorboard and you're good to go! 

6. Rid yourself of unwavering price stickers

It's the most frustrating thing when you come home with a new bowl or vase, only to find a stubborn price tag at the bottom. There's no point in fretting -- start peeling just the slightest bit and then add some peanut butter to get rid of the sticky residue and paper remnants. 

7. Salvage scratched wood 

Whether you notice a roughed-up door or drawer or floorboard, peanut butter can actually help mask its scratches. Use peanut butter to smooth it out and wipe it away with a washcloth -- then it'll be almost invisible! 

8. Sealant for ice cream cone 

If you haven't heard this one before, it'll change your life! Add a dime-sized bit to the bottom of the cone -- and you can forget about unwanted drips and messes for life! 

9. Remove odors 

If you have a pan or cutting board that perpetually smells like onions, peanut butter can be the ultimate hack. Scrub with some peanut butter and let it soak and it'll smell as fresh as new! 

10. Distribute medicine 

If you're having trouble getting your child to take their vitamins, or your pup to take their medication, mask it with peanut butter. Disguise the taste with the pill inside a tablespoon of the butter. 

11. Moisturize your hair 

If it's good enough to eat, it's good enough to put in your hair. Make a homemade peanut butter mask and let it soak on your scalp for 15 minutes for shiny locks! 

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