Listen to Your Wife! Herbed and Spicy NOT Butter

My grandmother used to say that a man is the head of the house, but his wife is a neck:where the neck turns, the head looks. This week’s Torah reading is one of my favorite because in it we read how Sarah asked Abraham to do something, he didn’t really like it, and G-d Himself told him in no uncertain terms,”Listen to your wife!” I remind my husband about this dictum any time he, as the head, tries to turn away from his neck.

Preceding this event by a few years, Abraham had an unbelievable visit of the three angels. He was sitting by his tent in the dessert when suddenly he saw three distinguished-looking strangers. Even though he wasn’t feeling well (the angels had been sent specifically on a healing mission), he got up and ran to greet them and invite them to break bread. Of course, it wasn’t just bread, or, in this case, Matzah, as it was Passover. Sarah served milk and freshly churned butter for appetizers; meanwhile, a lamb was slaughtered and a full meal hastily prepared. Even though Abraham had immediately sent a lad to get that lamb business done, Sarah, his wife, knew how to run a kosher kitchen. She would not allow dairy and meat dishes to be served together!

Fortunately, I have not had this problem for years, since, unfortunately, dairy products declared boycott against my health. My husband doesn’t care one way or another, but both of us, as well as guests, still like to schmear something on that delicious challah on Shabbos.


With all due respect to Julia Child, I prefer to use Smart Balance, the light version of it. It is gluten free, which is important to us, and it is plant-based certified vegan. Since some of out friends are vegan, I always try to accommodate their needs.

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Inasmuch as I like Smart Balance for cooking and baking, it doesn’t really taste all that great spread on a slice of bread. Since herbed and spiced butters have been popular for some time, I have created my own NOT butter version. Our herb of choice is cilantro, but feel free to use any herb you prefer. Garlic is a must, as well as fresh ground pepper, and just a pinch of salt. If you like it hot, add some chili or jalapeno peppers. It will all get pulverized and whipped together anyway!

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Make sure your NOT butter is soft but not melted. Throw it into a food processor or blender, together with chopped garlic and roughly chopped herbs, add salt and pepper, and press the button. Pulse it until you get a very well blended, fluffy and airy mass. While it is whirling, you can entertain the kids by watching the cutest Milne’s poem made into a cartoon, The King’s Breakfast.

Sometimes we tend to forget that Alan Alexander Milne had written some other wonderful poems, besides Winnie the Pooh!


Meanwhile, your herbed and spicy NOT butter is ready. Garnish it with sprigs of the same herb that had gone into it and dazzle your guests!


  • 1 cup Smart Balance or non-dairy butter substitute of your choice
  • 4 – 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Large handful of fresh herbs of your choice (cilantro, dill, thyme, rosemary, etc.), roughly chopped, and more for garnishing
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Optional chili or jalapeno pepper, chopped


  • Place all ingredients into food processor, pulse until thoroughly blended and airy.
  • Garnish with springs of herb used. Serve chilled.



42 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz C. says:

    “a man is the head of the house, but his wife is a neck:where the neck turns, the head looks.” Your grandmother sounds like a very wise woman! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She was! If I have any brains in my head at all, it’s due to her!

      Liked by 5 people

  2. lilyandardbeg says:

    I love the story (as a non-religious person I’m not too familiar with biblical figures, even the super famous ones). I use lots of nut butters (because I’m a horrible fat addict), some work well with spices (I’m also a horrible jalapenos addict).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Nut butters are all the rage nowadays; that’s why I called it NOT butter – for a chuckle. “Listen to your wife!” is an actual quote from the Bible, and I love it!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Loved this article. The Parsha insight is great. Rashi says that G-d’s command for Avrohom to listen to Soroh signified that her prophetic powers were superior to his!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. feistyfroggy says:

    The NOT butter sounds amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much – glad you like it!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice post..follow me for stories on domestic violence

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you dear, and I already started following!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Joëlle says:

        I agree with you on the “fake butter” taste, so adding herbs and spices is a good idea.
        I will make sure I start reading the story on the poor orphan with these words “Listen to your wife!”😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love how you incorporate the Torah into your recipes!! The not butter sounds yummo!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Melinda! I wish I could send you some by e-mail…


      1. Oh me too!! Someday, maybe!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sure – you’re right here In Florida…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly! I could run down there in a coupla hours!! Hmmmmm, road trip??

        Liked by 1 person

      4. So get into your car and get going, girl!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. 😉 When I walk out to the mailbox, and there’s unexpected check, your house will be my first stop!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Then I’ll pray for an unexpected check in your mailbox!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I always pray for you, my friend, but seriously, money is in His hand, and it’s up to Him who gets it. I will pray that you get a chance to visit me, if and when it will be His will.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Thank you, Dolly. Yes, it is!! I hope so!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. kelleysdiy says:

    Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear, and the same to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve told my husband and sons, because I always want to help them, that they should always listen to me! I also tell them that if they could just accept that I’m right as a given we’d save SO much time!
    I make a lot of compound butters but my sons’ favorite is still just my honey butter with homemade bread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right – you are right as a given, by G-d’s command! Will your honey butter work if I try to recreate it by using Smart Balance and agave?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elizabeth says:

        I’m not terribly familiar with Smart Balance but if it can be whipped it should.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It can definitely be whipped, so I’ll try it – thank you for responding!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Elizabeth says:

        You’re very welcome. Let me know if it works. I’ve never tried agave in it but I have some in the pantry!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Eugenia says:

    This looks yummy. A lot healthier than butter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – I am glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. susieshy45 says:

    Lovely recipe, Dolly- I am not a butter fan- except for peanut butter which I can eat bottles of. I love your blog- it is very personal and scientific and reflects a lot of thought having gone into each word. Do you read the Torah in the original ( I am not sure what language it was written in) . I read the Bible in English.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Susie, for some reason I just found your comment – I am so sorry! Thank you for commenting, I am so glad you find my blog interesting! Yes, I do read Torah in the original Hebrew. In fact, My husband and I learn a portion of the weekly chapter every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I just read out aloud your Grandmother’s words to my partner… he didn’t dispute 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Good for you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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