Submitted by Eric Daniel
I had an epiphany about butter the other day. Back when I was stationed in Germany we had an opportunity to train with some German tankers. Now I'd heard all the jokes about why we were, at the time, patrolling the German borders instead of the German army ("the only nation that doesn't respect Germany's borders is Germany," or "German tanks don't come with breaks," or "The problem is, once the German Army gets to the border, it tends to keep on going...") but I tell you, those guys were flat out aggressive. When they went on the attack, they took it to you. There was no creepy-crawling in those Leo IIs. They were on the move all the time, and by on the move I mean moving flat out.
Anyway, adding insult to injury was the apparent fact that these panzer guys did all this on a diet of black bread and butter. Any time we were laagered up together for an AAR there they'd be, sitting on their little efficient field stools with a tin of butter and a square of black bread, having a snack while the O/C explained to us how they just handed us our asses. At the time, what I really found intriguing was the little aluminum tin they had for keeping the butter. It was about 1.5" tall, 3" in diameter, and has a three lug locking lid. Inside was a plastic liner, and the lid itself had a rubber gasket to seal it. I glommed on to one of those tins in an attempt to emulate them (black bread and butter is quite tasty, actually) but maintaining a supply of bread and butter was always an issue (they got theirs delivered with LOGPAC.)
Anyway, the years go by and there I am, sitting on a hill looking at a bunch of Seabees go about their business (we were doing recon and surveillance training) when several thoughts went through my head. First, the wheat snack bread they put in the MREs now isn't half bad, and second, when it get's really really hot, the issue cheese spread isn't very appetizing. That's when I had my epiphany. "What if I broke out my old West German butter tin?" That would be nice, except that it gets a whole hell of a lot hotter in the Mojave than it does in Bavaria and the idea of carrying a tin of butter soup around to dip my bread in didn't sound all that appealing. That's when brainwave #2 occurred. Use that European wunderfood, nutella. For those of you who've never had it, nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread that goes very well with bread. It's tasty, and unlike butter, it will soften, but not melt completely, in the heat, so even on the hottest of days, it'll keep it's form well enough to spread, and used sparingly, a tin full of nutella will last me several weeks.
Now if I can just get one of those Leo IIs...Get a German Army butter tin here.