With warm weather here my butter always goes beyond soft and usually turns to liquid just sitting on my counter so, years ago, I started placing my butter in the top of my butter dish, using the bottom for a lid in the summer. Then, in the winter, I use it the normal way.
If you don’t have soft butter or are like me and store it in the freezer, try this: Sometimes I need the butter right away and it is too hard so I use a potato peeler to shave off thin peels. It softens right away.
A couple of years ago my kids got me one of my favorite kitchen "gadgets" which I would be hard pressed to do without now and that’s a butter boat.
Butter boats are cool butter dishes with an inner piece that sits inside a larger dish that has water in it. The butter stays the perfect softness and doesn’t run at all. You don’t have to worry about changing the water every day either. I usually change the water once a week or when I put in a new stick of butter in it.
You can also put hot water in a butter boat and use it to keep things like cheese warm.
I love, love, love my butter boat!
photo by: dj-dwayne