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We here at Food Republic are fundamental fans of smashing the dickens out of something if it means hurrying dinner along. We refuse, for instance, to locate and painstakingly remove the core of iceberg lettuce. Rather, we smash it firmly against the counter and lo and behold: out pops the core like that's how nature intended us to prep lettuce. When it comes to cold, hard butter, leave it to the culinary deities at America's Test Kitchen to solve a problem we've all tackled incorrectly with a microwave or too much waiting to count as "hurrying dinner along." Heed Kitchenmaster Doc Willoughby's word and administer a firm (but affectionate) beating. Like the lettuce, it takes to this alternative treatment marvelously. In real life, though, use a safe word.

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