Let’s go back in time to a world where everyone made everything from scratch. Homemade baked breads, shelves of freshly canned jams and jellies and pickled everything. I think I was born in the wrong time period, so to combat this clear mistake, I make my butter from scratch. Wait, what? Like you churn your own butter? No, but yes. Instead of churning, there’s a crazy flurry of shaking and sweating that is totally worth the sore muscles you’ll get. Think of it as a pre workout to an afternoon of continual buttered bread consumption. The more you sweat, the more you can eat. I mean, that’s really the only reason why anyone works out right? So they can eat more later… I made this recipe while visiting my parents at their home in Eastern Washington. They live further out in the boonies on five acres comprised of mostly native plants with a constant flow of deer, birds and small woodland creatures tromping through their yard. It’s a magical place that always serves as a relaxing oasis for Chet and I, allowing us to escape the craziness of the city. Tucked in the corner of their yard is a rectangular garden filled with green beans, lettuce, strawberries, squash, onions, potatoes and an abundance of fresh herbs including, thyme, oregano, basil and rosemary. A quick afternoon walk through the garden inspired this herb butter recipe. My herbs of choice: oregano and thyme. Let’s go back to the fact that we’re going to make butter. From scratch. With our bare hands. When I first made this recipe I was blown away when it actually worked. The feeling of accomplishment you get when you realize you’ve created something you never knew could be done at home is better than the endorphins you feel after a 10 mile run. Think Tom Hanks in Castaway when he makes fire with just his hands and two sticks. “Look what I have made! I, have made butter!” Not only is this just the simplest thing you’ll ever make, but it puts all other butters to shame. Its rich and creamy texture makes for the perfect buttered toast, moist chocolate chip cookies or thick sauce. Wherever butter could be, this butter should be.Okay, now go put on your yoga pants, under armor shorts or whatever your workout attire may be and get ready to sweat for some butter.
What to Bring to the Store
If you don’t have any fresh herbs at home or a friendly neighbor with a yard full of them, then bring your reusable produce bags with you for some thyme and oregano. All you’ll need other than that are your bare hands! Remember, this is simple.
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oregano, chopped
- 2 tsp thyme, chopped
- Pour the heavy whipping cream in a large enough mason jar to fill it half way. You should have half of the jar filled with the heavy whipping cream and half empty to allow for shaking.
- Securely tighten the lid to the jar.
- Shake and shake and shake and shake for about 20-25 minutes until you see the butter separate from the buttermilk.
- Drain the buttermilk from the butter by using a mesh strainer to catch the butter and a small bowl underneath to catch the buttermilk.
- Rinse out your mason jar and fill it with the buttermilk to use for another recipe!
- In the mesh strainer, rinse the butter under cold water for 1-2 minutes while folding with a spoon. This helps get the rest of the buttermilk out of the butter, which will keep it from going bad more quickly.
- Transfer the butter from the strainer into a bowl, then fold in the salt and fresh herbs.
- Keep in an air tight container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- After shaking the heavy whipping cream for about 8-10 minutes you should notice that the cream has filled the entire jar and as become more of a whipped cream consistency.
- After another 3-4 minutes, you'll notice the cream will begin to break into curds.
- At some point you'll feel the cream 'break' and there will be a clear separation of milk and butter.
The only item that will need to hit your recycle bin is your empty heavy whipping cream carton. Some stores carry heavy whipping cream in a refillable glass bottle which you pay a deposit for upfront, then are refunded once you return the bottle empty. This option produces zero waste, go you! Your herbs, if not fresh, may have come in a plastic container, so if this is where you ended up, then you can go ahead and toss those in your blue bin as well.
Butter either comes in a stick or a tub. The stick option is usually wrapped in a thin plastic wrapper that has to be thrown away because of its too thin of a plastic to be recycled and the grease from the butter interferes with the sanitation process. If your butter comes in a tub, most tubs are made with #5 plastics which not all recycling facilities accept. Thus, you are keeping all of these gnarly plastics from entering your home and filling your trash. Feel good about your butter intake over the next few weeks. You earned it with all that shaking!