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Sage’s Herbal Harvest Butter for Mabon
Make your own butter!
The Autumn Equinox-- known as Mabon -- is the second harvest festival on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. At this time of year, herb gardeners like me find ourselves with an abundance, and produce markets are brimming with fresh, fragrant herbs.
There’s nothing like a harvest feast with home baked bread and creamy, fresh herbal butter. Of course you can have it any time of year, but this is a staple for us at any holiday meal. It’s actually easier to make butter than you might think, so give it a go, enjoy and blessed Sabbat!
Homemade Herbal Butter on Pumpernickle
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- 1 quart heavy cream
- ¾ cups finely chopped herbs
- Salt to taste (optional)
A Note on Herbs
Part of the fun of making herbal butter is mixing up the flavors. Try some of these different suggestions, or invent your own:
- Flat leaf parsely
- Parsley and Sage
- Parsley and Thyme
- Sage and thyme
- dill and lemon balm make a great butter for fish.
- Rosemary and thyme are a favorite of mine as well.
- Pure, fresh basil when it peaks in the garden is all you need for a great flavor
- Sometimes I add a bit of minced garlic with the basil-- goes great with Italian foods
It looks like this:
Stirring in the herbs...
- Pour the cream into a bowl. Using a mixer (a hand mixer is fine, or you can use a stand mixer) begin blending it, gradually turning up the speed to high. If you only have a whisk, you can use elbow grease, but it’s going to take a lot longer and you might want to have someone around to trade off shifts.
- Keep whipping. It’s going to thicken; keep whipping. It’ll become light and fluffy whipped cream; keep whipping. It will turn into butter cream frosting; keep whipping. When it starts to look like dry cottage cheese, it's almost ready.
- When the solids separate from the liquids suddenly, and watery substance fills the bottom of the bowl—it’s ready! You've broken it, now the fat is all that separate lumpy stuff. That is the butter.
- Scrape the butter together into a ball, and discard the liquid in the bowl. Put the bowl under cold water and rinse the lump of butter gently.
- Take the lump of butter in your clean hands and squeeze it. Squeeze it over the bowl so if you drop it you won’t lose it.
- Empty the bowl again, rinse and squeeze the butter a couple more times. Give it a final squeeze to get out the last of the excess liquid. Place it in a clean, dry bowl.
- Mix your chopped herbs into the creamy butter and stir gently until the butter is greenish and the herb bits are distributed throughout.
- You have two choices now: you can simply put it into a plastic food storage container, then cover it and put it into the fridge. Or, you can put it onto a piece of plastic wrap, roll it up like a tube, then flatten each side with your hand to create what looks like a stick of butter.
- Refrigerate it when not in use. Use them within a few days (I don’t actually know how long it will last before going bad—it doesn’t last that long around here!). You can freeze unused portions.