If you think I sound like a broken record, raise your hand. Wow. That many huh? Yes, I cannot wait to milk our first family cow. Yes, I cannot wait to drink and use raw milk in my recipes. Yes, I cannot wait to make raw milk cheeses, coffee creamer, whey biscuits and more! Golly gee whiz... what can I do in the mean time? Maybe I'll just pretend for now?
Okay, so I pretended to make this butter. (it's really 2 sticks sweet cream butter) It's softened to room temperature and creamed smooth. I paused for a bit to daydream about making the real thing. (sigh)
Add about a 1/2 - 1 full teaspoon finely minced garlic*. Try mashing as you mince - using the flat side of the knife and your palm - it brings out the oils in the garlic helping it to blend well and taste really garlicky. I can't add more than a teaspoon though because we can't seem to get rid of garlic breath fast enough around here - we eat so much of it. But go ahead and add more or less to your own taste.
On the flip side, I like dried herbs in butters better simply because I like a big ol' burst of flavor with each bite. Add a heaping teaspoon dried/crushed basil leaves. Fresh is fab, don't get me wrong, but a little dehydrated/dried herbs goes a long way. And dried basil softens up right away so you shouldn't have to wait long to use it.
I should add that the last ingredient is optional, because the garlic and basil really do stand on their own. But who doesn't like Parm on sourdough?! There is a lot of competition on the flavor front, so add about 2 tablespoons to help it shine through.
Mix everything together and refrigerate. A good way to do this is to roll it in wax paper. Spread it out and roll it up, then chill the butter for about an hour before you use it. The flavors and texture will be perfect.
And don't worry about getting it to look perfect, just try to get it fairly even. It's nice to slice up pads of butter for the dinner table and you want equal amounts for each person. (I did the fat center before, it wasn't pretty.)
You know, I don't mind that this wasn't made with our own cream from our own cow. The plans for a barn and milking parlor are already drawn. The 3-season paddock/rotation plans are being laid out. The decision to buy a Jersey cow and calf has been made. I'll just look at this little recipe as practice for the day I'm able to whip up a better butter. And I know that day will come.
*I hesitate to use dried garlic because of the texture. Dried minced garlic takes too long to soften for me and the dried powdered stuff is kinda gritty. I just think fresh is best.
Tip: Add leftover garlic to a bit of olive oil and refrigerate until you're ready to use it. With a few more ingredients, this would make a wonderful dipping sauce for bread or tossed with pasta. YUM!