Last summer my supervisor added an assignment to my scope of work, supporting new teacher mentors in 13 rural districts in Northwestern Tennessee. The work would take place at the University of Tennessee’s satellite campus in a small town called Martin, TN.
I had been to Tennessee dozens of times- Nashville, Memphis, The Smoky Mountains- but Martin? Where in the world was that?
To get to there takes a bit of, well, driving. Basically I fly into Nashville, where I connect with my co-worker for the week, and then hop in a car and drive about 2.5 hours northwest to Martin.
Luckily, the drive is pretty easy and the scenery is beautiful- rolling hills, corn fields, and quaint small towns to pass through all the way into Martin. And with this particular work assignment, I feel like I hit the co-worker lottery! For the past year and a half I have been blessed to be partnered with someone who makes the travel, and the work so enjoyable.
During those 2.5 hour drives, and all throughout the week, we laugh, sing carpool karaoke (we need a dash cam I swear!), chat about life, plan for how we’re going to make the training ah-mazing, and, most important, plan what we’re going to EAT while we’re there, and when we get back to Nashville prior to heading home.
Traveling with fellow foodies, and all around great people who become dear friends, always makes for the BEST times!
Now while Martin may not be the foodie capital of the world (there’s not even a Starbucks!), there are a few tried-and-true places we always visit while we’re there.
For our morning coffee run, we love to visit Sacred Grounds, a cute little coffee shop right by our hotel.
Out of the three dinner spots we frequent, I think Sassafraz has to be our favorite. The menu is diverse, the food is always fresh, they have great salads and sides, and, the serve baskets of freshly baked yeast rolls with butter at the start of the meal.
There are lots of places who serve freshly baked yeast rolls with butter before the main course comes out., but Sassafraz puts a special spin on the typical bread and butter basket, because they have no ordinary butter. Sassafraz serves homemade STRAWBERRY BUTTER.
Now I know what you are thinking… “Strawberry butter? Say what?”
But guys…you have got to trust us on this one. The combination of the whipped strawberry butter and the hot, fresh rolls is out of this world!
Since we started traveling to Martin, we’ve been visiting Sassafraz mostly for a taste of that delicious butter. When we were there last week, we decided to ask about the butter, and low and behold, without prompting, the waitress told us the recipe!
Considering it’s going to be a while until my next trip to Martin, I had to whip up a batch of this delicious spread at home so that I could enjoy it. And the best part? Knowing the ingredients from the original recipe, I was able to modify this a bit making it low carb, keto friendly, and sugar free without compromising the flavor one bit! I used freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s, and zero calorie/carb Truvia, making this butter just 1/2 carb per tablespoon!
You’ve got to make this butter ASAP. It would make the PERFECT addition to your holiday table this year, or as a great gift to bring to a party host or potluck! Here’s the recipe!
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries (I used Trader Joe's brand)
- 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup no-calorie sweetener of your choice (I used Truvia brand)
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder
- 1 tsp. strawberry extract (optional, but provides extra strawberry flavor!)
- Remove the butter from the fridge and let it soften for 2-3 hours in a mixing bowl.
- In a blender or food processor, blend strawberries, sweetener, and sea salt until it turns into a find powder.
- Add the strawberry mixture, vanilla, gelatin, and strawberry extract to the butter and use an electric mixer to beat until well combined and fluffy.
- Place in an airtight container and serve with your favorite rolls, biscuits, or scones!
- The butter is best the next day, so make ahead if possible.
- Keep refrigerated when stored, but remove at least an hour before serving so that the butter is soft and spreadable.