Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook

Nourishing Recipes Inspired by Our Ancestors

by Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost

Person eating a bowl of soup made with traditional foods

The Food

What does Traditional Foods mean, you ask? The genre of Traditional Foods is powerfully emerging into the modern food landscape, yet the concepts on which it’s based have strong, historical roots. Traditional Foods utilize the culinary and farming techniques that consistently kept primitive cultures, cut off from the processed foods and medicine of modern societies, healthy, happy, and fertile.

These techniques included grass grazing animals; organic vegetable production; soaking grains, nuts, and seeds for improved digestion; drinking whole, raw dairy products; the inclusion of saturated fats and fermented foods; and more.

Two goats in a field on an organic and biodynamic farm

The Farm

Apricot Lane Farms is a breath-taking 160-acre organic and biodynamic farming project that is designed to serve as a teaching platform for more traditional ways of farming and growing food.

The farm is regularly featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s Super Soul Sunday with short stories about the people, animals and plants, who call this beautiful land their home. The farm serves as a backdrop for all of the photos within Back to Butter and a source of inspiration for the authors.

Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost standing smiling in a field

The Authors

Back to Butter is the offering of a mother (Sandy Schrecengost) and daughter (Molly Chester) who found their way to Traditional Foods via personal health challenges and years of trial and error.

The Back to Butter recipes evolved from recognizable family recipes that simply received a bit of a facelift. The journey to this book was authentic, and the information within these pages is personal, filled with stories from the farm and laced with the depth that only comes from knowing one another for a lifetime.

What Reviewers Say About Back to Butter

Prior to the release of the book, many influential voices in the food and health community had a chance to review Back to Butter. Here's what they had to say:

“For those new to traditional whole foods, there is no better place to start than Back to Butter. Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost take the guesswork out of preparing foods key to health and healing, from kefir to pâté. Even those familiar with the traditional cookery will be delighted and inspired by the recipes in this beautifully illustrated volume.”

- Sally Fallon Morell, president of The Weston A. Price Foundation.

“Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost make eating logical and intuitive, empowering us to return to our roots. It's difficult to argue with the wisdom of nature and traditional whole foods. The knowledge contained in this book is life-changing and may profoundly affect our health.”

- Maggie Ney, N.D., co-director of the Women’s Clinic, Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine, CA

“Back to Butter takes us back to school on what we need to know to restore the health of our families. With wisdom, compassion, and expertise, Molly and Sandy inspire us, helping us to navigate the changing landscape of food and health. Keep this book tucked away in your kitchen so you can turn to it, like a good friend, for insight, inspiration, and information.”

- Robyn O'Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth and founder of the AllergyKids Foundation

“It used to be that every great cook knew the importance of using butter and other traditional ingredients. For nearly half a century, however, this was lost. Back to Butter is like a sigh of relief—an old friend has finally returned home.”

- Joette Calabrese, homeopath, public speaker, and author

“Molly and Sandy's recipes are among some of my very favorites. Not only do their recipes work, but they are filled with flavors your whole family will love. With food to nourish the mind, body, and soul, Back to Butter will become a treasured favorite.”

- Carrie Vitt, author of Deliciously Organic and founder of

“If there’s one thing I wish all my patients knew, it’s that healthy eating is one of the most critical, basic things we can do to promote good health, offering both immediate and long-term health benefits. Back to Butter is a rich resource in this regard, packed with wonderful, mouthwatering recipes, beautiful photographs, and pure, unadulterated nourishment.”

- Greg Merti, M.D.

“I’ve often wondered how we went so far astray with the simple act of feeding ourselves. Sometimes it seems that unearthing the path to finding our way back to simple nourishment is like hacking through a forest of odd diets, claims and products. Back to Butter cuts through the clutter to present a road to sane eating rooted in traditional diets. Just as the soil at their farm Apricot Lane feeds the plants and pastures that nourish the animals, so we can get true sustenance from foods that are rooted to healthy soil and traditional food ways. Anyone who can foster the production of eggs as extraordinary as I’ve seen at Apricot Lane has something to teach us about fostering our own health and well being through food.”

- Evan Kleiman, Host of Good Food, KCRW 89.9

“I love to cook. And I love fresh, natural ingredients - no processed foods on my table! Finally, a wonderful, beautiful cookbook that helps me put it all together to better understand ingredients and gives me glorious recipes to in which to use them. Thank you, Molly and Sandy!”

- Ruth Graham, Christian author and speaker

“In Back to Butter, authors Molly and Sandy deliver a candid and heartfelt approach to addressing some fundamental questions: What is real food and how should it be prepared? And what are the advantages of nourishing oneself in this manner? The recipes and advice are carefully thought out to reflect the wisdom of our ancestors, with the book's photography further accentuating these important words. This book is a labor of love, both in writing and in living a lifestyle.”

- Raymond Silkman, D.D.S.

“Having counseled patients on diets for almost 30 years, I have noticed a few things. First, patients in the midst of what for some is a major diet overhaul need precise advice and instructions on what to do from the shopping to the final food on the table. Step by step is best, clear, easy to follow instructions are a must. The second thing i've noticed is that i'm tired of talking about food all the time. Luckily, Molly's book addresses both of these concerns. First, it explains and then teaches people why and how to make this diet change. And (more importantly for me) it gets me closer to the eventual goal of there being no need for me to say anything about food, other people have done it better. Thanks Molly for this wonderful addition to my exiting the stage - Well done.”

- Thomas Cowan, MD

“This book is daring, inviting, and simply offered. Join Molly and Sandy as part of their family and begin a mighty journey.”

- Arash Jacob, D.O., healer

Molly Chester

Co-Author & Daughter

Molly Chester began her career in the entertainment industry, as an on-air producer for the primetime A&E original series, Random 1. Soon after, she moved to the Big Apple to attend The Natural Gourmet Institute of Health & Culinary Arts. Following an internship at Gramercy Park’s raw food restaurant, Pure Food & Wine, she began private cheffing, prompting a move to Los Angeles with her husband, documentary filmmaker and photographer, John Chester. Molly immediately secured several high-profile clients, and her cheffing and teaching services became recommended by progressive doctors and dentists, who prescribed Traditional Foods techniques to heal their patients.

Molly has spoken at Harvard Business School on How to Unleash the Healing Power of Food. Most recently, she and John began farming a 130-acre beautiful plot of land in Moorpark, CA called Apricot Lane Farms, a stunning organic and biodynamic farming project that includes pastured chickens, cows, sheep, ducks and over 75 varieties of fruit trees. Apricot Lane Farms is being designed to provide a voice and a platform to traditional and ecological farming techniques, while experimenting to make these techniques commercially viable. Husband John Chester’s short films about Apricot Lane Farms are now regularly featured on Oprah Winfrey Network’s, Super Soul Sunday. Oh, and perhaps most importantly, Molly grew up sitting on the kitchen counter of this next lovely lady...

Sandy Schrecengost

Co-Author & Mother

As a young girl, Sandy helped her ailing mother by climbing a wooden stool to prepare simple family meals. That experience, coupled with a beloved grandmother who understood garden-to-table cooking, planted a passion in Sandy to one day nurture her own family with food. But before marrying and becoming a mother of two, Sandy Schrecengost spent years as a public school teacher, coaching dance and gymnastics.

Then in the mid 70’s, she stepped out of the schoolhouse and into the kitchen. There she devoted the next 30 years to putting nurturing meals on the family dinner table. Much to her dismay, Sandy gradually discovered the convenient, processed ingredients of her generation might have been nurturing, but they were not nourishing. In an effort to reverse the steady decline of her family’s health, Sandy took a fresh look at her pantry. After years of transforming her understanding of nutrition, Sandy championed traditional foods and their proper preparation as key to restoration and maintenance of health.

Sandy remains committed to using her gift of teaching to share her story about the power of Traditional Foods. She enjoys translating a love of traditional foods into sound bites that appeal and apply to real families. Sandy is convinced a dash of common sense and a collection of real food recipes can be catalysts for change. Back to Butter is her offering towards that transformation.

Food & Wine Magazine

Back to Butter was featured in the August 2014 edition of the prestigious Food & Wine Magazine, alongside Apricot Lane Farms.  The feature includes the recipe Sticky Chicken from the book, along with three new recipes!

Read the Food & Wine article

Featuring "4 Homemade Foods That Are Totally Worth It," Molly explains just how easy it is to make from-scratch versions of some of our most-used kitchen staples.

Read the article

Yahoo! Food

Food Editor, Julia Bainbridge presents A Case for (Way) Old School Eating while reviewing Back to Butter, including quotes from an interview with Molly Chester.

Read the Yahoo Food article

Sally Fallon Morell Reviews Back to Butter In Wise Traditions Journal

Back to Butter received a thumbs up from Sally Fallon, the Author of Nourishing Traditions and President of The Weston A. Price Foundation. Sally personally reviewed the book in the Wise Traditions Journal.

Read Sally Fallon's Book review

Edible Magazine

It’s Better with Butter, by Naomi Henry, reviews Back to Butter in this three-page spread. The article also includes two recipes from the book, Hearty Beef Soup with Brussels Sprouts and Nourishing Beef Stock.

Check out the article

AGA Living

Back to Butter is available internationally in both Australia and the United Kingdom. This British publication discusses Why Butter is Best, explaining why "butter should never have fallen from grace in the first place!"

Check out the article

Marietta Daily Journal

Molly and Sandy’s hometown newspaper published a delightful feature on Back to Butter, referencing an interview with both Molly and Sandy.

Read the Marietta Daily Journal article

KCRW's Good Food Show

The Los Angeles NPR Affiliate KCRW broadcasts a very popular show called Good Food every Saturday at 12PM.  Listen to Molly interviewed by Host Evan Kleiman about the benefits of butter and more.

Listen to Molly on LA’s KCRW

The Kitchn

A staple in the online food community, The Kitchn featured a positive review of Back to Butter by contributor Emma Christensen, who likes that "the book starts with a detailed look at what a traditional foods diet means and why it makes sense."

Read the Kitchn article

Are you ready to enjoy an energizing, nutrient-rich lifestyle?
Order your copy of Back to Butter today!