It all begins with bread. I realize in looking through old posts that I am fond of saying “I love” this or that food. So I suppose it goes without saying that I hardly meet any food I don’t like. I’m lucky that way. And the few things I used to dislike, I’ve even changed my mind about (see beets). At any rate, to replay a broken record, I love bread. I especially love homemade bread, one of the few things I have actually learned to make myself. I would call myself an enthusiastic amateur, though. I’ve developed a certain competancy for French bread, pretzel rolls, and sandwich bread. But I have yet to master the sourdoughs. For good reason. I can’t seem to keep my mother alive.
Yes, that’s what I said, I can’t keep my mother alive. Twice now, our friend Donna, master of the sourdough, has given me some of the mother she keeps constantly for her own baking. Side note- “mother” is the old dough you save in order to make a sourdough. It involves combining water and flour, and then letting everything ferment until it is good and yeasty. And since you only use some of the mother each time you bake, the result is a mother than can live indefinitely. It’s not uncommon for bakers to have mother that has been continuously growing for years. At any rate, both times Donna has given me some of her mother, I’ve managed to kill it. Which seems like it would be hard since all I need do is give it a bit of water and additional flour daily. But there you have it, I’m a mother killer.
Donna came over the other day for a relaxing Sunday lunch, and while she was there we talked break making a bit, and she offered to help me start my own mother. We mixed up the flour and water and put that into a tupperware container on the windowsill. Donna did worry at the size of the container we’d used, but I had one of those locking lids, so we thought it would probably be fine. You can probably guess based on my previous history, that something was bound to go wrong. I guess before you can succeed you have to fail a bunch. But this time, it at least went wrong in hilarious fashion. I submit the following picture:
The mother grew so fast that it managed to escape the bounds of the container, and then eat a tomato we had also left on the windowsill in the kitchen. I guess I’ll have to start over for the fourth time. Next time I’ll use a larger container. I am determined to master sourdough. And not because I love baking so much as I love eating bread.
The good news for me, though, is that Donna left some of the perfect loaf she brought over for lunch, so I have had enough of it to accompany the gallons of green chile stew I mentioned I made over the weekend. The sourdough actually goes quite well with the stew. Which is good, because I still have quite a bit of both to eat before I’m done. Luckily, I am a creature of habit, and I can go on and on eating the same thing for days.