Tuesday evening, I concocted a little monster. A sourdough starter, consisting of just water, yeast, sugar, and flour be the beast. The lone citizen review I saw on the recipe page for the starter said something about homeschooling and “at least it will be an interesting science project”, though she did say she’d only made it that day, and the mixture sits out gurgling and fermenting for two to five days. I think if you post something like that so early in the process, you should be obligated to return and post a status report on the end result. And somehow, that end result post should immediately follow your initial post. Despite this slightly ominous review, I tossed together the ingredients and watched as it bubbled “almost instantly” as promised in the recipe. Since Tuesday, it has lived on my counter, covered by a clean (boy, do I hope that thing was really clean) dishtowel to allow the wild yeasts living in my house to join the fermenting party, and I have to say, I’m a little wee bit afraid of my little yeast creature. For one thing, it developed a crust each day (do you ever think about where terms like “crusty” come from? No? Ok. Just checking.), which I wasn’t sure if I should remove (um, and didn’t bother to do any research to determine the proper course of action), so I beat it down each day by stirring it until the crust mostly-all-the-way dissolved. After killing off the last of the milk making my latte today, I had enough room in the refrigerator to move it on in, and it certainly had what one would call “a sour smell”, which is a requirement for moving it off of the counter and into the refrigerator, so it got one last rather vigorous stir (still trying to dissolve the fragments of crust here), and into the refrigerator it went. I’m making chicken with cider gravy tomorrow night and butternut squash lasagna on Sunday, so sometime over the weekend, I will make a sourdough bread to accompany one of those meals. Oh boy. I hope we don’t die.
Dinner tonight: we’re going to my friend Debby’s for dinner, so I am off the hook, as they say. Debby is getting a loaf of oatmeal bread, a dozen eggs from our chickens, and bottle of that Ajello Majus Nero d’Avola when we arrive. I hope you aren’t reading this, Debby. If you are, pretend you’re surprised, ok?