I've always had a desire to get really good at baking. I think I'll consider myself truly accomplished when I master the art of sourdough. I imagine myself having a starter in my fridge that I've had for years and that I use to create the most wonderful waffles and pizza dough and loaves of bread. I tried making my own starter once a long time ago, and I think I basically had a really smelly bucket of goo on the counter top for a few weeks until I finally gave up. Well, since my parents have come home they've gotten excited about sourdough and want me to be the starter of the starter. So I tried it again a couple of weeks ago. Can I just say that it's easier to keep a goldfish alive than these dang starters? I had it going strong for about 24 hours, did make one batch of fantastic waffles, and then it just died. Unfortunately I discovered its death after I had used some to start a loaf of some fancy whole grain sourdough bread. I followed the instructions and ended up with a loaf perfect for your next game of curling. It would probably do for a hockey puck except for its very large size, so curling seems more appropriate. All you need to do is wax its bottom a little to get it to slide a little better. Here is a picture of Troy trying to break his way into it with a reciprocating saw. We almost had to get a new blade.
Mom and Dad haven't given up on me yet - they showed up yesterday with two more packets of starter. I guess I have two more chances to bring life to a new member of the family and keep it alive for more than a day. This is tricky!
Speaking of my parents, I have to say, in the most complimentary way possible, that they are kind of like wind-up toys. May not sound like a compliment, but let me explain. So if there is something you need help getting done, you just tell my parents. Then it gets done. You just wind them up and point them in the right direction. Then they go in that direction until the job gets done. They have saved me from my disgusting fridge on several occasions. Right now the focus (besides keeping a sourdough starter alive) is starting an extended family-size garden at the side of our house. So we say, "Let's start a garden at our house." (We talked about this months ago before they were in Belgium) and now every time I turn around they're out there digging up weeds, tilling the dirt, planting winter crops that are good for the soil....it's amazing! And all I had to do was provide the dirt. (And all Troy had to do was have a job, buy a house and pay the mortgage..thanks honey! Good job!) The other day my folks had my kids out there helping plant beans and peas. My kids actually got kind of excited about it, which I'm happy about because maybe they'll try eating some actual vegetables if they were part of the growing process. Kind of neat.
And on a final note, I love this picture of my mom and Bundle:
Okay, I'm off to go do sourdough research before I get another bucket of goo fermenting on the counter. Wish me luck.