You've been thinking about getting a dog perhaps. But there's all that walking, the scooping of poop, the vet's bills. How about a pet that is is way, way easier. How about one that feeds you?
No I'm not talking about chickens and eggs. Because, I too, believe you absolutely should not get backyard chickens.
I'm talking about something that gives you this:
This is one terrific batch of sourdough. And as long as I don't completely mess up, it seems to have the will to live, to keep giving back.
Like a pet, there's a little care and feeding involved. As you'll see, very little is actually required.
Sourdough Saga - the Birth of Boston Strong Starter
When I found I’d neglected my starter far too long, I was SO angry and disappointed in myself. I turned a wonderful batch of sourdough starter into a freaking hockey puck.
That is it - dried up in the bottom of its crock.
I began by breaking up the hockey puck. Feeding it with a rich mix of flour and water, then when the chunks were softened, I used a stick blender.
I practiced patience. I had hope. Faith. I knew that sourdough has been around for eons and starters have been dried, frozen, shipped and shared.
And my patience and tenacity has been rewarded.
Care and Feeding of "Boston"
I'm now calling her Boston. She's strong and she's feeding many. This Boston Strong Sourdough Starter is now even en route to my friend Vivian in Oklahoma, soon to be feeding folks there. I like to think of it going out there and multiplying. I hope it feeds their resilience, supports their kindness to each other, and fills some tummies, big and small.
To this resuscitated starter which I brought back from near-dead, I am alternating feedings:
Each Sunday (or thereabouts) I remove one cup of the stirred up starter. It gets turned into pancake mix or given to a lucky friend or reader (see below).
Week one: I add 1/2 C warm filtered water, and 1 C of Bohemian Flour. For Boho flour: mix equal parts whole wheat flour, rye flour and unbleached or bread flour.
Week two: I add 1/2 C warm, filtered water, and 1 C all purpose flour. Alternating for a long time, I hope.
And, yes, I've now set an alarm on my smart(er than I am) phone so we should avoid future near-disasters.
Caring and Feeding of our Friends
Now speaking of disasters... we've survived the bombing at the Boston Marathon. And my starter survived my neglect during that period. Friends and family out west have survived the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, but they're surrounded by people who've lost everything. If you'd like to help our friends out there:
- You can contribute to the Red Cross in OKC: Text REDCROSS to 90999
- To donate to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma: Text FOOD to 32333.
We never know how meaningful even a small gesture might be to someone in need. I was once surprised to hear about something I'd done for someone and completely forgotten about. They reminded me years later, with gratitude for how I'd really helped when they needed it. I felt so lucky that I was able - in that forgotten moment - to do something that clearly helped them and harmed me in no way at all. I hope not to overlook those opportunities.
Tell us in a comment here how someone reached out to you with a much needed act of kindness or sharing -- why should bad news get all the headlines? - and you will be entered in the giveaway.
Alternatively, tell us of a fundraiser you're part of and how folks can help.
Each comment entered here about some small act of kindness, or opportunity to help, will be included in a random drawing and the winner gets my next batch of Boston Strong Sourdough starter in the mail. It's a small thing, but I'm happy to share. I'll do the drawing one week from today (
Wednesday June 5th). [Ed Note: someone slipped my spam filter some viagra and I've been traveling w/o access. To be fair to those who languished, I'm extending the contest to midnight tonight. Stay tuned and spread the love. Oklahoma and all of us can benefit from more good stories!]
- Don't forget to share this link, the more people that share it, the better off we'll all be!