Hey, everyone! Please meet Joy, who blogs at A Well-Armed Laura Ingalls Wilder. For this week's Sourdough eCourse lesson, Katie, Erin, and I each answered 10 questions about how sourdough fits into our lives. Then we asked the eCourse members to share their answers, too. Many have, much to my delight! Joy's answers were particularly entertaining. I know you'll enjoy them as much as we all did on the eCourse forums. Thanks, Joy! –Wardee
We started the Sourdough eCourse a couple weeks ago which expands on the lessons taught in the Fundamentals eCourse from earlier this summer. As we began to discuss Lesson 2: Sourdough Routines, Wardee asked a couple of questions about our experiences with sourdough. Here are my answers.
Using an adjective or two, characterize your relationship with sourdough and explain why you chose that adjective.
Challenged. My starter (Carl) and I, we have our issues. He likes to eat, I like to forget about him. He likes the hooch (probably because I keep leaving him alone too long), I've gotta keep pouring it off of him. He likes to tease me and give me such lifted hopes, then comes out flat in the end. We're going to counseling with Wardee though, through the Sourdough eCourse, and we'll make it through. He can't shake me that easily.
This is Carl.
How did you get started with sourdough?
Wardee introduced us several months ago, she hooked me up with a mail-order starter husband and Carl's friends sent him my way. He was a little dry when he arrived, but I warmed him up, fed him and cared for him for a week and his true bubbly personality emerged. He's turned out to be milder than I expected, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for me.
He's such a thick lump, I love him!
How does sourdough fit into your life? How many times per week do you use it? How big a role does it play in your grain preparation?
Carl and I, we don't see each other as much as we should. He hangs out in the dark and cold. We have a weekly date, usually on Sunday, when I check him over, stir him up a bit, feed him and we part our ways for another week. We really should have another date or two during the week, but I'm still figuring what to do with him.
He gets fed all organic, sprouted red whole wheat though I wonder if he would do better on non-sprouted. He drinks delicious Berkey filtered water, only the best for my Carl!
Only the best fresh ground, sprouted, whole wheat flour and filtered water for my Carl.
How do you care for your starter?
My boy likes the cold. He likes it dark. He lives in a little brown crock with “Christmas 1982” emblazoned on it that I found at Goodwill for $1 last year.
Here's a picture of my Carl in his natural environment. Oh, wait…the door's closed.
Oh, there's Carl! Right next to my ginger bug where I left him.
What sourdough foods do you make most often? How frequently?
Carl and I have made chocolate cake a couple of times, we've tried to make english muffins, but neither one of us had very good lifting power for that. They were tasty, but a bit on the flat side. Same with pizza crust. Poor Carl. I think I interrupt his work a little too soon. We're looking forward to trying new things until we can get it to work right.
Carl and I pulling it out for english muffins, pizza and sourdough chocolate cake (our favorite).
What do you still want to learn how to make with sourdough?
Where do you draw inspiration for your sourdough adventures? (blogs, websites, books, classes, etc.)
I'm a heavy blog reader, I get a lot of my ideas from my RSS feeds.
Wardee always has fantastic recipes here. I like Chocolate and Zucchini's entry about converting yeast based recipes to use a sourdough starter. The Nourished Kitchen always has great ideas, as does The Nourishing Gourmet. I get a lot of my ideas from regular food blogs (like The Pioneer Woman) and then try to figure out how I can convert them to healthier options, like sourdough or sprouted flours. Perhaps I should have Carl sit with me and we can discuss options. At the very least, he could probably stay slightly warmer sitting on top of my computer.
What do you do with your starter when you travel?
Carl doesn't mind if I leave him in the cold for a week or so. I feed him before I leave, but I don't think I've left him for more than a week since we got together. It's likely that if I were to leave, I'd have our pet-sitter (chickens don't like being left for longer than a few days without attention – they are like kids, constantly finding some new trouble to get into) feed him if we were gone longer. I'm also thinking I should probably return part of Carl to the dry bloke that he was when I met him, in case of emergency. I'd hate to lose my Carl, he's so great to have around.
Isn't Joy a hoot? I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! –Wardee
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