I think one of the most satisfying accomplishments is making bread. Several years ago, a friend shared her Sourdough Bread starter with me, and I handled it so carefully that you'd have thought she was entrusting a living thing to my care and feeding. And now that I think about it, I guess it was.
I anxiously waited the required number of days (three to seven) until I could "feed" it, and on the third day (I couldn't wait any longer), I carefully measured its "food," and gently mixed it with the starter. Then I had to let it stand on the kitchen counter for another 8 to 12 hours before I could make bread for the first time. I probably checked it 50 times to see if it was "bubbling" and doing what it was supposed to do. It was almost like taking care of a baby.
I was very fond of my little starter and couldn't wait to make my first loaves of bread. I'm happy to say that my first attempt was successful ... and I was hooked. There's just nothing in the world like the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven, and I was thrilled when I saw my own little loaves beautifully rising in their pans. This is not a picture of my bread, but mine looked like this (well, maybe it wasn't quite that high, but it was still pretty!).
After a couple of years and many loaves of bread later, I found myself losing interest. I felt guilty every time I poured the cup of starter out without making bread, so I eventually quit.
But recently, I've been thinking about how nice it would be to have some of that wonderful Sourdough Bread again ... and yesterday, I made a new "starter."
After I very carefully mixed the ingredients, I realized that the jar I put it in was too small to give it room to "bubble."
Since I didn't have a larger jar, I poured the starter into a two-cup measuring cup to store it. I'm trying to think positively, but I'm afraid that, after all that juggling between the two containers, it may not work. It has to sit for three days, so only time will tell.
While writing this post, I came across this quote about making bread which I thought was appropriate:
"I would say to housewives, be not daunted by one failure, nor by twenty. Resolve that you will have good bread, and never cease striving after this result till you have effected it. If persons without brains can accomplish this, why cannot you?” ~~ Housekeeping In Old Virginia, Marion Cabell Tyree. (1878)
I am "resolved to have good bread," and will "never cease striving" until I get it right. After all, I definitely "have a brain," and if this starter doesn't work, I can always try again.
To be continued ...