I’m reading this title in the weird high-pitched voice I use to say good morning to cats when one appears (from sleeping, that is, not just like a random cat. I would in that case say hello, and not good morning, obviously). The reason is that I am talking about MY SOURDOUGH STARTER!!!!! And it is the closest thing I have to a pet.
Yes, that’s right: SHE IS AWAKE! (Yes, she. My Russian tutor tells me I may not call my plant “she” in Russian because “plant” is neuter; well, I ignored her then, and I’ll… ignore her now? if she tells me sourdough starter is neuter? Also, what should I name her? The sourdough starter, not the Russian tutor. She has a name.)
Day eight billion something
Anyway, a few days ago it finally became cold in New York, such that it was possible to conceive of turning on the oven at some point in the near future. I decided it was time for the sourdough’s hibernation to end. I took it out of the fridge and, well, to be perfectly honest, poured a lot of weird gray liquid down the drain, and then scraped a lot of weird gray former sourdough starter off the top and sides and put them in the garbage (and even took out the garbage). Then I fed it with some nice new whole-wheat flour and water and put it in the back of the oven with the oven light on.
The (temporary) problem was that the heat wasn’t actually on, so it was still super cold, and my sourdough starter is very sensitive to temperature, as I know from when it appeared to die last spring. I hoped it would somehow perk itself up in the oven.
Day eight billion something + 1
It didn’t, but this morning I was down by the stove dealing with sourdough things and felt a weird warm breeze. I was like, what is that?? Why is it warm? Where is it coming from??? It was heat coming from the radiator. I literally forgot what heat was. So I fed the sourdough (I removed some more of the old starter, since I have no idea what flour/water ratio it’s at, and put in exactly[ish] an ounce of flour and an ounce of water) and put its pot-holder hat on and put it on the floor by the radiator.
I got home tonight and IT WAS ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! It was all frothy and bubbly!!!!! I was deeply excited. Here is a picture of the corner of my apartment where all the alive things live (except me).
(Oh, and except the cockroaches; I don’t know where they live.) (Also, I like that picture, and you can even see my cool Russian art through the window.)
The same thing is happening as last time; it is too cold and the sourdough doesn’t want to live. I did think maybe it is just the AURA of this apartment, i.e. I also don’t wish to be bubbly and expand to twice my size, so it makes sense that the sourdough doesn’t either. (Although I also get annoyed when I am only fed whole-wheat products. So it has a fair complaint.)
Day whatever + 1
It’s possible that the plant is taking up all the life force in the apartment. I am tired and cranky, and the sourdough is near death. But the plant is thriving and creating new offshoots. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Day whatever + whatever
Ugh, I wrote some very funny stuff a few days ago and it didn’t save. I was under a blanket at the time and made some joke about how the sourdough was also under a blanket, but under a different blanket from me. Anyway, it was funny at the time. I did some research and found out I have been inadvertently starving my poor sourdough; I felt really bad. 😦 Then I continued starving it because I am a bad mother. (Oh, I was also going to joke about how this is going to become a mommy blog, but the child is my sourdough, but I think that’s weird. Maybe. A LITTLE WEIRD.) Things seem fine. I don’t know. I’m trying to feed it more. Also, the gray layer in the picture at the top was probably not supposed to be there; it was there because it was hungry. Noooooooo my poor sourdough.
The last post was like two weeks ago. I have no idea what happened in the meantime. One life tip: Do not leave your sourdough out next to the heater and go to San Diego (or, really, anywhere else) for five days. You will come back to a disturbing sight. But you will have been to San Diego, which is very good.
I deleted the unpleasantness, of which no photographic evidence remains, from the top of the sourdough starter, ditched half of it, and gave it a good feeding. I think it is maybe going to return to … uh, whatever it was before.
Today there was no date.
The sourdough is fine. I am the king of Spain. (Does anyone understand these references???)
The sourdough is very mad because I didn’t give it dinner until 11:30 p.m. It smells like nailpolish. Apparently this is normal. I have been feeding it again, but it is full of spite and resentment.
Still nailpolish-y even though I keep discarding more than half of it. (This happens because it starts eating itself and creates acetone. I keep feeding it, but it doesn’t help.) I may ask my chemist parents for an interesting chemical I can add to eat up the acetone. Also, the heat is on (it’s on the street) and it is SO HOT in here but I can’t open the window that far or else the sourdough won’t grow. My sourdough and I are like a married couple where one of them is always hot and one of them is always cold. This comparison is a new low for me. HOWEVER, yesterday I met an Uzbek man who informed me in Russian that it was time for me to get married, so………………….?
the last day
It still smells like nailpolish. I’ve been feeding it twice a day and discarding more than half of it twice a day. It might be getting better. Or it might be dying. So I am posting this just in case, so you can grieve with me as necessary. I hope you have all enjoyed taking this emotional journey with me.