Home is hopefully not where the sourdough starter is

Day 4

Got home from Russian tutoring. Smelled sourdough starter. IT KIND OF SMELLS LIKE SOURDOUGH!!!!!!!!! Am deeply excited. Also pleased that it is still bubbly and that I did not murder it by dumping most of it down the drain.

Dumped half of it down the drain, again. (I never learn.) Added one ounce of flour—or rather, 1.13 ounces—and 1.66 ounces of water, because I did not realize how heavy water is. (It was like 50 mL which is a very small amount.)

I have stirred it and put its pot-holder hat on it. Good night.

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Look at the bubbles and just ignore absolutely everything else about this

 

Day 5

We are all in the exact same situation that we were in yesterday. The sourdough starter, who I think should have a name, has gotten some new interesting yeast (I’m guessing; I don’t know what it does all day), and I have not done anything worth noting.

 

Day 6

I think it’s dead.

 

Day 7

It looked very sad and not bubbly when I woke up. I gave it some more food and put it on the kitchen table, which it seemed to like better than the counter. The internet says it is probably not dead, but just slow and tired.

 

Day 8

I left it alone for 1.5 days while I went home for Passover. There has been no change. I think it might be too cold—my apartment doesn’t have heat anymore because it’s “spring.” So I made it a nice little nest next to my router and modem, because they are warm.

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Day 9

IT IS FREEZING IN HERE. It is snowing out but the heat is not on because it’s April. The sourdough and I are both very sad. I have put it in the oven and turned the light on, because that will make it nice and toasty in there but will not kill it. (It will waste an enormous amount of electricity, though.) In fact, I just stuck my head in to check on it and feed it and wished to curl up and go to sleep there. But in a very normal, mentally healthy way [ha ha like i know anything about that].

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(The glow in the corner is the oven light.)

 

Day 10

đŸ˜„

 

Day 11

There is heat again in my apartment, and THE STARTER IS ALIVE AGAIN!!! This has been an emotional rollercoaster. I still do not trust it, though, and it does not trust me. Thus its constant dying.

 

Day I have absolutely no fucking clue

I have put it in the fridge, where it will wait until I am able to deal with it.

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SOOUUUURRRDOOOUUUGHHHHHH

This post is approximately one hundred years in the making, i.e., I’ve been thinking about and putting off making sourdough for roughly one hundred years. HOWEVER, I’m writing a story where the protagonist basically is having a mental breakdown and makes a lot of bread (which is obviously autobiographical, but she’s more advanced than me and makes sourdough, so I figured I would have to learn so as not to let her get ahead of me) (and also so I can see if the story makes any sense). I’ve been working on this story for almost a year and I’m SO tired of it (I’m on draft 6.2, per my numbering system) and I’m hoping that the sourdough experiment will somehow push it into being finished.

So I got this brilliant idea at the library during writing group, and then I got home and started preparing, and then realized that Passover starts on Friday. But I think the starter itself will be ready right around Friday, so then I can put it in the fridge (where it will enter a state of suspended animation) and revive it after Passover ends (much like happened to Khan, but hopefully the starter will be less distressed/violent). And then I can have sourdough to break Passover. It will be very exciting.

I am starting with Phickle’s sourdough starter tutorial; it’s based on Tartine Bakery‘s book (link courtesy of my neighborhood independent bookstore!), and thus should be good. It looks easy to follow, thus its appeal (and it was the first thing I found). If anything goes terribly wrong I’ll consult Breadtopia, which is a very soothing and lovely site.

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Everything is going exactly according to plan, no issues here whatsoever.

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Friday night catless rye bread

Good day! I am back in America and back in my normal life after a three-year break. So I am also returning to my tendency to buy expensive ingredients and cook difficult things out of boredom and a vague, undefined, unimportant loneliness. And because I only just want to write, but I am not settled enough–feeling in my apartment to write, but this is almost like writing. Also, I do not have a cat, because certain parents who will remain unnamed did not want to give me their cat, even though I gave them my cat (HAHA I just tried to write a closing italics tag in HTML but actually wrote < /cat> which is very funny and also what happened to Fitzpatrick) so there’s only going to be bad food pictures in this post.

This is a three-day weekend and I forgot that you have to make three days’ worth of plans for such things, so I made like maybe 1.5 days’ worth of plans, which would be fine if you were in Russia because you could go to your Russian single-combat private lessons or watch propaganda and learn about “the Ukraine” or just daydream about being in Russia. But here I haven’t figured out what to do with myself yet, so I am returning to old habits. And bread takes forever to make (and at the end you get bread). Continue reading

Hot plate hot problems

I don’t really know what the title of this post means. I only have a hot plate in my kitchen here, so I am going to be experimenting with Hot Plate Cooking. I haven’t even made the dish in question yet, so maybe it will be fantastic. Haaahahaha it will not.

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This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like it. It’s from the Osh Bazaar.

Today I discovered a horrible truth: there are apartment-hunting websites far, far, far, far, far worse than Craigslist out there. Like, I am sitting here actively thinking I WISH THERE WERE CRAIGSLIST IN BISHKEK. This seems like a very bad sign just about life in general. (The ads here either don’t tell you where the apartment is or who the roommates are, or they want a girl who will pay no rent in exchange for making borsht.) Continue reading