I wasn’t sure when the right time was to bring this up, and I want to make sure it’s done appropriately, but I think the moment has come for me to just say it: someone very special has recently entered my life.
This is a jar of sourdough starter, obtained through the same kind of network of crunchy granola foodie friends through which you can get things like kombucha babies or Google Wave invites or whatever. It’s a pretty great thing! If you mix it with water and flour and stuff it makes sourdough bread, which is cool. What is potentially cooler, though, and maybe the main draw for me, is how you have to maintain it. Basically, you keep the same batch of starter alive indefinitely and use little bits of it at a time to make bread; in order to do this, you have to “feed” the main batch regularly with flour and water to keep it alive. Do you know what this means? Yes. Yes. It means that this is a pet. At least as much of a pet as a fish, and it will never commit suicide by leaping out of its jar to suffocate on the floor. I am really kind of genuinely enamored with this idea, in case it’s not clear: the thought of an amorphous, bubbly blob the color of the bathroom stalls in my elementary school as a pet is actually pretty great for me. I’m seriously planning on drawing a face to the outside of this Patak’s jar in order to form a stronger bond with my starter. There is one major obstacle for me right now, though – my sourdough starter doesn’t have a name. This is where you, Dear Reader, can help! I’ve had a few suggestions already – I think that right now, “Clyde” is in the lead. But I haven’t heard anything yet that really resonates as the true identity of this kind-of-vinegary-smelling mush. What are your thoughts? The best answer could win some sourdough bread made with the thing they just named! Or they might not, realistically, because I’ve got other stuff to do! Go at it!