I don't think he has been formally introduced:
I would like you to meet my pet:
No, not that one - though he is very pleased to meet you too. We call him Mr. Handsome.
This is the one I meant. We call him...a different name every time.
He is a sourdough starter, who occasionally (most of the time) gets neglected while the other pet gets all the attention and exercise. And trims. It's been a slow and hot summer, so turning on the oven seemed like the last thing anyone wanted to do. It's cooled down since then, so now that excuse doesn't work as well.
Like any pet, he gets grumpy when neglected (and quite drunk), enjoys regular feedings and treats, and needs occasional trims so as not to grow out of control. He also prefers his container to be the right size, or he does this:
He isn't really a he, more of an it, a culture of whatever particular strain of wild yeast flies around in our area that decided it would settle in the flour-water combination I offered it over a year ago. Since then, we have gotten along fairly well, he's easygoing enough and doesn't mind spending most of his time in the fridge. Occasionally things get a little bumpy, when I leave him alone for too long and he turns to booze. Usually he is quite happy to help out and with a little encouragement turns into a loaf of bread, a batch of cinnamon rolls or a dozen waffles.
Over the summer, due to my reluctance to turn on the oven, we hit a bit of a rough patch. So a while ago, I played a game with The Starter that we called the Seven Days of Sourdough (I called it that. he isn't particularly chatty, and I neglected to tell my roommates we were playing...) . He needed attention, and so for a week, I tried to trim and feed him every day. I also don't like throwing away the bits I trim off. I will if I really can't come up with anything or we have bread overflowing off the table, but generally I prefer to put it in something. Thus we had bread the first day (or the second, depending on how you count...), cinnamon rolls the second, more bread the third, gingerbread cake the fourth, bread the fifth, and some combination of chocolate cake (covered in ganache and filled with grapefruit jam) and waffles the last two days. I forgot to write down what I did when. Maybe next time I will remember this lesson. And at the very least take pictures. The three bread days worked out to two whole wheat/all purpose loaves with wheat berries and one walnut-spelt loaf. Walnuts and sourdough amuse me, the dough turns purple. I am not sure why yet, but one day I will find out, and then it will be even more fun.
It was entertaining, though in the end I don't remember if I went for 7 or 8 days. Most of the breads and rolls and waffles needed to sit overnight, so it was easy to lose track. Writing things down would have helped, but who remembers to do that? (If you guessed "not Kimberly" you would be correct. And get a cookie next time I make some.) Next time, I will try keeping notes.
Here are some of the photos I did remember to take:
Day 3: Watch the bread rise!
...we shall never speak of this again.
(Also, don't mix a new recipe and a new pan. Results could be unpredictable.)
Doesn't look as bad now, does it?