June 23, 2013


 I received a new cookbook for mother's day (I gave it to myself) called "Family Meals."  It is a lot of fun.  I learned how to make ricotta cheese (yummy!) and now I've successfully made a sourdough starter and sourdough bread.  Actually, it wasn't just me.  My son Cowen needed to fulfill a church requirement to plan and prepare a nutritious meal for his family.  He chose a sourdough panini and thus we embarked on our sourdough adventure together.
 There were a few false starts with the starter (ha).  It was doing exactly what it should do but I didn't realize it so I threw a lot of perfectly good starter away before I recognized my mistake.  That was a good thing though because it caused me to sit and watch a bunch of youtube videos about sourdough.  Cowen was there watching with me and we learned a lot about yeast.

FYI: there are no good short videos about yeast on youtube or good books about yeast at our library.  If you know of any good resources, please shout them out.  We liked these videos the best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-GmnAD4J7E and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYXjURcBk98.  We also really liked this one on how to make a sourdough starter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmLmpJhumSM, although we didn't make ours like he did.  We used grapes.

I was nervous about doubling the recipe as I had never used sourdough before, hence the two bowls.  Sourdough is a lot more forgiving than I thought.
 One of the first two loaves of sourdough bread Cowen and I made.  It was delicious!  A triumph!
 Dinner time.  Blackened green beans with ham and gruyere cheese paninis.  YUMMY!  (We don't actually have a panini pan so I grilled them on the outside grill.)
 A small note on gruyere cheese.  It is crazy expensive.  The recipe called for it but I never would have purchased it except I found a block half off at Smiths.  Fortuosity, that's me byword (name the movie).  I loved it.  The cheese is tangy but subtle and absolutely delicious.  My children, on the other hand, said it reminded them of swiss and they wished I had gone with mozz or something else less tangy.  It did not, however, keep them from scarfing down the sandwiches.

Another sidenote.  I have now made sourdough waffles and used the leftover batter the next morning for sourdough pancakes.  This adventure into the land of sourdough has taught me that I prefer my regular waffles as the texture of sourdough waffles is a little rubbery.  I liked the pancakes more.  I also learned that sourdough is alive and continues to grow so put leftover batter in a big enough container to control the growth.  Otherwise, you wind up cleaning out your fridge.

Happy eating!

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