Most people who know me well know that I cilantro cooking. Popcorn (my word for love on this blog) eating; cilantro cooking. As I get older, though, I’ve felt compelled to try to connect with some of my food heritage.
I come from a rather long line of bread makers on my mom’s side, and I decided several months ago to try to master her sourdough bread. This stuff is made from a starter that actually LIVES in the refrigerator and has to be FED every 3 – 5 days. It looks like some bubbling, spewing organism in there, emitting a big whooshing noise when I unscrew the top to feed it. At times, I’ve been afraid the thing would eat my finger or something. The seed for this starter has likely been alive longer than I have.
After several miserable attempts and much cilantro-ful behavior, I think I’ve made some tasty sourdough bread. It rises like it’s supposed to and has a fluffy, sweet-and-sour interior. I’ve even been making soft pretzels with some of the dough, a test use for it that actually worked with a yummy outcome. While I don’t think that repeated injections of cilantro would make its taste tolerable, I have learned that practice can make a task that I don’t enjoy become fulfilling with an edible outcome.
My sourdough bread recipe requires a specific starter, but there are numerous starter recipes available online. Here’s a link to one from Epicurious, if you’re interested in trying your hand at baking and eating sourdough bread at home.
For me, the method of the various activities is calming, as I sift and knead my cilantro-esque dramas away. Maybe, it would work for you, too.