Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sourdough and Memories

Do you like sourdough?  I do and I have great memories of my paternal Grandpa making sourdough pancakes for breakfast on a Sunday.  He'd make them "dollar size", and they were so, so good.  

At different times over the decades, I have maintained a sourdough starter.  At some point, *when* I have my new kitchen, I will get a new one going again.

As I've decluttered my recipe *collection*, I came across some of my Grandmother's recipes.  She probably lost her original starter after Grandpa passed on Christmas Eve 1970.  We thought we were going to lose her too, she grieved so deeply.  Her sons, my bio-dad and uncle, cleared out her cottage-size house, she was in a rest home for a time, lived with my uncle for a time and eventually was well enough to purchase a small mobile home not too far from where she and Grandpa had lived and was looking to get a new starter going.  

I don't think this was her original recipe, and am pretty sure it is not.  It came from an unnamed someone who wrote "I've copied this just as it was in the magazine." and I'm guessing that was well after Grandpa's passing.   I'm copying it exactly as it was written, punctuation and all, except [ ]:


Put 1 cup milk in a glass jar or crock (no metal) & allow to stand at room temp. for 24 hours.  Stir in a cup of flour.  (To speed process cover with cheesecloth & place outside for several hours to expose to wild yeast cells floating in the wind)  Leave uncovered in a warm place, - 80 [degrees] is ideal - for two to five days, depending on how long it takes to bubble & sour, near pilot light on gas stove is good.  If it starts to dry out stir in enough tepid water to bring it to the original consistently. Once it has a good sour aroma & is full of bubbles it is ready to use.  Cover & store in refrig.
Try to maintain about 1 1/2 cups of starter.  Each time you use part of your starter replenish it with a mixture of equal parts of milk & flour.  Leave at room temp. several hours or overnight, or until it again becomes full of bubbles.  Then cover & store in refrigerator.  Use at least once a week.  If not used for 2 or 3 weeks spoon out & discard about half, then replenish as above.

In my Grandma's handwriting, there is a recipe for Sourdough Bread.  With that recipe, are other directions for a starter:


Dissolve 1 pkg. active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.  Stir in 2 cups lukewarm water, 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 t. salt & 1 T. sugar.  Beat till smooth.  Let stand, uncovered, at room temp. 3 to 5 days.  Stir 2 or 3 times daily; cover at night. (Starter should have "yeasty" not sour smell) Cover & refrigerate till ready to make bread.

I have many other recipes from my Grandma, or should I say clippings and a few she likely made.  At this point in time, I don't remember many dishes made outside of Grandpa's pancakes.  Grandpa loved to fish for salmon, and I recall eating it with them, but it doesn't have the same memory.  What I do remember from their house, is the smell of coffee, oh, it always smelled good.  And they had the Tupperware salt and pepper shakers with copper donkey holder (it looked like this one).  I'm always reminded of it when I smell pepper.  

Do you have childhood memories of foods associated with special people?

1 comment:

  1. My mother had a very distinctive handwriting and I simply can't throw out any of her cards. My grandmother's specialty was blackberry pie from berries my g-gramps collected along the railroad tracks. (what I didn't know was he sold some to buy wine!)


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