Friday Flotsam

FRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRalay!

I feel like I need to ask this again – what IS a sourdough starter???(?)

YES, I googled it. Well, photos of it because I was on my phone and didn’t want to take too much time away from my book. (which one of its main characters is pretty much a sourdough starter.) I don’t understand sourdough starter. I do not get it.

In my head it’s like Audrey II meets sea monkeys. Remember sea monkeys?! Did you have sea monkeys growing up? I was always so fascinated by the bizarreness of them. Little weird shrimp people just bouncing around in that tiny blue container. Amazing. I need to get the kids some.

I digress.

SOURDOUGH STARTER. First off, you feed it every day. Come again? The starter is on a diet? And secondly, you pass the starter down through G E N E R A T I O N S. Gross, how does this even work?

I have multiple (annoying) questions. Pony up.

  1. It’s not like making regular bread? Flour + yeast + water? Why can’t one just whip up a starter when they’re in the mood for sourdough? Why does it need to be decades old?
  2. What if you don’t want to make sourdough bread for a while, but you have a gurgling yeast monster in a jar begging for attention and food? Do you toss it and start(er) over? I guess not since you’re saving it for your great grandchild.
  3. You can cut into the starter and share it? How are you cutting into it? Butter knife? Won’t it ooze? Sincerely and embarrassingly, I do not get this whole thing.
  4. Do you have a sourdough starter? Was it your grandpa’s? How do you save it when you’re not doing carbs? (“not doing carbs” – what even is that nonsense)
  5. Back when I taste tested that peanut butter (not frozen) + mayo + pickles sandwich on sourdough for you, my neighbor baked the sourdough and brought it over. And she was all, “I have the starter if you ever want to try making your own!” And I was like, “Cool cool I have no idea what that means.”
  6. Someone give me a sourdough starter for Christmas. Hey, I’m good with plants, maybe I can feed the little monster and keep it alive, too!
  7. Scratch that, I’m freaked out.

Important poll:

Did you watch the first couple episode of Just Like That last night and what did you think?

(I told you it was important.)

So far the reviews are pretty mixed, and a bit harsh, geez.

I’ll watch it this weekend, but I’m so curious to know if it’s cozy, sad, forced, inspiring, exciting, awkward, off, or dead on. Or all of it. Or none of it. (and how they handled Samantha’s absence!)

Did you watch and did you cry? Or cringe?

Oh there’s the poll!

Cry or cringe?

Never mind.

I was at the salon yesterday and my girl and I were talking about books. (of course) She was like, “Do you buy all your books? Do you keep them or sell them? Or do you check them out from a library?” And I was like, “That is one of the top questions I get in Instagram! Go a little shorter right in the center, we want it French fringe.” (sorry that last part was about bangs, not books.)

I buy! I buy them and keep them. I store them down stairs on multiple shelves and it’s cute. My GOAL though, is next year when we push out our bedroom and vault the ceilings, is to have a little cozy book nook in a windowed corner with antique shelves lined with books and plants and a beautiful lounge chair of some sort. It’s all in my head, right there next to Audrey II sea monkeys sourdough starter.

But this is my question – what’s your style? Do you check the books out and get them back as quickly as possible or do you DESPERATELY NEED A HOME LIBRARY?

Another thing about buying my books is that I’ve sort of become the (sexy, just kidding) neighborhood librarian. I’m (constantly and obnoxiously) monitoring what the elementary school moms are reading and swapping out their books every other week. It’s glorious. I feel like I’m in The Giver of Stars. Minus the horse.

So tell me what you do. Buy, rent, keep, sell, give away, or Kindle? Or nindle?

Never mind.

Okay, last question for you.

Does anyone have a good hair balm recommendation? Something that silks but also gives tone and texture. Dimension. Grit. Attitude. Tames the fluff but sharpens the personality. Gives it stylish charisma.

Anybody?

And if it does the dishes, that would be great, too.

Weekend plans?

My parents are visiting today! We’ll eat smoked pork tonight, do a little shopping, open some gifts, go to the opera tomorrow (seeing my favorite opera of all time, Amahl and The Night Visitors), go check out the Union Station trains, and kick it by the fire.

From this week, in case you missed it! A couple of ultra comforting recipes – Chicken and Mushroom Enchilada Rice Casserole! So cozy. And also, Cheeseburger Calzones! Happy little pockets of deliciousness. Get in both.

So right, to starter to not to starter? That is the question.

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20 Responses to Friday Flotsam

  1. Mindy December 10, 2021 at 9:09 am #
    You totally ARE the neighborhood librarian. So grateful for that.
    • Bev Weidner December 10, 2021 at 9:33 am #
      Mindy I was LIT-RALLY thinking of you when I wrote that! :) You need more books. Let's see each other soon for a swap out.
  2. Anonymous December 10, 2021 at 9:16 am #
    I buy all my books too. I just love books. People have told me “you should really just get them for free at the library!” But I want to keep the whole bookstore thing alive! Anyway.... sometimes I find them used but I like my bookies, love em!
    • Bev Weidner December 10, 2021 at 9:33 am #
      YESSSSSS. Same. Keep the bookstores alive. Plus I love the FEEL of having tons of books around. It's comfort, ya know?
  3. Martina December 10, 2021 at 9:18 am #
    I buy keep some sell some. We go to the library at least once a week. I do electronic books and audio books. I will take them any way I can get them! I need a book club.
    • Bev Weidner December 10, 2021 at 9:32 am #
      Are you not following my book club?? I post often and in Stories about what we're reading!
  4. Sue December 10, 2021 at 9:35 am #
    Both cried and cringed. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. Kristin Davises (I want to do “Davis’s”, but apparently that’s not right), plastic surgery is distractingly bad, but Carrie and Miranda looked appropriately aged and beautiful. I’m not at all opposed to plastic surgery, but why do so many get it wrong? Samantha… I’m a librarian, but buy, buy, buy, and have books stuffed in every cranny.
    • Bev Weidner December 10, 2021 at 10:03 am #
      I KNOW. Kristin's cheekbones can be seen from the moon. Like you, I have nothing against plastic surgery, as long as it's done right and subtly. AGREE ON THE CRANNY-STUFFED BOOKS. And I'm just going to ask, did Samantha die? Or was it Big?
  5. Chelsea December 10, 2021 at 10:25 am #
    Sourdough starter is totally an imposter! Everyone thinks it’s so fussy and it’s literally just putting water + flour in a jar and BOOM a few hours later some yeast grows. Pop it in the fridge for a few days or weeks if you aren’t going to need it for a while, or keep it at room temp if you are hoping to make sourdough baking your full time job and want to feed your starter every 8 hours indefinitely 🥴. The people of the internet would have you believe that you need to weigh everything down to the gram and that sourdough is an exact science but I honestly just wing it and my starter is still alive and well after years of negligence. If your neighbor wants to give you some starter, take it! Then you can skip the whole growing-a-starter phase and just feed that bad boy every now and then.
  6. Erin H December 10, 2021 at 10:45 am #
    I thought the SATC was pretty awkward, little sad, tiny funny. I'm hoping it picks up. I had low expectations and then saw people saying it was so great so my expectations raised. So I'd say go in with low expectations and you'll be good.
  7. Heather December 10, 2021 at 11:05 am #
    I use the library 99.9% of the time. I find that I don't reread books often, so the books that I buy are the ones that I love and would reread. I only watched the first episode and it was more cringe for me.
  8. Kristin Niederberger December 10, 2021 at 12:18 pm #
    I used to buy more books, but these days I mostly use the library because I read a LOT of books & there are full bookshelves in every room in the house except the bathrooms. I do still immediately buy books by certain authors. I read a lot more fiction than nonfiction, but lately I find myself often checking a great NF book out from the library and then ordering it from my favorite local bookstore (Rainy Day please don't ever close) so I can highlight, underline, and dogear!
  9. Jennifer December 10, 2021 at 1:15 pm #
    I have been intrigued with sourdough but haven’t pulled the trigger on starter. I’ve had good experience with this: https://redstaryeast.com/red-star-products/platinum-instant-sourdough-yeast/.
  10. Maria December 10, 2021 at 4:41 pm #
    I buy the books. I really love the feeling of an actual book. I also listen to a lot. It makes chores go by so much quicker! I have a mini library. I do save ones a really love, but pass on the ones I know I won’t read again to friends or my mom. Excited to watch SATC this weekend. Looking forward to your book club in the new year!
  11. Nan December 10, 2021 at 4:55 pm #
    I’ve neglected sourdough for a month and it survives - the older it is the hardier so take your neighbor’s! It’s kind of a pain to feed so google recipes for what to do with your sourdough starter ‘discard.’ If those are things you like eating weekly, then you’re good! My faves are King Arthur’s sourdough waffles, and their sourdough biscuit recipe is also so good.
  12. Lindsay December 10, 2021 at 9:27 pm #
    I'm not ready to talk about the first episode yet.
  13. Brandy K December 11, 2021 at 2:39 am #
    I cringed… hoping it gets better! Terrible acting and just weird! I listen to books so much more these last couple years but if it’s absolutely amazing I buy them, I don’t have a lot of room to store them and listening makes my cleaning go by so much faster and I actually look forward to cleaning just to listen! I’m just as confused about a starter as you are! Enjoy the Opera
  14. Ellen December 11, 2021 at 2:43 am #
    I have certain books/authors I buy new and hardback always, and sentimental books I’ve been gifted that I keep forever. Everything else I either library or goodwill (the Goodwill books section is my kryptonite) and pass along when I’m done. I’m anti kindle though, doesn’t do it for me anymore.
  15. Lanette December 12, 2021 at 10:10 pm #
    I'm equal opportunity as far as books go. I check them out from the library...especially cook books. I buy a lot of them and have a kindle to read while I'm in bed. So, I'd say all of the above. I haven't gotten to SATC. I'm trying to stay away from spoilers of that and Succession. I think I just came upon a spoiler for Succession very out of the blue and I have no point of reference because we're only on season 2. Gah!!
  16. Lori December 18, 2021 at 1:51 pm #
    ok, first a question - what is that last picture? Balloons? I can't tell but I feel like I'm looking into a body crevice lol. SATC, cringed. I read a spoiler so knew who died. I am hoping it gets better but I felt like they were all out of their groove - either it's been too long and they need to re-find it, or it was over the top acting that is there to stay. Hope it's the former. I got some starter from a friend in April 2020 (hello pandemic) and it's still going strong. I keep mine in the fridge and feed once a week (1:1 AP flour and water). When I want to bake, I take it out, feed 1:1 every 12 hours for 2 days, then use it to bake. There are a TON of complicated recipes with different flours and all that ish but i found 2 recipes that I took parts of each and it works for me. I need a recipe so I have no interest in trying other flours, etc. and will stick with what works. I will say, making a sourdough boule and having it look professional is pretty satisfying!

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