Friday, September 25, 2009

An example of some of the weird crap I do to entertain myself...

So have you ever found yourself wondering what you would do if you didn't have to go to work each day? Well, this stay-at-home adventure I'm on has led me to some interesting hobbies- from taking day trips and writing about them, knitting a ridiculous number of hats, gardening, cooking, to well, making a sourdough starter from scratch.

My mom gave me a cookbook for my birthday: Family Meals, Creating Traditions in the Kitchen, by Maria Helm Sinskey. The author actually grew up in upstate New York. It's a great book that discusses how to create meals as a family and getting your children excited about food, etc. It also talks about the importance of knowing what goes into a meal by making things from scratch. In a world as fast-paced as ours, it's kind of a nice reminder to slow things down and appreciate some simple things. There is a recipe for a sourdough starter that has intrigued me since June and I have decided to take it on. First, I did a little research on various recipes. See, it's a little freaky. You have to think about what makes it "sour" dough.

My recipe calls for grapes, flour, and water. The grapes will ferment and create a yeast naturally. Another recipe calls for milk- but for some reason, milk grossed me out more - so I decided to stick with the grape method. After all, fermented grapes do produce wine, so how bad can this be? In fact, when I was on the wine tour at the Finger Lakes, the winemaker discussed this very thing- how grapes create a natural yeast. I found this sort of fascinating and decided it was a sign that I must not ignore this experiment.

As my garden has winds down, I will take you on a new adventure with me. Now- full disclosure, this could completely blow up and be a tremendous failure! But, what the hell, let's try it out!

Day 1:
1 cup organic grapes
1 cup unbleached bread flour and 1 cup warm water, whisked together in a metal bowl
squish grapes with your hands (secretly wishing you were making wine)
Add the grapes to the flour paste and stir. Put the bowl, uncovered, in a warm place.

Stay tuned for day 2- where we "feed the beast"


Dielle said...

How interesting! I never would have thought of making bread with grapes. I'll be interested to see how it turns out for you.

Hillary said...

OK, my interest is seriously piqued. Can't wait for day two!!