Saturday, May 30, 2009

ECO ACTION: WK3 Farm Share & Project Sourdough

Aren't they pretty?  Four kinds of lettuce, endive, colorful chard, and eggplant starts.  I opted for the eggplant plants in place of rhubarb this week when given the choice.

Six glorious eggs, voluminous Asian greens (tat soi, bak choi? ... now I'm all confused about which is which) mustard greens, and kale.

Used this past weeks supply in much the same way as the week before: stir fry; steamed greens; salads; eggs in tapioca pudding, baking and hard boiled.  Had some Asian greens left over at the end of the week that I'll process for freezing by blanching, if that's possible.   I think they'd be good in soups this fall and winter.

I'm looking forward to finding some new recipes for the Asian greens.  Found one recipe for a fresh salad with a homemade dressing, raspberries, pears (out of season right now so I'll probably substitute something else) and toasted walnuts that sounded really good.

My yard sale mojo wasn't as good this week, but that's OK.

I came home with a brand new set of 3 stainless steel springform cake pans in graduated sizes for only $3, still in their original packaging.  I think I have two of each size now so I can do layer cakes.  All hypothetical at this point.  I have yet to bake a cake from scratch.  That's one of my goals for this year, to begin to learn scratch cake baking.

I restarted "Project Sourdough" this evening.  I took the jar of starter out of the fridge, poured it into a large glass bowl, fed it the designated flour and water mixture, covered the bowl with an inverted dinner plate (no plastic wrap), then placed the bowl in the oven (off) with the light on to keep it warm.

This sourdough starter was given to my uncle (my father's brother) and his wife by an old homesteader they lived with in Idaho back in the 1940s.  When my parents and brothers visited them back in the 1950s they brought some of the starter back to California with them so they could make the same wonderful sourdough pancakes they'd enjoyed there.

It's been propagated and passed along ever since.  I got this batch from my oldest brother, Paul.  Flew across the country from California to Connecticut in my suitcase, wrapped in multiple layers of Ziploc bags and bubble wrap, carefully labeled for the benefit of wary TSA inspectors.

It's been in hibernation in the refrigerator for a while.  Tonight's feeding will begin the process of reawakening the yeast.  With any luck they'll be some tasty bread baking ahead.

The idea is to take one more item off the grid by producing my own yeast for baking just like our great-grandparent probably did.  No impact from manufacturing, distribution and preserving like jar or cake yeast. For only the cost of water and flour.  Continually renewable and always available.

I'll probably still use regular yeast for some bread baking, but this will provide another low-impact option.

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