Friday, December 12, 2008

Confession of a Culinary Snuggle Bear

I'm considering sleeping with my rye sourdough culture. No, I'm not someone who has a fetish for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. You see, I'm struggling to bring my culture to life. I'm into day #5, and my starter remains a lifeless glob resembling brick mortar. There are no beautiful strands of gluten. No rising. No air bubbles. Just a sour scent.

I think, my sourdough culture's lack of life can be attributed to the fact that my furnace themostat is usually set at 65 degrees. According to the recipe I'm using, the culture should rest in an environment where the temperature is between 70 and 75 degrees. After day #6, the recipe recommends a balmy 80-85 degree temperature.

The inside of our home rarely reaches these temeperatures, so I'm contemplating sleeping with my sourdough culture. I'm a bear of a man who generates a lot of body heat when I'm nestled underneath our down comforter and flannel sheets.

I've read that grizzled mining camp cooks often snuggled with their pirzed crocks of sourdough starters when evening temperatures dipped. I'm willing to do the same for my art, but I need to consider one thing: Is sleeping with a sourdough culture grounds for divorce?

Maybe I should just buy a little papoose for my sourdough starter, and I could cradle it next to my body all day. No one would stare; would they?

I'm not a well man.

Dressing sharp, but feelin' dull,


Kristin said...

A girl has to draw the line somewhere and bringing a sourdough starter to bed crosses it! I love you and your obsession, but leave the starter in the kitchen and turn up the furnace... or find a good divorce attorney.

SteveO said...

Can you put it near a window during the day? The ambient temp may be 65º, but it should be warmer in the sunlight. Ask my dogs — they seem to think that's the case.

Then at night... uh... well... you got me on that one.

Steve O' said...


Did we ever send you one of these?

Nella said...

Don't do it man! Save your marriage and your starter......turn up the heat for a week. Thanks for a good laugh, with you not at you, of course!

Rebel said...

You're funny. Try sittin' it on your cook stove, keeping it covered when you are cookin' or bakin' and the heat will help. i've heard of people sittin' the bowl of starter on a heating pad on the cabinet. Hope this helps. It might save your marriage!

muddywaters said...

Steve O: Thanks for the suggestion. Dogs possess wisdom that I'll never know.

I don't think we ever received a cookbook, but Kristin received some of the files with recipes. I'll check with her. I thought about putting together a cookbook at

Nella: I'm seeing signs of life in the starter, so my marriage isn't in jeopardy. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for visiting.

muddywaters said...

Rebel: I like the heating pad suggestion. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Thanks for visiting. I've been enjoying your site.

Esi said...

Like the others, I think turning up the heat is better than taking your starter to bed...just a thought :)