No, not our wedding anniversary, although we did have one relatively recently. I mean this little lady’s anniversary:
My good girl Sheryl has been hanging out for a year now. She lives in the cold and the dark and puts up with gross neglect for weeks on end. Yet for all that, she still makes some lovely loaves! My kitchen is cold and so they never end up as lofty as other peoples’ seem to, but they’re chewy and tangy nonetheless. Way to go, Sheryl.
Just look at that blistered crust. I have to say, I think that sourdough starters are a lot more flexible and resilient than a lot of people seem to think. The internet is awash with all sorts of finicky methods (usually named after somebody) that involve very precise times and temperatures and adjusting the amount of water in relation to the humidity of the air, as well as (I assume) performing certain obscure incantations and using flour that was ground in the light of the full moon.
I do pay attention to my measurements — a kitchen scale is a handy tool for this sort of thing — but other than that? I figure that people have been making sourdough for thousands of years. This is something you would carry around in a crock while you followed your goat herd and then baked over hot rocks. It’s a yeast colony. It will survive.
In other culinary news, I’ve been (somewhat inexplicably) really getting into gelatine lately. Why? It’s hard to say. I’ve always loved jell-o (especially with a little dab of fake whipped cream on top, like we always had at summer camp). And when I made panna cotta in the kids’ breakfast milk cups for April Fools, I realised how easy it actually is and a whole world opened up.
Anyway, here’s a jelly cake:
The top layer is orange jell-o with shredded carrot inside (something I remember having at potlucks long, long ago) and the bottom layer is a milk gelatin made with sweetened condensed milk. I don’t actually have any proper molds so this was made in a lightly greased bread pan, which worked well except for being slightly too long for the plate once decanted.
As you can see from that “bloom” of milk jelly in the middle, the orange layer wasn’t quite set enough when I poured in the second, and there was a little intermingling. No matter; I count this very successful as a first attempt and look forward to more experimentation. Nobody here likes jellies as much as I do, so I’ll probably be eating most of those experiments alone.
I am 100% ok with this.