Monday, July 22, 2013

Home, Home on the Tiny Suburban Range

Guess what live cultures I'm growing* in the kitchen this week?

*on purpose.

Nope, not yogurt this time. Though I'm pretty sure this still qualifies me for Dirty Hippie of the Year according to my family.

Lactobacillus. Specifically, lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, in my first sourdough bread starter. How cool is it that the bacterium that gives sourdough its sour taste is named after San Francisco? Pretty cool, that's how much. Thank you, Michael Pollan, for teaching me that little factoid. And for the recent inspiration to try growing a new type of good bacteria in my kitchen, keep putting good bugs in my belly.

I started my starter about a week ago with just flour and water, and it's been growing in a jar on top of my fridge all week. Every night I pull it down and feed it more flour and water and E looks at me like I'm a crazy person. But it worked! SCIENCE!!! Today I had a big, beautiful, bubbly starter. And by this afternoon I had two puffy, mishappen loaves of sourdough.


Hey, nobody's are symmetrical, right?

It kind of freaks me out that there's yeast and bacteria and all that junk just... around, in the air and on our skin and such. But then it's kind of awesome, too, that you can make a starter with just bread and water. And GOD, I love me some bread. I am Captain NotPaleo. I've got one more rise happenin' as I type, and then we're having one of those loaves with dinner.

You can't even imagine how good my house is 'bout to smell while those bake.

Anyhoo, this bad boy is going into the fridge, now, to take a nap:


(That's my starter. Now that it's started, I just have to keep it alive. Like a gluteny little pet.)


My garden is producing nicely, now too. Tomatoes are finally ripening, and all of the sudden, cucumbers are happening, man. Finally the lemon cukes are catching up to the Armenians.

Finally. Slowpokes.

This is what my veggie garden looked like in May, when I planted:


Here it is now (below). I'm sure you'll look at this picture and go, ew, gross, weeds. But I swear to you, I am out there all the time weeding, but the damn things just GROW LIKE WEEDS. I just can't keep up. I'm trying. I am SO trying. Don't judge. (And yeah, that one zucchini plant in the front is going to get ripped out soon for being too ostentatious and taking up errbody else's space. Rude.)


Listen. The tomatoes taste like heaven, and all this is hidden from sight by a lovely little fence, anyway. I love my unruly little farm.

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