Sourdough Starter, Coconut Kefir, Basil, and Cilantro

Meet 'Nawang', our sourdough starter

Meanwhile, back at the Fermentation Station (the new name for the kitchen counter), I have a jar of sourdough starter culturing (right next to the kombucha scoby that’s growing by the day).

Last week, I combined 2 cups wheat flour with one packet of active dry yeast, and then added 2 cups of warm spring water. It will sit at room temperature for up to 8 days, or until it has cultured to the point where it has a pleasantly sour odor and lots of yeasty goodness. And since it is a living thing, it has a name (see photo above). I talk to it nicely, and encourage it to grow. It will live just fine in the fridge, with occasional feedings. When it’s time to make bread, I scoop out 1 cup of the starter, and replace it with 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and a teaspoon or so of sugar.

I’ve spent some on-and-off time in San Francisco. The local sourdough bread there turned me into a sourdough devotee. Haight Ashbury was groovy, but that’s another story.

Also, I started water kefir last night, with the new grains from And – wait for it – a batch of coconut milk kefir.

BUT THE BEST THING HAPPENING NOW IS THE CILANTRO AND BASIL GERMINATING ON THE WARM PELLET STOVE! This is it, loves: the season is starting. An early crop of cool weather-loving cilantro and a pot of basil in the sunny window is enough to make me happy until planting time begins.
Looks like it’s going to be a late spring, though. More snow last night and more expected this week. The air is frigid. This has been an endless winter. But fresh herbs growing in our home is happiness, winter be damned.


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