Thursday, February 18, 2010

Apparently it doesn't take much for me to feel a sense of accomplishment...

Although I feel a little disproportionally proud of myself tonight.

Ever heard of Friendship bread? Some people call it Amish Friendship Bread. I'll leave it to you to Google, since there are a lot of varieties.

Basically, someone (purporting to be your friend) hands you a gallon-sized Ziploc bag of goo (the starter), with a sheet of directions, which you then must feed and nurture for the next week and a half or so, with the hopes of eventually turning it into something delicious.

It is a surprising amount of work.

Not the days when your only directive is "mush the bag", I'm not complaining about those days, I think I'm really just complaining about tonight. First I had to take my bag of goo and empty it into a large bowl. That was challenge enough, because after a long period of growing and digesting in it's plastic home, the starter wanted to cling to the bag. Then you add this and that to the bowl, mix it up well, and then have to measure out 4 one cup portions of goo to place into gallon sized Ziploc bags to sneakily hand over to your friends. Well, three of them anyway, you're supposed to keep one for yourself. I have not yet decided if I'm going to keep on this path. I've heard it can take over your life.

Anyway, all that was before I could even add any of the 15 or so ingredients that were going into my loaves. I have to say, I was a little suspicious. This whole recipe seemed like the one for Stone Soup. Like the starter was the stone, and all my added ingredients actually made the soup (bread). The batter smelled so good when it was mixed up that I was tempted to try it raw. Of course then I remembered that a good portion of it had been fermenting on my counter for almost two weeks, and I suddenly lost my appetite.

But not for long. It seems the bread varies depending on what kind of pudding you add to it, and as I used Pumpkin pudding I ended up with a delicious bread-shaped pumpkin cake thing with a Cinnamon sugar crust. It's darn tasty.

But did I mention the work? And that this work perpetuates itself? And that if I keep my bag of starter I will have to go through this again in 10 days and find 3 more friends to give bags of goo too? I swear, it is just like a chain letter. Only if I don't pass it on I will end up with exploding plastic bags and a home that smells like a brewery.

I should also mention that this is not the first time I have been given a bag of starter. It is just the first time that I haven't killed it. Or starved it, rather. Or whatever.

I also think that people should give you a copy of the starter's genealogy. Amy's starter begat Susan's starter, who begat Julie's starter, who begat Rachel's starter... I'd like to know just how old the bacteria I'm eating are.

So, I don't know what to do yet for sure, but I am very intrigued about trying coconut pudding in this stuff. Maybe adding in dried pineapple? I think this could be a lot of fun, although possibly also a second job.

Anyone local want some starter?


Sprite's Keeper said...

Wait, there's actual work involved in it? I love you dearly, but I think I'll leave the goo to you. ;-)

Rachel said...

Darn it! :)