Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finn Jr.

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our household. My sourdough starter that I named Finn Jr.

I got the idea for making a sour dough starter from a Twitter pal named "Finn". He started tweeting about his sourdough starter dying and having to start a new one. I got curious and asked him if a very infrequent non-baker such as myself could create a sour dough starter and only use it once and a while? He said yes. Finn claimed that sour dough starter took little to no time to take care of and was worth it.

I did a little bit of online research and found this recipe: Beginner Sour Dough Bread It was not only simple but also very comprehensive in the steps. Other recipes I found online seemed a little bit vague or called for yeast (I didn't have any) or even potato starch. King Aurthur (my flour of choice btw) goes as far as to sell a sour dough starter kit online. I think it was only $35 or something but still it seemed a little bit lame and cheaty.

I also chose this recipe because I loved the idea of using the "wild yeast" in the air and all around us to create my sour dough. It seemed like a super neat science experiment and as a kid who excelled at science fairs (I went to regional in 9th and 10th grade) that seemed really neat to me.

And so I began. I used the instructions I found online as my chief guide but after three days I was a little skeptical that the sour dough had fermented enough or produced enough yeast. My Twitter friend Finn said that he had been feeding his starter ("Veruca") for 12 days and it was now time. So I asked him if he thought my starter was ready? He confirmed what I thought and said no. So I've been letting "Finn Jr". grow and grow. Last night he became a rebellious teenager and we woke up to him trying to escape the safety of his jar to explore the world (thus the picture above this posting).

He seems to be doing just fine. Lots of bubbles and activity for sure! See:

Speaking of which, I need to go feed him again now. I'm going to make my sponge with him on Sunday and if all goes well, I will be able to share my first loaf of sour dough bread from Finn Jr. on Monday with some friends we're having over for dinner. I'm actually going to be sad when it becomes time for me to put Finn Jr. into the fridge and I don't have to feed him everyday but like all children, he will need to move out of the nest and learn to fend mainly on his own.

But I certainly am one proud mamma for now!

Monday, March 22, 2010

CSA Update

This year E and I opted to not do a CSA. I enjoyed it in the beginning but our CSA quickly started going downhill. They never put together our orders and every time I'd have to take a solid 30 mins to pick out what I wanted. Where's the fun in that? And I didn't feel like our CSA had the widest or best selection. I wanted to like them, I really did. And well I tried.

But don't worry, I'll still be hitting the farmer's market hard this summer :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010


March is one of my favorite months. To me, it's always been the beginning of spring. Here in Boston, it still feels like winter (except for the past few days but it was a bit of a fluke, a lovely fluke but a fluke nonetheless) but I don't care. March = Spring in my book.

Also, March is my birthday month. Let me be clear about exactly what day my birthday falls on, Saint Patrick's Day!

When my family adopted me, my mother and her side of the family were all filled with glee. Why? Well they're hardcore Irish Americans and any child born on Saint Patrick's Day was meant to be theirs.

I grew up with the luck of the Irish always on my side! Or least always with birthday cakes with green frosting and every Saint Patrick's Day birthday card ever produced given to me at least twice.

This March I was extra lucky and gifted with a new Nespresso maker from my very thoughtful parents. This is the model they got me:

Granted it's not the fanciest of all the models but since it's mainly me using it, I don't need a lot of bells and whistles. Oh man, I love this machine so damn much. The espresso is fantastic. We're talking crema on top and amazing flavor. And the milk frother is straight out of the Jetson's. It froths and warms my soy milk in what feels like seconds. And the container never gets hot. If you like espresso based drinks, I recommend giving Nespresso machines a shot. There is a Nespresso store here in Boston and it's really a relaxing and being zen lil spot. I went there to get new coffee capsules and was treated to an espresso while I shopped. It was lovely. The entire experience of owning this machine and visiting the store has been awesome thus far. I'm fairly certain that my new espresso machine and I will have a long and happy relationship!

This year for my birthday dinner with my friend Walter (who also has a birthday on the same day as me), we opted to go to Lineage. It's a place I've been to before and never been disappointed with the service or the quality of the food. It was a nice meal with two of my favorite people, E came along this year. Since this year our birthdays fell during restaurant week, we opted to order off the RW menu. We had a steak with a salsa verde that had me absolutely come close to licking the plate clean. I also enjoyed the parsnip soap that I ordered as my starter. But it was almost too rich and buttery for me. Luckily Walter and E were there to help me finish it off. The 4 desserts we tried were good but fairly unmemorable. Overall a lovely birthday dinner!

And lastly, E and my friend Ed had arranged to have a pizza party at Picco for me. As is well documented here in this blog, I love pizza and I love Picco. Plus they got me a birthday cake from Eldo cake house in Chinatown. I really do have great friends. Thanks you guys!

A great time was had by all!!!