Friday, May 27, 2016

Wild Cooking Adventure: Sourdough and Jelly

We just came from the land of the sourdough, both in cooking and in locals.  (Alaska calls their long time homesteaders "Sourdoughs" for those not familiar with the term.)  And sourdough bread remains a popular baked item there.  Many have heard of Dick Proenneke from the television show and I was given some of his sourdough starter from a friend of a friend and kept it alive and well until I had my second child (plus two cats, a puppy and six chickens) and I let it go too long without feeding it and it died!  I'm still kicking myself for that, but I recently learned that you can't transport sourdough starter.  Well, you can, but over time, the local yeasts will overtake it and it will take on the local characteristics.  Sourdough is unique to the area, isn't that interesting?
Wild Yeast Trap Set.  Complete with guard dog!

So I recently began to get a hankering for sourdough again.  I always wondered where the starter came from, I'd only been given jars of starts before.  So the wonder that is Pintrest came to the rescue again and I found that you can capture wild yeast right out of thin air!  Christina Keibler is very knowledgeable has great written and video instructions, but it's basically just flour and water in equal parts.  You leave it in a bowl outside, stirring every few hours to incorporate more air into the mixture.  After about 24 hours you can see the bubbles and "hootch" (clear liquid from yeast) forming and that's it!  She also has a recipe for bread from the starter you can find on this page.  I'm still working on the quirks of Oregon yeast to get a big fluffy loaf, but the flavor is amazing!

Then I got to thinking about jelly and what I have on hand, and I recalled a recipe I have for rose petal jelly.  This rental that we're living at has an abundance of gorgeous rose bushes around it and a good many were just starting to drop their petals.  So my sweet daughter and I plucked them up and followed this recipe by Luckybeans for the jelly.  It turned out a vibrant fuscha red and took a little mending  (it didn't want to set up) but now has a lovely light flavor.  Just a beautiful process as a whole.  So lots more photos of this:

I love that glowing color!  And making good food with what we already have, and getting the little ones involved and learning new skills.  I'm going to chalk this one up as a win! =)  Do you have any fun new food projects planned?  I always love to hear what everyone is up to!  Happy Memorial Day Weekend and I hope in your celebrating you can appreciate those who serve and have served.

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