Gearing up for Sourdough Garlic Bread

As I was walking to the Cambridge library this afternoon to return a book, an irresistible force drew me into the Broadway Marketplace, where I spotted purple stripe garlic:

A head of purple stripe garlic

A head of purple stripe garlic

I’m hoping this will make a pretty center for the upcoming batch of sourdough garlic bread, which I’ll be making whenever the culture becomes a starter. That culture is growing appropriately and smells less awful. It’s not yet a week old, so it’s definitely not ready. (Nonetheless, I’m already finding the care and feeding tedious in the extreme.) Fortunately, I’m feeding the culture with water I drew yesterday. (I’m allowing the water to sit out so the chlorine can dissipate.) I say “fortunately” because there’s a leak in a water main that feeds eastern Massachusetts, and we’ve been told to curtail our water use and to boil what we drink or cook with.

I was looking around on the Internet this evening for other information about sourdough starter, and I stumbled onto the Carl Griffith sourdough page. Carl Griffith (who died in 2000) maintained a sourdough starter that had been in his family since the middle of the 19th century, and he gave some to anyone who sent him a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). You can still get free starter by sending a SASE (a #10 envelope, the regular letter size) to the address on their site. Volunteers continue the legacy. Because Dr. Science is originally from Oregon, as was Carl, I’m going to send for this. It only takes a couple of days to get the starter up to speed, and once the stuff is a starter, it’s pretty easy to maintain a small amount in the refrigerator.

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