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It’s Alive!

I’ve been maintaining this sourdough starter at my house in Sicily for the last year and a half. I really didn’t want to throw it down the drain when we had to move but I was a little leery of packing it in my luggage and taking it on the plane. I don’t think I would have been allowed to carry it on board with me and I was worried about it being discovered in my checked luggage during a random search or at customs. Although it’s pretty much just flour and water, I was sure it would somehow cause a problem!

So, I shipped it to myself instead! I put about a quarter cup of my well-fed starter in a little thermos, packed it up with some of the other last minute things I was sending, and shipped it to myself Priority Mail. Priority Mail from an overseas military post office takes a bit longer than the promised 2-3 days here in the states. But the package arrived on Wednesday, several days quicker than I expected!

The thermos did leak a tiny bit but most of the starter was still inside and was smelling very, very strong after it’s journey around the world. I wasn’t sure if it was still alive but I had high hopes because that starter has managed to stay alive even through my most neglectful periods when I let several weeks go by at a time between feedings.

I was right to be hopeful because my beautiful sourdough starter, although a bit sluggish the first day, is now alive and well and bubbling and happy and smells absolutely wonderful! I am so excited that I brought it with me! I am imagining all those crazy little Sicilian yeast meeting up with the local-laid back southern California yeast and I can’t wait to see how they get along!

My sister and brother-in-law look at me like I’m crazy when they see me leaning over my bowl of starter with a huge grin on my face. But they are certainly looking forward to some homemade sourdough bread baked in their own oven! And they know what to expect because they were visiting me in Sicily when I baked my first perfect loaf of sourdough from this very same starter!

So that’s my exciting news for today! I plan on starting a new sourdough starter from scratch soon just to see how it compares to the one that I brought with me. When I start the new one, I’ll write more about how to start, feed, and maintain a sourdough starter. I also have some great sourdough recipes to share! I use my starter for everything from pancakes and muffins to pizza dough and bread!

Ciao for now!