Sourdough, Baby! An Experiment – Day Six.

Day six. Can you really believe we’ve got this far? A big thank you to all who have stayed with me. One more day to go before I can make up my first loaf! I can’t tell you how excited I am – I realise I have to manage expectations, this may not turn out quite as planned. It was a shock this morning to see how Demi has changed, literally overnight. Yesterday after divvying her up for the first time she had been reduced down to a rather pasty and depressing mix. She’d lost her bubbliness and vigour. I felt very apologetic, I’d torn her to shreds and she’d gone into a strop.

But this morning, oh my. She’s huge. The recipe wasn’t lying when they said she’d need a bigger bowl. Over the past 24 hours she has grown to more than twice her size and bubbles rise to the top every minute or so – glub glub. She still smells amazing, so I figure she’s happy enough. Part of me doesn’t want her to get too excited or we could end up with a kitchen full of sourdough mother. It’s kind of like Flubber? It could all be a disaster.



Anyhow, I’m going to cut to the chase. My theme for today, rather appropriately, is growth. As Demi has grown I feel I have grown with her. It is – after all – only midway through my second week of regular blogging. I’ve tried in the past, but never stuck to it. Now (not that I want to jinx things), I feel more confident in throwing my thoughts into the abyss where previously I was always concerned how others would respond. For me this is a big step. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but I’m also quite pleased with the work I’ve put in thus far. I feel more inspired, more grateful for the opportunities I have around me and I’ve actually really enjoyed myself! Yes, this posts are a bit rambly and my photos could certainly improve, but I now feel more at ease with the process. It’s getting into my routine and I love it.

Last night I had the chance to see how I’ve grown on an even grander scale. Mum brought out a bunch of old family videos (whatever happened to VHS?) last night for sorting. It was a strange experience. I had never seen them before and had – ungratefully now, I realise – assumed that my parents had only videoed my older brother as we grew up. How wrong I was. Last night I saw, for the first time, myself. What a gorgeous baby, what a bright, precious, inquisitive little girl. It was all quite emotional, really.

When I’m down or feeling challenged I often find it helpful to imagine the child I was. This is an important technique. I’ve said before that we’d never speak to others as we speak to ourselves but if you want a more powerful image, imagine yourself as the child you were. You’d never slate that child, berate them, accuse them of failure. You’d try to nourish them with kindness, raise them up. Pick them up when they fall, dust them down and encourage them to try again, if they wanted to. Of course, there is the odd photo of me hanging around the house but now I have an even clearer image of baby little me and I want to cherish her for as long as I can. I’ve obviously changed a lot as I’ve grown, physically and emotionally, as we all do. But at my very core she persists. The little girl with unruly hair, playing in the sand. Looking adoringly at her brother. Toppling down tiny hills.

So when I am less than happy with myself – as I suspect I will be tomorrow when my end of year results come out – I want to keep her in mind. And I want to tell her that it will all be ok. That she will continue to grow and be loved, even when she thinks she doesn’t deserve it. She will be challenged and sometimes she will fail, but that is all fine. That’s life and she’s living it as best she can.

It’s a rather neat little truth, isn’t it.

Ingredients for Day Six
125 g water
80 g strong white bread flour
30 g wholegrain rye flour
30 g strong wholemeal flour

Stir up the mother and transfer 30 g to a larger bowl. Discard the rest (or try to unsuccessfully palm it off to your mates). Whisk in the water and then mix in the flours. Loosely cover and leave for the next 24 hours. Take this time to love yourself and cherish everything you offer to the world. Take the time to grow.



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