Musings on a Cranky Starter Jar

CayoKath

Have you ever had one of those days where the simplest baking task seems like an immense hurdle?  I'd mixed my dough (my everyday bread modified with a handful of rolled mixed grains, no sweetener - pretty much never after some discussions on here- and a bit of gluten as it seems the store-brand AP has been rather weak lately)  from my trusty Colorado Only starter, which had been treated to a sterile bowl during priming while I washed the clamp-lid canning jar that I use to keep it in the refrigerator.  I cheerfully sterilized it's "home" jar and attempted to put it back together.  

I swear I've taken apart that jar and given it a thorough going over and sterilization plenty of times before and managed to put it back together with nary a problem.  Not today.  Apparently setting the stand mixer on the jar-loop bent it just enough to render putting the oval wire piece over the ends impossible.  I tried for fifteen minutes, then my husband came along and gave it a try for another twenty. Then we both attacked it with pliers and any method we could contrive to try to make the stupid thing go back together!  I imagined the jar shattering under our fevered efforts, but it didn't.  Bye bye another thirty minutes.  The husband finally produced a clean copper wire and squeezed the jar-loop ends together so we could slip the lid's holders over them.  Fish on a stick!  What a donnybrook.  We set the steel oval wire aside, sure that dementia has visited us early.  I think I'll just go buy new hardware and retire that to the Hall of Oh Heck...eventually.

I re-sterilized the whole thing again with the makeshift repair and can now report the starter is happily in its rightful home. Cheers!  Have a good week, and happy baking, y'all.

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farinam's picture
farinam 2014 July 7

Hello CayoKath,

All I can say is I admire not only your patience in trying to get it back together but also your energy to be sterilising everything on such a regular basis.

Not that I'm bragging but my starter jar hasn't been cleaned for years other than a scrape down after mixing in the new feed.  Cross fingers, touch wood, I've never had a problem of any sort.  I'm pretty sure that the forty-niners and chuck-wagon cooks probably didn't have either the time or the wherewithal to be so conscientious.  And I recall reading in an old cook-book that for preparing the 'yeast' (read starter) for bread it was better to use a well seasoned jar.

For the record, here's a pic of mine :)

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

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