Musings on a Cranky Starter Jar


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.


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