I didn't mean to disappear this week, and I don't really have a good reason for not popping in and saying hello. The only logical explanation is that, after finishing my first draft, I ran out of words. It happens.
So what I have I been doing instead of blogging? A few things.
About two weeks ago, I made a sourdough starter. Have you ever made a starter before? The thing is literally alive and must be fed daily, though twice a day is better in the first week or two (I learned this through trial and error). So far, I've made two loaves of sourdough bread, and while the second batch was better than the first, I'm still trying to perfect my technique. There is a wealth of information about sourdough on the Internet, and that's part of the problem - everyone's method is slightly different, and the only way to figure out which one works best is to experiment with them all. My current go-to tutorials and recipes are:
- Basic Sourdough Starter, via TheKitchn. (this is the original recipe I followed for the starter, except I waited about eight days before I attempted to bake with it.)
- Sourdough Starter Primer (this answered some questions I had, like what is that water on top of my starter? and will my kitchen explode?)
- Managing Your Sourdough Starter (good information on keeping the starter alive and advice about a feeding schedule.)
- Basic Sourdough Bread (the first recipe I tried. too dense, but I think that was because my dough was sticky so I kept adding flour. oops.)
- Beginner Sourdough Loaf, via TheKitchn (my second attempt at baking actual bread, which came out pretty well. I'll probably make this one again.)
Do you bake sourdough bread? Any recipes to recommend or tips to share? I love the idea of keeping a starter alive for years and I love the flavor of sourdough bread, so I imagine this will be an ongoing experiment/love affair.
I've also been reading like crazy, because of the MFA exam in the fall, and because reading is pretty much the best. The stack above is the pile I'm currently working my way through. The books are as follows:
- Bobcat, a collection of short stories by the amazing and wonderful Rebecca Lee, who also happens to be a professor at UNCW and really funny on Facebook. The book was recommended on Oprah's website and there's a great interview with Bekki in Publishers Weekly here. Go, Bekki!
- The Secret Life of Bees, because I figured I should read all the major bee books out there. I finished this last night and it was not as good as I remembered. The narrator is too precious for my taste.
- Pulphead, a collection of essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan, another Wilmington writer. We had to read this for my nonfiction class last spring and I'm still working my way through it (shhh).
- Ecotone 15, the current issue of the literary journal that I helped put together last semester. I've read almost everything in it already, but I'm excited to page through it in its final form.
- Bring the Noise: The Best Pop Culture Essays from Barrelhouse. An anthology from a literary journal I really like. I borrowed this from Erica.
- Varieties of Disturbance. Lydia Davis recently won the Man Booker Prize, which is a huge award. I've been meaning to read her work for a while, so I'm excited to dive in to this collection of mostly short-short stories.
- Calling Dr. Laura, a graphic novel, borrowed from Erica, who borrowed it from Katie. I'm not sure what it's about but my friends all seemed to like it and it's been a while since I've read a graphic novel. I'm looking forward to it.
- Dogsitting for some professors, including Daisy, the sweet pup pictured above.
- Kettlebell classes three times a week - helloooo, muscles!
- Eating pounds of strawberries every week.
- Learning to appreciate chilled white wine, especially as it gets hotter and hotter.
- An inaugural trip to the beach last weekend, and my first ocean swim of the summer.
- The most recent season of Breaking Bad, which is finally out on DVD (no spoilers!).
- Revision, because I'm done with new words for the time being.
And that pretty much catches you up on my wild and crazy life. How about you?