Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In Praise of Good Neighbors

A month or so ago when I asked my neighbor in Berkeley, Dave Warren, about bread baking advice, he not only organized a hands-on lesson in his kitchen, but sent me back with a precious jar of sourdough starter to smuggle onto my flight back to Spain. The jar, I must say, got not just a little bit of neglect upon our arrival to Barcelona and then to Fernando's village, before we made it home to Pamplona a week after leaving California. After all, we had a jet-lagged baby to deal with, and visits to friends and family, and lots and lots of unpacking to do.
Once I finally got to that little jar I hoped and prayed and begged the universe with each feeding to revive it, and that I hadn't completely killed Dave's wonderful gift and good intentions. And so last night, after watching it grow little by little, I decided to take the plunge and bake a loaf. I followed Dave's careful instructions as best as I could. I didn't have the right pan or half the things that are helpful for a baker to have on hand, but the loaf came out. Not perfect, but quite tasty. I think it's been a good beginning.