Sunday, January 16, 2011

"How to Bake a Perfect Life" (A Novel)

My new book and my Sour Dough Starter

Went on our Big Day in the Big City yesterday: Pueblo, Colorado. It's really not a big city but BIG compared to our town.  The trip is pretty much a monthly ritual for my family and often includes lunch of soup, salad and bread at The Olive Garden, browsing for books at Barnes and Noble Bookstore, stocking up on goodies at Sam's Club, gassing up the car at Sam's Club, checking out sporting goods at a sporting goods store... good stuff.  We also made our way to Best Buy and bought a new appliance for my kitchen (more on that another day).  I intended to make a B-line for the knitting book section when I went into Barnes and Noble, but at the front entrance a gal named Barbara O'Neal was autographing copies of her book entitled "How to Bake a Perfect Life" (a novel).  I briefly talked with the author; I said, "I like to read and I like to cook and bake!"  She told me the book contained a recipe for sourdough starter (good); the book told the story of a mother relationship (good); the sour dough starter is a metaphor in the story for the mother relationship (interesting). How could I go wrong... a novel about cooking/baking (good), a novel about a mother relationship (I have a mom and I am a mom), includes recipes (AWESOME), support a local author from Colorado (GREAT!).  Mrs. O'Neal autographed my copy of the book and I was on my way home.  As I was paging through the book looking for the sour dough starter recipe (my husband was driving), I found even more recipes than just that! Yay!  When I found the sour dough starter recipe, I realized I had all the ingredients on hand at home. 

I had a little cooking frenzy that night when I got home.  Made some healthy chocolate chip cookies for the boys, made some healthy peanut butter cookie dough for myself (but did not have time to bake them until tonight night... I'll have to tell you more about these amazing peanut butter cookies in a separate post... my house smells AMAZING right now), attempted to make an Oat Soda Bread from 101cookbooks (I think this one will go down in history as a flop... no fault of Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks... just a baking flop on my part), and a casserole for my son (a kiddy version of Shepherd's pie with seasoned ground beef, canned corn, and mashed potatoes). 

And I made Sourdough Starter!  The ingredients in the starter were intriguing... potato water, three kinds of flour, and yeast.  I was talking with my mom and dad on the phone today and mentioned meeting the authoring and how I had made the starter.  I told them I was worried about finding someone to babysit my starter if I go out of town on an extended vacation.  We started joking about making arrangements for babysitting sour dough starter, how I could mail them some of my starter on dry ice so they too can make sour dough baked goods in Oregon, how TSA staff at the airport would probably NOT allow a person to bring sourdough starter on an airplane so I could bring some to my folks next time I come to visit, and how it's a BIG commitment when you start a project like sough dough starter.  I told my folks the book's author lives in Colorado; I joked I should give her a call and ask her to take care of my starter in the event I go out of town!   I look forward to keeping you posted about how my sour dough starter progresses. 

Next post... Amazing Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies!

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