A Lesson from Sourdough

A couple months ago, my daughter arrived home from DC with an unexpected gift for me. Back in April, at the beginning of the pandemic, celebrity chef Johanna Hellrigl offered to share her sourdough starter with her 6,000-plus Instagram followers. My daughter, Devon, took her up on her offer and arrived at the chef’s home to pick up her starter. She (and I) have been baking sourdough bread and dough ever since.

But here’s the thing with sourdough starter—it’s a full-time job! It needs to be fed every day. It’s only a 1/4 cup of flour and water every day, no big deal right? But you can’t miss a day, essentially, or it will die. And, what about when you go away? I took the darn jar of starter with me to Vermont multiple times. It was like having another child! There were times when I hated my “gift,” but then I’d bake another loaf of bread and retract my incredibly negative statements about the starter.

But here’s what I learned from my gift. It’s called a “starter” for a reason. It requires a small, but full-blown, commitment, and diligently committing to this task every day ultimately produces amazing results. It requires patience, too—the fruits of our labor take time. So, imagine what we could accomplish if we committed as much time and effort as I have daily to this sourdough starter? I feed it because I don’t want it to die—isn’t that the exact same thing as our dreams, goals, and aspirations? What would happen if we “fed” those daily for months and months? Thank you, Johanna Hellrigl, for not only your generosity with your sourdough starter, but also for teaching me a great lesson about time well spent! 

With Gratitude,
Beth

PS If you happen to have sourdough starter, here is her recipe for Banana Sourdough Pancakes

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