How much I'd missed making bread. My baking enthusiast friend Molly visited in February and this was to be an opportunity. We had so much to talk about that--classes at Portland State, whether she would take a college loan because three (!) jobs and 16 credits were too much. I refreshed my starter and sent her home with some.
Politics intervened.. Nationally it has been all the efforts to counteract efforts to withdraw women's agency-- the equity and freedom we worked so hard to achieve in the 20th century. Petitions to sign, phone calls to make to D.C.
Locally, it's support of improved gun control legislation in Oregon. The other local political activity was the dive I took into running for the board of my retirement community. Though I lost--which might be for the best--the experience was a good one. Much positive feedback from neighbors and the chance to encourage conversations among residents on ideas they had for improvements.
Finally, actual bread-making had its moment. B uttermilk around (do you buy certain food items that have a special appeal then have to figure out new ways to use?) that needed attention. Found a recipe that put it together with my starter. "Golden Sourdough" was its name and Shelene Wilhelm of Cheyenne, Wyoming, was the baker. I owe her well-written instructions many thanks.
Reduced the recipe by half though used even less salt (1Tbsp.). Otherwise followed her lead-- expanded the starter overnight. Probably crucial to how well it turned out. Produced two pretty 8x4x5 inch loaves and a mini-loaf, great sourdough taste, more delicious over a few days.
It's a lot of bread for two trying to keep waistlines from spreading. Shared slices with neighbors, gave entire mini to another friend. After trying others, I've settled over the past year or so on Fairhaven white organic flour from the state of Washington. Discovered since moving to Portland where there are better choices on local shelves than in New York.
What I'm finding as I move toward 80, is the need to be less ambitious. Recipes that were challenging a year or two ago leave me tired when contemplating. This one only had some combining of ingredients before long kneading with dough hook attachment on trusty 1980s Kitchen Aid. Ron helped when bowlful of dough became too heavy for me to hold/scrape at same time. He does much of the cooking and looks to me for recipe selection. That works!