Thursday, June 4, 2009

This yeast is HOW old?

About a month before my due date, I was invited by my super modern Japanese/Brazilian neighbor (yes, she has blue hair and is in her 50's--love it!) to have tea in her apartment.  What a lovely afternoon tea--all the vegetables and fruit perfectly sliced with a mandoline.  But what had me salivating most was the delicious bread she served.  Upon leaving, I casually asked for the bread recipe and she told me that she would come over sometime and teach me how to make it.  Upon leaving, she wrapped half the loaf for me to share with my husband.  Well all it took was one taste and Felipe was hinting that I should get the recipe.  The dilemma for me was knowing wether Emme wanted to share the recipe.  Perhaps, her offering to "come over sometime" and teach me was a gentle way of safeguarding her secret.  I decided to ask again!  Why not? Kindly Emme obliged. When she came over she was holding in her hand a tupperware container of yeast....a gift for me.  She told me the starter yeast was about 15 years old and had begun from an organic fig and now I had my own to take care of and continue the tradition!  The bread had to be made weekly and the starter always fed.  I was a bit overwhelmed considering that I would have my own living human specimen to take care of in a matter of weeks!  But how could I turn down such a kind offering?  Thus begins the story of the natural yeast bread.  I have religiously baked a loaf a week since that March day--taking it with me or leaving it in good hands when I travel.  And the tradition grows along side Georgia.  I keep telling her as she sucks on the bread at breakfast.....this starter yeast is older than you and mommy began making this bread just before your born.  I don't think she gets it....yet.  But as I plan to continue the tradition, I hope, one day, she will be as impressed as I!  Thank you Emme!

1 comment:

  1. I can still remember the smell of one of the early breads - the first, maybe? - while in class, bjos.