Monday, May 31, 2010

Margherita Pizza and Santa Margherita Chianti

          Voting doesn't start until June 15th through July 15th

The contest has begun! Santa Margherita has accepted my video and posted it. This is just a short message to let everyone know that the contestant with the most votes for their video will get to go to L.A. to represent themselves in a cooking challenge that I have entered. If I should do well there then it's off to Chicago with Sheri to compete!



Contest doesn't start until June 15th and you can vote until July 15th.


 The link to the page where the video is below.
 So please go vote for your favorite pizza blogger!

Voting starts June 15th through July 15th, 2010

Watch the video titled Marghermeata Pizza and then, fill in your name etc. Leave a comment and vote! I am in the Chianti Classico contest. It's about a minute and 47 seconds in all. If you could do one more favor for me. Please email it out to anyone you can think of to vote for me. I really would like to win! Thank you, Cheers and Pizza on Earth, Vince

Hardly anybody has entered this contest so I figure I have a really good chance to win!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Santa Margherita pairs with Vince's Margherita

     I did it. I entered a contest on the internet that involves food and wine. Now, I don't know how they decide who has the best recipe since you can't taste food via email or internet but I didn't write the rule book on this one. I simply followed their instructions and followed through the best I could with what I have to work with. By that, I mean, I still own a video camera that uses video tape. Remember that stuff? You have to rewind it and mark it and replace it after you have stored it and then find it again 2 months later in your sock drawer, queue it up to replay it after you plugged it into your TV and adjusted the knobs to find where you can play it between channels or whatever the set up used to be. Ok, I never graduated to a digital camcorder so we used our pocket digital still camera that has a movie mode. It worked but about as good as frozen pizza cures a pizza urge.
   They asked that we make a video under 3 minutes telling them why my particular recipe pairs well with their wine. To be honest, I hadn't tried their wine until I ran across their ad on the internet. After numerous stores that didn't carry it including BevMo, I finally found this $30 bottle of wine at Nugget for under $20 on sale! I have to admit their wine, the Santa Margherita Classico Chianti was awesome! Rich, ruby red color, a great bouquet and a smooth after-taste that lingers. I said to myself, "I know what would go perfectly, oops, pair perfectly with this wine. It's a natural, my Napoletana Margherita pizza." Only lately I have put a spin on it and I call it a Marghermeata since I include just a few slices of gourmet Volpi pepperoni on it now. I'm hoping they will make the connection: Santa MargheritaMargherita pizza. Do I need to spell it out?
   Sheri and I did a few shoots and took what we could since we have no way of editing so we had to do it right start to finish. I was told the best way to end a marriage is go canoeing with your spouse or teach her to drive a stick shift. I think making a video together could be a third way. Anyway, the best one, but of poor quality, ended up including Presley. We love Presley so he stays, even though the rules said that only the chef could be in the video. They didn't mention dogs though. Once the camera battery died, in others, the wind made too much noise and others you or the director/camera operator just flub.
   I had to give them my recipe in detail so it will probably be posted on their site when it comes out. When the video is posted I will mention it with a link in my blog. For right now, I can't include a copy of it but once the video is published I will need all of you readers to become interactive. The wine, Santa Margherita will be asking everyone to vote for their favorite video. Naturally, like a politician, I will ask you for your vote. If I should win (it's really a popularity contest) they bring us down to L.A. for who knows what, then after that, I think, a real cooking contest using that same recipe, we would be flown to Chicago to meet some Italian Chef named Fabio. Ladies, it's not that Fabio so don't get all excited. I'm not one to enter contests but this one, I couldn't resist. Sheri said she wanted to visit Chicago someday. I told her we just spent 5 hours at O'hare airport last year but she wasn't smiling. If I was to be voted one of the 3 best videos, 1 for each of their 3 wines, I could be entering a whole new world, I could eat Chicago style pizza and  I could taste authentic Chicago sausages. I could bring Sheri and fulfill her dream!  This could be the start of something pretty big, sweetheart. (Now, go back and read that last line out loud with a Humphrey Bogart voice.) Doesn't it sound better?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Civil War Pizza

     If ever you have a project or hobby that obsesses you and the people near you are aware of this obsession it makes it easier for them to:

a. Communicate with you.
b. Buy you birthday and Christmas presents.
c. Know what to expect when they come for dinner (providing that obsession revolves around food.)
d. All of the above.

     What I mean by that is that you take on an identity. Before pizza I was the painter guy to the baristas at Starbucks due to my painter pants. After I put mural signs on my truck and got some flashy business cards to match I became the mural guy. Once I let it leak, because I had my pizza stone delivered to the local Starbucks, I became the pizza guy and have brought them 3 home baked pizzas so far to thank them. Now, their opening line is, "Have you made any good pizzas today?" or "When are you going to bring us another pizza?" Suddenly you are on a level that all people can relate to and seemingly communicate on. That's OK with me. I like pizza, they like pizza, and we have something to talk about. Before pizza I was becoming the Civil War buff, but if that's not your cup of tea, I pretty much have to go it alone. I would take my Civil War books with me to Starbucks to read but nobody actually asks you who won the Civil War today Vince? Was the outcome of Gettysburg different in that book you're reading? 

  It's funny too, when someone introduces you to their friend and they say something like, "Vince makes pizzas". If that doesn't draw a question from that person about pizza then I feel like I better pull a pizza  from up my sleeve to prove it. Darn, if only I had a brick fired pizza oven right here in the parking lot to prove it.

   Secondly, for the people closer to you, it makes it easier to narrow down the search for a perfect present. No more, "Hmmmmm, what does he like? A gift certificate to Chuck E. Cheeses? No, better not, I read his blog and he's a bit of a pizza snob. What about a pizza tool? I've heard him mention he would like a brick fired pizza oven. No, too personal. What about a nice sharp pizza rocker knife or one of those pizza pan elevator thingies?" Perfect! See, that wasn't so hard when you know what they like to do. If you were a gardener I would be looking to buy you a watering spray gun that doesn't leak all over your feet and run down your arm.
    The third thing is, you know what to expect when you come for dinner. How could you not know? I am a test kitchen and you are a lab rat.  Well, maybe it's not that bad yet. I do like to try new pizza recipes on my guests to get their opinion and at the same time educate their palates a bit. Point out to them the levels and nuances of flavor that you try so hard to impart into your pizzas. Sometimes we need to be told what we are looking for. Something like, "Did you notice the slight burn in the back of your throat or the subtleties of freshness in the sauce and maybe the simplicity of those flavors working together?" If I tell you what to look for, I can do a better job of evaluating the success or failure of one of my pies because you will tell me what you think is missing or too strong or not enough of.  It can be a win-win situation for everybody. A side trip on that is, people send you newspaper and magazine articles, reviews etc. of all the great news they have heard about pizza lately. I have instilled a curiosity in them. However, I don't try to be a know-it-all when it comes to pizza (really!) but maybe just a well informed pizza person. There will always be something that I haven't tried yet.
   One of our next vacations will definitely include pizza. I have been wanting to tour Civil War Battlefields back East. Now, I'm thinking, back East is where all the great pizza places are as well. Why don't we dovetail the battlefield tours together with a few famous pizza places? You gotta eat right? Now, I know what you're thinking. . .  I'm not going to find pizza places where our favorite Civil War Generals ate pizza here or the place that Jeb Stuart's Cavalry got a couple of dozen pizzas to go there. Wouldn't that be cool though? What if that parlor in Appomattox, Virginia where Lee surrendered to Grant was actually a pizza parlor? Now that would be a pizza place worth seeing!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Mother's Day Pizza

We drove down to see my folks on Mother's Day with a plan. Let's surprise them and take them out to pizza! A place called Melo's has been there since I was about 15 or 16. I remember that because I had worked 2 doors down at Pepito's Mexican Food Restaurant. Pepito was changing out his dishes and Melo was in need of dishes. One of our chores at $1.35 an hour was to carry stacks and stacks of ceramic restaurant strength dishware over to Melo's new pizza place. Over the years the little place became famous around town as one of the best pizza places around. I can remember driving by and seeing lines out the door on a Friday night. Fools, I thought to myself! But my memory kept the hope of that place alive as a great pizza place still lingered. One of my fondest memories was when I was old enough to drive, was to go there and buy myself one of his pizzas. At the time a small one item pizza was $4.50. When you're working 3 hours an evening washing dishes and clearing tables at $1.35 an hour that becomes a whole evenings' earnings! It didn't matter, I had been smelling the awesome waves of pizza aroma since they opened every time I showed up for work 2 doors down. Now it was time to taste the product. My friend and I who worked with me at Pepito's drove over there from 2 doors down. Yes, we drove because my license was brand new and driving anywhere seemed necessary. Walking was so yesterday. We decided to sit down and split a small pepperoni on a thick crust. That way $4.50 didn't hurt as much when you split the cost although you are still splitting the pizza. We watched numerous pizzas being carried out to other tables and anxiously awaited our own. I felt like we were breaking one of the ten commandments as this seemed so decadent but I couldn't recall ordering pizza being on the list of the Big 10 do's and don'ts. I believe also, that this was the first time that either one of us ever had to pay for a meal. Prior to that, our mutual friends' mom owned 5 greasy hamburgers places around the county where we could eat,  almost at will, if we did a few chores for them. Finally there it was, steaming hot on a thick crust baked to perfection with the pepperoni still sizzling. This one was ours! We devoured it in a flash. We weren't satisfied. We were not ready to walk away yet. We looked at each other and did something that I couldn't believe. We flagged down the waitress and ordered another! There went our whole evening's wages for both of us.
   I hadn't eaten their since because of that darn line out the door. Mother's Day was now time to go back and see if that line had formed yet. Fortunately we slipped in right before the line started forming and ordered 2 pizzas for the four of us. To my delight they were as good as I remember although now I had raised the bar for Mom and Dad. Spoiled by the low cost and convenience of Costco mom had to admit it was better than Costco's. I wonder now, if on some Friday night, that I might drive by Melo's, will I see my parents out there in line waiting to get seated for a Melo's Pizza? If I do see them, I'm pulling over to join them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fine Automotive Dining

So we finally made a full circle. I came home from work after finishing my latest mural and was hungry. Sheri had been busy so there was nothing readily available outside of Cheez-its or dog food. I fed Presley the dog food and I called in an order to the Pizza Guys. We had talked about it for nearly a year, joking about whether or not Pizza Guys missed us and if we'd ever buy another one of those pizzas again. I go by "Bob" when I called it in to Pizza Guys for several reasons. They have about 11 people working in a sweatbox the size of our downstairs bathroom, all doing their thing in their native language. It's noisy, probably confusion abounds, incredibly busy on a Friday night, and the name Vince doesn't transfer well over the phone. Even if it's quiet on both ends, you are of Caucasian descent, speak English as your native tongue, and know me personally when I call, you will say, "Who?" I have even had to tell, dare I say, OK, I will, my parents when I call, that this is Vince. "Who?" they say! I remind them rather than repeat my name. I tell them, "You should remember me, I'm your favorite son." That's when the big "Aha" moment happens. They blurt out, "Vince! " I say, "Yes it's me", and we talk. I finally have gotten used to it over the years although it's still annoying. I will hear Sheri laughing from the other room as she overhears me repeating my name numerous times after saying no, not Dennis, no, not Lance, no, not Vic; then I start to spell it slowly and then finally I say something like,"Think Van Gogh, you know like Vincent Van Gogh". I get the feeling that's why he may have cut off his ear in the first place.
The funniest one was, I had called in an order for something I wanted to buy on TV. I gave them my name and address and a credit card number. A couple of weeks later my package arrived, although it was addressed to a Ben Slaughterson, living at my address. I recognized the company's name and finally after saying the name several times quietly to myself. I said it out loud and the word Ben became Vin and the word Slaughterson said quickly became Slarsen. I said it again: Vin Slarsen. Again, Vince Larsen! It WAS me! That was how they heard it! People will sometimes ask me if I was named for Vincent Van Gogh-being that I'm an artist, have the blue eyes, same name, and also happen to be born 100 years to the day that Van Gogh was born. I tell them, "No, my parents named me after a thrift store."
Back to the pizza. We have always ordered the same pizza, for years from them. They have it in their computer. One medium pepperoni and sausage on my half and a pepperoni and mushroom on Sheri's half. You also get a free 2 liter bottle of cold soda when you pick it up, and if you can get a coupon you can get it all for a little over $7. Such a deal! We drive it over to the next strip mall since that's where the seating is. I may be a bit nostalgic here, but it does remind me of how our parents did things like this for us to save a buck. I pack up a salt shaker, about 6 napkins and a couple of disposable cups before we leave to pick it up. This way when we get to the other strip mall we will have everything we need and not have to drive it home before it gets cold. The concept works quite well and it brings back some great memories of that fine automotive dining we did as kids with our parents out of the back of a station wagon.
The pizza was actually a great pizza, even after all the pies I have made over the past year and a half. I have to give it a thumbs up.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pizza for Lunch, Pizza for Dinner & Pizza for Breakfast

A good pizza out can you get you all worked up and inspired. We had gone to the Crocker Art Museum and took a tour led by the docent. We got hungry and eventually ended up getting pizza (imagine that!) at a place we had tried to get into before but to no avail. This time we succeeded. The pizza place was the one I had mentioned earlier in the previous blog called Chicago Fire. We left Chicago Fire all fired up and inspired and ready to go home and make some new pizzas. Before we headed home we detoured over to Barnes & Nobles and found a few books on pizza that interested us. We came home and ordered them on Amazon and then went to work on a pizza we had both read about. It has a name but basically it is a potato pizza with Gorgonzola on it. I believe it was Peter Reinhart, one of the Legends of Pizza who said that pizza is the perfect flavor delivery system. I couldn't agree more. That makes perfect sense. A tortilla is the method to bring you cheese, beef, chicken, salsa etc. Bread is a method to bring you peanut butter, ham & cheese, garlic and butter etc. etc. A well made pizza crust serves the same purpose. The toppings are only limited by our imagination.
We pulled out one of Albert Grande's pizza doughs that I had proofed in the fridge. Let it warm up while we went to Starbucks in the evening, skipping dinner since we were still full from lunch. (Now remember, we already had pizza once today). We boogied over to Nugget at 9:45 at night and picked up some Yukon Gold potatoes and some Gorgonzola crumbled cheese.
I cranked up the oven to 550ยบ and precooked a few potatoes in the microwave while Sheri sliced some onions and peeled and crushed some garlic. Sheri ran out to the herb garden out back with a flashlight and picked some rosemary and oregano. After lightly coating the dough with some of Sciabica's garlic olive oil, we assembled it and shoved it into the oven. Ten minutes later we were eating a pizza that tasted more like a Cornish Pasty than a typical Italian style traditional pizza. Talk about comfort food at 11:30 at night! To top it off, it was actually a vegetarian pizza and I didn't even miss the fact that it was meatless!
I love going to bed with a happy stomach. The next morning, with only 3 slices left, we reheated it with some fried bacon on top and a fried egg placed over each slice. What a great breakfast
pizza that became! Presley, our Golden Retriever and genuine
pizza lover, enjoyed the end crusts as they got a bit tough after reheating them. This was definitely a pizza I would do again and one I would do for guests as well. We put our twist on the recipes and made it personal to our tastes. How come the Irish didn't think of this? Oh and BTW, the dough was perfect Albert! Thanks!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chicago to Starbucks

Aside from the 2-a-week pizzas that I make for own consumption and enjoyment or experimentation, we try to visit the highly recommended pizzerias whenever we can. Today, we did discover a new favorite pizzeria place here in Sacramento. I first discovered it on the internet when browsing for a brick fired pizza place locally. The word 'fired' pulled in a pizzeria through Google that I wasn't looking for because the word is in the name and linked it to pizza. It's called Chicago Fire Pizza. The owner, Eric Schnetz prides himself in his corporate espionage right on the cover of the menu which he calls dumpster diving to learn the actual brand names and secrets that the Chicago biggies are using but not telling. That's my kind of guy! Although we didn't meet him, we did get to try two of his pizzas. First of all, we all assume that if it's Chicago it must be a deep dish pizza. I did until I read his menu on the internet. I'm not crazy about deep dish style. Maybe I need to spend more time with one to get to know it. I instead chose a thin crust pizza that was cracker thin and crispy. Sheri also chose a thin crust from the traditional side of the menu resembling a Margherita although it carried chopped tomato pieces on it which a true Margherita wouldn't. The combo was layered with thin slices of pepperoni, topped with Chicago style sausage, fresh chopped bell peppers and onions and then covered with mozzarella all while resting on a thin and simple layer of tomato sauce similar to what goes on an authentic Margherita pizza. The final touch was some crushed seasoning that I discerned to be dried oregano, black pepper, probably sea salt and dried parmesan and maybe fennel. We asked the waitress but she said it was only oregano as far as she knew, but I don't think she really did know. The pie is cut into squares like they do in Chicago and God forbid I say, Little Caesar used to do it that way too. Each bite was a crowd pleaser. The herb seasoning on top registered first before entering my mouth, then the sweet Chicago style sausage and finally the crisp texture of the thinnest crust I have ever eaten. As my eyes rolled back in my head, the melted mozzarella cheese meld those flavors together along with the freshness of the green bell peppers. I normally take them off a pizza but these did not dominate.
Under all of that is very thinly sliced pepperoni and a sublimely simple tomato sauce. I immediately know that I will have to recreate that pizza. We left Chicago Fire Pizza very satisfied. . . and full. Naturally we do what comes next. When a school teacher and an artist want to know, they go to the bookstore and start looking up pizza books. Peter Reinhart is a legend in two disciplines. His first is bread, which has brought him international recognition and fame. He also went in search of the perfect pizza and his book is titled American Pie. We saw a couple others from different authors that are classics too, and came home and ordered them all on Amazon. Much cheaper that way and besides we still have Tony's book to work on.
On a side note, the word is out at my local Starbucks that I make pizza on the side as a hobby. This is turning into an interesting way to experiment, and to satisfy the pizza hunger we all have by treating the baristas at Starbucks to one or more of my pizzas.
Now it seems I am getting requests. The last pizza I took over there was a Hawaiian with thin sliced ham, pineapple chunks, white Maui onions and some chopped green onions for color. When they come back at you wanting the recipe for the dough or the sauce you know you maybe have created a monster. Where now, will this lead them? Are they headed where every man, woman and child should go sometime in their lives? Will they experience their own spiritual pizza journey? I know one thing now, I had to go back to the restaurant supply store and buy some pizza boxes as it appears I'm becoming a pizza baking and delivery service. I have decided to sign the box by putting my name on it just like an artist would on a finished piece of art. Who knows, that signature may show up on Ebay some day on a pizza box from my past!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Range of Cultures

Seven days after we ordered it, the new range showed up from its long journey from Texas, along with mom & dad to join the excitement and help me install the matching microwave. Mom & dad didn't come in a box from Texas but they did lovingly drive up from their home in Pleasant Hill.
We had no choice but to buy a microwave now since the color black is being discontinued by Electrolux.

Presley kept
Nana busy by
attending to
her every need.

We bought an Electrolux gas range to replace the one I had killed. I hadn't shopped for an appliance since our dishwasher died a year or two ago. I thought Electrolux only made vacuum cleaners; boy was I wrong! It came, it's beautiful and it's black, shiny black, black-black, so black that if we don't pay attention it will need dusting black! My first pizza in the new oven came out and I dropped a bit of corn meal over the top of it. It looked like several thousand galaxies on a clear summer night. With a wave touch panel that looks like the control panel of the USS Enterprise D, it takes finger oil and at the right angle, multiplies its visibility about 300 times. I'm glad it doesn't have a retinal recognition security device on it or it would have me smear my nose onto the wave touch panel to scan my retinas before using. I think a box of windex wipes will be needed to keep that wave touch panel from looking like a petrie dish. All that being said, I like it. It has ball bearing glide oven racks that slide like a dream. I love a nice rack. It also has a bread proofing setting and big knobs. (Fill in joke here!) I'm glad they put knobs the size of tennis balls on it. When you reach down to adjust the fire you don't want knobs that feel like after thoughts or even worse, another wave touch control panel.
I got to use my new pizza stone, the Fibrament D for the first time. It felt world class. I used Gail's dough recipe but substituted 1/2 cup of the 250 year old sourdough starter instead of yeast. I should have used a whole cup, but I misplaced my instructions from class amidst several tons of cardboard and styrofoam packaging I had to deal with after receiving two appliances the same day. The sourdough taste came through in the crust and I felt like I had moved on to the next level of pizza making. Next time I will use a whole cup of starter for a quicker and fuller rise. This is where pizza making starts to really get cool: taking it to the next level.
Pizza hasn't been around as long as wine, but I can see the similarities. Bread, however, I'm sure dates up there with the history of wine going back into antiquity.
As with wine, a substantial variety of flours cultivated, milled, and combined, along with the dough starters used over centuries with love and care worked into each batch of dough, like fermenting of wines. This gives the palate multiple layers of complex flavors. You can almost taste the history in your mouth. Think of it! Cultures in your mouth dating back to 1760! Paul Revere, George Washington, John Hancock, King George himself eating from the same exact bread cultures that are in your mouth right now. Now that is culture!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pizza and Wine, Wine and Pizza

We saw it on the news. People who drink red wine live longer. I said, count me in! We didn't know anything about wine other than you don't drink it from a milk glass or a beer mug. Not a problem, I am a willing learner. Without a mentor, an aficianado, a vintner or a wine snob in the room and not knowing who to ask our embarrassing questions of, we did what we had to do. We drove right down to Rite-Aid to do some research in the wine section. Already it was overwhelming. Maybe if doctors had agreed that wine does help you to live longer than they would write you a prescription for a starter bottle at least. Here's a nice bottle of Red Mountain, brewed last August and ready to sell now that it is officially 2 months old.
Maybe a bottle of Thunderbird? Side effects may include, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headaches, loss of vision, job, family and home. I don't know how our homeowners association would accept this. Would sitting on the curb, wrapped in a blanket drinking Thunderbird from a bottle in a brown paper bag be against the HOA rules? But sir, I have a prescription! If you have a decent medical plan they might steer you into the $7-8 bottles of wine that don't have so many side effects. Well, we came home with the boxed wine. No need to worry about breakage or recycling there. That little plastic wine spout on the front of the box was always so much fun to use. Building a wine cellar would be easy too. It would just be several shelves on a wall to hold all the boxes!
After a couple years of that we were able to discern the subtleties of mylar foil and cardboard. Mmmm, 1992, that was a good year for cardboard. We learned and we evolved and now we can appreciate the difference between a cheap bottle of wine and an inexpensive bottle of wine.
I have to admit, I don't know where I am going with pizza making. As I said before, it is a journey so it doesn't have to have an end. Even the Legends of Pizza will tell you that nobody really masters pizza. So too, I think, with wine. We had the opportunity with friends to buy some full barrels of wine a while back.
We purchased 2 full barrels of red wine from a local vintner closing out his inventory. We bottled it and split it among the 3 investors.
Naturally I didn't have enough room to store it in the newly built wine room I had added on so I turned our downstairs shower into an auxillary wine cellar.

The neat thing about bottling your own wine is you can make your own labels too!

I love when dust settles on the bottles. It gives them that pseudo genuine look! These are still too new and fresh.

Pizza and wine, wine and pizza, how could the Italians have lost the war? And why did they side with the Germans? Really! Did you ever have pizza and weinerschnitzel? I don't think so! What were they thinking?

Monday, May 3, 2010

What does a Sourdough class, BBQ pigs, auto dealers, and the Heisman trophy have in common?

I like going to restaurant supply houses. Sometimes you will find kitchen tools that are hard to find. Sometimes you will find great prices on items. We had discovered another restaurant supply store and they were having a sale with demonstrations and free food, a BBQ pig out in the parking lot, and lots of those triangle shaped colored flags that used auto dealers really seem to like. I believe the new auto dealers prefer colored balloons but that's not a proven fact yet. I've often wondered, do auto dealers sit around a huge conference table and brainstorm to come up with new ways to sell cars? Finally, one of them suggests red balloons, and someone else pipes in no, blue balloons, and finally a third starving auto dealer says, red AND blue balloons, THAT will sell cars. And they all go finally, we've got a way to sell all those cars out there in the sun. Anyway, we stopped and went in after sampling the pig in the parking lot. I entered the raffle for a free trip to Paris. I didn't win, so I'm here hammering away at the keyboard. But I did sign up for the raffle for a sourdough baking class, and wouldn't you know out of all the people that entered it, they picked me!
So, I didn't go to Paris, I went to Sacramento instead and wound up taking this class. My thought of course, is to incorporate the sourdough techniques into my pizza dough. They gave us a sourdough starter that has been kept alive for over 250 years. It seemed odd because neither of the instructors looked that old. (Must have been their make-up.) Maybe they didn't have any fresh sourdough starter or maybe there was no expiration date on the stuff they gave us;-) In any event, we learned the process for making sourdough bread. We even baked a couple loaves of our own that were highly successful.
I remember that about 3 months ago I was laughing at the thought of sourdough starters. People in YouTubes revering it like it was the Holy Grail or the Arc of the Covenant. I'm beginning to understand the value of these starters now in making bread (and pizza) taste their best. I haven't become one of those people (yet) that calls it their pet, names it and runs home from the middle of a movie to feed their pet. From the class I was able to successfully bring home two beautiful loaves or baguettes as they are called, with the photos I took of them as well.
I'm thinking of keeping these pix in my wallet along with pix of my new oven too. I went home and was so inspired that I made Danish Kringle (without sourdough starter) and Belgian style dessert waffles with real Swedish Perle Sugar and coated in chocolate fudge with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
Sheri took this picture of me and told me to be serious. I love the statue of the Heismann trophy and decided I would pose like that, although Heisman didn't have his mom standing in front of him nor was he carrying a Danish Kringle...or was he?