One of the things that my mother in law gave me not long after my husband and I were married was a recipe for "Herman". This is one of my husbands favorite things and we have not had it in many many years. You see Herman is a yeast starter. You have to grow and feed Herman and he requires work on certain days. I am not so great at keeping Herman alive. I often tend to forget about him when he sits in the fridge. I have to mark the calendar and keep an eye on him or I forget. Herman has to be stirred constantly the first few days.. well ok not constantly but over a period of a few days. Of course because you feed Herman he grows and sometimes you have more then you need, if that is the case you can give some to friends and share the love of Herman with everyone.
Last summer when I went to my Mother in laws for the fourth of July she copied off some other recipes she found in her stash for several Herman recipes. These recipes use some Herman and then you add to it to create other foods. There is a recipe for pancakes, coffee cake, a 'white bread' that is a bit more like sourdough because of the Herman starter. There is also a recipe for cookies. I was a bit shocked by that.
Today I have started Herman. It is sitting on top of my fridge covered with a towel and growing as we speak. I am hoping that by Friday night when my husband is able to come home to have lovely dishes of Herman making set out for him to enjoy. Well ok I will likely be trying out the bread as I am baking bread constantly and honestly anything that makes it a little more accessible is always a plus. I also will have coffee cake for breakfast on Saturday when we wake up and share a meal together.
On another note I am also making some apple berry jam from scratch today and bread is rising for the day. I am feeling a tad better but still a bit loopy in moments as the crud rolls round in my head.
I am also roasting a chicken that will then get boiled and pulled apart for two meals this week. Cooking on a severe budget doesn't have to mean nothing good for the belly. I am contemplating what dishes to do with this chicken but at least the chicken is cooking and the house smells good.
Here is the recipe for the starter, as well as the directions.
2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 envelope yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast)
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm water
In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, yeast, salt then gradually stir in water. beat or whisk until smooth. Place bowl in a warm draft free place in the kitchen (mine is on top of the fridge) cover with a towel. Stir 2 -3 times a day for 3 days or until starter is bubbly and produces a yeasty aroma. After day 3 you can use part of the starter and refrigerate the remaining Herman. Herman must be stirred everyday so even when you are not using any Herman you must stir him. Be sure not to cover tightly when it is refrigerated, either cover with plastic wrap or with a lid off to the side. When you use Herman you feed it, so you use some and feed the remaining starter.
To feed Herman:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
add to starter whisk or stir well.
If it will be more then 14 days before you use Herman again then you can pop the starter in the freezer and pull it out again when you want to use it.
Check back in 3 days to see what I have used my Herman for first.