Sourdough Starter…. San Francisco Style

Yummy but the first job is to make yourself some starter…. There are a  ga-zillion starter recipes out there. Go get one …I made mine from a recipe that had me carrying this started around for three weeks feeding it daily…It was like they do to the Junior High Kids now when they make teenagers take home a fake baby doll and play parent Truth be told it was pain in the ass not easy….

Let’s make this as easy as possible go here and follow Mike recipe…please…..or do as I finally did and just buy your starter from a reputable source and this is it. I bought the starter it came with the book and I will never buy sourdough again from a store…and the bonus is you can use your starter to make so many other breads …I made a killer Rye bread …so here is the link to get your started…Sourdough International

You need to do two things Activation and Preparation

Ok lets get started with your dried culture.

You must activate it by feeding flour and water. You will only activate once Use a one quart wide mouth jar. Mix all the dried culture with 3/4 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water.(75 degrees to 85) and proof in a warm place (about 85 degrees) for 24 hours.

Put the jar lid on loosely. The temperature is critical when activating. At the end for that time a few bubbles may appear on the surface as the first sign of growth and activity. In the next 24 hours growth will start to accelerate and the culture should be fed every 6 to 12 hours with one cup of flour and 3/4 cup of water until there is a layer of foam and bubbles an inch or two thick. This may require several days and several feedings. There is no visible evidence when the bacteria grow, and they will be using nutrients even though the culture show no bubbles, so you must follow the feeding schedule.

If you keep doubling the size of your starter, in 10 days you’ll have enough to fill a swimming pool. And 12 hours later, you’ll have enough to fill two swimming pools. So, before you feed the starter, take half of your starter and set it aside.  But even throwing it away is less wasteful than continuing to double the size of your starter.

I tired to tell you ….. But the end results are years of home made sour dough bread

Here is a website that is all about Sourdough the go to place for any baker of sourdough breads …. The picture below is what I went through before I got smart and bought the starter.. I am doing a separate post for the recipe for sourdough bread


And here are the results from the Sourdough International Starter….

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Stainless Steel Mezzaluna

This tool is amazing and of your lucky like me you have two one modern one and one ole’ school from grama….. This tool is great for cutting your herbs .

It can take a few tries to get used to using a mezzaluna. You can experiment with both flat cutting boards and rounded bowls to get the hang of it; some cooking stores sell special cutting boards with small depressions which are ideally suited to the use of a mezzaluna. If you haven’t used this style of blade before, do yourself a favor and purchase a bag of carrots or celery to practice with before you embark on the production of a major meal.

Once people learn to control mezzalunas, they can use these knives for things like mincing and herbs, finely chopping tomatoes for sauces, and engaging in a variety of other tasks. A mezzaluna can also be used as a pastry knife, chopping shortening into flour to make an assortment of doughs. Some people find that once they start using a mezzaluna for such tasks, it can be difficult to use an ordinary knife.

When seeking out a mezzaluna in a store, look for one of solid construction made from good-quality metal. Check the blade carefully for pits or holes at the join of blade and handle where food and bacteria could cluster. To care for your mezzaluna, always hand wash it and dry immediately; wrap the mezzaluna in a sheath or a piece of thick canvas to protect the blade and prevent injuries when not in use.

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Food Saver

This is amazing …Why you ask…well since I got this handy little tool I have saved more food…more money….more time than ever. When I got it I had no idea how handy and helpful it would be.

I have more stuff in my freezer than ever. Open something have a little left poof food saver….I dehydrate anything and poof food saver….to much spices from the garden poof food saver and freeze.

Also I never realized how much food I wasted when I would throw it away

….this is a real great tool to save time,money and foods….

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Hand Blender

I am yes In Love with this thing….It has come in hand for me so many times…With canning for butters…With soup when I need to cream something….And I can put in a hot pot when it is cooking …..A tool to get ….Truly

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Not your Yuppie Pesto

Old School Pesto by Hand

Most Pesto’s are done in a processor or like me my Magic Bullet. But low and behold after many internet search finally I found the recipe for Old School pesto Done so well by Heidi at her 101 Cookbooks site. She has given me the inspiration to go to the next level with my site. But that is another post Now it is a bit more time consuming but the results are intense and the flavors are not all mushed together….It is Pesto Heaven

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. I scrape and chop, gather and chop. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil “cake” – see the photo up above. Transfer the pesto “cake” to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake). Cover with a bit of olive oil, it doesn’t take much, just a few tablespoons.

You can set this aside or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil. She occasionally thins the pesto with a splash of pasta water for more coverage, but for our gnocchi this wasn’t necessary.

Thank you Heidi Please go to her website the story behind the recipe is great.


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Tomato Curry Beef (Fon Ker Gah Lay Ngow Yuke)

There ya have it my first experience with Cantonese food. Never even knew I had the book that is how often I buy and that I just get it and get going…I’m so happy to be experimenting with you. Now this one the taste of the vegetables really makes it. And it was super simple to make. Get everything ready before you start. It is step by step with in 3 minutes of each step.

Eight Immortal Flavors ….Secrets of Cantonese Cookery….1963

Tomato Curry Beef

Have Prepared:

3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 small bell pepper, sliced into 3/4 inch squares. I got a orange pepper….
2 dried onions, sliced into 3/4 inch wedges
1/2 pound tender beef, cut into 2 1 inch pieces, 1/4 inch thick

In a preheated wok or skillet, place : 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Bring to high heat. Add: Sliced Beef
Brown slightly for 1/2 minute, do not over cook. Remove beef
In an oiled pre-heated wok or skillet, place:
Sliced Onions, tomatoes, and peppers
1/4 cup chicken stock
Cover and cook at medium heat for 3 minutes. Uncover.
Add: 1 teaspoon premium curry power
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Turn and mix all ingredients and continue to cook at medium heat for 1 minutes.
Add gradually: 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Make a paste with two tablespoons water.

Turn and mix 2 minutes until sauce thickens and add sliced beef. Continue to turn and mix rapidly until all ingredients are thoroughly blended and become very hot. Serve at once with hot steamed rice..


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Pork Tenderloin with Tomato Sauce

I have been trying to get recipes that are a bit more simple and not so much food. I’m feeding my hubby’s work and half the neighborhood…but no one is complaining..And I want to stay true to the book and not cut in half or side step…This is really turning out to be such great project for me. I am learning so much. After I am done with the book this summer I am going back through and doing all the canning recipes on my canning blog.

This was tasty and simple

Mirro Cook Book…….1939

Pork Tenderloin with Tomato Sauce

1 pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons shortening
salt and pepper
1 cup tomato soup
1 teaspoon lemon

Cut the tenderloin in individual servings. Season. Brown in hot fat in a Fry Pan. Add tomato soup and simmer for 35 minutes or until tender. Remove to serving dish, thicken the liquid with flour, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and pour over the meat.

Yummy I made it with wild rice and a salad……

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Nut Crisps

These were good but tricky to cook watch them pull up a chair in front of the oven and do not let them get to flat….

The Art of Fine Baking ……1961

Nut Crisps

This recipe requires no flour

1 1/2 cups nuts (almonds,walnuts,filberts)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Grate or grind nuts fine
Cream butter and sugar. Stir in ground nuts, salt, and vanilla. Form dough into a long roll, 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in wax paper. Chill until firm.
Set oven at 350 degrees
Cut into this slices. Place slices on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake about 7 minutes, or until cookies are light brown. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Place cookies on paper towel to absorb excess fat, if any…(there is plenty)

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Helping you new cooks today …

After a few question regarding the recipes I am posting I am going to go back over all of them and put a little note as to what things mean. The recipes I am posting are from my book collection of antiques books and I have posted them exactly the way they are written …being a cook I never considered the non-cook cook so for all of you beginners this ones for you….And thank you Cindy for all your question you inspired this …See as the teacher use to say there are no stupid questions….

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Bread Pudding

This Bread pudding at first I said wait a minute I use way more fattening stuff in mine but I did by the book and ti turned out really well… I grabbed a sauce off the internet but did not add the Rum or Whiskey it called out for if I was going to put it in but to buy a whole bottle of booze for 2 tablespoons hummm not quite what I thought was any part of sustainable living….besides I would just drink the whiskey and forget the pudding….

Cookery for Today………..1932

Bread Pudding


2 cups of stale but not dry bread
1 quart milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Soak the bead in the milk until it is very soft, then mash it fine. Heat together until nearly boiling. Beat the egg until light and add to them the sugar, salt and vanilla. When well mixed, stir this into the bread and milk, pour the whole into a earthenware baking-dish, set in a pan of water, and bake three-fourth of an hour in a rather slow oven.

This book did not have a sauce recipe so I grabbed one from All Recipe

Vanilla Sauce

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For vanilla sauce, whisk 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, the flour, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 1/4 cups of whole milk,and salt together in a heavy saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour sauce over warm bread pudding, or serve on the side in a bowl.

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