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LorraineHGK
5 Posts
Lorraine
Rancho Palos Verdes CA
USA

Posted - Mar 09 2020 :  5:37:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,
Iím Lorraine from coastal Southern California. I am new to making bread. I started my mother last Saturday. She looks good even though our temperature is a bit cool at the moment.
I have a couple of questions.
Firstly I noticed after 24 hours a yellow stain pop up on my cloth cover. It is as specified a 100% organic unbleached cotton, prewashed by me, without chemicals. The stain looked like an iron scorch mark. I changed the cloth out, but am wondering what that might have been?

I am trying to keep away from all possible chemicals in the home environment ,but wanted to ask what foods, herbs, are okay or not to have around my mother. When starting my mother I went outside and collected some fresh basil, sage, rosemary and mint to sit next to my mother as I thought these might be nice spores to have.

When I was doing some cooking my mother was around meat, vinegar and some spices.

I would like your thoughts on everyday foods, herbs, etc to have around the mother. I am currently keeping a little fresh herb plate next to my mother at all times. Is that nutty?#128522;
Thank you,
Lorraine

Ashley
469 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Mar 10 2020 :  08:53:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Lorraine,

The spot on your towel is a watermark. This is normal. As far as everyday items around your mother, most things should be fine, although I would be cautious about meat, just because the potential of some of the juice from the meat splashing into your mother is there. All this means is that you should prepare meat dishes a good distant away from your mother so you don't accidentally introduce bacteria from the meat into your mother.

I don't think keeping fresh herbs next to you mother is nutty. I've read that some people keep grapes next to their mothers because of the naturally occurring yeasts that live on them.

Ashley Ogle
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LorraineHGK
5 Posts
Lorraine
Rancho Palos Verdes CA
USA

Posted - Mar 10 2020 :  5:05:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Ashley. I forgot to ask about having flowers around too. I have a lot of orchids and right now the Freesias are blooming. Are there any particular flowers that I should keep my mother from being too close with?
And also can the mother hang out in a sunny spot either indoors or out , weather permitting of course.
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Ashley
469 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Mar 11 2020 :  09:31:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think most flowers should be fine, as long as nothing toxic to ingest is coming into direct contact with your mother, it should be fine. I'd keep you mother out of direct sunlight, mainly because it will dry out the top towel quickly, which will dry out your mother. I'm so excited to hear more about how your mother progresses!

Ashley Ogle
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LorraineHGK
5 Posts
Lorraine
Rancho Palos Verdes CA
USA

Posted - Mar 12 2020 :  11:33:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you. So far my mother looks great. I have named her Poppy. Itís our state flower. I am excited to see how the bread turns out this weekend. I have had fun searching for still/ spring water in glass bottles. So far I have used Italian, Norwegian and Armenian water. Itís more a matter of what I can find in glass.
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Ashley
469 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Mar 13 2020 :  09:19:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's great that Poppy is looking great so far. Sourcing good, pure water can be a challenge, but is sounds like you've been able to track some down. I don't think I asked, which type of flour are you using?

Ashley Ogle
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LorraineHGK
5 Posts
Lorraine
Rancho Palos Verdes CA
USA

Posted - Mar 17 2020 :  5:00:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Ashley,
I am using your recommended specialty unbleached organic white flour from Barron mills. I think my air temperature is too cool as the bread tasted good, but didnít rise. We are having a cool March. I put my mother in a warmer spot, but the ants came marching in.
I donít have a bread proofer either. Any other suggestions would be welcome, although Iím ok though with the situation as I love the experimentation.
Now that I have made some bread I wanted to ask whether to bake the bread with the lid on or off. I should have asked prior, but was already in the process. I chose with the lid off and that seemed to be fine.

Also now that I have baked one week I thought I might try the sweet muffins as I would be surprised if the bread rose this week in equally cool weather as last week.
My question about the muffins is what do I do with all of the extra mother? If I put just 1/2 cup aside for the future mother and use only one cup for muffins what about the other cups?
My mother is still young so she is not ready for refrigeration right?
Many thanks again.
Lorraine
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Ashley
469 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Mar 19 2020 :  10:04:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Lorraine,
The small amount of rise is perfectly normal for your first week. In fact, it can take upwards of one month for your mother to rise reliably. Muffins and other breads in the Quick & Easy Sourdough-Enhanced Treats are an excellent place to start. For all the extra mother, you can portion it out into container and freeze it for future batches of quick breadsóthere is a tip for this on p. 174.

It's too bad the ants found your mother in the warmer spot. Is there somewhere else you can put it? We never had ants to combat; just fruit flies. I think my big worry with ant trap would be not knowing what chemicals might be in them, but maybe there is a natural solution that isn't harmful to your mother. I'll mull on this a bit. Since your mother is so young, it's best to keep her warm for now. Once your mother is reliably rising breads it can be converted to a Refrigerator Mother.

Ashley Ogle
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LorraineHGK
5 Posts
Lorraine
Rancho Palos Verdes CA
USA

Posted - Mar 20 2020 :  11:05:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Ashley for the advice for the extra mother and I will check the tips again.

Ants are a big problem here in Southern California. We even had them in our freezer once! And they go up the Christmas tree! Sometimes we get fruit flies, but they arenít really a pest.

I did manage to move my mother. Yesterday I had someone come and help clean the house, so out of concern for my mother I ended up putting her in the car for the day to stay away from chemicals. I kept the windows open a bit for fresh air. The car temperature seemed just about right as my mother seemed very happy at the end of the day.

By the way, how do we send photos on the chat room?
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Ashley
469 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Mar 23 2020 :  09:41:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The ants sound like they're quite the pest in your area. That is a head scratcher for sure. I read that vinegar and bay leaves are possible deterrent, both which would be safe in the airspace around your mother. However, I'm not sure how much of a deterrent they would be if the ants are truly determined.

To send pictures, click on the "reply to topic" button. By doing this, you will see more It will take you to a new screen, with a dialog box that has more buttons, which is where the button to upload a picture will be. Here is a great link that lines the process out: http://wildbread.net/faq.asp#images

Ashley Ogle
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