On Death and Sourdough


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You ever read something that kind of just slaps you across the face with how good it is? That's how I felt reading the piece below by my longtime friend and collaborator, Kerri Conan (you might know Kerri from her recent newsletters on solo cooking here and ).

I'm obviously biased (I've known Kerri a long time), but I still think the story she tells is undeniably beautiful and touching. It's about Kerri's memories of her recently-passed mom, and her quest to save her dying sourdough starter. If these opening lines don't grab you and shake you, you're a stronger person than I am:

Before popping the top to take a whiff, I stood lit by the open refrigerator and turned the cold jar in my hands. I’d just returned home from two months at Mom’s bedside, helpless to keep her alive. And now my starter and I are weepy globs, a shadow of our bubbly selves, oozing the strong smell of alcohol.

I’ll save you, I whispered, letting the wet rye suck me under like quicksand.

This story (click the link below) made me want to immediately make a loaf of bread, so I've included some recipes for that here, too, just in case you feel the same. Either way, it's a quick read, and very worth it. Enjoy the weekend.

—Mark


“My heart says to simply feed the starter; I wait for a reply from Mom, that voice.”

MY MOTHER, MY STARTER


Talk To Me, Goose!

Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.