January 25, 2012
Allow me to introduce you to my mother.
No, not that mother, my other mother.
What a beauty! Here, if this was a normal cooking blog, is where I would tell you how I first made my sourdough starter. Instead I will tell you that I tried and failed to make a sourdough starter. Several times and using a variety of methods. I would end up with something sour, but with no apparent rising power. Trying to start a starter is not so easy, and involves throwing away substantial amounts of flour (which is not getting any cheaper). So for those of you interested in having your own mother I recommend you beg, borrow, or steal someone else’s.
That’s right–take the mother of another and make her your own. That’s what I did, and let me tell you, while I seem to be unable (unlike Dr. Frankenstein) to bring something to life, I have had remarkable success (like Seymour Krelborn) in keeping that thing alive.
And while we are on the subject of monsters, let’s go back to ancient Egypt. I learned recently that the most difficult mathematics problems back in those days concerned the distribution of wheat for making bread and beer. Thus I invited a former queen and current mummy for a breakfast of beer and bread.
In all honesty, Nefertiti probably never needed to worry about the bread and beer problem. However, as a royal ruler I imagine she would be curious about the welfare of her people. Plus, I wanted to see if her neck was really that long.
Nefertiti is not the warmest of guests. She spends her time promoting worship of the sun god, smiting her enemies, raising a large family, administering an empire, and posing for sculptures. It is a tight schedule. Certainly not one for small talk, Nefertiti sized me up, drank her beer, and was on her way. Frankly, I was glad to escape unsmote and nearly decided against sharing my mother with her. What if she misunderstood the gesture?
I should have known better. Nefertiti is a queen and knows how to accept gifts with graciousness. Just in case, I said, handing over a mason jar of bubbly gray mass. Nefertiti smiled serenely.
We both understood the importance of mothers.