In the last seven years I have lived in no less than seven different homes. I'm sure many of you can relate. I've always loved getting to know new streets and neighborhoods -- enough to put up with an annual schedule of packing and moving and unpacking. My latest summer move took place last weekend and I couldn't be happier with the change.
When I first left Chicago for grad school last year, I found a suitable home and roommates by way of Craigslist. It was a fine arrangement, but the house was small for three people and we didn't have anything in common. Ultimately, it was just a place to sleep and fix quick meals.
I'm thrilled to be recently installed in a gorgeous, sun-filled house with two great women from my program. The family that owns the house is on sabbatical in Switzerland until late December -- exactly when we all plan to be graduating. Not only is the timing perfect, but the big dining room and garden patio already have dinner party planning in full swing.
This recipe comes to me couresty of my parent's neighbor Audrey (who you might remember from her amazing Raspberry Chocolate Torte recipe). Audrey gave me a portion of starter and a print out of the recipe, and after a bit of research, I found that the recipe is from a popular "chain-letter" starter called Amish Friendship Bread. The original cautions not to use metal containers or utensils, to keep the starter un-refrigerated, and to use only ceramic or plastic bowls. I haven't tested these recommendations.
You can find the recipe here. I modified the recipe by adding one cup of whole wheat flour to the starter on the tenth day instead of all-purpose. I also omitted the vanilla instant pudding and the nuts entirely and I didn't miss either of them. The cake is a bit like a quick bread, but the sweet sourdough starter gives it a more complex flavor. The cake is excellent served wtih some berries and plain yogurt.
*If you would like me to send you some of the starter, I would be more than happy to send a batch to the first three people who email me. You can find my contact information here.