Wastefully Resourceful

— When you're trying to be virtuous and it backfires...

autumn in Berlin: when it’s cold and dreary, it’s a great time to crank up the heat and bake

I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve attempted the Tartine Country Bread recipe. Today, the dough is coming out exactly like the photos in the cookbook, which has never happened. I think I’ll actually end up with a loaf of bread.

The sourdough yeast starter I use in the recipe requires frequent maintenance. I have to discard a portion of the flour and water mixture every other day. Discarding the yeast makes me feel a bit wasteful especially when I know that there are hundreds of recipes I can put it in.

I enjoy being resourceful—but it’s not a virtue. I’m compelled to save food, but most often I end up discarding it at a later date. The additional packaging and washing wouldn’t have happened if I just didn’t feel bad about throwing food out.

In being resourceful with the starter, I’ve made chocolate cake, chocolate cookies and even waffles. The chocolate cake came out so large that I ended up freezing most of it and then I threw it out. Not only did I waste the foil and plastic in baking and packaging, but I also ended up wasting the additional ingredients: eggs, flour and sugar.

The most resourceful I've been with the starter is when I use them in this sourdough waffle recipe. My husband and I finish them all.

Although my intentions are good, my attempt to be less wasteful has somehow made me three times more wasteful.

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Escaping the cold dampness through food.

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