A friend of mine killed her starter.
I didn’t ask how. Vacations. Life. A summer heat wave.
So a few days later I just split mine and delivered one half it to her in a plastic pouch.
Problem solved, and she could go back to baking loaves.
This marks the third time I’ve split my mother dough into some giftable offspring.
Sharing starter starter seems to me to be almost a core tradition embedded deep in the subculture and shared process of breadmaking.
Starting a new starter from scratch is not difficult, of course, but neither is it a quick process.
Even if your newly gathered and grown starter is ready to use in a couple of weeks, there are countless feedings of wasted flour during that span and even then I’ve found that a good, productive starter takes many more weeks (or months) to mature and hit peak efficiency.
So instead we share. Half for me. Half for a friend.
I did this by scooping half of my starter from its home with a spatula from the little plastic tub where it has lived for the better part of two and a half years. That half went to my friend. Shared, the travelling half got a new home, a fresh feed of its own and a chance to bake bread for another family.
The remainder got a feeding and returned to its corner to enjoy the fresh dosing of flour.
Such a simple act…. but at the same time a clever and marvelous way to spread a bit of sourdough joy with friends and neighbours.