How could something look so right and smell so wrong??? Well folks, sadly my first experiment with making my own starter has gone rotten. Not sour, as I’d hoped, but quite beyond it. Yesterday I opened up the bowl to feed it and got confirmation from Descartes that things were not as they should be – he pinched his nose and left the house as quickly as he could, tossing over his shoulder the words I already knew – “That stuff ain’t right!”

I spent a good three hours on the internet last night trying to figure out if my starter is indeed a goner. Not only did I find that there are about a million ways to make starter, but also that there are many differing opinions about what starter should smell like. “Soury-beery” was my favorite. Alas, “it should smell sour, not bad” came up too often for me to pretend my starter was okay.

So I’m throwing it out this morning and, on the advice of many in the blogosphere, I’m going to get myself an established starter. If anyone can help me out in this arena, please let me know! Otherwise, I think I’m going to buy one of the old American starters (some have been continuously fed and distributed since the 1800’s!) and fill my house with a smell that will not drive Descartes into the yard.

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