10 days ago my neighbour gave me a little tupperware containing "Herman" - a sourdough cake mix that has been fermenting, growing, being divided and passed on since I really don't know when. Apparently these things can keep going for years. As long as the batter is kept "alive" - at room temperature, stirred every day, added to on days 4 & 9, then divided into 4 equal parts, 3 of which are then passed on to friends and the remaining quarter kept, added to a little more and baked. It's basically a batter consisting of flour, sugar and milk. The milk ferments and that's what makes it bubble, what gives it that stench (which I've actually come to quite like now), and what essentially makes it a sourdough batter.
So I did my bit, loving the process - I always love to prolong any project with a process - waking each morning to see how my little Herman was bubbling and expanding, talking it up at the school gates to get some potential takers for Herman's next foster home. And so, yesterday, three quarters of the litre of Herman I ended up with went on their way to three loving mothers, and this morning I completed the final stage of my task...
Adding yet more flour, sugar, eggs, oil, apples, sultanas, cinnamon, etc Herman was transformed from a putrid, bubbling slurp to a mouth watering, appropriately Autumnal, apple sourdough cake!
But what I want to know is, where did he get the name Herman??