I have a friend I’d like you to meet. She can be an acquired taste. Sometimes a bit messy. To be honest, she can smell a little off if you don’t feed her. Despite all of that, she has become really popular. 

Meet Audrey II, my sourdough starter! (Any Little Shop of Horrors fans out there?) 

Before COVID19, us diehard sourdough baking enthusiasts were already out there. Funnily enough, it seemed that I found a small grouping of sourdough people at every party I went to. Once I got into it, people started coming out of the woodwork. 

I’ve made many different things, but some of the highlights have been varying breads including hot dog buns and pita breadfocaccia, biscuits, pancakes, bread pudding, cinnamon rolls, pasta 

Now I’m hungry. 

Where to Start

There are a number of bakeries helping people with starter kits – now that this is an option, I definitely recommend it. So many people have asked my trick for sourdough starters because some of their homemade ones have gone funky after some time. Easy – get it from someone else. I went to a great pasta and cider tasting at Texas Keeper Cidery where the chef handed out starters in a to-go bag. It’s been over a year now and my starter keeps chugging along. 

If you want added information on baking with sourdough and Google isn’t cutting it, I started with this and thought it was great at explaining the process without getting too much in the weeds: 

Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa  

A really cool exploration into sourdough baking as a lifestyle (yes, this sounds over the top; yes, you should want this for yourself) comes from another book. Warning – this one requires more brain power from you to put the recipe details together, but it does a great job of tempting you into this slower paced way of life. I now use this book for the base of my mainstay bread recipe. 

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson  

If you have a starter and it is growing out of control, make sourdough crackers (you’re welcome) – I use fresh herbs from the garden. These crackers are so yummy and don’t require the time to bake that breads doAlso, don’t ask me how but, they last way longer than you’d think before getting stale. 

Sourdough Crackers Recipe

Sourdough as a Lifestyle

Sourdough as a lifestyle, you say? 

Sounds a bit much, don’t you think? 

Not at all. I am a firm believer that we should all be living the sourdough bread baker life. 

am a sucker for what I refer to as Depression Era hobbies. This is my way of saying that I enjoy doing things that remove the middlemen and allow me to fully appreciate a product from start to finish. 

Sourdough is a great example. Take bread, something that is nearly instantaneously accessible in our modern world due to retail companies. Sourdough baking takes it back to its roots. (Or if that’s too rich for your blood, find yourself a local bakery to frequent!) 

Sourdough forces you to pay attention to the fundamental mechanics of bakingIt’s about spacing your bake out into smaller amounts of time across 1-3 days, adapting your actions based on what you see happening to the starter and dough. Sure, that can sound really intimidating off the bat, but most books and/or recipes will help you chart this out while you get used to the processIt does not take much longer or more focus than ‘instant’ baking, it just spans a longer swatch of time. Personally, I find it relaxing and enjoy weaving the process throughout my other activities.  

The usual process looks something like this: 

  • Feed sourdough starter every 1-2 days (it is a yeast that you feed water and flour) 
  • Once it has risen the starter can be used in recipes OR wait until it has fallen if the recipe calls for unfed starter – there should be at least a little starter leftover 
  • Feed the leftover starter  
  • Feed every 1-2 days OR put in refrigerator until a few days before next bake 

If it hadn’t been for that fateful day when a chef literally handed me a starter, I may have never tried sourdough baking. It seemed like more work than it was worth. But now that I have my starter, it is a nice ritual that I enjoy incorporating into everyday life. 

Consistently, the message with sourdough is to slow down. Don’t get too distracted. Don’t forget to pay attention and track your progress. Rather than a specific timeframe for each step, you have to watch and adaptAs someone who loves being given crisp, clear directions, I hated this part initially. But eventually you start being able to gauge how long you should wait for the next step based on the temperature in your house and the look of your starter or dough. There’s an odd peace that comes with cultivating that skillset. 

Anyone out there trying to use mindfulness more in your day-to-day practices? This is one of the yummiest ways you can accomplish that. 

One Last Tip

I couldn’t talk about Audrey II without mentioning one important thing. Do yourself a favor, bread bakers or whole loaf purchasers. Buy. A. Real. Bread. Knife. 



Do it now. 

Your bread can slice like butter. It can be cut without smooshing the loaf underneath the weight of your overbearing hand. You don’t have to eat the giant heel of bread all at onceTrust me, this one simple change is pure magic. 

Whelp, time to go bake. 


Whelp, here I go!

One weekday this summer I was on a walk with my husband. It was early (because it’s Central Texas and summer walks after 10am are not going to happen), but that’s my primetime. So, there I was, chatting away about my different hobbies and how much I’m enjoying them – and my other half says, “You should do a blog!”


In other words, my husband had come up with a terrible idea. This did not sound fun or interesting. It sounded like work. Why suggest adding this random thing to my plate? Besides, there are plenty of blogs out there already. Mine would end up neglected in the heap of blogs that no one really reads. So, I spent the next 15 minutes telling him he was wrong.

But let’s start at the beginning.

Rewind to Last Year

I was exhausted. Not miserable; my job was awesome, and I had friends, family, and a significant other I loved. But work was taking so much out of me that I would literally wake up, go to work, come home, sit in front of the TV where my then-fiancé would feed me dinner, and go to bed. My only creative outlet was work and it was beginning to wear on me.

A friend had started to do the workbook The Artist’s Way and was describing exactly the kind of awakening I needed. I bought a copy to try. It worked.


These days:

  • I’m baking sourdough bread, crackers, etc. (6 months BEFORE it was cool!)
  • I’m drawing and painting
  • I’m gardening (also BEFORE it was cool!)
  • I’m cooking what I grow in the garden
  • I’m crafting (stay tuned for December when you’ll see my nerdy advent calendar)
  • I’m writing
  • I’m playing music and singing
  • I’m…now annoyed that work is getting in the way of all of my hobbies. Ah well, overcorrected.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

So, what is the trick?

There are many things that helped me readjust my life. Part of this blog will be about sharing those things to help make creativity and fun be more accessible for other people. A blend of real-life experience and psychology knowledge. But I think the best place to start is with what The Artist’s Way calls synchronicity. Essentially, creativity is about opening ourselves up to the possibilities and just going for it. And, if we do, we will see that the world around us is trying to help.

If you listen closely enough, the world is whispering its secrets to you and wants you to find your creative path. In other words, it’s about saying YES when an opportunity presents itself. Not questioning our abilities or our worthiness. Just saying – Whelp, here I go!

I realized that my husband’s suggestion of the blog was about connecting the dots across my work and play. Since that realization, we decided to put the blog on the To Do List. But I still found it intimidating. Also, did you see my list of hobbies? I’m busy! I just hadn’t pulled the trigger.

What changed?

A few mornings ago I woke up and saw an opportunity to be a freelance writer focused on one of my favorite hobbies. I immediately thought back to the conversations with my husband and how my excitement had slowly grown about creating an online presence. I told him I wanted to apply. Before I even finished describing the opportunity, he told me to go for it. I started the application. It required a link to an online writing sample. Of which I have none. Whomp, whomp.

Universe, make up your mind! Is this synchronicity or is this just a “gotcha!” moment?

Part of life is how you spin it. I’m spinning this into my first step into the online writing world. It’s a win-win really. Whether I get the gig or not, I’ve made my entrance. Now it’ll just be about guilting my friends and family into reading it.

It hurts to start my blog this way, but…my husband was right. (Don’t tell him.)