Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yogurt Face Mask

Treat yo'self! This easy DIY face mask only requires four common kitchen ingredients.

You may remember my housemate, Maggie, as the model for Saturday Crafternoon's post on cold brew coffee. Well, looking cute as a button in photographs isn't her only skill; she's a DIY pundit, to boot! (She has a dozen other charms and talents, but I'll save those for another day!) Her specialty? Making all-natural bath & beauty products with things you'd find around the kitchen. Her motto is, "If you wouldn't put it in your mouth, don't put it on your face!"

That seems like a totally common sense idea, but if you really start to think about it, it's actually pretty radical in this day and age. The average person puts nine (yes, nine!) different products on his or her face every day, each with a long list of chemical ingredients you likely couldn't even pronounce, let alone would consider eating. But your skin absorbs a significant proportion of what you put on it: why wouldn't you be as mindful about what you put on your skin as you are what you put in your digestive track?

Today, Maggie and our fellow housemate, Poli, walk us through making a cleansing facial mask that requires only four ingredients... all of which are not only FDA-approved, but probably in your kitchen already. This recipe is specifically beneficial for combination skin, but Maggie also offers substitutions for any dry- or oily-faced DIYers out there.

Recipe for yogurt face mask (only four ingredients!) and free printable label.

And in addition to this easy-peasy recipe, there's another free printable! You may have noticed that I've never included a craft on this blog that incorporates illustration. That's because, despite my love of all things artsy-fartsy, every dog I draw ends up looking like a cow, every person looks like an octopus, and so on. There are five-year-olds who draw better than I do.

However, what I love about this blog is that it gives me an excuse to try my hand (literally!) at new things, including crafts outside my comfort zone. When Maggie suggested I package up her face mask all fancy-pants so others could more readily make this as a gift, I decided to try hand-drawing a label. I probably won't be switching careers any time soon, but I loved working on this label, and I'm pleased as punch with the final result! If you want to use this printable yourself, it's available at the bottom of the post, and as always, it's free for personal use. Now, let's get started!

Treat yo'self! This easy DIY face mask requires four common kitchen ingredients.

What you'll need:
  • 1 part oatmeal
  • 1 part coffee beans or grounds
  • 1 part plain yogurt
  • 1 part honey
  • coffee grinder

This recipe is best for folks with combination skin: dry in some areas and oily in others (most likely in the T-Zone, i.e. nose, forehead, and chin). If your skin type tends toward being dry all over, skip the coffee and add in vitamin E oil or olive oil. If your skin type tends toward oily all over, keep the coffee, but substitute strawberries for the oatmeal. 

Maggie recommends using somewhere between 1 teaspoon and 1 Tablespoon per ingredient, per person. A little goes a long way: we used two Tablespoons of each ingredient, and had enough to make masks on six different faces!

What do each of these ingredients do, exactly? According to Maggie, each ingredient plays a critical role in revitalizing your face. Coffee improves circulation and serves as an exfoliant. Oatmeal is an exfoliant, too, as well as being anti-inflammatory. (Anybody else have childhood memories of Aveeno's oatmeal baths after chicken pox or a bad sunburn?) Yogurt serves as a soothing base, moisturizing the skin and holding all the ingredients together. And finally, honey is not only a natural moisturizer, it is also a powerful antimicrobial. In fact, one kind of honey been proven to cure the dreaded MRSA infection, which is resistant to most antibiotics (source: National Geographic). So say goodbye to your zits, and hellooooo smooth, clear skin!

Yogurt Face Mask // Step 1

Step 1: Grind the coffee and oatmeal up in your coffee grinder until you've got a fine powder. Since there was likely only coffee in your grinder prior to this use, there's no need to wash it out beforehand. It's up to you if you want to wash it out afterward: the thin dusting of oatmeal left on the grinder walls isn't likely to affect the taste of your coffee, unless you're a descendent of the Princess and the Pea. 

Yogurt Face Mask // Step 2

Step 2: Pour all the ingredients, including the oatmeal-coffee mixture, into a bowl. Mix the contents of the bowl thoroughly until you have a nice paste the consistency of wet mud. It's that easy! Your face mask is ready to go.

Yogurt Face Mask // Step 3

Step 3: Dampen your face to prepare the "canvas," and begin buffing a small quantity of this mud mask in a circular motion over the entire surface of your face. Buffing as you go sloshes off the dead skin cells, leaving your skin fresh and glowing. By the time you're done buffing, you should have a thin layer of "mud" over your whole face. Maggie wants to remind readers not to forget their lips: they're an important piece of facial skin, too!

DIY Face Mask. Because you deserve some "me time" to exfoliate, rejuvenate, and get your glow on.

Step 4: Now you wait! Find a comfortable spot to relax while the face mask does its magic. If you have a cucumber around, throw some slices on your eyes for the full spa experience (not to mention moisturizing and anti-inflammatory benefits) When the mask starts to dry and you can feel your facial skin tightening, you know the mask has done its job. For oily skin, this will be after five or so minutes, and for dryer skin, closer to ten minutes. Maggie recommends washing the mask off with a warm washcloth.

Face masks know no gender: they're fun for everyone!

At this point in our photoshoot, Maggie's boyfriend and Poli's husband walked in and wanted to join in the fun. And why not?! Face masks aren't a gendered activity: they're beneficial for everyone with a face to put them on!

Free Printable // Yogurt Face Mask
To download the full-sized printable (free for personal use), click here or on the image above.

Face masks are a great treat for yourself or for a friend. Download and print out this free printable to gift your next batch to a loved one: the label looks adorable on an 8oz mason jar. You can use Maggie's recipe or do some internet research to come up with your own: yogurt serves as a base for a lot of homemade face masks, and there are so many different kitchen foods that can benefit more than just your digestive track.

Now go treat yourselves! You DO deserve it! Happy spa day, everyone.

This easy DIY face mask only requires four common kitchen ingredients.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board

Add some pizzazz to your summer events with this DIY chalkboard sandwich board!

I love sharing the creative pursuits of my talented friends, so I'm delighted this week to feature this chalkboard A-frame sign made by my super-creative housemate, Jessica Parra-Fitch. As a grassroots community organizer, she was shocked when she heard the organization she works for was willing to spend $200 for a plastic sandwich board to support her work. She wanted to gain more visibility in the neighborhood but felt that those funds could be better spent on things like providing healthier food at community events. She told told her colleagues, "I can make that myself for cheaper!" And indeed, she did!

If you already have a screwdriver and chalkboard paint (which you can make very cheaply with our DIY chalkboard paint tutorial, also the brainchild of Jess!), this project will only cost you $20 and some change. That's a 90% savings from a store-bought easel of a similar size!

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board

I love how thrifty and creative this project is... The plywood panels are held together with door hinges, of all things! So brilliant. I could see it being used in so many different, practical ways: tailgating, wedding signage, yard sales, BBQ menus, low-tech scoreboard for sporting events, family game night (hangman, anyone?), kids' crafting corner... What other great ways would you use an A-frame easel? There are so many fabulous possibilities! 

Inspired to make your own yet? Get down to the nuts and bolts (literally!) to make this sign like Jess!

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board // Supplies

What you'll need:
  • 2 pieces of plywood (can be any size, but must be the same size as one another)
  • masking or painter's tape
  • chalkboard paint (make your own with acrylic paint and tile grout with this tutorial!)
  • paintbrush
  • 2 door hinges
  • 8 nuts and 8 bolts, sized to fit your hinges
  • screwdriver
  • wrench

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board // Step 1

Step 1: For each piece of plywood, choose the side with the cleanest edges. On one side of Jess's plywood, there was some text stamped right on the edge of the board, so she flipped the board over and used the other side!

Use your masking or painter's tape to create a straight border around the edge of your plywood. Everything will get coated in paint except this taped-off border, creating a really lovely faux frame around the chalkboard. (This was an idea Jess had moments before she began painting: it adds such a nice touch!)

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board // Step 2

Step 2: Paint the taped side of the plywood liberally with chalkboard paint, and repeat with the second plywood sheet: Jess used two coats on each plywood sheet. Once the paint is thoroughly dry, you can remove the masking tape border and move onto the next step.

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board // Step 3

Step 3: Flip both boards (chalkboard side down), and align the top ends, leaving just enough space for the hinge in between. Arrange the hinges such that they are equidistant from the edges of the plywood as well as from one another. You can estimate if you feel comfortable (this is what Jess did, and it turned out great), or if the perfectionist in you rears its punctilious head, then break out the ruler and your high school math skills! 

Once you've got your hinges where you want them, use a pencil to mark where your drill hole will go. Jess skipped over the middle hinge hole, marking only the holes on the far sides of each hinge: eight in all.

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board // Step 4

Step 4: Pre-drill the holes on each board using a properly-sized drill bit. We were fresh out of drill bits, so Jess instead used a nail slightly smaller than the nuts she was using. Make sure the edge of the plywood is hanging off the table you're drilling on: the nail or drill bit will be longer than the width of the plywood, and you don't want to accidentally drill through dining room table!

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board // Step 5

Step 5: Align the top edges of your plywood again, place the hinges back over the drill holes, and nudge the boards around until the drill holes align with the hinge holes. With half of each board hanging off the edge of your table—again, to avoid accidentally drilling through the table—screw each nut through the hinge and drill hole, all the way through to the other side of the board. It helps to have a second person to hold both pieces of plywood steady (thanks, Alex!).

DIY Chalkboard Sandwich Board // Step 6

Step 6: Flip the chalkboard back over, and you'll find some fine-looking nuts poking through your chalkboard sign! Use your wrench to attach a bolt to each nut. Pat yourself on the back for simultaneously securing your chalkboard sign and preventing a drunken injury on those surprisingly sharp nuts at your next tailgating party. 

DIY chalkboard sandwich board. Grab your chalk and get creative!

Step 7: It's ready to go! Fertilize your creative genius, grab a pack of white or colored chalk, and draw whatever strikes your fancy. I especially love the the birds and grass in Jess's design!

Add some pizzazz to your summer events with this DIY chalkboard sandwich board!

And that's it! Have you made one of these for yourself? If so, post a picture of it in the comments, and tell us what you use yours for! This sandwich board is a blank slate in more ways than one... The possibilities are endless!

Add some pizzazz to your summer events with this DIY chalkboard sandwich board!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hammer & Wine Housewarming Gift

The perfect housewarming gift! Includes free printable wine label and hammer design.

You know you're really entering into adulthood when your friends start getting married, buying houses, and having babies. For me, that trend started a few years ago, when it seemed like every week another mid-20s acquaintance announced an engagement, marriage, or pregnancy. My high school friend, Maris, and her main squeeze, Cole, were the first of my close friends to hop the train to adulthood when they tied the knot last year. Then, a few weeks ago, they took the next step and bought their first house in Western Massachusetts! It's no small feat to independently purchase your own place, so I wanted to be part of celebrating their achievement. I scoured Pinterest for fun housewarming ideas, and this blog post from MotherStucker ultimately served as my inspiration:

Housewarming Gift // Francis-Arden Jackson
Source: MotherStucker

Given my newfound love of free fonts and graphic design, I wanted to create a more formal wine label for the newest homeowners in my life, as well as something I could also share with all of you! The printable is available at the bottom of this post, and as always, it's free for personal use! 

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Supplies

What you'll need to embellish a hammer:
  • hammer
  • wax paper
  • sharpie markers (I used fine point and ultra fine point)
  • clear acrylic sealer
  • tape

What you'll need to make a "get hammered" housewarming gift:
  • embellished hammer
  • bottle of wine
  • free printable (available at the bottom of this post)
  • scissors and glue
  • twine
  • colorful ribbon

How to embellish wood using wax paper and sharpies.

Step 1: Use any word processing program to design your embellishment. Once you've got it properly sized for your hammer, flip the entire design horizontally (some programs will call this "mirroring"). Alternatively, you can use the printable at the bottom of this post, already flipped horizontally.

Step 2: Print your design embellishment on wax paper: a process that's tricky, but can be done successfully! I followed a great tutorial on a blog called A Piece of Rainbow, which I'll outline for you here:

Cut a piece of wax paper to about 8.5x11.5", just 1/2" longer than a standard piece of computer paper. Fold the extra 1/2" of wax paper over a piece of computer paper, making sure you have a sharp crease. Tape the 1/2" wax paper flap to the computer paper.  Finally, feed the paper-wax paper sandwich through an inkjet printer, taped side first. You'll be more successful if you guide the paper through the printer, so it doesn't get jammed or feed through improperly.

How to embellish wood using wax paper and sharpies.

Sounds easy enough, right? It seems like every crafter on the planet has this down to a science, but my own experience was a comedy of errors! It took twenty minutes and several sheets of wax paper before it finally fed through my finicky printer properly. I ran to grab my camera for a picture when it finally printed successfully, and in those precious few seconds, my sneaky little printer sucked the wax paper back up and ruined it! I had to start all over again. Twenty minutes after that (and several more sheets of wax paper), the wax paper finally fed through properly again. I don't have a clue what I did differently the two times it went through successfully, but I can't tell you how glad I was to finally be done with this step!

Step 3: Get your hammer thoroughly wet, dry it off with a towel, and carefully tape down the wax paper embellishment, ink side down.

I'm not sure wetting your hammer actually does anything, since most hammers have a waterproof finish, but because all the tutorials I read recommended it, I went ahead and did it. (It certainly didn't hurt anything, anyway.) Carefully cut out your wax paper embellishment, and then carefully tape it down onto the hammer. "Carefully" is the name of the game, people: you have to do all this without touching the ink or moving the wax paper around on the hammer. Otherwise, it will be SMEAR CITY!

How to embellish wood using wax paper and sharpies.

Step 4: Rub the wax paper with your finger (and a little bit of elbow grease), hard enough to leave an ink imprint on the hammer. Remove the wax paper, and you should see a very faint imprint of your design. Now, grab your sharpie and start tracing! I used an ultra-fine point sharpie to trace the smaller letters as well as the outline of "HOME," then used a fine sharpie to fill in the bigger letters in "HOME."

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 5

Step 5: Carefully take your hammer outside. Emphasis once again on the word "carefully": due to the hammer's waterproof finish, the sharpie ink never fully dries on the hammer, which is why this step is so important! Use 1-2 coats of clear acrylic sealer to seal in your sweet little design and make it permanent. Now that your hammer is properly (and permanently) embellished, it's time to tie it all together (literally) with the finished housewarming gift.

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 6

Step 6: Print and cut out the printable (available below). The original label on my wine bottle was easy to peel off, but if it doesn't come off easily, simply size your printable to be slightly larger than the original wine label. Glue the printable onto the wine bottle.

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 7

Step 7 (optional): Tie the hammer to the wine bottle by wrapping twine around both every which way and double knotting the ends together. You gift will still be fairly stable if you skip this step and only use a ribbon to hold the hammer and wine bottle together, but it will be even steadier if you use twine first.

"Get Hammered" Housewarming Gift // Step 8

Step 8: Tie your ribbon in a lovely bow around the hammer and wine bottle. And you're done!

The perfect housewarming gift! Includes free printable wine label and hammer design.

Free Printable // Housewarming Gift with Love
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.
Free Printable // Housewarming Gift
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.
Free Printable // Housewarming Gift with Best Wishes
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.
Free Printable // Housewarming Gift from Your New Neighbors
Download the PDF sized for a standard wine bottle
by clicking here.

Free Printable // Housewarming Gift
To download, right-click on the image and choose "Save Image As..."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Thumb Drive Holder

Never lose your thumb drives again with this easy thumb drive organizer!

Those of you who know me personally can confirm that as a "creatively cluttered" person, I spend about 7-10% of my waking hours trying to find something I've lost amidst the daily chaos. Car keys, cell phone, you name it, but there's nothing worse than trying to find a missing thumb drive. Most of mine are smaller than my pinkie finger: it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack!

I've been keeping my USB flash drives in my earring bowl, but I recently decided it was high time these little guys had their own home. And thus, the "thumbprint" thumb drive organizer was born! This project took me less than thirty minutes to complete and required no special tools... I didn't even need a screwdriver! Ready to never, ever lose a thumb drive again? You and me both, friend!

Thumb Drive Holder // Supplies

What you'll need:

Thumb Drive Holder // Step 1

Step 1: First, use the frame backing as a guide for sizing your stretched burlap canvas. Then, break out your x-acto knife and get to cutting! This may well be the toughest part of the project: you'll need a lot of elbow grease to cut through the multiple layers of burlap and cardboard! I was delighted to discover that the burlap was thoroughly glued to the cardboard underneath, so the burlap continued to hold its shape, even after I cut through the final layer.

To download, right-click the image and choose "Save Image As..."

I tried this out with over a dozen different fonts, and these two fonts were my favorites! They are Porter Sans Block and Foglihten No 01, respectively. 

Thumb Drive Holder // Step 2

Step 2: Using your stamp pad, leave your thumbprint on your chosen printable. To save yourself trips to the printer, I recommend taking a few practice thumbprints before making your final print, so you can get a good feel for what it will look like.

Step 3: Cut out the printable, and cut the photo matte to be slightly larger than the printable. I waited until later to do this, but you can now glue the printable onto the photo matte, then glue the photo matte onto the stretched burlap. I used regular Elmer's Glue, and it worked great! 

Step 4: Lay out your printable and thumb drives as you want them to look. Using a pen or sharpie, put a tiny mark slightly above where you want each thumb drive to hang.

Step 5: Screw in the cup hooks right on top of your sharpie marks. Since you'll be screwing them into cardboard (instead of real wood), you don't actually need a screwdriver for this step. Just use some force and keep turning! Once it's in part way, getting it in the rest of the way will be a little easier.

Step 6: If your thumb drives don't already have hangers, you can use a piece of string or hemp twine to make your own. Cut a small piece of string, fold it back on itself, then knot the end. Feed the loop halfway through the hole in your thumb drive (most thumb drives have one), then feed it back through the other end of your loop. That ought to hold it! 

Step 8 (optional): Since the cup hooks went all the way through the stretched burlap canvas and the frame backing would no longer fit onto the frame, I took matters into my own hands! I super-glued a piece of balsa wood to the back, then super-glued picture hanging hardware into the balsa wood. If I'd been slightly more ambitious (or had a screw driver handy), I would have put the picture backing flush to the stretched burlap canvas, then screwed the cup hooks all the way through both layers. 

Thumb Drive Organizer

I loved the way the gold frame matched the gold cup hooks, but the frame had some weird black detailing that didn't match the rustic, antiquey vibe of the rest of our home decor. My plan was to spray paint the frame, then distress some of the gold back through, but I loved the way it looked so much after two layers of spray paint that I couldn't bring myself to distress it! Spray paint is such a great and easy way to give new life to an old frame.

Genius idea for organizing all your flash drives.

Another craft project to remind me that the littlest things in life that can bring the greatest joy: like never, ever, ever losing another thumb drive!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

DIY Sourdough Starter: "Feeding Your Starter (The Baby)"

Learn how to cultivate your own sourdough starter with this easy tutorial.

The closest I've come to owning a pet in my adult life was the year I spent in charge of my college co-op's larger-than-life, three-pound sourdough mother (lovingly referred to as "the baby"). Despite several near-death experiences (affixing the lid too tightly on a hot day, accidental overuse by a well-meaning baker), I managed to keep that sucker alive, even as I balanced a full schedule of academic responsibilities and collegiate frivolities. However, once I struck out on my own to the great state of Californiaking of the sourdough empire!I killed starter after starter as I tried cultivate a more modest, family-sized portion. When I found out that my fellow former co-oper, Jasper, had multiple starters thriving in his household of two, I knew I had to learn his tricks! And once I learned them, I knew I had to share them with you lovely readers. He has agreed to unveil the mysteries of the sourdough, and you're in great luck! He's not only a connoisseur of fermentation, but a gifted writer, to boot. 

Jasper lists great resources for starting your own sourdough "baby" from scratch, but if you're not ready to take the full plunge, reach out to your local community! Sourdough parents must discard a portion of their starters every day and are more often than not delighted to share. If you're lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, you have access to the crème de la crème of sourdough starters: ACME Bread Company in North Berkeley generously shares their surplus for free after daily feedings. Just call ahead to check on availability and bring your own lidded, airtight container!

Without further ado, the sourdough secrets of Jasper N Henderson:

DIY Sourdough Starter

The miracle of fermentation underwrites the cow, the wine, the pickle — but nowhere is it more dramatically on display than in the loaf of sourdough, formerly a gummy mess of gluten transformed by strategic folds and high temperature but mainly by a grand symphony of wild yeasts and bacteria. Only so, with the byproducts of this feast — chief among them alcohol and carbon dioxide — does bread achieve loft, an open crumb, and a bouquet of flavors worthy of a sommelier.

The key to great naturally-leavened breads (that is, breads risen not by industrial strains of yeast or by steam but by wild yeast and bacteria) is a well-trained and predictable starter. You train a starter by feeding it a regular meal on a regular schedule.

When I’m baking bread regularly I like to feed my starter morning and evening, about 12 hours apart without being too compulsive. It takes five minutes to feed the starter, and it makes some of the best bread I’ve ever tasted. I like to feed it half water, half flour. In baker’s terms, I have a 100% hydration starter, with 50% whole wheat flour and 50% white bread flour.

My method is adapted from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread Book and the invaluable blog Girl Meets Rye. I heartily recommend both resources for recipes and techniques. If you don’t have access to a starter or you want to start your own from scratch (the route I took), look at GMR’s “Rye Starter in 9 Days.” (I prefer a 50/50 white/whole wheat starter, but GMR’s 100% rye starter is perfectly valid and perhaps even more foolproof than my starter.)

Materials for DIY Sourdough Starter

Step one: Mise en place

Assemble before you
  • A digital gram scale,
  • Room temperature water in a spouted pot or cup,
  • A glass jar with a lid for your starter,
  • A sharpie,
  • Two dinner spoons and a bowl for discarded starter,
  • A 50/50 blend of whole wheat flour and white bread flour.

How to prep your DIY sourdough starter

Step two: Weigh your vessel

Place the empty jar on the scale. Write its weight in grams on the jar in big numerals so you won’t forget it. Leave the jar on the scale.

How to cultivate your own sourdough starter

Step three: Add starter

Place 20g of starter in your jar. If your scale formerly read 140g (which you wrote on the side of the jar) it should now read 160g.

Step four: Feed starter

Spoon 20g of flour into the jar, then gently pour in 20g of water. (If your jar weighs 140g, the scale should now read 200g.)

How to cultivate your own sourdough starter

Step five: Mix thoroughly

Make a smooth paste of the flour, water, and starter. Spread it on the bottom of the jar, making sure there are no big air bubbles in it and scraping as much as you can off the sides. Draw a line on the jar at the top of the paste — this way you'll be able to see how far it rises.

Step six: Affix the lid and wait twelve hours

Within the next 2-4 hours the mixture will bubble up and then as more of the gluten is digested it will fall back on itself. As you feed your starter regularly, the action of this fermentation should become more vigorous and predictable.

Step seven: Discard part of starter and feed again

Once twelve hours (or so) have passed, open the jar and smell your starter. It should smell fruity, slightly alcoholic, and a little sour. With the jar on the scale, use a dinner spoon to remove 40g of the starter into the bowl, leaving only 20g in the jar. (If you’ve written 140 on the side of your jar, the scale should now read 160g.) Now return to step four and feed.

How to cultivate your own sourdough starter
Alas, due to time constraints, we used a store-bought sourdough loaf for the shoot. I promise you Jasper's loaves are far more beautiful... and yours will be, too!

  • If your recipe calls for more than 40g of starter (the amount that you normally discard in a feeding), build up the amount of starter in your jar by not discarding any starter and then feeding it 60g of water and 60g of the 50/50 flour blend. You will now have 180g of starter, and if you need even more you can once again not discard and build it to 540g. This can be accomplished in twenty-four hours, although you will probably need a bigger vessel!
  • I recommend moving the starter to a clean jar once every month or two, but don’t worry if some flour residue gets caked onto the sides.
  • I often will feed my starter only once a day, but up it to two or even three times per day a few days before I start making my bread in order to maximize the lift given by my leaven.
  • Have fun! It's not a science but more of a relationship with a living thing. In our co-op in college, Ty was in charge of feeding the "baby," and she taught me how strange a relationship you can have with one of these colonies of starch-eating yeast and bacteria. It's the best kind of a pet/baby/tool/colony — one that helps you make delicious bread.
Learn how to cultivate your own sourdough starter and enjoy an endless supply of tangy, bready goodness!