My husband, children and I spent the Fourth of July weekend with several other homeschooling Lutheran families. It was a great, relaxing and fun time and I so appreciate our hosts' hospitality in opening their home to us. When we left at weekend's end, the lady of the house gave me and the other mom in attendance a bag of starter for Amish Friendship Bread (she had been given several bags by a friend at church). Neophyte that I am, I enthusiastically returned home for my first Friendship Bread baking experience.
In case you are unfamiliar with Amish Friendship Bread (you can read more at the link above), it involves a 10-day fermenting process from the day that the starter is received. On Days 1-5 the recipient is simply supposed to "mush the bag"; on Day 6, flour, sugar and milk are added; Days 7-9 require more mushing; and Day 10 calls for separating out new starter to save and/or share before adding the final round of ingredients and baking. I received my starter on Day 6 after the mid-point ingredients had already been added, so all that was left for me was some waiting and mushing and then baking on Day 10.
Well, I am here to state for the record that I am now an official Amish Friendship Bread Failure. Day 10 came and went; then Day 11; then Day 12, and still no bread baked. This morning as I gazed upon my lonely, little neglected bag of starter and pondered the week before me (a week that includes Vacation Bible School, a chess tournament, housecleaning, and mad preparations for an upcoming two-week road trip), I had to come to grips with the reality that Amish Friendship Bread and I were never meant to be--at least not at this time in my life--and it was time to say good-bye. So down the drain it went with--I am sad to say--very little ceremony or fanfare. My only consolation is that I am not the only Starter Killer walking around. (I guess we can just add this to that growing list of things we have in common, Elephant's Child. By the way, I think it's time for you to put that poetic bent to work and write an "Ode to Friendship Bread Starter." Let me know when you're finished and I'll provide free editing. It's the least we can do, don't you think? We'll give the finished product to Melody to make up for our shameful handling of her good faith gift.)