Monday, August 19, 2013

The Whole Fromage

The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison  
Recently I read The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison which is a book about French cheese.  As I read through this book I started craving cheese.  By the time I finished the book I had gained five pounds.  Ugh! What had I gotten myself into?  I do love cheese.  I love wine.  I love homemade bread.  There is where my thoughts ended up going.  Bread!

First as I cracked open the book I also started cracking open bottles of wine.  Well and good thought I since I'm on vacation.  What goes better with wine than cheese, oh yes I can't forget the bread.  Not just any bread I thought.  No I'm thinking about the homemade sourdough bread of my youth.

Back when I was a new teenager with all those new responsibilities like breasts, acne, and boys I was also into science.  My eighth grade science teacher thought that a novel way to teach us and keep our interest would be lab assignments we could do at home and eat too.  We were growing teenagers and we ate a lot of carbohydrates back in the 80's before we were told anything white to eat was bad for you.

One of the labs took part over about an 8-10 week period to include one holiday vacation.  We had to culture from the air a bacteria that would grow in milk.  See my brain tied into the whole cow equals cheese and good bread theory.  I was a great baker.  I had no problem and still have no problem culturing airborne bacteria in milk that has been left out.

The problem is keeping that bacteria growing, the good bacteria, without having mold grow on my culture.  Mold may be great for cheese but not when growing your own yeast for bread.

I had to store my culture in a cold dark place.  So into the refrigerator my culture went.  Alas I didn't want my culture to smell like everything that was in the refrigerator either so I had to cover it loosely with some plastic wrap.

I swear growing your own bread yeast is like taking care of a baby.  I had to feed this baby yeast and I had to stir it up to release the gases then re-swaddle it with the wrapper to protect it.  Oh and if I went on vacation I would have had to of found a babysitter for my yeast or it would die.  I never did find a babysitter for yeast and so it died.  I can't even imagine asking a friend to watch my yeast for thinking of the odd looks I would get in asking them to do so.

With finishing reading this book I'm planning on starting up some more sourdough yeast soon.  I'm sure my husband will be happy to come home to smells of freshly baked bread once again.

This post was inspired by the novel The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison, who traveled to France in search of its artisanal cheeses. Join From Left to Write on August 22 as we discuss The Whole Fromage.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review

You can purchase your own copy of The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison through Amazon.


  1. This sounds like a book I would like. Thanks for the review!

  2. AMAZING! I wish I had this skill! You have sooo many skills! Jelly! (I do make home made bread,.. with you know,.. yeast from the super market)

  3. You need to do a post and share how to make a sourdough starter! I would love to try.

  4. Fun! You might like Cooked by Michael Pollan where he talks about both bread and cheese. Oh, and wine, too -- I just started that section.

  5. I've wanted to try to do a sourdough starter, but considering I can barely remember to feed my fish, I might need to wait a while :)

  6. That reminds me... my sourdough starter is sadly very neglected right now. But yes, I can totally see the leap there. And you can't have cheese without bread! Neat idea for your teacher!

  7. Love it, babysitter for your yeast. I so want to get back into more complicated cooking, and by want to, I want to want to :)


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