Don’t get me wrong when I say I didn’t leave my heart in one of America’s most beloved and beautiful cities. I love San Francisco. There is still a piece of my heart there; it’s just that I couldn’t live there. Maybe it was the times. I lived a few miles across the Golden Gate Bridge back in the early 1970’s. I was a college girl, and not a very happy one at that time. I had a bad break-up with a boyfriend, the Vietnam war was ongoing, the Zodiac killer was on the loose in the Bay area, Patty Heart was kidnapped by the SLA, and I was basically a quiet girl in the manic era of Haight-Ashbury. I was the wrong person stuck in the wrong time zone. It just wasn’t me. I missed the Midwest where I was born and felt comfortable, even with all the snow and cold. I really missed the the beautiful autumns and the cozy feeling of the first snowfall. Only die hard Midwesterners like me will understand. It’s in my genetic makeup.
But…..there is something I will always miss from San Francisco. Sourdough. I don’t care what anyone says, there is no sourdough like a San Francisco sourdough. It must be something about the Pacific air, but I have never tasted a sourdough bread as good. I have made sourdough starters many times, but it’s never been the same, so I finally gave up. I just save lots of belly room for the real thing when I visit San Francisco.
There aren’t as many sourdough cookbooks as there are other cookbooks. I don’t know if it’s because keeping a sourdough starter constantly going is too much trouble, since it is a living organism that must be fed and cared for, or maybe it’s because it won’t taste like the San Francisco version. My brother Paul is a great sourdough cook, but he lives near San Francisco and has that magic, whatever it is. Even though I don’t cook from my sourdough cookbooks, I love reading them.
The book featured here has lots of good recipes such as traditional white sourdough bread, pumpernickel, whole wheat, biscuits, pancakes, pretzels, muffins, cookies, and cakes. Maybe I will attempt a new starter one of these days. Maybe on a cold, snowy day in the Midwest when the wind is howling outside but my kitchen is warm. But I guarantee it won’t be the same.