Sourdough Starters: Seed Culture & Barm

Seed Culture

Although I haven’t posted recently about baking bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, I’ve definitely been on a bread baking kick. Maybe it’s due to the cold weather. More likely it’s due to the fact that I’m tired of mediocre baguettes from the grocery store. You really can’t beat fresh bread and I will never be one of those people on a no carb diet. It just ain’t happening. I decided it was finally time for me to try making rye bread. I thought it’d be a straightforward task. Aaah, but The Bread Baker’s Apprentice seems to think otherwise. (And who am I to judge?) A loaf of rye bread takes, approximately, 7 days to make. It involves a starter (the barm). And, of course, the starter requires a starter (the seed culture). But you can make more than just rye bread from the barm.
Continue reading

Garage Update: Insulation

insulating with roxul rockwool

As I write this, I can’t help but fear what this could become. These garage update posts could easily turn into quite a lengthy affair. “Part 301, the garage is finally done.” That’s if the work on the garage follows the progress we’ve made on our fixer-upper old home. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from having an old stone farmhouse it’s that insulation is important! That’s why my husband has taken insulating the garage very seriously.
Continue reading

German Music: Toni Kater

toni kater (Photo: Ferran Casanova)

I first became aware of German singer-songwriter Toni Kater through her collaborations with Einstürzende Neubauten percussionist and a favorite of mine, Rudi Moser. In addition to his appearances in Kater’s own music, the two worked together under the name Kill Royal and released an English language track (the darkly absorbing “Remember”) through the Lokalhymnen Berlin project (other Lokalhymnen alumni include Mega! Mega!). Now seemed like the perfect time to feature Kater as she’s just released a new album entitled “Eigentum.” Coincidence or good timing?
Continue reading

German Book Review: Kracht’s 1979

Christian Kracht's 1979

After reading Swiss author Christian Kracht‘s debut novel Faserland I was hooked. While not overly simplistic by any means, Kracht writes novels that are challenging for a German language learner but aren’t overly complex either. I’m a loyal reader, a loyal fan, generally speaking. If I like the book an author has written — or a the film an actor or filmmaker has made, or the music a musician has made, and so on — I’ll typically go explore more of their work. That’s how I found myself with Kracht’s second novel, 1979.
Continue reading

German Film: Werner Herzog

werner herzog
German filmmaker Werner Herzog isn’t a man who can be pigeon-holed. He doesn’t stick to just one thing. In the world of film making, he seems to have tried it all. If Roger Ebert is to be believed, Herzog has done it rather successfully, too. Herzog makes films: big films, small films, long films, short films, documentary films, films that are not documentaries. He’s one of the German world of film’s most important filmmakers but he isn’t a strictly “German” filmmaker, as his films aren’t strictly in the German language. For this month’s German film feature, let’s focus on three of Herzog’s films that are in German and, coincidentally, all star German actor Klaus Kinski.
Continue reading