Have a piece of friendship cake.
One of my co-workers brought me an Amish friendship starter and though I had heard about the process before, I had never tried it.
Basically, the starter sits for about ten days, on the counter-top, in a plastic bag. Each day, you give the bag a little mush. On day 6, you add some stuff (milk, sugar, flour) and then let it sit for another 4 days. On day 10, you divide the starter into 5 equal parts (4 to give away and 1 to use in your recipe), add a bunch more stuff and bake your bread. We were a little reluctant–the stuff sitting in the bag did not look good and the idea of a milk based product sitting on the counter for 10 days made me weary.
We made the bread, actually we made a cake and some muffins out of the batter. And they were great! Way better than expected. Food tester #1 (husband) was afraid to try them at first due to the gross looking bag that they came from. Food Testers #2 (my seven year old son) and Food Tester #3 (my five year old daughter) were not afraid. They even went back for seconds and asked for them to be put in their lunch boxes the next day. Food Tester #1 eventually gave in and proceeded to eat up most of the cake.
I tweaked the recipe a lot because I ran out of milk (so I used a mixture of heavy cream and water, and a big dollop of plain yogurt). The recipe also calls for instant pudding mix–which I just happened to have on hand however next time (there will definitely be a next time) I need to experiment with substitutions for the pudding mix. I don’t like to buy that kind of thing–if I can avoid it. Also, I want to add things–bananas and chocolate chips, blueberries, poppy seeds and lemon. All of these would work very well in this cake.
Now I have four bags of starter, that I am mushing everyday and no one to give them out to. So, if anyone (who lives nearby) wants one—let me know. You’ll be glad you did.