It has become a standing joke that every “guy”* in quarantine at the moment has started experimenting with sourdough.

Why do women mock us so?

Now I am in quarantine myself (more details to follow in the next post). And yeah I embarked on a sourdough starter as well. Is it any good to point out that I have been working on my baking for a while now. And as my soda bread is not too bad, sourdough was next on the list of things I wanted to try?

Home alone, who am I to talk to with tales of my efforts?

The last thing the world needs now is another guy going on about the results of his sourdough work. All I will say is I was not impressed with my efforts. For all the input, my output was not great. I will give it another shot. But I see a future where if/when I want sourdough I will buy it in the shop. Or mooch it off a guy neighbour who can’t eat the 2-3 loaves a day he is producing and having to stockpile in the shed with his 300 rolls of toilet paper.

My sourdough bread, made with fulkorn flour.

Right now I am far more interested in my other project. The less trendy, less glamorous one, but probably more useful – figuring out how to make a good Rosti.

I was introduced to rosti in mountain huts in Switzerland. Grated potato mixed with things like cheese, onion, bacon, or peas. All cooked together in a sort of pancake. It is quintessential mountain food to me. Now I will admit that after a day hiking and climbing through the Valais Alps nearly anything will taste great (with the beer). But the simple, flavourful, and filling rosti was always something I wanted to be able to do myself.

Mont Blanc du Cheilon – climbed in 2003.

My problem was previous attempts fell short. They burned, they fell apart in the pan. I knew it could not be that hard – hut wardens with simple facilities manage it, so I should be able to. That is what I have been experimenting with in my quarantine days.

There are of course loads of online recipes. But there seems to be a lot of difference of opinion on the order to do the prep. The options are:

  1. Peel spuds. Parboil them. Grate and cook.
  2. Parboil the spuds. Peel. Grate and cook.
  3. Peel spuds. Grate raw. Then cook.
Rosti in the pan. Best cooked slowly with a lower heat.

I have got best results so far with 2. But it means boiling the spuds a half a day before so they can cool to be peeled. That is possible but a little labour intensive. So tonight I will trial option 3.

My best result so far. Tasted as good as it looked.

If I can make it work then it is something new for the kids. And it might become a “one-pot” staple as well for camping and kayaking trips.

* “Guy” was famously distinguished from “man” by the comedian Dave Barry as “Men went to the moon. Guys invented mooning”

[2020 Target: 6/52. 2,200/25,000]