I made my first sourdough starter by capturing Big Island of Hawaii wild yeast back around 1997, and I kept that ferment alive until May of this year when I poured it down the drain in preparation for moving to the mainland. This weekend I mixed nine parts flour with seven parts water and set the batter partially covered on the kitchen counter to capture North Carolina yeast from the air. I fed it morning and evening with more flour, more water, and when the container became too full, I poured most of the batter off and fed the remainder. By Tuesday morning the mixture had turned to a thin slurry topped by a layer of “liquor”—Gold Rush miners drank the liquor for its naturally brewed alcohol content. The mixture didn’t smell wonderful, so I poured off the liquor and added more flour and water. By Wednesday night, I began to feel discouraged. I could see weak bubbling, nothing I’d call lift, and a new layer of yellow liquor. I left the liquor this time and changed the feed proportion: equal amounts of flour and water. Lo and behold, this morning I had a full doubling, a live and kicking sourdough. I transferred eight ounces to a container for next time, fed the rest with pure flour, and two hours later saw a triple rise. The first batch of bread is in its second rising. Two hours from now, I’ll be tasting.