When feeding a sourdough starter culture, it is normal practise to throw away the portion of culture that is removed and replaced with fresh flour.
We have a thing about waste. The prospect of throwing away something that could be turned into food grates, and so we set about trying to find a way to utilise this redundant mixture.
One of the fruit trees along the perimeter fence turns out to be a wild plum, producing small, round, orange/red fruits the size of a large cherry ( when the blossom erupted earlier in the spring we originally thought it was a cherry ).
Right up until the point of peak ripeness, we thought that the fruit were going to be inedible; they had a very flowery texture, and little flavour. However, following a week or so of strong sunshine, they developed both sugar content and a pleasant acidity, together with the flesh firming nicely, so we decided to pick as much as we could.
After an hour or so’s delicate manouevering of ladders and balancing precariously amongst heavily-laden branches, ‘as much as we could collect’ generated around 15kg of plums. That’s a lot of fruit to devour, even if you do love fresh plums. So, we set about researching how to conserve them.
To those people, many generations ago, who viewed a field of artichokes, thinking ‘Mmm, they look tastey’. Or rather, ‘Man, I’m hungry, why not try ?’
And then somehow, through much trial and error, endless disappointments and continued hunger, worked out how to make them edible, palatable, and enjoyable.