Eating Time

When I was six months old, my mom made a friend.

And when I say made, I mean made. His name is Herman, he lives in a Pyrex bowl in one of her cabinets, eating flour every few days, and turning out consistent loaves of the best Amish friendship bread in the world every time he’s called on.

I’ll be twenty-seven in June, he’ll be twenty-seven in December. In a few years we’ll turn thirty together. He’s been a part of our lives as long as I can remember.

The past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about Herman more than I have, possibly ever.

Under quarantine conditions, I’m thinking about a lot of things these days, but one of my primary preoccupations the past couple of weeks has been baking. Soda bread, cookies, scones, turnovers, sausage rolls, banana bread as soon as my bananas age a little more— they all help to eat the weary hours.

Thus, Herman.

I’ve kind of always figured I’d have a Herman of my own one day, but usually my plans for him involve stealing portion of mom’s when I finally find a place to land permanently. Herman Jr. and I would move to whatever city will hire me, I’d forget to feed him regularly, my loaves would never turn out as pretty as mom’s.

Now, with time on my hands, and a comfort-craving for starch of all kinds carved into my soul, I’m debating on making my own friend. The recipe is easy, water, flour, time, patience, and the sacrifice of a large bowl as his permanent home.

At the moment, it’s a dearth of the last ingredient that has me holding off on this endeavor, but if Tesco has an appropriately sized container for his residence, that might change.

This world was scary enough before a global pandemic threw a wrench in all of our collective plans, and if nurturing a bowl of soupy, starchy bacteria will help me keep breathing, then I won’t turn it down.

Besides, it’ll give me another way to ignore the research I should be conducting.

Stay strong lovelies,



Links to things I’ve wasted time with this past week:

Charade (1963) – Starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant

How to Murder your Wife (1965) – Starring Jack Lemmon and Verna Lisi

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1992)— David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in the 1990s BBC series

Lore Olympus (ongoing, updates Sundays)— a webcomic retelling of the Persephone/Hades myth

CV Survival (playlist)—my Spotify playlist (80 songs and counting) of music that keeps me from climbing the walls.

WaPo’s Sourdough starter— is this the one mom used all those years ago? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s the one I’m eyeing.

Howl (1954-55) — The poem that put Ginsberg on the map, some days Howling feels appropriate.

3 thoughts on “Eating Time

  1. I love Herman as well. I had a lovely chocolate chocolate chip Amish birthday cake this year. When l was is in junior high our scout troop made sour dough starter at Spaun ranch, and l made sour dough bread every weekend for several years. I have the cookbook we made that same week. I have considered starting that again, maybe this is the time to do that. Love ya kid. Hang in there and know that the family is weathering this storm pretty well.


  2. I guess I missed this posting last month. I did not realized “Herman” was his name and had been around as long as he has. The first time we went to San Francisco I picked up sour dough started and kept it going for a couple of years then got so much of it I was giving it away to anyone who would take it at work. Then just used it all up. have some in a packet I got a number of years ago, not sure if it is still good need to try. Your Mom is always making something with “Herman”. since not working anymore I don’t have any place to take the bread products and would end up eating them all and be as big as a house….Keep you chin up someday you will be home and will be with Herman again.
    Love ya and hope to see you in August….


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