Dead, dead, and never called me mother

Why, do you suppose, a sourdough starter is often called a mother? A podcast on sourdough seemed to think that it was because it needs daily care and attention, looking after and cosseting. If that assuages your filial guilt, OK, but it is completely bass-ackwards. It’s a mother because it gives life to its offspring, the loaves that come forth from the mother starter. How can anyone think otherwise?

And another thing. Does everybody else in the world name their starter, generally with a cute, punning name like Bread Pitt? I made my first starter around 30 years ago and never had the slightest urge to name it. Despite being nameless, it is still going strong. My other starter, also nameless, is older by far than my own mother and, like her, is also going strong.

As for the title …

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