I woke up to a woeful sight this morning. The sourdough starter that I had created, fed, changed, and taken care of for the last six months was dead. There were these disgusting spots of mold growing on top of the liquid and the whole thing was very thick. I poured it down the drain with as much ceremony as I could muster under the circumstances. A fine burial at sea, well sewer, for my poor starter.
I don't know if the starter got contaminated some how or if I didn't feed it enough. I made sure to feed it at least once a week and that has been enough up until now. I was keeping the starter out on the counter since we keep the thermostat down to 15 C in the winter and spring. What I fear happened was the mold spores that give me fits in the spring somehow contaminated my starter, possibly during its last feeding.
So, now I have to start all over again and create a new starter. We had only just found a pizza crust and a sourdough biscuit recipe we liked too. Oh well, life will go on but I am definitely beginning to appreciate just how valuable a good sturdy sourdough starter was for the pioneers and why some of them protected it by storing it in a pouch next to the chest. Without a sourdough starter there would be no bread, considered the staff of life by many cultures.