Hot Pie I, second of his name, otherwise known as the levain (or sourdough starter) on my kitchen counter, died tragically at approximately 7:09 PM on Thursday, March 17, 2016 (St. Patrick’s Day) at the age of 8 days in the top oven of my kitchen in the Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee. The cause of death is accidental, termination of fermentation was attributed to the preheating of the oven to 375 degrees F to bake a casserole of ratatouille. Hot Pie I was proofing in the oven at the time.
Hot Pie I was named after a fictional character in the Song of Ice and Fire series who grew up in the Flea Bottom community of King’s Landing in Westeros. His namesake apprenticed as a baker in King’s Landing until he became an orphan. The fictional Hot Pie escaped a lifetime of service within the Brotherhood of the Night’s Watch after a series of melees along the King’s Road on the way to the Wall. Hot Pie abandoned his remaining companions to bake bread at the Inn at the Crossings.
Hot Pie I of Memphis had no parent levain – an orphan in his own right. He is survived by no living levain and his only child was the first attempt of his foster parent, Jonathan, to bake a loaf of sourdough bread which tasted delicious, but did not rise significantly. A private funeral was held over the sink disposal in the same kitchen where Hot Pie I lived his entire life surrounded by his foster parents, Jonathan and his husband Paul . No memorial is planned at this time.
Hot Pie I lived a brief life of natural yeasting with organic whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and spring water until his final moments. He taught valuable lessons to Jonathan who will always remember him in future efforts to bake sourdough bread. May he rest in yeast.
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