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Back around 1980 I started visiting the California foothills, specifically Arnold California. On your way there you had to pass through Avery, a small nothing of a town, really only a blink on the map, but a main stop was Larrys 4 k's restaurant. As I recall the 4 k's represented his wife and kids names, anyways the mountain breakfast was a must have, it consisted of three eggs, hash browns, sausage, ham slice, bacon, toast and two big SOUR DOUGH pancakes. It was a time when life was perfect and I was young enough to eat and really enjoy this mountain of food. As time would have it, Larrys closed sometime in the 90's and that great breakfast was left as just a memory.
I started my obsession with sour dough starters in the late 90's. Why do I have 8 of them, yep, im O.C.D. or as those of us with it prefer to refer to it as C.D.O. (proper order):>....I have starters from real San Francisco bakery(Sally), real Gold Rush country(Larry and BIG JOHN and Secret Special Larry), from Chile(Sasha), from The Bastard(bahahaha), from Washington( Walt), from Bella, from Granzell. My starters are cared for and fed on a regular basis and my stories of how and why I did this will grow as you will see.
Each of my babies has their own story, as you have started to see with Larry. I actually moved to Arnold Ca. in 1985 out of the bay area (grey area as we locals call it). Sometime by 2009 I had already brought back to life and raised five sour dough starters. Ok, why so many? Seems that after my first starter (Sasha) from Chile, I thought I needed one from San Francisco (Sally), why? because everyone needs a sour dough starter from San Francisco, duh!
Well, when baking bread from each starter I noticed some very different qualities. First off Sasha had smaller air bubbles in the bread and made a denser loaf (really nice for olive oil dipping), while Sally blew bigger bubbles and made a loftier loaf (just great sour dough bread). Hmmm, what if I got more starters from other places, will they be different? Yes indeed they were, and the C.D.O. (O.C.D. or obsessive compulsive disorder for those of you who just don't get my humor) took over. Maybe you have now noticed that I also have A.D.D. AND A.D.H.D. and A.B.C.D.E.F.G.:>
So what's the scoop with Larry? Well I was chatting it up with a local and was talking about my starters and lo and behold this gal asks if I remembered Larrys 4 k restaurant, of course I do, she then exclaims that she has Larrys starter. Seems she was friends with Larry and when he was closing she asked for some of his starter and got it. Along with the starter, she found out that it was given to him by his grand father along with his grand fathers secret recipe for a way to change the starter. (you are not getting this), but I got it all from her and started to revive what is now known as Larry.
Larry is a real SOUR dough starter. He blows big bubbles and is a very active starter. He makes great bread, pancakes, rolls and basically anything you want from a sour dough starter. Larry was born and raised in the foothills of California (the real gold rush area) and the original starter has never been moved out of the foothills, well at least not by me and I live in the foothills still.