Want a baby? were the words, Kristin welcomed us with recently. Not exactly sure, whether I was up to a discussion about family planing early morning, so I simply glazed at her with questioning eyes. She laughed wholeheartedly about my silly face and revealed the background of her deluding question: She was raising a Hermann and therefor looking for adoptive parents.
For me a Hermann (a starter, yeast culture) is a relict from the 80s, a sort of edible chain-letter which actually never made it into my hands. I can’t speak from personal, first hand experience with the Hermann family nor have I ever tried the final product. Hearing the term, I couldn’t help but picture a classic advocate of the eco-movement wearing woolen socks and sandals raising a Hermann baby – of course it’s just a cliché.
So if little Hermann was willing to put up with us and his new home, why not? He’s easy going, quiet and grows quickly were the points Kristin made that finally gave me a push and let me throw any unjustified resentments over board. Gotta get Hermann a stylish new home, was the first thing that came to mind, a spring-green Tupperware bowl qualified. As soon as little Hermann’s birthday arrived, I proudly showed off his new home to Kristin. Cautiously she divided him from his siblings and moved him to his new bowl, with a few more words of advice:
Hermann doesn’t like metal spoons (or bowls), feed him only with wooden ones
No one wants to live in a fridge, he likes room temperature (can you tell by happy gurgle sounds?)
Herman can be frozen (which may seem like a contradiction to rule number two, but is said to work)
Besides the above, Kristin gave me a little letter of instruction on how to make Hermann’s life as pleasurable as possible:
Day 1: No action required today, give me some rest and let’s connect.
Day 2: Done with resting, today, I’d like to be stirred.
Day 3: I’m starving please feed me: with flour, milk and sugar (a cup of each) and stir me. While we’re at it, I’d like to move into a bigger place, don’t say I haven’t warned you.
Day 4: Need a break, just stir me.
Day 5: Starving!! Feed me again with flour, milk and sugar (a cup of each) and stir me. Today you can take 3 Hermann babies (cups) and pass them on to your friends. Feed what’s left of me with oil, flour, sugar (a cup of each), one package of baking powder and vanilla sugar, 3 eggs and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Additionally you may want to add nuts, cherries, cacao or apples. Bake at 160°C (320°F) for 60 to 70 minutes.
So far Hermann is a fine baby, he’s doing great. Sitting on our kitchen counter, happily growing, bubbling with occasional baby like signs of flatulence which, hm, well, you can smell all over the place. Searching the Internet for Hermann recipes brought not only an overwhelming number of recipes and feedback to daylight, but also the fact, that not everybody likes the taste of baked Hermanns. Since I still have a few days left, anyone out there, who is Herman-experienced? Who knows a killer Hermann recipe, that blows you away – and is willing to share it? And how about your country, do you have a similar tradition of passing on bubbling yeast culture?