Still Rotting . . .

Four weeks ago, we introduced our new friends, the Little Rotters: eight doughnut-shaped lumps of barley dough that we were rotting for 40 days in accordance with medieval Middle Eastern recipes for a sauce called murri.

So far as we know, nobody has made murri for about 600 years, so we were experimenting. One batch was wrapped in fig leaves and rotted in moist conditions (we named those lumps Spot, Whiskers, Einstein, Skinhead and Johnny Rotten). Another batch was rotted in dry conditions (they were Captain Picard and Kate Moss), and a third was rotted under ashes (Pigpen).

The doughnuts have finished their appointed rotting, and we've moved on to the second stage of the process. At this point, the recipes say to grind the rotted dough and mix it with an equal quantity of wheat flour and enough salt to make up a quarter of the total weight. The damp batch was a real mess to handle--the air was swirling with green mold spores--but we got it all done.

Now we've added water and we're letting the three batches rot for another 40 days. This time they're resting on a heating pad to simulate the summer weather the recipes call for. Here is the damp batch (Spot, Whiskers et al) as of the beginning of the second rot.

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