Friday, August 24, 2018

Sourdough with Goat Cheese and Fig Jam #CooktheBooks

One of my favorite clubs to which I belong is our Cook the Books club.  No, we are not a bunch of CPA's that work for the Mafia.  We are a bunch of bloggers that love to read and love to cook.


Please join us this round as we read, review and create a recipe inspired by Sourdough by Robin Sloan.

This August/September selection for Cook the Books was chosen by Debra of Eliot's Eats.  This was my first encounter with Robin Sloan.  Are you familiar with him?  You can read Debra's invitation and join us if you'd like.  Learn how here.

When you first start reading this novel, you feel like you might be reading a memoir.  It is all about a coder, Lois, who works for a large company that makes robotic arms.  She works many long, arduous hours, as do all of her coworkers.  Many of them subsist on little or no sleep and little or no food, getting their nutrients and sustenance from a product that I think they called slurry but to which I keep referring to as sludge in my mind.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't mind protein drinks every once in a while.  I just don't think it should replace real food.

Anyway, Lois is kind of a rebel, so every once in a while she leaves her place of employment, after a 16 hr. day, and goes home to sleep.  When she does this she calls a number that she pulled off a handwritten flyer and orders up a bowl of spicy soup and sour dough bread.  This meal is called the double spicy and she eats it nearly each and every day for quite a while.

That, in my mind, is as bad as drinking sludge for each and very meal....these people need to get a life.

Sorry, back to the book....The owners of the kitchen from which Lois orders her nightly meal find themselves in legal trouble and must flee the country.  On their last delivery of Double Spicy they also provide our protagonist with their centuries old, secret recipe, sourdough starter.

This is the premise of a novel that then turns into a fanciful flight of science fiction.  It is quirky and strange.  It is not the best book I've ever read but not the worst book either.  It is not my usual genre of book but that is one of the reasons I joined and enjoy this club.  It get's me out of my reading rut and expands my horizons.

Now, you would have thought that I would try my hand at my own sourdough bread.  And I was tempted.  I even went to the King Arthur website, mentioned in the novel and one of my favorite companies, to order up some sourdough starter.

Then I thought about it.  Sourdough starter is a living entity.  Like a plant.  I am notorious for killing plants.  Especially houseplants.  I am also terrible about taking preventative my high cholesterol meds.  I don't feel bad so I never remember to take them.  Just like I never remember to water or pay attention to houseplants.  The only reason my outdoor garden does well is because God takes care of it.

I know, in my heart, that that poor sourdough starter would languish and die in this household.  It would be a cruel, slow, death of starvation and neglect.  The SPS (Sourdough Protection Service) would by knocking on my door and slapping me with charges.  

Nope, my ideas of having sourdough starter is just as fanciful as this novel.

So instead, I reached back to when Lois presented her first loaf of bread to her Lois club. ( I wonder if there is a Wendy club?)  and served it up slathered with goat cheese and figs.

So that is exactly what I did.  I bought a loaf of Country White Sourdough from the bakery at my local grocers.  I already had the goat cheese on hand.  It is not fig season right now but I did have a jar of fig preserves in my pantry.

This is an easy and delicious snack or appetizer.  The sourdough and fig jam are perfect additions to a cheese or charcuterie board that already contains goat cheese.  This is going to be a standard go to at my house from now on.

I am also linking up with FoodiesRead.  Stop by and see what others are reading this month.

#appetizers, #bread, #cheese, #goatcheese, #jam, #figs, #easy, #quick
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Sour Dough Bread with Goat Cheese and Fig Jam

prep time: 5 minscook time: total time: 5 mins
Fresh, airy, tangy, sourdough bread is topped with soft, savory goat cheese and sweet fig jam for a perfect appetizer or snack.


1 loaf sourdough country loaf
1 pkg. soft goat cheese
1 jar fig jam


Slice the bread, slather with cheese and add a dollop of fig jam, or place all ingredients onto a bread board and allow guests to serve themselves.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. OMG! I am laughing so hard I'm crying. I'm the same way. I kill everything...I've been so hesitant to try making sourdough because of that. I keep putting it off, knowing that I still have another month.

    1. I just know myself well enough that I'm not even going to attempt it Cam.

  2. Enter the one who is not at all hesitant. I've killed more sourdough starters than can be named. One a supposedly over 100 year old French starter, named Genevieve no less. (I had that one the longest) Others from local bakers, some from the International Sourdough company, their starters from Egypt, Alaska, Lebanon and San Fran. Finally, I gave up. I now bake my bread with a scoop of dry yeast from the freezer. No problems.

  3. My daughter recommended the book "Sourdough" to me some time ago, and I read it and agreed with her and with you that it's a very entertaining book. I liked the author's earlier book as well -- "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store". So I think your group made a good choice!

    My daughter was so inspired that she's been baking sourdough bread almost every week since then, though she thinks sourdough starter is like having an infant in the house. (Yes, sometimes it makes a mess on the floor. And it needs regular feedings. And probably needs love too).

    Your idea of eating sourdough with fig jam and goat cheese is really great! I'll have to get some to go with the result of her efforts.

    best ... mae at

    1. Yay for your daughter. I can see how this novel inspired her and I can also see how much love and work it takes to care for a starter.

  4. That does sound amazing. I buy my sourdough bread too. We always have to have it with green bean soup.

    1. bean soup. You will have to share your recipe, Paula.

  5. I had totally forgot about that foodie bit from the book. I need to revisit my notes before I pin down what I'm making. It is a quirky books and goes in so many directions (which sometimes annoys me)...but I loved this quirky little novel. :) Thanks for being the first (I think....need to check the club's website for comments.)

  6. I relate entirely to the starter demise from neglect! Goat cheese and fig jam... yum!

  7. I just loved the idea of the Lois club. Hope there is a Wendy one but doubt there is a Cathy one. Now's just the time of year for fig preserves so thanks for the recipe

    1. Yes, and you could start a Cathy one. There would be no lack of members.

  8. A delightful post, Wendy! I am sure whatever the reason for the party to which you are bringing this, the participants will be happy :)

  9. I am literally at the grocery store right now trying to figure out what goes with the sourdough bread. And this fig spread it's literally like right in front of me and I'm going to get it to try it out and see how that goes pretty excited wish me luck


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