What a novelty. Except I have been here, Herman-wise, before - in something like like 1983 when even then being the recipient of a Herman was something of a curse. The cake equivalent of chain mail. And we all know what to do with chain letters don't we? We commit them to the bin pronto. But this is not words on paper - this is a bubbling spluttering mix, plopping away in its prescribed 'big bowl' under its 'tea towel'. It's alive and needs to be nurtured. Fed for heaven's sake.
He'll sit on my work top for the next 9 days, presumably getting bigger and bubblier until he's subdivided - 3 portions to give away and one for me to mix up and bake with apple, dried fruit and spices on day 10.
I've politely turned down all recent offers from friends bearing little pots of the gloopy starter but yesterday there was no escape; a kind woman with an tinge of desperation in her eyes
For me the best news is that Herman and his like have yet to infiltrate the village of Leighton on the other, Welsh side, of the hill. He might be welcome there. Ha! I have put feelers out already and indeed my lovely neighbour has expressed interest in having a portion.
If I don't kill him first.
Edited to add... a little later that same day
Herman had hardly settled his new 'big bowl' on my worktop when, with a baying and barking of the family dogs, a friend arrived a the door with a neatly cling-filmed, gloop-filled basin. Ah, this must be Herman No.2. What's a girl to do but to introduce the two mixes? Frankly it's a bit like putting two lots of strange hens together - better done under cover of darkness when neither realise the other is there until dawn's early light. I expect in the morning Hermans 1 and 2 will be the best of friends and bubbling away harmoniously. Please form orderly queues if you would like a portion. There will now be PLENTY.