I just found out that my mom once had a sourdough starter for so long, she named it Herman. Now I have my own white-ish blob of sourdough starter living in my refrigerator, which, while not name worthy yet, does seem like a cross between a science experiment and one of those Tamagotchi pets. It has to be fed every once in a while, and you probably should warn anyone that comes across the starter in my refrigerator that I actually mean to have it there. It looks pretty gnarly.
Meanwhile, as weird as it seems, I have started to feel affection for the stranger in my refrigerator because the house smells so good when the bread is baking. And the recipe couldn't be easier- just time intensive. All I have to add to the starter is flour, water, salt and a bit of sugar. And time... My favorite recipe takes over 24 hours from start to finish. That is some serious rising! But I love the sour sourdough, so it seems worth that much time. I have also noticed that the bread lasts longer once made than any other- certainly more than any homemade loaf.
There are lots of recipes online to make a starter, however, the flavor does improve with age, so if you can get starter from a friend, do. (I'll share!)
Not convinced to keep a starter yet? Check out this video, Science on the SPOT: Secrets of Sourdough, about the art of baking and the science behind the fermentation going on in sourdough.