OMG I can't believe how STUPID I have been!
Last night I dumped the starter down the drain as the bowl was resembling a pot of cheese. But it did not smell rotten; it smelled organic and somehow good in a weird, fermented old feet kind of way. So I thought: OK, I'll save a tablespoon of it and start again with that.
So I took the spoonful of stuff, which resembled sour cream in texture, and slopped it in a ramikin, and added some water and flour. And stared at it, thinking; I can't do the same thing again. What am I doing wrong? I want to see that hootch after a few days. Hootch. Alcohol as the byproduct of fermentation.... alcohol... alcohol.. OMG! It wants flour and SUGAR!
Gimme some sugar, baby! [said in manner of large voluptuous woman]
So I stirred in just a dusting of the cheap cane sugar I use to make the hummingbird nectar (C&H by the carton - it's great and the hummers prefer it to anything more exotic). Covered the ramikin and set it in a warm corner near the stove.
This morning: a thin layer of hootch! That's the ticket!