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For the Love of Sourdough

Good Medicine Lodge Sourdough Bread

By, Ryan Grenier

When we purchased the Good Medicine Lodge back in late October of 2019, good friends Pat and Katie Miller, whom I respect immensely, gifted me a book called Tartine along with a dehydrated sourdough starter. I genuinely thought that this was a such a thoughtful gift and was so touched that they thought I had it in me to pull this sort of stuff off.

I hate to admit this… when we took over the B&B I did not do much cooking for the business. We had a staff that needed to be consistent with the dishes, Sara and I alternated days working and when I did work I was busy chatting it up with guests, and doing a bunch of random things around the inn. What free time I did have I was busy exploring the area. Biking, Nordic skiing, Snowboarding and adventuring with kids. Whitefish, Montana is such a magical place. To be able to share my passion for adventure with my two little guys has been such a gift!

Once the “stay at home” orders were set into motion and the lodge closed I had more time around the house. Keep in mind this time around the house was not really ideal for tackling projects and yard work. With a two year old and a seven year old, it was a matter of managing the non-stop screaming, pillow fights, throwing things, tears, and just getting into things they should not be getting into. For the most part I was able to get the kids outside but Spring in north west Montana can be a bit unforgiving with cooler temperatures and rain.

While one of us is working (mostly Sara, she is amazing at managing projects and her vision of Good Medicine is something everyone should experience) the other is managing the kiddos. With so much time around the house, I finally decide to tackle baking bread. I found a bread maker in the garage that came with the inn. I pulled it out and figured I would give it a try. It was pretty easy, and I was loving the idea of having fresh bread for the family with no preservatives. Then I wanted to see if I could use my dehydrated starter I had been storing in the fridge. I added water and flour to the starter and let the bread machine do the work. That worked pretty well and the bread was pretty good.  I was on a roll!

 

At this point I was ready to tackle the “no kneed sourdough”. As I was mentally preparing/digesting the steps of the baking process, I joined a Facebook group called “Perfect Sourdough”. I have to say that this was EXTREMELY helpful. Other beginners were posting questions and videos were posted from professionals giving me the confidence to tackle my first loaf.  Ok, I’m ready to rock! But my starter is not… It took 14 days of feedings twice a day to get my starters up to speed.

As I was waiting for my starter to come to life I was experimenting with pancakes, crumpets and pouring over all the fun things you can do with sourdough.

The cookbook I’m using is named “Tartine”. Its from a famous eatery in San Francisco. There are so many great resources out there and finding your own path and recipe is part of the fun. Not only is the process of baking fun, the health benefits of this bread are pretty amazing. Just a quick google search will have you diving down the rabbit hole of this amazing ancient bread. The finished product is so rewarding! Once I cut into the loaf and I took my first taste, I was flooded with memories of my time in the bay. Zuni Café, market street, foggy summer afternoons in SF and friendships formed around the dinner table. It is like I could almost smell the wood burning pizza oven (most likely just a campfire that was close by). The process of making this was more than just putting food on the table. It was a step back to a time where we had no children. Sara and I were living in the bay area experiencing all the culinary offerings northern California was known for. I was there…

Being able to share this with my family has brought so much joy as well. Knowing that my two kids are forming their own memories waking up to the smell of fresh baked sourdough. Watching them devour it is comforting knowing that I am actively playing a part in their health and teaching them what quality food is.

Now that Spring has sprung here in Whitefish, Montana and the first phase of the pandemic is coming to an end, Sara and I are developing our new Summer breakfast menu for Good Medicine Lodge. We are so excited to share the experience and new found love of sourdough with our guests, helping all who visit us to form their own experiences and memories.

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Here Are the Best Places For a Drink in Whitefish, MT

beer at a Whitefish, MT, Brewery

Did you know that Whitefish, Montana, is full of places to stop and get a drink? We have multiple hot spots for a cocktail, beer or glass of wine scattered throughout town! Whether you’re looking for a drink after a day on the ski slopes or a refreshing beverage after a hike, we have the perfect Whitefish, MT, spot for you. One is even right next door to us at Good Medicine Lodge! 

Here Are the Best Places for a Drink in Whitefish, MT

Bonsai Brewing Project  (closed in Winter months)

Directions to Bonsai Brewing Project 

Bonsai Brewing Project is conveniently located right next to Good Medicine Lodge! You can easily walk over and enjoy a handcrafted beer in the Summer months. They offer a variety of rotating local brews on tap. This small brewery specializes in IPAs, barrel-aged delights, wild ale sours, and everything in between! Plus, you can hang out with the locals at one of their live music, vinyl nights or other local events.  Their outdoor beer garden is very popular during the Summer.  They even allow dogs, so you can get your fill if you had to leave your loveable K-9 back at home. 

Unleashed Winery

Directions to Unleashed Winery

If you want to stay in Whitefish and like the vibe wine bars offer, try Unleashed Winery.  Located right in downtown, they offer wine tastings, small bites and a comfortable environment for you to lay back and sip!  Their wine is a full production Montana wine-making using Central California grapes.  

Spotted Bear Spirits

Directions to Spotted Bear Spirits

Spotted Bear Spirits is the very best distillery! The liquors distilled here are all inspired by Montana’s mountain landscape and fresh air, and it comes through in their products. When you visit their tasting room, you can enjoy local cocktails and liquor tastings. Then, you can purchase a bottle of your favorite spirit to take home as a souvenir! 

 

The Montana Tap House

Directions to The Montana Tap House

Located just a few minute’s walk from us, The Montana Tap House is a large restaurant bar that offers over 50 beers on tap included several local varieties.   They offer a full menu with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.  Many skiers and bikers stop by The Montana Tap House after all day adventuring at Whitefish Mountain Resort for a relaxed beer and pizza.  

 

Great Northern Bar and Grill

Directions to The Great Northern Bar and Grill

The Great Northern Bar and Grill is located downtown Whitefish adjacent to Depot Park, which is our town’s open space park where the Farmer’s Market, Huckleberry Days Festival and many more events are located.  The Great Northern Bar and Grill features live music often, food, billiards and other games and is open until 2am.  They welcome children until 9pm and have a lovely outdoor garden area in the Summer.  

 

Jalisco Cantina

Directions to Jalisco Cantina

Jalisco Cantina is conveniently located right across the street from us.  They are a full-service restaurant with truly the best Baja-style Mexican.  Everything is made fresh, even their handmade tortillas and chips.  The reason I mention it here is because beyond their incredible food they serve the very best margarita I have ever had.  They know tequila and wine being from Southern California and it shows because both their tequila list and wine list is top notch!  

Other bars in Whitefish worth mentioning: Remington Bar & Casino, Hellroaring Saloon & Eatery (located up at Whitefish Mountain Resort), Casey’s, Bulldog Saloon, and many more…

Kalispell and Columbia Falls also have several breweries, distilleries and wineries that are worth checking out and they are located only 20 minutes from Whitefish.  For a complete list of wineries and breweries, visit our Things To Do Page and see dropdown menu: Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries.

Book Your Getaway to Whitefish, Montana, Today!

Flathead Room Good Medicine Lodge Bed and Breakfast Whitefish Montana 01Come enjoy all our mountain town has to offer when you stay with us at Good Medicine Lodge! From your pick of Whitefish, MT, breweries to countless outdoor activities, the charm of our area will make you want to come back over and over again. Plus, our lodge is conveniently located in the center of all the action. Browse our accommodations to pick your favorite, then book your stay today!