England’s Hobbs House Bakery Just Threw a Birthday Party for Its 65-Year-Old Sourdough Starter

DDP, Unsplash
DDP, Unsplash

As many people learned during the quarantine-baking craze of spring 2020, a sourdough starter is a living thing. That means it eats, grows, and—in at least one case—celebrates birthdays.

As Wales Online reports, Hobbs House Bakery in England recently threw a birthday party for its 65-year-old sourdough starter. The starter—which consists of wild yeast fed by a mixture of rye flour and water—was gifted to a Hobbs House baker in 1955 after arriving in England via Germany.

Since then, the bakery has nourished the starter with fresh flour and water daily to keep it alive for decades. Every sourdough loaf baked on the premises comes from the culture. It's also well-traveled: Hobbs House sells samples of the starter to customers, so they can make their own sourdough at home. Thanks to the recent bread-baking trend, they've shipped hundreds of jars.

To show their appreciation for the starter's contributions to the business, bakery employees celebrated its 65th birthday on June 19. The party included decorations, cupcakes, and party hats. "Unlike most she will not be retiring at this age," the Instagram post announcing the occasion read, "she will be working for many more decades to come rising an infinite amount of magnificent loaves."

Reaching age 65 is impressive for a sourdough starter, but not unheard of. With the proper care, the same yeast culture can live for more than a century.

[h/t Wales Online]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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McBroken: This Website Saves You a Trip to McDonald's By Telling You If Their Ice Cream Machine Is Down

McDonald's ice cream remains an elusive treat.
McDonald's ice cream remains an elusive treat.
Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Fast food is about indulgence, and there are few menu items that promote cravings more than the soft-serve ice cream cones and McFlurry treats at McDonald’s. These pseudo-dairy desserts have an ardent fan base despite the fact that the machines dispensing them are frequently out of service for maintenance or cleaning.

Now, a new website can inform customers when a McDonald’s ice cream machine may be down. It’s called McBroken, and The Verge reports it was created by 24-year-old software engineer Rashiq Zahid. The site maintains a map that displays in real time which restaurants are able to offer ice cream and which aren't.

How does Zahid gather this information? A program attempts to place a McSundae order at every McDonald’s location in the United States via their app. If it’s added to his cart, the location gets a green dot and is prepared to dispense ice cream. If not, a red dot indicates there will be no ice cream forthcoming.

McBroken also keeps a running tally of the percentage of all restaurants without a working machine. At last glance, it was at 10.93 percent.

According to The Verge, Zahid was inspired to create McBroken after failing to retrieve a McSundae while in Berlin, Germany, over the summer. His program, or bot, originally attempted to order a McSundae every minute, but the McDonald’s app declared the activity suspicious. Now, he has set it to attempt an order every 30 minutes. The system works, Zahid said, because he verified the results against locations he visited in Berlin in person.