sometimes i'd rather just "starter" over
so after wrestling with the world's hungriest starter for a while, it started smelling off. i took advice here and started feeding it 1 part starter to 5 parts flour, and it barely made it 12 hours, sometimes not even. it started smelling less off, but never regained its original yummy smell. still, it was rising like crazy, and it tasted extra super ultra sour upon tasting - too sour for me, but what the heck.
so i baked a basic loaf with it. before the smell changed, i had baked the tastiest sourdough loaf with it that i've made so far. this loaf looked pretty good, but it had the less-than-appetizing smell the starter had (although not the off smell it had for a while) and tasted... well, i called it green. my husband didn't get the green description but agreed it was my worst-tasting sourdough. at least we didn't get sick. i threw the loaf out, and after thinking about it, i threw out the starter with it.
then i started another starter. so far it smells fine, doesn't require 10x it's weight in flour per day, rises normally and is generally more cooperative. and i admit it - i gave it a boost with a tiny bit of instant yeast when starting out. i have no shame! but it's bubbling, rising and falling, and hopefully will be ready to bake with soon. and when it is, i'm going to dry some and pop the rest in the fridge.