All in a day’s work

Well, all the fluids in my head have been replaced with Elmer’s glue. I’m not exactly sick, nor am I exactly healthy.


I ran some errands yesterday and took some photos of birds in the trees across Broadway from my house on my way home.




I spent most of yesterday addressing invitations for my client. The nice thing is that I’m done. The fact that I was feeling too  crummy to do anything more energetic or interesting made it a perfect day to address nearly 200 envelopes.

Today my son and I made bagels. He kneaded the dough. I formed the bagels.  The dough felt unusually silky when it was time to roll the bagels. My son mentioned that he did an extra long knead.


As I keep baking bagels I have made some refinements. The bagels like a rest between being shaped and being boiled, and another between boiling and baking. SAM_3648The bagels also look cuter if you twist the rope of dough as you form it.


The bagels are much improved if you add a lup of brown sugar both to the dough as well as to the boiling water.


Before you boil the bagels, stretch the bagel out.SAM_3646

The bagels are a bit like old men in the shvitz. Let them hang out in the boiling water for a bit. Flip them over if you remember.


You can sprinkle the still damp bagels with poppy seeds. If you don’t have a child who is allergic to sesame you can sprinkle the bagels with sesame seeds.


You really do need to let them cool when you take them out of the oven, unless you want really impressive burns inside your mouth.


here is the recipe.


Heat 2 C water in the microwave for 1 minute in a big bowl. Older cookbooks will call for water that is at blood temperature.

Add 1 tsp yeast and 1T flour to the bowl. The flour is to feed the yeast. Go away for five minutes

Add 1T brown sugar and 1T kosher salt to the bowl. Then start adding flour by the cup mixing well after each addition , first with a spoon and eventually with your hand.  If you want to add specialty grains, like bran or wheat germ or oats, this is a good time to do that. I will often add some gluten here.

Keep adding flour until the mixture is no longer sticky. keep kneading the dough in the bowl adding flour as needed until the dough is smooth and supple.

leave it to rise, for at least an hour . Cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel. You can leave the dough for as long as three hours in your kitchen…or you can put the dough in the fridge and form the bagels the next morning.

When you are ready to form the bagels..put a clean dishtowel out on your counter. Add a bit of flour to the dough and knead for a minute or two. Break off a clementine sized lump of dough. Shape it into a snake between your hands. Twist the snake and then overlap the two ends to form a bagel shape. Set your formed bagel on the dishtowel and  then make the rest of your bagels.

let the bagels rest for 15 minutes. Fill a saucepan with water and set it to boil. Add a T of brown sugar to the water. Once the water is at a rolling boil drop in a bagel or two into the water and let them cook for a minute or two. If you remember, you can flip the bagels over. A wide spatula is a good tool to use.

Set the  boiled bagels onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. If you wish you can sprinkle stuff on the bagels, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion….

After all of the bagels are boiled pre heat the oven to 380. Bake until done.

I also made a batch of green noodles today.I finally understood why my old cookbooks give such sparse noodle making directions.  It’s because they assume that only a moron doesn’t know how to make noodles.


I threw the ingredients into my food processor, cooked collard greens, two eggs and flour. I measured nothing. The mixture looked wet. I added more flour. I let it rest. kneaded it for a few minutes in the bowl with a bit more flour and rolled lumps out on a floured dishtowel.. then I cut the noodles with a pastry cutter.


You need a recipe for that?


I think that was the attitude of the old cookbook writers. They didn’t get why anyone needed further directions.

I also re lined the skirt of my daughter’s dress.


The rayon from 1959 had died. it was quick work to replace it.


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