Tag Archives: bagels

Time to Make the Bagels…

Earlier this month, Kristin over at Scintillator posted a recipe for Tri-Colour Bagels, which she calls “Hound Rounds” because they’re the same colour as her dogs: beagle/basset hound crosses.  Since I had such good luck with her Flax Bagel recipe, I was anxious to try these fancy ones!

I started with one bowl, mixing some of the flour with the yeast, some honey, salt, and warm water.  Then I divided the dough into three bowls, adding white flour to one, whole wheat to another, and rye flour to the third.  Note to self: Next time I buy flour at Bulk Barn, I need to mark the bags so I can tell what kind it is!  I was tasting it, trying to figure it out!  Apparently, I guessed right…

White dough...

 

Whole Wheat dough...should have used a flash for this...light coming in the window threw off the colours...

 

Pumpernickel dough...

 

After letting the doughs rise for about an hour, I divided each piece into 12 smaller pieces, and made ropes from them. The whole wheat dough was very sticky (I think I may have overdone the molasses), and I had to flour my hands to keep the dough from sticking. Here are the ropes I made…notice the varying lengths that result from eyeballing “equal” pieces:

Dough ropes...

Then I took a rope of each colour, braided them, made a round, and pinched the ends together.  This is harder than it sounds.  Here’s what I ended up with:

Braided rounds, ready to rise again...

 

I let them rise for another half hour, and then put them into boiling sugar water for 2 or 3 minutes, flipping them every few seconds. After their bath, they looked like this:

Nice and puffy...ready to be baked...

 

I omitted the flour wash/seeds that Kristin suggested…pure laziness! After 20 minutes in my 350-degree oven (I turned them once), the bagels came out looking like this:

Finished bagels...yummy!

I thought the finished results looked a lot like the dog chews we buy once in a while for Jake! Jim commented on how pretty they were when they were sliced, and took this picture to show you:

Sliced bagel...photo by Jim...

If you like bagels, give these a try!

 

 

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Flax, Fishing, Flickr, Flatulence, and Frustrations…But the Alliteration Stops Here…

It’s been another “can’t get out of my own way” week…here are some of the highlights:

1. Flax.  Spurred by my friend Suzanne’s success with homemade bagels,  I decided to give them a try.  I make bread a lot, but have only tried to make bagels one other time (with disappointing results!).  I eat a bagel (with jam) every morning for breakfast…my favourite flavour is “Sunflower Flax,” so I looked for a recipe for Flax Bagels online (thank you, Kristin!).  The recipe I used recommended dividing the dough into small balls before forming the bagels by sticking your thumb through the ball and stretching the hole a bit.  The boiling time was also quite a bit longer than Suzanne recommended: 5 minutes (I compromised with about three minutes).  One thing I learned is that I should have loosened the bagels from the cookie sheet right after I took them out of the oven…as they cooled, the sugar water stuck them to the tray like glue (even though I oiled the pan first).  Here are six of my 18 “beauties”:

Flax Bagels...they tasted as good as they look!

2. Fishing.  One of Jim’s work colleagues invited him to visit his ice-fishing hut this past weekend (we wanted to go, but were too busy ferrying kids around – maybe next weekend!).  I’ve loved to fish since I was a kid in Rednersville in Prince Edward County, Ontario…the best part of fishing is digging for the worms!  My younger brother and I would buy fish hooks at our neighbourhood store (2 for 5 cents), and take our rods down to the Bay of Quinte.  Mostly, we caught sunfish, perch, and large and small-mouthed bass…we always threw them back (the only fish we ate then came in stick form, and the Bay was known for its mercury contamination).  One day, I caught a big catfish. Unfortunately, it had swallowed my hook…I tried and tried to get it out (I even went home and got Dad’s needle-nosed pliers!).  After an hour-and-a-half, I reluctantly cut the line, knowing that the fish would probably die…what a decision for an eleven-year-old!  I was a guilty mess for the rest of the day!

The last time I was fishing was about seven years ago, when Hope was five…we took the kids to a Fish Farm, where they had a pond stocked with speckled trout.  You could catch as many as three fish, and pay, based on the weight of what you caught.  Hope has a rather short attention span…she was done in about three minutes.  I took over her pole (Anna stuck with it!).  We got our three fish, and took them home.  Once they were cleaned and filleted (a part of fishing I refuse to do), I stuffed them with fresh mushrooms and baked them in the oven…yummy!

Jim and I got fishing licenses the first summer we lived at Hammond River, but never ended up going fishing…maybe this summer!

3. Flickr.  Anna got a spiffy new camera on the weekend, the Nikon D3100.  The plan is for her to start building her portfolio for her post-secondary education (she graduates in 2012).  She’s been borrowing Jim’s zoom lens and taking photos of our back porch wildlife.  Anna has a new account on Flickr if you want to see more (link also under “Photos” at right).

One of our kamikaze squirrels...someone should tell them that plastic isn't good to eat! (Photo by Anna Matheson)

 

4. Flatulence.  The other day, I was having a spirited conversation with a customer at the bookstore about the beauty of structural details in old buildings.  We were standing in front of the “Technical” section…I heard a series of small explosions as he stepped quickly away from me, excusing himself.  Whoo-eee!  I don’t know what the man had for breakfast, but my money’s on beans!  I bit my lip, trying hard not to laugh…it doesn’t take much to get me going…I wonder sometimes if I was a 10-year-old boy in another life!

5. Frustrations.  We had another snowstorm yesterday, which dropped another foot on us, and gave the kids another snow day, their fifth one this winter (it came at the end of the high schoolers’ exams, and two “turn-around” days, so the older kids had a whole week off!).  Since Jim had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, his boss suggested he work from home in the morning.  I decided to take a “snow day” too.  I stayed in my jammies all day, stepping away from the computer every once in a while to break up arguments in the family room (and load the dishwasher with millions of cups and bowls!). 

Jim left for the doctor’s office around two…the snow was a blizzard by then!  He texted me to let me know he’d made it to the office, and then called once he was finished with his appointment.  He advised that he was going to pick up a prescription and then return home.  My dad called at 4:00 from the bookstore to say that he was planning to close early and come home…he wanted to know how the driveway was.  I told him our plow guy hadn’t come yet, but he’d probably make it in if he hurried!  Fifteen minutes later, Jim called to tell me the transmission on the car had died a mile down the road…he was waiting for a tow truck, and directing people around the car, which was still in the roadway.  Luckily, our neighbour who lives in the house near where he broke down invited Jim in to get warm while he waited…he usually wears several layers of clothing (he once went to work with two pairs of pyjama pants under his jeans), but had left the house in a hurry in the afternoon (at least there was a toque and gloves in the car!).  He finally got home about 5:15…the tow truck driver had kindly dropped him off (for just over $140, it was the least he could do!).  So our Toyota is sitting at the transmission repair place in Saint John waiting for parts, in line behind several other vehicles whose parts were delayed by the snowstorm.  Did I mention we just had our van towed to the garage on Monday to have the problems with the power steering and the blower fixed (tally for that is over $1000 so far – they found some rusty lines)?  Thankfully, Jim’s parents will lend us a car until we have at least one of our vehicles back!

I got to bed late last night after a long distance phone call to a dear friend who’s going through a big crisis in her life.  Apparently, I neglected to set my alarm, and woke up an hour late this morning (and spent ten minutes looking for Anna’s cheerleading shorts, and then her coat).  I’m hoping people won’t notice that I haven’t had a shower…

At least I’m not farting…

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A Love Letter, Teenage Talent, and a Zombie Baby…

It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon…Jim and the kids have gone to buy tires for the Corolla and have lunch at my least favourite fast food restaurant (I’ll give you a hint – its spokesperson is a clown with a rhyming name).  I wish they had taken Jake with them…he’s driving me crazy…wants to go out on the deck and chase the chipmunks and squirrels!  I’ve got a Hannah Georgas concert playing on the computer while I work (thank you CBC Concerts on Demand).  The second of three loads of laundry is spinning in the dryer…I’m saving a fortune on dryer sheets!  I bought a couple of those dryer balls at the dollar store, and they actually work!

One of the best dollars I ever spent...dryer balls!

The ear, nose and throat specialist called on Monday with the date for Jim’s sinus surgery: November 10th.  He’s having his deviated septum fixed, and they’re scooping stuff out of his sinus cavity.  I’m glad we’ve finally got the date: Jim’s been off work most of the week with another sinus infection…he regaled me this morning with a description of the secretions he’s harbouring.  Thanks, honey…I really didn’t want to eat lunch today!

Tuesday night was Dad’s chorus rehearsal night, and I was looking for something easy to make for supper…I had gotten turkey bacon on sale the day before, and had bagels in the fridge.  I cooked the bacon, sliced and toasted the bagels, spread them with peanut butter (both sides), put a couple of slices of bacon on, and top them with the other bagel slice.  Jim refuses to eat them (he ate his leftover jambalaya, which was good, but my wimpy intestine did not agree).  However, the girls and I love my bagel/bacon sandwiches!  Try it…you’ll like it!

On Wednesday, I wandered uptown to get some money from the banking machine…I saw one of my male friends pushing his daughter down the sidewalk in her umbrella stroller.  He was doing the “Daddy Push” as I call it…you know the one: one hand on the handle, walking beside it like, “This kid isn’t really mine.  I was just walking down the street and my hand caught on this stroller handle…”  In my head, I know it’s because umbrella strollers are poorly designed for tall people, but I can’t help thinking that there’s more to it when I see a man pushing a stroller that way…like it’s not cool to be a dad or something!

As many of you know, Thursday was the one-week anniversary of my blog being “Freshly Pressed” for the second time.  I had what I thought was an amazing idea…why not do a funny piece about the roller coaster ride that being FP’d is?  Unfortunately, my regular readers thought I was upset, and went about trying to console me!  So, here is a love letter to all my “peeps”:

Dear Fans of Herding Cats (you know who you are):

I would just like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit  Hammond River and the ramblings of my brain.  Your compliments and encouragement (and even your criticisms!) are always much appreciated!  I have been fortunate to be in the company of some truly talented writers, all of whom I consider friends, even though we’ve never met (please take the time to check them out on my Blogroll – He Said/She Said).  To my family and “touchable” friends, I love that you care about me enough to read what I write – it means a lot!

I will continue to write Herding Cats in Hammond River as long as we’re both enjoying it!  Thanks again!

Love,

Wendy

P.S. Really…I’m FINE (and I wasn’t “harbouring small rodents in my eyebrows”)! WM      

Last night, Hope and her friend, Gabrielle, were signed up to participate in an Open Mic Night for kids aged 8 to 15.  Jim, Anna and I went to the Coffee Mill in Lancaster Mall for supper before the show (Hope was at Gabrielle’s and would meet us at the show).  Their average customer keeps his teeth in a glass beside the bed and gets a pension cheque once a month, so we missed the rush by arriving at 5:20.   They make the best Philly Cheese Steak sandwich at the Coffee Mill, and their fries are awesome too!  Jim had the roast turkey dinner, and Anna went for the chicken burger platter and chocolate milkshake.  Yummy! 

We got to the venue for the show, paid our $5 admission and took a seat in a large room where about a dozen teenage boys seemed to be making preparations for the show.  Jim and Anna got their cameras out…Jim was taking still shots, and Anna was doing a video of Hope’s performance.  We waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally at 6:50 (20 minutes after the show was supposed to start), the director came to the microphone and introduced the first act: a kid about 12 who played a trumpet solo…not bad! 

Then the director called Hope and Gabrielle onstage.  We chatted amongst ourselves while technical difficulties with Hope’s CD were being sorted out.  No luck!  It was decided to bring up another act and try again later.  An 11-year-old came up and told an improvised story which only he and his relatives found amusing…please sit down, you obnoxious child! (I thought – I don’t think I said it out loud).  Then, Take 2 of the Hope and Gabrielle duet of “Bulletproof” by La Roux.  The informal tech crew was able to get the CD to play on some kid’s laptop.  The girls did a good job, although Hope kept glancing nervously around behind her at the laptop…her fears were realized when the CD crapped out in the middle of the song.  The girls stopped singing, we applauded, and the show went on.

Gabrielle and Hope in their "Bulletproof" vests...

After a performance by two cute 8-year-old girls who played violin, and then sang a Taylor Swift song badly, the next act came on: A trio of teenagers called All About Appearance.  The lead singer was a Justin Bieber lookalike who could sing and play guitar.  His sidekicks were a male guitarist, and a female drummer.  They were good, and sang three songs.  After that, the show went downhill.  We stuck around hoping it would get better…it didn’t!  Two brothers tortured us with an “experimental” techno song played on a synthesizer keyboard…it lasted an interminable six minutes  (it was at that point that my dad decided he’d had enough, and made for the door). 

The next band was four young teenage boys who were enthusiastic, and could play their instruments, but the lead singer couldn’t sing, and the other guitar player left the stage every two minutes to throw up (the lead singer felt the need to tell us that).  After four deafening “songs” punctuated with heavy drumming, we made our escape!  I’ve always frowned on parents leaving a show right after their child had performed, but I knew that if I didn’t get out of there, I might lose my mind!  I’m all for encouraging young talent, but I believe that some organization and some minimum standards for shows are necessary!

We dropped Hope off at her friend’s sleepover/birthday party on the way home…better late than never!

When we got home, I opened up Facebook to find that my daughter Kaylee’s profile picture had changed:

Zombie Baby...yikes!

I was not amused that someone with far too much time on her hands had turned my sweet “Puddin Pop” into a zombie baby…

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