Thanksgiving Bagel Feast!

This is our second year of a new tradition – bagels, cream cheese, lox and capers for Thanksgiving breakfast. This breakfast creates no mess in the kitchen, few dishes and full bellies to hold us until dinner (we’re lunch skippers on this day…).
Yesterday I did all of my shopping a little late and 😦 the bagel store was already closed. Oh no! I would have to make bagels. So much for not messing up the kitchen. I found a good recipe on food.com – The Real New York Bagel Recipe and followed it pretty well.

NY Bagels (makes a dozen)

Last night I made a sponge which sits for 2 hours until you get little bubbles in the dough (tells you its rising). I used 1 tsp active dry yeast, 4 cups bread flour and 2 cups water…. I waited for 2 hours…no bubbles…another half hour…no bubbles…another….hmm. Turns out you need to ‘activate’ active dry yeast in a little warm water. Once its a little frothy you can use it.
I tossed the first batch and started again.
New York Bagels- take 2!
This sponge looked much better – so active!

bagel sponge

bagel sponge

Next I put it in the stand mixer and put 3 more cups of bread flour, another 1/2 tsp of yeast (activated – fool me once!), 2 tsp salt and a Tbsp of brown sugar (other recipes as for malt…but this was the only recipe that called for something already in my house – just to give you some insight into my recipe selection process process).

After 5 minutes of mixing, I chopped it into 12 pieces and then covered with plastic wrap again to let the dough recover from being thrown about.
twelve pieces of dough

Half an hour later I took each piece and poked a hole in the middle of it and twirled it around my index finger like a little finger hula hoop. Voila – it looks like a bagel!
bagel dough rings
I let the little rings rest up again and stuck the whole thing in the fridge until this morning.

Today this went sooo fast! I boiled water with 1 Tbsp baking soda and dropped these doughy bagels in the water for 2-3 minutes (flipping them halfway thru). They got all puffy and wow!
puffy boiled bagel

Next they all went on a cookie sheet and baked at 450 for something like 30 minutes. Well, the recipe said 5 minutes…then another 5-10 minutes…but mine took much longer bit longer because I was opening the door way too often for the oven to stay hot).

Bad over door habits and rookie yeast move aside, the kitchen now has this tangy, doughy smell, the windows are steamed up, and we have bagels!
New York bagels

You Pardoned the Wrong Turkey

Think you’ll be picked this year?  For the presidential pardon?

Well…someone has to be picked, so yeah, there’s a little part of me that thinks it could be me.

Geez.  It isn’t random. It’s not like the lottery.  They don’t just pick any turkey.  You’ve got to have a certain ‘quality’. 

Really? Like what?  What sort of ‘quality’ would one turkey have that the others don’t.

Well, you’ve got to have social gravitas.  Be able to interact with the cameras, schoolchildren, the press.  Egad.  The press.

I could do that. 

Really?  And you can’t be strange.  Like Eddie.  He’s just strange.  I mean, we’re all over here, and he’s all alone over there – by the door no less.  First bird to the door, is the first on the floor – that’s what I say.

Egad.  You’re right. So what about you though?  Do you think that you’d be in the running?  

Maybe.  Yeah.  I guess. I’m pretty good in a group setting.  I practically run the barn.  Would it be a challenge?  Perhaps.  It could be a pretty stressful experience for the wrong bird.  But don’t get me wrong.  If they asked me, I would take it.

I dunno.  I still think that there’s a chance it’ll be me. I might not have that ‘social gravitas’ thing, but I am pretty easy going.  I would totally be like ‘Schoolchildren? Eh..go ahead, pet me. Cameras? Fine.’

I agree with you.  You are very easy going.  More to the point though, I agree that you have no social skills. When you and that she-turkey got all gamey on each other in the middle of the barn this morning.  That was just gross.

That’s a natural turkey thing.  If anything, a strong libido is a good quality in a turkey.  Shows I’m healthy.  That might be the sort of ‘quality’ they ‘re looking for.

Actually, that’s just the sort of thing that could get you disqualified… for ‘unpredictability’.

Really?  You’re making this all up.  I don’t think that they’ll –

Hey you guys!  The Secret Service showed up! They picked a turkey!

Who was it? 

Eddie! 

Why Eddie?

He was closest to the door.