This year seems to be all about change. My friend Ali has retrained as a horticulturist, Pippa an engineer is going back to college and retraining as a jeweler, and there are plans afoot for another friend to possibly head off to the chocolate and seafood of Belgium! And they aren’t the only ones. Hubby has been asked to move to Hong Kong, and in fact, is there already now. It’s just me and puggy for the time being, until he’s back in August.
And it seems that we will be over there before the year is out. I’m in two minds about the move – it is rather exciting and HK is quite an energetic place. The economy there is booming, I’m sure helped in no small way by the booming taking place all over China. The food there is awesome. It’s close to Thailand, Laos, Japan, and Taiwan – places dear to my heart but quite far to visit from old Blighty. Tax is low, the transport system works. But of course, being over there means that I’m there, and my friends (who are basically my family too) are not. Which sucks. Super sucks. And let’s not even talk about the fact that Deuce can only get over there in cargo. Totally alone in a loud scary unfamiliar environment for over 13 hours. Just thinking about it makes me feel sad.
But, I’ve been keeping my mind off things, what with Knit Nation around the corner, and dye orders to dye up. I’ve also had a yen for bagels recently, and since I don’t live in a neighbourhood where I can just nip out to a Jewish bakers to pick up a dozen bagels (there is one place I can get proper bagels in my neighbourhood, but they are totally unreliable and frankly really airheaded about getting their deliveries) I figured, well, I better just make some myself! So I assembled my ingredients, and got to work. My first batch were cinnamon raisin.
After proving the sponge, then working the dough, making the bagels then retarding them in the fridge, I got to boiling them, then finishing them off in the oven.
They were pretty good, but I think they can be improved upon (J, I think you are right that baking/making food obsessively tends to run in the family!).
I made another batch of plain sesame bagels, because after the cinnamon raisin bagels, I really really wanted smoked salmon cream cheese bagels. So off I went on round 2.
I overcooked these guys a little (should have adjusted for our fan oven) but they were tastier than my first batch. I left the sponge overnight, and the bagels retarded overnight in the fridge too (the cinnamon raisin ones only got 3 hours – I was impatient!)