When I saw the huge bowls of dark red cherries at the farmer's market last week, I knew what I had to do. Cherry Season is invariably Homemade Cherry Ice Cream season 'round these parts, so I filled my canvas bag with organic bing cherries and picked up cream and ice on the way home. My parents' old Ice Cream Maker circa 1976 went to work on Saturday night and whipped us up an awesome batch of Very Cherry Ice Cream.
You can find the recipe in this post from 2013
so get on it before cherry season slips away!
I swear, the bagel obsession will simmer down soon. The rough draft of the e-book is complete and the photos are nearly done. This week's masterpiece is the Hummus Heaven Bagel Sandwich (Bagelwich), a plain bagel topped with homemade hummus, quinoa tabbouleh and crispy gyros strips.
Lebanon was in my head this week, after one of my co-workers shared a lovely quote from Kahlil Gilbran:
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
A quick search of the poet's work (and Amazon purchase of his wildly popular book ) led me to the ruins of ancient Tyre and eventually, as it so often does, to perusing cookbooks of Lebanese cuisine.
I've been making hummus on a weekly basis for six months now. It's the perfect workday snack, and you can flavor it to suit your tastes. I usually take mine in the smoky paprika direction, but this batch was straightforward, just chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil and salt. The quickie quinoa tabbouleh and gyros seemed like the perfect accompaniment. Once I got the Hummus Heaven Bagel assembled (and photographed, of course), I chowed down while digging in to Kahlil GIlbran's "The Prophet" and wondering where these two things had been all my life.
Seriously heavenly stuff.
IN BAGEL NEWS: Yesterday was another baking marathon, producing 40+ bagels, half of which went to the office for noshing while the rest headed to the freezer after the prettiest ones were subjected to bright lights and the scrutiny of the camera. I'm looking forward to the end of this project and getting back to real work, but I worry that my incessant recipe tinkering might turn this into the Winchester Mystery House of cookbooks.
For instance, here's a late entry to the table – the Roasted Gilroy Garlic bagel, which celebrates Central Valley agriculture and Gilroy, California, the "Garlic Capital of the World". Two full heads of garlic go into these babies and the result is a seriously garlicky but super mellow roasted flavor.
I'd been working on a ginger-flavored bagel for months. The sixth (and best) version was meh – decidedly underwhelming – but I was committed. Meanwhile, there were whispers and grumbles among the tast-testers at the lack of garlicky bagels in the warm paper bags before them.
Anybody can make a garlic bagel, I told them, but ginger, now there's something interesting. Intellectually, perhaps. But the tastebuds were crying out for more. And oh, how we found it.
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All last month and all next month, my answer to the polite How are you? has been and will be – BAGELY.
What began as a distraction for my February Sadness, has become a mission for the perfect bagel, not just in my kitchen, but yours. With the help of taste-testing friends and an evil genius or two, we've perfected 15 unique bagel recipes, built off a Buck Naked Plain Bagel of epic proportions. By hand or kneaded in a bread machine, these babies are nearly foolproof and conform to the golden rule of bagely things – – –
Real Bagels Are Boiled
which happens to be the name of the book we're putting together to pass along everything I know about the only thing I ever bothered to learn to bake.
I planned Bagel Tasting Day to coincide with the anniversary of Ashlie's death. That may seem odd, but surrounding myself with the people I love and setting us all to a task is the best medicine on this worst of days. The pandemonium of children and dogs and guests popping by to fill take-away bags, it was the kind of day I love best. The kind Ash loved too.
By day's end we had a total of 18 flavors – some familiar like the Lemon Poppy and the Inside Out Everything, and some super creative WAY WAY WAY OUT OF THE BOX ones – and we're one step closer to our goal. A goal, by the way, that I realize I haven't really explained yet. I promise though, to do so soon.