I am resourceful, cheap, and picky. When it comes to cooking, it sometimes goes to extremes. I find myself complaining about the smallest of ingredients, the slightest slack in quality or availability, or often the price. I find myself saying things like, “People spend that much on bread? I can make that myself for half the price.” I have no idea if it’s actually half the price. But it seems free, because there’s no set price tag attached, and it saves me having to go to the store. This is how I’ve ended up making our cakes and breads and baked goods from scratch. So it seemed perfectly reasonable to me that I should make our bagels as well. After all, bagels are fifty cents each. Fifty cents! Did I mention that B and I were broke when we got married? Some habits die hard.
So last week I made bagels. There are a few reasons why this is not recommended. For one, bagel dough is uncommonly tough. Like impossible to knead tough. Like I I had to use all my strength to stretch it into a semi-circular shape while the rest of the family withered away with hunger. This was hunger for lunch, of course, the day before, since bagel dough takes 12-18 hours to rise. Right. So problem two is planning ahead. This is not my forte. Once the bagels have risen overnight, they must be boiled, drained, and then baked. Before breakfast. Problem three. Luckily I’m up building Lego dropships or puzzling puzzles at six am, even on Sundays.
Problem number four: by the time I get through all this, both kids will decide that the bagels they wanted yesterday no longer sound good today. This should have been anticipated–making kids wait 12-18 hours just makes them want something less labor intensive. You know what? Me too. Which unfortunately leads to problem number five: those bagels were damn good.
So the moral of the story is that I shouldn’t find out how good homemade bagels taste, because while I might have said, all throughout the process, that I was insane for putting out the effort for a measly fifty cent bagel, I’m probably going to be making them again. Though this time I will wait until the bagels are in the oven before I offer them to the kids. After all, they only bake for 15 minutes.