Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bagel Bungle and Other Mysteries of Fixin' Brekkie

Bagel Bungle
and Other Mysteries
of Fixin' Brekkie

... it's been about five months since the last time I reported being attacked by exploding eggs or the infamous Tahoe oatmeal avalanche ... during this time the nukloorizer has been well behaved (knock*knock*knock on a wooden spoon) ... but like all great sport streaks ... and I truly believe my streak was much more amazing and note-worthy than what's-his-face breaking the homerun record ... after all, there are no steroids used in my pancake batter! ... but as fantastic as my streak was ... it eventually had to come to an end ...

The end of this streak was spectacular. You could even say, "It went down in flames!" ... alas, very small flames ... but flames none-the-less! And there was smoke too! Actually more smoke than flames. You know ... come to think of it ... there really wasn't a whole lot of smoke either ... not enough to alarm the smoke detector just ten, maybe twelve, feet away. Which in retrospect is probably the preferred way for this streak to come to a blistering blackened finish.

I hate toasters! So much so, that I have not had one for years! I believe the last toaster to ever step one of its crumby little feet in my domicile was sent packing with the ex ... no doubt a magnanimous gesture on my part - "Oh, let's not quibble, you love PopTarts®, you should have the toaster!" ... ok, admittedly that was self-serving. My seeming acquiescence distracted her from my treasured convection oven ... it also got the bastard bread burner out the door!

So, I don't have a toaster ... but I also do not have an oven ... well, not the kind of oven most people think of when someone says they have a loaf in the oven ... This is the second loft I have lived in, that while having a kitchen, it does not have a typical stove complete with oven. There is a tight three burner gas cooktop with one of those overhead touchpad-nukloorizer-fan-light combos mounted over it. Instead of a normal oven, I have a European countertop oven. It's just right-sized for cooking for one or two - bigger than a toaster oven (and without that nasty word in its title), but just big enough to bake a chicken or small roast, a loaf of bread, or a sixpack of muffins. It has all kinds of twisty dials and settings, one of which is a timer.

This morning, my dear little countertop oven became possessed ... I doubt it was by evil spirits since I only drink 12 year or older single malt scotch ... so it might have been a GatherGlitchGremilin® on a late summer Tahoe holiday ... Whatever got into it ... my trusty little oven burnt the basis of my brekkie - the BAGEL! No, I don't mean it was a little well-done ... I mean burnt as in torched, cremated ... charcoal! I am a fan of Cajun cooking, but not even Paul Prudhomme nor Emeril has written a recipe for Blackened Bagels ...

I had slice the bagel, selected broil, and set the timer for 4 minutes, just like I always do for my bagels or English muffins. The coffee was ready so I poured a cup and sat down to read the paper until the oven's little bell would signal that my bagel was ready to be smeared and topped with lox ... becoming engrossed in article after article in the paper I finished my first cup of coffee ... it is a rather large cup ... a mug really ... and as I got up for a refill I thought to myself that I must have ignored the oven bell and my bagel might well be luke warm by now ...

Oh nO! the bagel was plenty hot! As I opened the oven door, I was greeted by a puff of smoke and two smoldering bagel halves. The oven was not broiling away, but was still on ... inspecting the timer dial I discovered the indicator to have settled in the position between the last tick and the off tock. I had not missed the bell, it never rang! In this half-assed/half-off/half-on dial position the oven was only half hot too. But hot enough with an extra fifteen minutes to render my bagel into two huge charcoal tablets!!!

bagel bungle

I turned on the nukloorizer's fan to clear the smoke, then grab the smoldering rings of black with my tongs and pitched them in the sink. A splash of cold water extinguished the last of their flame. Hmmm ... the garbage-gulping-thing under the sink seemed to enjoy the burnt bagels ... the charcoal even sweetened its breath ...

I then started the process again. I sliced another bagel and placed it split side up. Then gave the twisty timer dial a couple run-through twists, cherishing the sound of the little I'm done! bell each time I twisted the dial into the off position. Feeling that all of us were ready for the second inning ... I set the timer ... and crossed my fingers. I poured another cup of coffee and readied the cream cheese and lox to pass the time while maintaining a vigil on the oven timer and watching the bagels turn golden brown ...

breakfast,burnt,lox and cream cheese,lox,mysteries of fixing brekkie,bagel bungle,bagel,eating outdoors,bungle,bagel smear,brunch,burnt bagel,lox and cream cheese bagel,al fresco,outdoors,bagel smear with lox,alfrescoThe timer was on time this time. The bell rang and the bagels were perfectly broiled. I gave them each a loving smear of cream cheese, then decorated the tops with carefully arranged tidbits of smoked salmon. My Tigger cup full of coffee, the lox and bagels, and I then marched out on the deck to enjoy our brekkie as brunch al fresco di Tahoe!

I hope your Saturday brekkie was less eventful, but just as delicious and delightful!!!

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