Bagels & Breads

Homemade Bagels

"Legend has it that in 1863, a Jewish baker in Vienna wanted to thank the king of Poland for keeping his countrymen safe from Turkish invaders. He was inspired to develop a hard roll in the shape of a riding stirrup (known as a ”bruggel” in German) to commemorate the king’s favorite hobby, thus inspiring the bagel’s unique shape. Mothers began to use them as teething rings, which is still done to this day. Bagels became so popular, songs were even written about them. " (Chompies, NYC)

Basically, bagels are twice baked yeast-bread dough. When I eat Bagels I have wonderful memories of New York City and the bagel shops we would frequent with our kids on visits. My favorite bagel is sesame seed with egg salad. Absolutely eating bagels with family and friends bring back some of my most delicious memories. I started making homemade bagels when my children were young. We lived in Cincinnati as bagels were in their ascendency. At the time there were no bagel shops in the area. After a short while a Bruegger's Bagels Shop opened in Madeira, much to our delight. These kettle boiled and oven roasted bagels fresh bagels were actually much better than homemade.

Still ... making bagels is fun and Kathleen and baked up some fun memories.



There is nothing more delicious than a hot scone and a cup of tea. I have so many delicious memories of fresh strawberry scones served with clotted butter and a piping hot cup of Earl Grey tea at the local tea shop in Chester, New Jersey where I once had a home. Kathleen aroused these memories with her perfectly crafted cranberry-orange scones. We need to learn how to make clotted butter for Kathleen's next attempt.


Kathleen's Scone (left) Clotted cream (above) we will need to try to make someday.

My favorite tea is...
To make a cup...
TEA: 1 teaspoon loose tea, or 1 tea bag
WATER: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
STEEP TIME: 4 minutes

Earl Grey may be the most British of all teas. Queen E2 has a hot pot each morning (no milk or sugar).

Earl Grey tea is a very aromatic black tea blend, originally made with Chinese black tea and oil of bergamot. Bergamot is a citrus fruit (an obscure branch of the orange family) grown around the Mediterranean. Bergamot is rarely eaten fresh (very bitter), but is wonderfully aromatic with a citrus tang. (see history left)

But who was Earl Grey?

Left: Portrait of Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey

No one really knows the origin of Earl Grey tea (the two biggest English specialty tea companies both claim to be the originators of Earl Grey). But most people think Earl Grey is named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey, prime minister of England in the 1830’s. Legend has it that Charles Grey received this tea as a gift from a Chinese mandarin in 1803 in return for one of the Earl’s servants saving the mandarin’s son from drowning.

There are a couple of problems with this legend: first Charles Grey never was in China and bergamot has never been grown in China. But it’s a darn good story.

Since 1803 there have been many variations on Earl Grey; adding flowers like lavender, varying the amounts or kinds of bergamot, making a Cream Earl Grey etc.

They all share a couple of things; an incredibly aromatic and flavorful tea, and a mysterious past. Tea Source