Not Even

Californians do not know how to make bagels. It’s strictly a New York talent. Unless you’re a transplanted New York bagel baker in California, you will never know what a real bagel tastes like.

It’s all in the method. You must boil the dough first. It’s what gives the bagel its shiny, chewy exterior. Steaming them won’t do it, neither will brushing the tops with egg wash.

Bagels in California omit the boiling method so you end up with bready bagels that taste more like unsweetened donuts than genuine bagels.  FullSizeRender (21)

Speaking of which, bakeries are now fond of producing chocolate chip, cranberry and walnut, and other sweetened varieties of bagels for the undiscerning public. That’s unheard of in the real bagel world. It’s garlic, onion, poppy-seed, and pumpernickel in the genuine bagel environment.

I’ve noticed that most food stores are now making their own bagels. Don’t even. They’re terrible. So are the kind in those big warehouse food stores. Don’t waste your money.

I even tried importing a dozen bagels from my favorite New York shop except I couldn’t bring myself to pay $50 for the indulgence. It was the shipping costs that killed me.

I’m still on the lookout for a Jewish baker who is quietly boiling his bagels and doing all the right things to bring pleasure to his customers. I haven’t found him yet, but I know he exists somewhere in this vast state of mine.

Calvin says, “You’re dreaming. It’s like me hoping for brisket in my food dish.”

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Online Dating Is Not For Wimps

Getting married used to be a simple thing. You lived in a village all your life, and when it was time to find a spouse, Aunt Sadie, the village matchmaker was only too happy to oblige.

The village is now the world.  Aunt Sadie is an online dating site that fulfills a similar role, but in a less quirky way. If you don’t like the looks and sounds of someone, you move on. After all he was only a photograph with a few descriptive lies, not a real person. I suppose the same happened back in the village, but in that instance you ran the risk of bumping into him the next day at the county hog races.

Finding a mate is not for the fainthearted. It takes finesse, timing, the right circumstances to come together, and plain sheer grit.

I asked a friend of mine, a perennial bachelor who continues to comb the online dating scene for hopefuls, what he does when he is hurt and in pain over not finding the right person. “I tell myself God loves me much more than all these losers,” he said with a laugh.

“Even at your age when you behave like a dejected 17-year old?” I asked.

“We’re all 17-years old inside. And it doesn’t get any better as you get older either,” he said.

And he ought to know. He’s been looking for a wife forever.

The truth is I know many couples who met online and they have happy marriages.

It’s the ones who are still hopeful that I feel for.

Sometimes the search is aggravating and unbearable.

Calvin says, “Do what I do. I dig up an old bone to re-acquaint myself with it. Then bury it under your pillow so I have something to keep me entertained while you search on your iPad.”