Today, the crew staying with us at the hostel took off in the Skerwink-mobile (a large-and-in-charge red van affectionately dubbed Señor Dildo — after the town in NFLD, of course) for a whale-watching tour with Trinity Eco-Tours ( http://www.trinityeco-tours.com/), leaving me here all alone on a rather gloomy day. The morning started off so clear you could see tiny icebergs in the bay right from our backyard, and the sun was warm and lovely. However, by the time I’d finished my morning chores, the snow was coming down hard. Snow! In May! Where on Earth AM I right now?
Relegated to the indoors out of sheer disgust of the beautiful thick flakes falling outside my window, I was at a loss for what to do in this big house all by myself. With cleaning complete, I thought I would try a new bagel recipe.
A little known fact about Martha Nelson: she has the gift of a green thumb, except instead of seeds and soil, her medium is yeast and flour. A yeast thumb? A bread thumb? Who knows. Point is, the girl can make some mean breads and bagels. And she makes them almost everyday as part of the breakfast offered each morning with the price of accommodation here at the hostel. The morning meal varies daily, sometimes including scones or muffins or fresh fruit, but always there are homemade bagels and local jams. And butter. Oh, and coffee — lots and lots of coffee.
With Martha gone for the day, and the bagel supply desperately needing replenishing (there are rarely any left; once you taste them you just can’t stop yourself) I set to work in our lonely kitchen. I cranked the heaters and the stereo (here’s a great bagel-making song) and baked the heck out of a dozen bagels. And then I made yogurt.
Okay so the yogurt failed. Again. What am I doing wrong? Am I letting it cool too much? Am I heating it too long? Luckily Martha still likes the taste of my failed yogurts so nothing goes to waste. She says it tastes like sour milk and pours it on our homemade granola.
The bagels, on the other hand, were delicious. I attempted Montreal style bagels, which are my favorite, but they actually turned out extremely fluffy and bread-like, even though I accidentally put in less than half the yeast (figure that one out fellow yeast-thumbed readers). I put honey in the pot that I boiled them in, and that gave them the loveliest hint of sweetness. I still like Martha’s better — they are dense and rich and incredibly satisfying — but one must start somewhere with these things.
Here’s a link to the recipe I used. I didn’t add maple syrup (mostly because we didn’t have any) but they still turned out deliciously sweet. And I only added about 3/4 tbsp of yeast (oops), but they still rose beautifully. Nothing like Montreal bagels, but delicious nonetheless. And easy, thank goodness.
Ultimately, this snowy day all alone turned out rather peacefully. I quite like it here, no matter the weather, and there is something so wonderful about curling up with a cup of tea and a warm blanket to watch the snow fall onto dandelions and green grass. I just hope my friends searching for whales somewhere on the North Atlantic are dressed warmly — and are excited for warm bagels and hot cocoa.