September 11th always creeps up on me. Even saying the date out loud feels raw and prickly, even though I couldn't have been further removed from the events that took place eleven years ago. I had just started college a few days before, was living in a dorm without a TV, and at the time, had never even visited New York. But for the past four years, I've been in New York on September 11th and have witnessed the strength and perseverance - along with a heavy sadness that blankets the city. Last week I made homemade bagels. It was a quiet, overcast morning and I found comfort in making such a quintessentially New York delicacy. I didn't expect much - assuming that I'd need water from the east coast, a really hot oven, or some sort of special yeast - but I was pleasantly surprised. The outside had a fragile crispness, with a center that was chewy and flavorful. They took some time, but ultimately were worth the effort.
I like the idea of granola, but often find the texture stale, and the flavors cloying and artificial. I've wanted to bake some from scratch for quite some time, but I wasn't convinced that it could make that much of a difference. I was wrong. I followed a simple recipe (here)* ...read more