The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Bagelfail

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The other day, desiring a sort of snack to calm the rumblings of hunger, I bethought myself to consider the possibility of a bagel.  As two of the three people living here eat bagels (the third preferring some sort of abomination that goes under a similar name but contains raisins), it seemed likely we had some.  In fact, a quick examination of the table showed that we did, and one of them was quickly sliced in half and inserted into the toaster.

As our toaster is rather slow, I now had time on my hands during which to consider what to have on the bagel.  Many things are good on bagels, but the first thing that always comes to mind is: cream cheese.  I opened the refrigerator looking for that familiar silvery foil container, and I was delighted to find it at once.  I removed it, and saw, to my dismay, that, while it did have the familiar silvery foil, it did not say “Philadelphia” on it.  I considered that Reesa, whom I have always felt that I could trust in all matters, apparently did not deserve this trust when it came to picking out cream cheese.  Though sad about this, I consoled myself with the thought that some other brand, though not the same, was liable to be palatable.  I should add that I could not actually see the brand, as half of the contents had been used, but I could clearly see the absence of the familiar black oval and calligraphy that I had expected.

The bagels being now toasted, I wasted no time in spreading the spreadable unto the receiving object, and, this done, at once bit into it.

Let me digress for a moment.

I use a lot of different oils and fats when I cook; butter, vegetable oil, lard, bacon fat, and others.  When in doubt, olive oil is my default for Western cooking; seasame oil for that which is more Eastern.  I have a good supply of oils and fats used for cooking, so that, when in need, I can go at once to the one I wish.  Each of these oils and fats comes in a container with which I am familiar.

I did not know that there is a sort of lard-like vegetable oil that comes in a container that is indistinguishable from that usually associated with cream cheese.

I relate this story as a warning to others.

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

0 Comments

  1. Oh, dude, you put Crisco on your bagel? I’m a horrible person for laughing. (Really, it was the Paarfi-voice that did me in.) But, in Crisco’s defense, it’s the fat required for my mama’s angel biscuits. If I get my act together, I’ll bring some to 4th St.

  2. Yikes. I literally laughed out loud, which drew funny looks from my family.

    Here, I made something for you.
    http://brucegarner.com/images/ForSteve.jpg

  3. I am so sorry that the Crisco got confused with Cream Cheese. I have the new packaging of Crisco in my fridge too. But I also have packages of Philly Cream Cheese in there too.

    hugs
    jeanette

  4. Oh goodness.. how unfortunate and somewhat nauseating.

    .. and then for the insult to injury, associating Dzur, and it’s incredible food porn, in with Crisco? The humanity!

    On the other hand.. now I’m pondering bacon on a bagel.

  5. Maybe I should stage another photo shoot and use fresh breads and cheeses with garlic and other Dzur inspired foods. But, I’m afraid my wine selection doesn’t contain any of the labels served at Valabar’s.

  6. And it’s lard, ain’t it lard,
    Yes it’s hard dear lord,
    To find that your cream cheese isn’t true.

  7. Yuck! My sympathies!

    You use sesame oil for cooking? I’ve only ever used it as a garnish. I use peanut oil for Asian cooking, when I have a choice. (I am not the primary cook in our household, nor am I the one who does most of the food shopping, so sometimes I have to use what I can find in the cupboards.)

    Right at the moment I am sitting next to the stove simmering milk for kheer. Yum! 🙂

    BTW, I’ve noticed several of these little lapses into Paarfi-persona. Seems he’s trying to break through to tell another story, perhaps?

    If you don’t feel like channeling Paarfi at present, I’ve been considering that a Novel of Manners (in the mode of the immortal Miss Austen) would fit very nicely at the end of the Interregnum….

  8. How… unfortunate.

    I presume that this has taught you the virtue of what many cultures call “tasting” and others refer to as “sampling” before applying whole-heartedly a quantity of a heretofore unknown substance upon an otherwise unadulterated bagel thus ruining both the bagel for consumption and your own consumption-of-said-bagel experience.

    My apologies for the verbosity; been re-reading Paarfi.

  9. There IS Philadelphia cream cheese in the cheese drawer. I admit, it’s under other things, so it’s quite possible Steve didn’t dig down far enough into the drawer to find the correct spreadable product. But I saw it again in the drawer just this morning!

    I suppose it could be Schroedinger’s cream cheese, only there when you aren’t looking for it…

  10. Oh yes, after taking out the bacon turn your toasted bagel halves face down into the pan for a moment mmmmmm…

  11. A few years ago after university exams myself and a few friendsdecided to stay over at a holiday spot at our local island which is just off the coast.

    The accommodation consisted of a small chalet containing of half dozen or so bunks, a table and chairs, and a fridge. Most of the time we ate out eating and drinking but one night we decided to stay in an cook some rissoles in the pan after doing some local shopping.

    Cooking amongst students is rather rudimentary and the choice of fats its typically butter (as its versatile for other uses). However we discovered a small tupperware container on next to the sink and after observing its contents we thought “why waste good butter in a pan when there is some free oil here”.

    After cooking it all up with a serving of bread and beer we found the taste of the rissoles disgusting with a taste we couldn’t define. We verbally abused the “chef” for somehow f*cking up what was somehow impossible to f*ck up (the meat certainly did not smell off and poor Gavin was at a loss to explain) but because had empty stomachs save for a lining of beer we ate it anyway. Something we regretted for the rest of the night.

    As part of getting our bond back we had to ensure the chalet was tidied, which included that the dishes were clean. So we went the manager’s office and asked for some washing detergent. He said “oh, there should be some dishwashing liquid in a small tupperware container next to the sink”

    The aqua-green bubbles hanging off the rissoles should of been a hint. But hey, we left our brains on the mainland.

  12. now for something completely different:
    Steve, do you know about the book of new firefly stories? you should submit yours.

    http://scifiwire.com/2010/01/firefly-to-live-on-in-new.phputm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

  13. Chuck: The link isn’t working; can you check it please?

  14. Never mind, found it. Thank you.

  15. Philadelphia? The correct cream cheese for a bagel is “Temptee” brand whipped cream cheese. Do the best bagels come from Philadelphia? No. Then why should the cheese?

  16. Philadelphia cream cheese doesn’t come from Philly. Hard as it is to believe (I once read about it), it was cool to be associated with Philadelphia at the time cream cheese was created. On the other hand, IMHO, the best bagels do come from Philly. When I was growing up there, it was cool to be FROM Philly rather than in it.

    Everyone knows that what you want on bagels is butter cheese and smoked pinkfish.

  17. The truly annoying thing about Philadelphia cream cheese (“don’t forget the Philly”) is that my supermarket has decided that the true, real, original Philly belongs two shelves below my knees, while all the upstart low-fat and flavored and whipped (and God help me, sometimes low-fat flavored whipped) varieties on all higher shelves. Faaaugh.

  18. The best bagels certainly used to come from New York. But while they are still better in NYC than from any other place I’m aware of, their quality has deteriorated, and you have to search hard for a good source. For example, H&H is not all that great anymore.

    A good bagel should be well cooked (boiled and baked) with a bit of glaze and hardness on the outside (yet not at all brittle) and should be perfectly edible untoasted if bought fresh from the bakery where it was made. That last bit is the tough part in most of the country, since the “bakery” is really a factory half a day away from the store in most cases, and even local sources just don’t seem to have the recipe down right.

    Sadly all the bagels I get in MA don’t even seem to be fully baked and need to be toasted to even be edible. I imagine this is deliberate since they have to be shipped to the store, due to the lack of local bakeries.

  19. Sorry for laughing, but this entry made laugh loudly.

    Philadelphia has been making cream cheese with different flavors. I would encourage everyone to try the Tomato-Basil flavor. Love it on bagels….

  20. Do they have a Crisco flavor?

  21. Steve – Crisco comes in butter flavor. You should ask them to also make a cream cheese flavor, to avoid further embarrassment.

  22. Pingback: Eating Post! « in-the-cup

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