Glazed Over

Freezing rain moved in last night. It's falling as I write this. Here's the view of the mountains from my office window this morning:

In case it isn't obvious, our windows are glazed over with ice on that side of the house. 

It was just as well that I got a second batch of bagels started yesterday. They take two days to make because they require "retarding" in the refrigerator over night. The long "retard" gives the flavor time to develop. I won't go through the entire process of making bagels this time around since I've already been through that in a previous blog post. This time around I had my proofing box back from repair, and the "sponge" got a much better rise than last time. It increased another 1/3 in volume from before, and the thoroughly-mixed and kneaded dough was much drier and more velvety than my last batch. They were also more elastic. Here's how they looked when I took them out of the refrigerator this morning.

The elasticity meant that the center holes closed up a little overnight, and that's just fine. Also, this time around I remembered to add baking soda to the boiling water. This alkalizes the water, which leads to better caramelizing and better browning when they are baked. It also made the water so foamy, it was a little hard to find the bagels once they were added.

When they were finished boiling they looked like this. I made them half onion,

and half plain.

When they came out of the oven, they looked like this.

Fortunately, I only had to wait 15 minutes to taste one. I used that time to get the schmears out of the refrigerator and open them up. Last time I mentioned the schmears, someone asked what they were. For those of you unfamiliar with schmear, it's simply a whipped cream cheese with some flavorings added. Mike wanted onion & chive and garden veggie. I'm also partial to the strawberry schmear.

When it was time, I sliced mine down the middle and used half and half on the schmears. Oh. My. Goodness. These were delicious. They had much better flavor, texture, and overall yumminess than my first batch, although those were good too. This could definitely get to be a habit.

So...let's see...we're kind of food focused here right now. Ice storms will do that to you. What else is going on?

Well, I made the next Solstice Challenge block. The name of this block is Tidy Rows. Mine is made to remind me to start my tomato seeds. 

We need the weather just a tad warmer than it is right now because I need to use the outdoor faucet to get the soil loaded into the red Solo cups. All the outdoor faucets are turned off right now. Hopefully, the weather will warm up over the weekend so I can get the seeds started.

Also, I'm off to a pretty good start on the next Bag Lady, Charlotte.

And that reminds me to remind you that today is the last day to link up your Ernestine for a chance to win a magnetic needle threader. The party is going on right here. You don't need to finish your block, and you don't need a blog to link up. Just click on that link back there for all the information.

So...you know all those blog posts where I say I'm going to do a little housework? Well, don't believe it. Who has time for housework? Today, I'm afraid I need to catch up a little, although I'm hoping to get a couple of blocks made too. We're supposed to pick up our new camper tomorrow, but the weather is going to have to warm up some and melt those icy roads. The forecast looks promising, but these things have a way of deciding for themselves. Fingers crossed.

24 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

I'll have mine with strawberry, please.:) Your Tidy Rows are tidier than mine, and lovely. And of course I feel a sisterhood with all the bag ladies, being a woman of a certain age. Be careful on all that slick stuff!

Lana Ku said...

Brrrrrr......but those bagels look soooo delicious! Sure wish I had one right now. Yum.

claudia said...

WHY??? Why did you have to mention housework after all the other fun you are having? (beside the yucky frozen stuff outside)
I need to do housework...isn't that really a four letter word? If I don't all the stuff that needs to be cleaned up will fall over on me and I won't get to play.
I'm starting with the dishes, because my hands are cold!
Stay warm and safe!

claudia said...

BTW...love the view of the mountains!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I actually vacuumed the whole upstairs (including my sewing room) yesterday. Hard to do since my son works nights, and sleeps days. His schedule really messes up my housework schedule. Who wants to vacuum at 7am?

Ioleen Kimmel said...

Lagels look great. I've have on with strawberry please and thank you. That view looks pretty scary.

I just put banana cinnamon muffins in the oven. House smells so good.

Take care and be safe.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Your new batch of bagels look so yummy and I have a taste for the veggie cream cheese. That reminds me - I forgot about the next Solstice block. I did more errands and a little sewing. Lots of hand stitching to catch up on over the weekend.

Jen said...

Oooo, I love a good schmear. :) Yum!
That tomato block is gorgeous! So sharp! Stay warm in this crazy weather. Freezing rain is the WORST!

beaquilter said...

fun view!- not... kids keep hoping for more snow in NC but it doesn't look like it's happening

WoolenSails said...

Those look so good, I assume you use yeast in them? I miss being able to make yeast breads.
I do love the colored stitchery, I have done few and love doing them.


crazy quilter said...

Oh my! What horrible weather you have. Or maybe it is actually great sewing and baking weather! Lol your bagels looks so good! I do hope the roads thaw so you can get the new camper to go on the Big Truck! So exciting!

crazy quilter said...

Oh my! What horrible weather you have. Or maybe it is actually great sewing and baking weather! Lol your bagels looks so good! I do hope the roads thaw so you can get the new camper to go on the Big Truck! So exciting!

works4me said...

We are getting snow in the Vancouver BC area. For Langley, a suburb, it has not stopped all day and is supposed to continue through Tuesday. I like my Wet Coast and want it back. You probably feel the same.

Well done on the bagels. I used the bread maker to make cinnamon sugar rounds today. The bread maker is as close as I get to hand making bread, so I am enjoying watching you.

The block looks good. Nice reminder of your tomato seeds. I am growing salad greens inside and looking forward to them.

I hope the kitties are not going mad being completely indoors for the moment. Looking at yesterday's photo of Sadie tells me she is fine. :)

Brown Family said...

That is nasty weather! I hope it thaws out so you can go get the camper! The bagels have a little more color to them! I like both flavors of schmears and the strawberry, too. I only get them when I am staying in a hotel that has them, which is not that often! I hope Charlotte arrives at my door step tomorrow!

Lyndsey said...

Thanks for explaining schmear for me, not sure if we have it or something similar in the UK but I would be surprised if we don't. The bagels look yummy. I love the fabric on the solstice block.

Wendy Tuma said...

Boy, you did get ice! Hope it melts away so you can get your tomatoes going. I like that Solstice block. I decided to make mine with pink, seeing how Valentine's day is coming close, and I didn't want to veer from adding more eclectic blocks to my others. Those bagels look yummy. I'd like mine with a little smoked salmon schmear, please. Enjoy your weekend!

Susan said...

I haven't had a bagel in a long time. Seeing your bagels makes me want one. Please schmear mine with the veggie schmear. Your solstice block makes me want some home grown tomatoes and for it to be Spring. We have had partial sunshine 3 days in a row but it is windy and bitterly cold.

SJSM said...

My East Coast friend asked what kind of bagels I wanted and she would bring them. I said cinnamon raisin. I was informed that wasn't a REAL bagel. Never eating a bagel until an adult in California I am not any kind of bagel critic I guess. She will bring me several sorts for me to try.

Your bagels look great! And WOW on that ice! Isn't it time for that stuff to be over? Glad you did a grocery store runn to keep you fed. Crossing my fingers the power lines stay up.

Heidi said...

Those bagels look amazing! I used to work near that shmear-place, my favorite filling is plain though, um, with cucumber & avocado, sooo good! Stay warm Barb, spring is coming!

quiltzyx said...

Those bagels are a big S-C-O-R-E!! I'm eating some sweet potato chips right now, but a bagel sure sounds yummy.
Nice job on the Poisonous Wolf Peach block. ;-)
Sorry to hear it's so freezing again up there, but I love that picture. Hope it thawed so you two can go get the new camper.

Stay safe & warm!

Kate said...

The bagels turned out beautifully. I like the strawberry schmears, but my favorite is almond and honey.

Robin said...

The ice on the window gives me a chill. There's nothing better than a bagel & some schmear. Maybe a toasted bagel etc.

Karen said...

Your Bag Lady is an interesting design. Well done.

CathieJ said...

Your post made me hungry. Bagels, shmears and then tomato fabric. I hope your ice has melted. We are expecting some of that tonight. Tomorrows commute to work should be interesting.