The first time I had a bagel was when I home-stayed in Riverside, California, as part of a summer ESL program organized by my Christian college in Japan.
I was probably 18 years old at that time, and it was my first time to visit the U.S.
The bagle served for breakfast at my host family’s house came with cream cheese and various jams, and I fell in love with this chewy wonderful bread.
It was over 20 years ago and at that time bagels were hard to find in Japan.
When I came home, I told my mother, who was a great baker, and she got quickly interested.
We did some research and found an American style diner in the city and decided to try their bagel.
It was exactly the same as I remembered.
The great thing is that as soon as we came home, my mother somehow got a recipe and made homemade bagels!
A few years later I came back to the U.S., and ended up living in Boston for a few years.
That’s where I began eating bagels more regularly.
My favorite way of eating my bagels was with plain cream cheese and peanut butter.
I know it’s a bit unusual, and as you can guess, it’s definitely sticky, but I really enjoyed it.
Now I live in Minnesota, and I hardly ever eat bagels.
It could be a regional thing, but I think it’s mostly because of the overall national trend of cutting down on carbs.
I don’t see many people eating bagels around me, so I usually don’t think about it.
But I do have to confess.
Whenever I hear or see bagels, it does bring back the pleasant memories.
Just recently I have happened to have several occasions to see or hear about bagels, and I impulsively decided to make some myself.
I found a recipe that says you can make bagels in 30 minutes!
So I followed the recipe, which was not difficult.
I made plain and sesame versions, and they both turned out beautiful!
I was going to make my old favorite (cream cheese x peanut butter), but today I was rather in a mood for something else.
So I spread my homemade lemon cashew cream and World Market’s strawberry-rhubarb jam.
It was delicious!!
It’s almost absurd that I was buying bagels when you can make such delicious bagels so easily at home.
Love the simple ingredients as well (you know how much I hate long lists of ingredients of store-bought baked goods).
Bagels – plain / sesame
I used this recipe (in Japanese).
Lemon Cashew Cream
– 1 cup cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for a few hours
– 120 g soft tofu
– 30g soy milk
– 20g refined coconut oil
– fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
– a pinch of salt
1. Combine all the ingredients. Puree until smooth with a hand blender.