Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spreading the News In My Vagabond Shoes in Dubre, KY

No worries, I promise to steer clear of any introspective Robert Frost discussions today. Just a couple of odds and ends that I thought might interest those of you who so kindly skim this blog every now and then. Okay, so Leigh and Mom, here goes...

I stopped in Anderson's Grocery this morning just for kicks. Located in Dubre, just a bit before the Cumberland/Metcalfe Co. line, this general store is one I likely have passed thousands of times, yet never ventured in. I don't know the history, I don't know Hazel (I imagine to be the owner - she was the only one in there this morning), and I don't have pictures of old men eating bologna sandwiches and drinking RCs...hence, I don't want to give some melodramatic explanation of how "I walked in and it just felt like home." BUT, a few observations: I like that this pseudo general store still is a post office site; I like that the screen door, the narrow board original wood floors, the old furnace that finds home toward the back of the store, the built-in white wood shelving that still holds canned vegetables, and the cash register that likely has heard many a tale, remind me of my great grandparents' country store; I like that after telling Hazel that I was the Turner daughter who has been away for a while, she asked how Dad was feeling and then told me that I looked like my mom.

Occasionally I get caught up in overly analytical (and oftentimes narcissistic) searches for meaning. Sometimes,though, simple and nice is enough.

Okay, random story #2. I love any kind of bread, my mom's homemade sourdough, artisan pumpernickel at boutique type bakeries, plain white Sunbeam sandwich bread (tangent: I used to love when my granddad, in his light blue, button down, short-sleeve shirt with "Jack" in the sewn oval label, would take a break from work and let me and Leigh get in his Sunbeam truck and pick out a honeybun or fried pie). The wanna-be organic farmer inside of me knows that both honeybuns and non-whole grain breads are unhealthy, but I silence that faint voice fairly easily.

One of my favorites is a good bagel. While I'm not a snob - in fact, I just bought blueberry Lenders at IGA a couple of days ago - I really love doughy in the middle, crisp on the outside, New York style bagels. Calorie watchers and Atkins Dieters, don't even start.

Woke up this morning and decided to try making my own. I found this recipe online at: Word of advice: I've enjoyed doing this and it has been fulfilling to make something I really love in my own kitchen, but it is a day-long process. Don't start unless you have time to let the dough rise (I let mine sit for 5 hours and I only did a 1/2 recipe). You'll find that I've added some everyday tips here and there(which are probably common knowledge for most of you, but I thought I would pass along anyway).

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp. dry yeast
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
4 1/4 c. all purpose flour (actually called for "bread flour" - anytime salt and yeast are called for in a recipe, use "all-purpose"... thanks, Mom)
8 cups water, for boiling
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. water

* You can also add: cinnamon and raisins, poppy seeds, onions or garlic, sesame seeds, fruit of your own choosing

1. In a small bowl, mix yeast, sugar, and warm water and let stand 3 minutes.

2. Mix 2 cups of flour with salt in large bowl; add yeast mixture. Stir until combined and slowly mix in rest of flour.
The recipe said to spill flour everywhere when mixing.

3. Knead dough on floured surface for 5 minutes (if putting wax paper on counter top, wet the surface first so the parchment/wax doesn't slip...again, thanks Jackie). Dough should be fairly smooth and somewhat firm. Cover and let rise until double Place dough in a greased bowl(use a small piece of wax paper to scoop out tbsp or so of Crisco - keeps your hands clean and helps with consistent coverage - Mrs. Becky/4-H). Anytime you cover in this recipe, whether the dough is in a bowl or on a cookie sheet, spray your towel with a non-stick spray.

4. Punch dough down (if adding cinnamon/raisin, do so now). Divide and shape into 12 balls. (I used a pizza cutter to divide the dough). Allow to rest 5 minutes.

5. Bring 2 qts. water to boil. Make a hole in each ball and pull open about 2 inches, making a bagel shape. Place the shaped dough onto a cookie sheet and cover for 10 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop 2 or 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water for about 45 seconds, turning each once (turned mine with two forks - the dough is pretty stiff, don't be afraid of messing them up).

7. Drain cooked bagels on a wire rack. Mix egg white and water; brush tops with egg mixture and top with optional ingredients. Place bagels on greased baking sheets.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, turning once half-way through baking (rotate, rather than flip, if using "toppings"). Bagels will be lightly browned and shiny. A little butter doesn't hurt anything (especially cinnamon butter from Mariah's).

Nothing goes better with a homemade bagel than a coke from Anderson's Grocery that has a Nov302009 expiration date.


  1. your sweet honey bunMarch 12, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    and due to the fact the expiration date already passed, you don't even have to drink a glass of water to even everything out. This sounds yummy:)
    I even had my very own 44oz diet coke today....following 2 pieces of non-organic white flour delivery pizza. It made me smile and think of you.

  2. I bet my "sweet honey bun" is the most capable, qualified, and witty chiropractor in TN. I hope you were clogging while eating your NOWF pizza and sipping your giant diet coke. :)
    If not, then my dear sweet honey bun, I have no idea on your adjusting skills, but I still hope you enjoyed some bluegrass that same evening.