Sunday, November 04, 2007

sunday brunch with strangers

I have this buddy that I've known for cruising up on 5 years now. His name is Philip Gelb. He is a very talented musician, and also an excellent vegan personal chef and caterer. We chat online regularly about all sorts of silly crap (for example, just this very I am sitting here typing this post...he just IM'd me: "am listening to an interview with a guy who was abducted by aliens").

Anyhow. Being that we are both foodies (we both are, or have been professional chefs) when we chat, our conversations almost always come back to food: what we're making, what we're eating, what fancy kitchen equipment we just scored, etc. Or we talk about beagles.

ANYHOW. Phil has been teaching vegan cooking classes out of his Oakland, CA loft for awhile now. For some reason or another, I have never made it to one of his classes until today. But there was nothing that was going to keep me from going to today's class. Nope. No clock changes, no post-performance exhaustion. For none of that would I miss this. Why??


We made BAGELS. (no no, not beagles...that is something entirely different..but I bet if Phil ever googles himself and finds this post, he will IM me to chat about making Beagle Flavored Bagels).

ANYHOW. Phil and I both come from east coast Jewish stock, so we both know a real bagel when we see one, and I have never made them. Very rarely do I bake, and when I do, it isn't bread. It's dessert.

The class itself was fun. It was a complete brunch menu. There were 7 of us cooking. People were of varying skill levels, interests, and backgrounds. The class was hands-on, and when we were done working together, we got to eat everything. The discussions during the feast were also good (neat how good food makes good food for thought).

I am sorry to say, of all the photos I took today, I didn't take one single shot of a BAGEL!! Once that dough got put together, I went into some sort of yeast inspired stupor, I apparently I stayed in that state through the forming of the bagels, their subsequent boiling, then baking, their being served up with herbed vegan cream cheese, and then being promptly devoured. Well, okay. It wasn't a stupor. The truth is, that I was paying really close attention to the making of the bagels, because I damn well want to be able to make these on my own!

So no bagel photos. And I didn't take shots of the buckwheat pancakes with pear compote, the tempeh hash, or the vegan quiche, either.

But here's some token artsy fartsy garlic for you.

(bet you've never seen that before)

Oooooo, and here's some spinach.

And some other stuff.

Aren't you excited??!?!?!?!
Oy. Sorry. I know. A photographer I will never be, and so don't quite that day job and all that (nevermind that I don't even have one).

Guess I'll have to make some more bagels on my own so I can see if I was a good student and so that I can do another photo shoot ;-)

And although he'll want the real cream cheese and some lox and red onion on top, I'll bet you ten bucks that my dad is reading this and trying to figure out the least obvious way to hint at my making him some ;-)


Mouse said...

mmmmm... bagels. Now I'm hungry for REAL bagels (good luck finding those down here in the South..) and cream cheese.

Ragnar said...

I tried to make bagels once and I boiled them too are not as hard as those bagels were.

Anonymous said...

An ex-Jew from L.A. by way of good, upstanding East Coast stock, I, too, know a good bagel when I chew one, and I have to say that I had the damnedest time finding any when I lived in Northern California. In NoCal, I could find the BEST espresso drinks and Italian baked goods, but the bagels? Universally, they were like dinner rolls with holes in the middle, no matter where I went, even at bakeries with names that included the word "bagel." After awhile, I just gave up and stuck with sourdough as my local bread of choice.

I have it in my head that the problem was both the yeast (and Shuna Lydon, a Bay Area pastry chef, food blogger, and fellow ex-WFMer, has talked about the phenomenon of regional yeast before) and the water, which New Yorkers tell me simply isn't hard enough in the Bay Area. Did Phil impart any secrets to you about getting around these problems? Any you'd care to share?

And don't tell me I have to throw in a beagle. I just won't believe that.

Anonymous said...

You win the ten bucks (hint, hint).