Bagels and a Thought

August 21, 2007

By Avi Green

Boy, of all the recipes I could provide here, one for how to bake bagels is surely the best of all. And that's what I'm delighted to present now. So, here we go with another great recipe.

8 cups of wheat flour.
1 tablespoon of sea salt.
2 cakes of compressed yeast.
2 cups of lukewarm potato water, which is made by boiling peeled dice potatoes in excess water until they're tender. Drain and then use the liquid.
1/3 cup oil honey.
1/4 cup of oil.
4 eggs, lightly beaten.
2 tablespoons of raw sugar.
2 quarts of boiling water.

Then, here's what to do next:

Sift flour and salt in a bowl. Soften yeast in one-third of the potato water and stir into flour.

Add honey and oil to remaining potato water and stir into flour mixture. Add in the eggs and beat to form dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be plenty firm. If needed, add some more flour too.

Return dough to clean buttered bowl, cover and let it rise at room temperature until doubled at bulk, about one and 1/2 to two hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Knead dough again until you get it smooth and elastic.

Pull off some pieces of dough and roll into ropes six inches long and 3 quarters of an inch wide.

Bring the ends of the dough together and pinch to form a doughnut shape.

Drop raw sugar into kettle of boiling water. Drop bagels into the water one at a time and when they come to the surface turn them over so that other side gets some baking too. Boil one minute longer.

Put the bagels on an oiled cookie sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. This should result in about 30 delicious bagels.

And with that, you'll have plenty of great rings of dough to enjoy! I like to make sandwiches with bagels many times, and that's what recipes like this can come in handy for.

Discontinuing a feature here

In the past couple months, I've been contemplating the feature I have in the fun fantastic features section about "Obituaries that fit the bill". The question I've been asking myself is if the feature is neccasary anymore, or if it's even appropriate?

Certainly there is what to learn history-wise about some of these character deaths. Like, for example, how both father and daughter George and Gwen Stacy bit the big one during the Bronze Age of comics. Likewise, so does the death of Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths. But more recently, with all the pointless, forced deaths DC Comics has been relentlessly piling on, not to mention villifications of longtime characters, in the time since Identity Crisis, War Games, Infinite Crisis and even 52, that's why I'd been starting to wonder if it's really a good idea anymore. It's not the ones that didn't need fixing, like that of Bucky Barnes, who was recently returned from the dead as well, that have made me wonder if it's really needed any more. Rather, it's the character deaths that were forced that led me to consider this.

Well, I don't know, but until then, that's why I've decided that, not only will the feature no longer be updated, I've decided to scrap it altogether. Most importantly of all, because I fear that the whole notion of keeping it around is almost like upholding the whole notion that there simply have to be deaths being done in comics and that they need to stick.

Let's be clear. They don't. Not if they're forced, and not if they're fictional either. And I guess that's why I've decided to stop managing a feature like obituaries of old comic book characters from DC and Marvel on my website for as long as I'll be continuing to update it. Because I fear that it's leaning towards political correctness.

The last entry I did when the section was still around was for Jarella. Now, that too has been taken out, as decidedly, it just wasn't a good idea to begin with. And why? Because, I felt that the way the whole thing was set up, it was becoming more like "obituary worship" than a real history lesson. All the characters previously featured did have their values in history studies of comic book storytelling, but to write it all up as an estimation of whether they would remain dead or not was the wrong approach. And realizing this, that's why I simply didn't want to keep on with it anymore.

So, consider the Obituaries that Fit the Bill section done and over. As of now, that section, such as it was, has come to a close, and decidedly a good thing too.

After all, it's really not a good idea to succumb to political correctness and most definitely not to the idea of celebrating death in comic books, right?

Copyright 2007 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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