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Ripe for a bagel spread

A recipe disaster and a whimsical poem unite an avocado with heat.

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The Bagel

by David Ignatow

I stopped to pick up the bagel

rolling away in the wind,

annoyed with myself

for having dropped it

as if it were a portent.

Faster and faster it rolled,

with me running after it

bent low, gritting my teeth,

and I found myself doubled over

and rolling down the street

head over heels, one complete


after another like a bagel

and strangely happy with myself.

Source: "Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994," Wesleyan University Press

When was the last time you felt unabashedly silly? When did you run down the street, skipping, or scream on a roller coaster, or trip and fall in a public place? Most of the time we're buttoned up, trying to do everything we can to remain poised.

The poem "The Bagel," by David Ignatow, removes us from formality a bit to those rare moments when you realize you're in the midst of a potentially embarrassing moment but choose to laugh instead of scurry away, ashamed.

I've learned many lessons as a home cook, and one of them is that it's OK not to make everything. And not just OK, it's probably preferable. There are some foods better left to the professionals, like croissants, for instance. Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn't try to make English muffins or sushi at home. You should, because then you'll learn your limits, what you care about most, and when to leave it to the experts. You might find yourself incredibly adept at candymaking, or you might decide to enjoy your next scone at your favorite bakery.


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