Friday, October 12, 2007

Dinner With the Anorexics


Back on the adolescent psych floor and I got to have dinner with the anorexics. It's a tense scene at best. First I had to serve dinner to the gals. They each had a list of the specific quantities of stuff they had to eat. I gave them a choice of small or large tortilla which made on of them laugh and say, "You're giving me a *choice* of a large tortilla...?" They watched me dole out a half a cup of this ("Hey, that looks like more than half a cup!") and three ounces of that and turned down the optional tomatoes and sour cream. Back to the table, timers were set (they have a certain amount of time to finish their meal otherwise they'd eat tiny mice bites and shove the food around on the plate until midnight) and the gals went to work. Forks moved to mouths and chewing occurred in a precise and mechanical fashion. When (well, ok, if) they finished I had to investigate under napkins and plates, I had to pick up the milk box and assess whether or not it was really empty. Later, I got a lecture from my instructor because I left a gal at the table with a closed can of formula when I went to get ice. And the instructor mentioned that the anorexics aren't supposed to wear long sleeves at dinner. Ooops. My patient had a big baggy sweatshirt. Now I wonder if she tucked bits of cheese or grains of rice in there. The "fun" part of the meal was that I got to eat dinner, too! MMMMM, hospital food and delightful dinner companions. Now you're talkin'!

On the other side of the coin or maybe it's really the same side, I went to a meeting of a group of compulsive overeaters. One of them said that if they were addicted to alcohol at least they could just not buy it or avoid going to places where alcohol exists, but food? Food is everywhere. And here's where the overeaters and the anorexics join hands: they are both obsessed with food.

Geez. Maybe I'm a little obsessed with food. One of the nice things about taking a summer off from blogging is that I baked up a storm and now I get to share with you! Have you ever made homemade bagels? You should. It's a bit of a hassle, but it's fun for the kids and they are just the best bagels you'll ever have. I topped mine with poppy seeds and a few with sunflower seeds, but you can pick your own favorite toppings. This recipe is from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads.

Bagels

3 1/2 cups of AP flour, perhaps more
2 packages dry yeast
3 TBsp sugar
1 TBsp salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 quarts water
1 1/2 TBsp malt syrup or sugar
1 egg white and 1 tsp water, beaten
Toppings

Baking sheet greased (or with parchment) and sprinkled lightly with cornmeal

In your mixing bowl, combine and stir the dry ingredients (uh, not the toppings), pour in the cup and a half of hot water and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Now mix with mixer using your dough hook. Mix at medium low speed, add flour to the sides if it sticks to the side of the bowl. Mix for 10 minutes. Dough should not be wet and sticky. If it is, add more floor.

Put dough in a greased bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled (about an hour). Meanwhile, bring three quarts of water to boil and add sugar or malt syrup. You, ultimately, want the water to be simmering lightly ("giggling").

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide dough into 10 pieces. Shape each into a ball. Flatten them in your palm. Press into the center of the bagel and tear a hole, pull it down over a finger and smooth the rough edges. The book sez: "It should look like a bagel!"

Cover bagels with waxed paper and let rise slightly for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Lift one bagel at a time into the giggling water. There should be no more than 3 bagels in the water at once. (I do 2 at a time) Simmer for one minute, turning over once. Scoop bage out and drain on a towel then place on the baking sheet.

Do this with all of the bagels.

Brush with egg white mixture and sprinkle with your toppings! Hey, if you want to make raisin bagels (maybe with cinnamon?) or chocolate chip bagels (ok, just make cookies!) you'd mix 'em in when making the dough.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. During this time, watch for the bagel tops to appear light brown and flip the bagels over to prevent a flattened bagel.

Cool on a rack.

4 comments:

Kitt said...

I'm glad you're back to blogging! And good food obsessions.

Check out Smitten Kitchen's bagels, too.

Anonymous said...

'effing excellent segue from anorexia to overeating to bagels...

Molly said...

Thanks. It would have been too much, probably, to do the two brownie recipes I've been meaning to post...

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