Portland, Oregon:  My Driver went to Eugene yesterday to watch the Oregon Ducks beat UC Davis. In football. I took advantage of hours alone at home to test and rewrite the bagel recipe on this site. I make bagels often, and it is always a good idea to tweak and update recipes from time-to-time.

My Easy Bagel recipe makes use of a bread machine to prepare the dough and produces 8 bagels in two hours. It is a fun project – especially if you have kids or grandkids to help as the results are so instantaneous – and who doesn’t like a chewy bagel?

My Dad. My Dad does not like bagels.

(NOTE: I have never baked bread in a bread machine. I only use it to perfectly prepare yeast doughs.)

Dave and I had a “gardening” project today. About ten (or is it more now?) years ago, I put toothpicks in the pits of especially lovely Haas avocados, plopped them in a jar of water and watched as they sprouted and eventually grew leaves. Everyone has done this, am I right?

Later, I planted the three “trees” and… if you can believe this… the avocados took-over our living room (9 foot ceilings)… then the kitchen (vaulted ceiling)… until we finally had to move the plantation to the family room with super-vaulted ceilings. There is no where else for the three trees to go in our house. Either they flower next year or they will be whacked-down to the nibs and transplanted to relatives garden in California.

One winter outdoor in Oregon and the avocados would be frozen history.

I still receive a $3.4 billion annual farm subsidy for my Oregon avocado plantation – retroactive from the Bush Administration – so please do not report me to the Agricultural Department, okay?

The other reason for using my bread machine this weekend was to make pizza dough. I tend to just whisk the dough together in a little bowl and leave it to work its own magic, but tonight I put everything in the bread machine.

Same results.

Our Sunday Night Pizza tends to be topped with whatever leftovers I have from the week. Tonight it was grilled artichoke hearts, ricotta and basil.

It was really good. I served the pizza with a salad of mixed greens and toasted pine nuts… but instead of a tomato, I used a nectarine. Sneaking fruit into My Driver’s diet is a secret obsession.

Shhhhhh…

We hope you all are enjoying a great labor-free Labor Day!

Until my next update, I remain, your baked correspondent.

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