The first bagel I ever ate didn’t leave much of an impression. A chewy bread doughnut with cream cheese? I was more used to fluffy, toasted Wonder Bread dripping with margarine.
The second bagel was memorable. I had to wait a day in Boston before taking the Greyhound bus to Bar Harbor, where we would join the winter training period at Kanzeon Zen Center. It was one of my first times in the US, and the first time in Boston. We found ourselves in a downtown Bagel store for breakfast. This time it was fresh, served with lox (smoked salmon), cream cheese, tomatoes, onions and capers, and downed with a huge mug of thin, hot, French roast coffee. Amazing.
Even though bagels are not easy to come by in our Northern Dutch village, I still like to make different flavoured cream cheeses to smear on fresh-baked crusty breakfast rolls. This is one of the more sweeter favourites with a distinctive “ice cream” taste to it. Enjoy.
15 g (2 tablespoons) finely chopped walnuts
100 g cream cheese
1 – 1½ tablespoons honey, to taste
⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract, to taste
Pinch of salt
- Finely chop the walnuts.
- Combine with the cream cheese, honey, vanilla extract and salt.