What to do with all that pedigreed fat I've no idea, but will figure out. Meanwhile, I put aside a tiny bit to make the lovely, fragile lard pastry from Jennifer McLagan's Fat, which I used for the buttermilk pie out of Anne Mendelson's Milk. The whole thing (see above) was delectable and handsome and, for once, handsomely photographed.
This morning: bagels and cream cheese.
Made the bagels, made the cream cheese. The chewy bagels are baked from the outstanding recipe in Bernard Clayton's Book of Breads. This is the second batch of the week, and I've never made anything more popular with finical children and spouse. I'm not Jewish, I'm not from New York City, and the perfect bagel is not my Lost Chord (that would be the Maddox spoon roll) so I don't claim authority. But I have eaten thousands of bagels over the years, and never encountered any as good as these. More about bagel-making in a future post.
The cream cheese, concocted from Milk, was not so fabulous. You warm up milk, cream, and a little buttermilk, add a crushed rennet tablet (as in Junket) and let sit in a quiet corner for a day where it will ripen into something with the texture of sour cream. You pour this into a cheesecloth-lined sieve, tie the cloth up around the ball of semisolid dairy product, hang it over the sieve to drain for a few hours, then top with weights or heavy cans to press out the remaining whey (which you can use to make incredible bread. . . or bagels.) Sounds complicated, isn't. The resulting "cream cheese" is loose and tart, more suited to topping a baked potato than a bagel. I might try again making some slight alterations. Or not.