Tuesday, March 03, 2009

How I survived a week in Cambridge

The first time I went to Cambridge, in February 2007, it was so cold I was amazed that people continued to live and thrive in this bitter part of the country. I don't remember much of what I ate, but I remember I was always hungry. The extreme cold, combined with the brain power I was using doing the initial book research, made it so that I was constantly running to the Hi-Rise Bakery across the street from the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College for cups of soup, pieces of gingerbread, or dried cherry chocolate walnut cookies.

This year, I visited Hi-Rise only in the early morning for a cup of coffee and a quick check of e-mail. I survived for six days on H&H Bagels. They were a special NY request from the woman I stayed with. "H&H makes these great bagels," she said, her voice trailing off wistfully.

I stood in line at H&H last week and decided I should get a dozen... six everything, three salt, three sesame, and a cinnamon raisin to round out my bakers dozen. I'd never had an H&H bagel before and this would give me something easy to grab and munch on throughout the week.

And how. These bagels are good. I know, everybody knows that. I am very late to the party. But not only are H&H Bagels good, they are the perfect brain food. A bagel and cream cheese or a schmear of peanut butter kept the brain focused and alert all weekend long. And the taste and texture was divine. My favorite concoction was a toasted salt bagel drizzled with olive oil. This is what I will remember and crave, now that I am back at home, toiling away in my own private library.

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