Bagels and snack cakes

That’s right. We cut our bagels on the counter.

My mother taught me many life skills, most of which, I never knew I was learning, but there’s one skill I put to use every year.

Taxes are something the people have little control over. We all must pay them or risk financial ruin or a prison sentence. My mother taught me a way to not stress so much over them each year. With each tax return, she said, take a little bit out to blow on something stupid and then put the rest into savings for when you have an emergency.

Over the years, I’ve purchased some dumb things, went out to fancy dinners, and purchased something nice for myself I could not otherwise afford. This year, I’ve been hungry for a proper bagel.

As a child, whenever we had a little extra cash, we’d head on over to the Miracle Mile bakery for some bagels. The best part of the business was walking in to the smell of freshly backed bagels tossed into metal wired bins. You’d pick what you wanted and be on your way. I suppose health laws wouldn’t allow that today, but you’d still be able to get a great tasting, fresh bagel.

You’re not going to find a proper bagel in a Scotts Bluff County grocery store. The bagels here are not any good. So, I took to the internet for my stupid tax return splurge and get some proper bagels.

New Yorker Bagels ships overnight so your bagels are as fresh as possible. They did not disappoint. Are they a bit expensive? Yes. Do I care? No.

Garlic, Garlic, Egg, and Bialys bagels.

I love garlic bagels. You can’t get them in western Nebraska. The people who live here love their garlic sausage, but they never thought to make garlic bagels. Not that it would matter because the bagels here don’t taste right and or overly chewy to rubbery.

Naturally, I purchased a dozen garlic bagels. The egg bagels also caught my eye as did the bialys. When they arrived, Paul and I instantly tore into the garlic bagels. They didn’t last long.

The bialy is a combination between a bagel and an English muffin. It is named after Bialystok, Poland. Bialys are baked, not kettle-boiled, which creates a flat, dense dough with a depression in the center instead of a hole.

Its bottom is heavier than the top. In the depression of the bialy is a schmearing of onion and garlic, which inserted before baking.

The egg bagel is richer than a plain bagel, which is just, well, plain.

Our bagels arrived fresh and with directions how to heat them to perfection or preserve them. The bagels are hand-rolled and loaded with baked garlic and fill your home with the sweet smell of garlic.

It’s been a long time since I had a real bagel. The joy of its taste did not disappoint. I suspect this is because all their bagels are fresh, never frozen and they do not use bromates or preservatives. That means when they tell you to eat them within 72 hours, eat them in 72 hours or things will start to grow on them. The result is a proper bagel with a crisp shell and a chewy center.

My stash of Drake’s cakes.

Of course, I needed some desserts as well, so I hopped online and spent a lot of money on Drake’s Cakes. Some of you know of my obsession with Funny Bones. They are my all-time favorite snack cake. I grew up with the option of Hostess or Drake’s and it was an easy choice. Hostess never tasted right to me and they’re worse now that the company shut down and restarted.

Drake’s is still mostly a regional company. I suspect this is why the company has been able to survive all these years. My friend, Kayla, and my mom will send me a box or two of Funny Bones throughout the year, but I decided to go for it all.

While I like Devil Dogs, my grandmother always preferred Little Debbie’s version. I did not. The crème in Devil Dogs is so much smoother and there’s no grittiness. To each their own.

If you purchase Yankee Doodles, they come in a pack of three. One time in high school, I was dared to shove all three in my mouth at the same time without losing a single crumb. At 16, I was pretty proud of myself I could accomplish such a feat. Not so much today. Also, I swear they had more crème in the center than they have today.

A sample of each of the different kinds of Drake’s cakes I purchased.

I’m pretty happy with my 2023 tax return splurge. There are few things I miss about New York, but bagels, Drake’s cakes, and pizza fall into some of my fonder memories. I just have to remember to not overindulge.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go eat some Funny Bones from an awesome company, which has been in business since 1879.

I just realized if I live until 2079, I’ll be around for their 200th birthday. I’ll be 109 then. Wish me luck.


Out with the old


Wait. What? Why?


  1. Thunder

    Not the lobby of the New Yorker? Pffffftt 🙂
    Enjoy the cake & bagels!

    • Irene

      I will eat bagels and cake with you in the lobby of the New Yorker any day. 🙂

  2. Red

    Gawd! I hate to agree with you, but you are absolutely correct about New York bagels.

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