Wednesday, September 9, 2009


  • bagel, toasted
  • fresh tomato, sliced
  • cream cheese
  • balsamic vinegar

Prepare bagel; you can use fresh or frozen (I used Ray's frozen, which really are the best), toasted or not. Spread cream cheese on bottom half of bagel, top with tomato slices and vinegar to taste.

The dish: If you look at a map of the earth you'll notice that Japan is pretty much all the way to the right and California is way to the left. The land of the rising sun is so named because they're the first on the globe to get drenched in the fresh sunlight building from the east (this is also the reason why on New Year's Eve while we're still chilling the bubbly and wrapping the pigs in blankets, Dick Clark is cutting to shots of tired Asians that look like they've been partying awhile). By contrast, the folks in the Golden State are the last ones to roll out of bed in the morning. For this reason, through my admittedly limited research, I've come to the conclusion that Californians are more prone to an earlier and healthier lifestyle. They have no choice but to be early risers; the rest of the planet is already awake and going strong. This phenomenon can be clearly seen on the greatest show of all time, Melrose Place (the original of course, the new one premiered last night so it's too soon to tell). Although their lifestyles may not be psychologically healthy, all the young residents of LA wake early and always eat breakfast. Kim and I were watching some older re-runs of the show recently and were having fun noticing how not only does everyone always eat three squares, but those meals consist of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. On one such episode, Dr. Peter Burns is having an early meeting with his colleague Dr. Michael Mancini, while fixing himself some breakfast in the break room of their posh office. Burns takes a cut bagel and spreads it with cream cheese and then piles on some fresh tomato slices and finishes it with some salt and pepper. I basically stole the good Dr's recipe, save the vinegar difference, but I did give him props naming it after him. Now that tomatoes are in full bloom, this is a great way to start your day like the residents of 4616 Melrose do, minus the waking up next to your ex/in-law/friend/friend's other, etc.

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