It was not the best of times. On my first attempt at making bagels, guests arrived just as the bagel water started to boil. It was supposed to be 2 minutes on one side and 1 1/2 minutes on the second. I carefully plopped the first two in the water and looked at the second hand on my watch. "Oh, blah, blah, blah," went my guest as I tried to accompany her conversation while watching my watch. "Oh, blah, blah, blah," went the children, asking a question here, me trying to respond. It soon became apparent that this was not going to work, so I gave up clock watching and went by my eyeometer. I flipped bagels in and out of that water like a pro! Next they went through the poppy seed bath and then right into the oven! Even though they looked a bit mishappen they did look like bagels. Then the real test: did they taste like bagels? Silence hung over us as mouths worked their way into the steaming dough. Mr. Pat was strangely silent. Then it was my turn to take the test: ummmmm! They tasted an awful lot like normal bread beaten into the shape of a bagel. Ummm! Ummm! Ummm! Something went wrong. But I haven't given up. Watch out, Brueggeman's!!!