salt bagels

Ferus Ferrum

It would be difficult to secure funding for a literary journal in a standard university - at Elsewhere, most professors wouldn’t dare. Going to the Dean to beg for money, it would be too much like a deal, a favor owed - even if the Dean wasn’t one of them, you didn’t make tenure at EU by taking unnecessary risks.

So it’s difficult, but not impossible - which is why everyone is slightly in awe of Professor Howell, when the petite, soft-spoken poetry professor announces to her classes that she’s looking for volunteer readers and editors.

They call the journal Ferus Ferrum, and their submissions come from across the country. The staff are all English or Creative Writing majors - they know the Rules, and Professor Howell trains them well. The editors learn how to create an email database, how to solicit submissions without “please” or “thank you”; they choose pen names and debate different weights of paper and call the printers to ask if their toner contains iron oxide.

When the first issue is printed they have a release party, with pizza and cake and a tray of vanilla pudding from the dining hall tucked into the corner. There is a palpable but unspoken amazement in the air that they made it, that the journal is sitting in front of them finished, and no one was mysteriously disappeared or even “borrowed,”, and everyone is filled with awe and pride and a fierce kind of victory over the particular entropy of Elsewhere.

So of course, at the end of the party Professor Howell makes an announcement to her staff: she’s leaving.

Not for good. They’ve never known a professor to leave EU, although they don’t think about it particularly hard. She’s pregnant, she tells them, and she’s going to take the next year off for maternity leave. She’s convinced a colleague to take over advising Ferus Ferrum, Professor Chapel, and he’s new.

As they walk back to dorms and parking lots, Howell takes her editors aside. He’s new, she tells them, and they nod, but they don’t understand. They’re writers and they learned the Rules quick, and they all secretly believe that the people who don’t realize the strangeness of Elsewhere are hiding something.

Professor Chapel walks into the first editorial meeting of the next year and the poetry editor looks to the nonfiction reader on her right and they both think, “Ah, he’s new.” Chapel grins freely and stammers and bleeds apologies. He has a tattoo that is a reference four-places removed from a Dickinson poem, and he gushes at length about an obscure short story he read in his first year of grad school. He’s a wonderful professor, and an excellent advisor, and he hasn’t the faintest clue about the Rules. The Ferus Ferrum staff, new and old, take one look at him and realize he’s a sitting duck.

With the steel resolve of their first issue backing them, the head copy editor immediately begins organizing the troops. Two fictions readers who work together at a cafe smuggle out salted bagels and a photo editor delivers them to Professor Chapel’s office every morning. Someone produces a fountain pen with a ring of iron below the grip and hands it over as a welcome present. In meetings they make sure to rib him when he missteps around the “school traditions,” and make an inside joke of talking to the crows. He is constantly puzzled by the salt packets that make their way into his bag, his coat pockets, the corners of his office.

It’s a massive undertaking, and requires almost as much coordination as putting the journal itself together. Which is why it’s so disappointing when “Professor Chapel” walks into a meeting late with sharp teeth and golden eyes.

(They give him back a couple days later, thankfully. At least he doesn’t complain about the salt packets anymore.)


foods i literally never don’t wish i were eating:

  • a hot soft pretzel with salt, with cheese sauce and mustard
  • a really moist tiny sliver of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream
  • absolutely any kind of dessert involving lemon curd
  • yellowtail sushi with ponzu sauce, preferably with some salted cucumber
  • rice pudding so thick it practically stands on its own, NO RAISINS, NO NUTMEG, just a swirl of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar
  • soft-boiled eggs with olive oil toast soldiers rubbed liberally with salt and pepper
  • spumoni ice cream
  • a well-made sea salt bagel with a good chew to it, toasted gold, schmeared thickly with cream cheese (possibly horseradish) and paper-thin slices of lox, ripe tomato, and red onion
  • chocolate halva
  • pistachio pudding
  • smoked whitefish salad with minced celery and scallions and mayo, not miracle whip, on a toasted onion bun
  • this one poke-slash-chirashi bowl that the sushi place i like back home makes with tuna and spicy mayo and avocado and mango and salted cucumber and sesame seeds and sesame oil and ponzu
  • did i mention the hot soft pretzel with salt and cheese and mustard bc like… truly
    • honestly in this moment, and after this year of trying to be so good and not eat the 50+ foods i’m allergic to apparently, i just want to be eating an enjoyable food at all dammit

anonymous asked:

12:55 bagels are so good


i love salt bagels but then sometimes i have them and i’m like this is WAY TOO SALTY so i often play it sage and just get egg or plain bagels

i also ALWAYS have cream cheese and lox when lox is available, i know it’s a lil expensive but worth it imo. 

How to Survive a Salt Bagel

A: They’re just like pretzels, right?

B: Bro, they are nothing like pretzels. Shit’ll tear up your tongue if you aren’t careful. You need some skills to navigate this jungle. 

A: I…I don’t think a jungle is an apt metaphor for something like a salt bagel. Maybe a more barren landsc– 

B: ‘Apt?’ The fuck is an 'apt?’ Stop talking like a fuckin’ Rennaisance poet, 'cause that’ll only get you killed faster. Look, just shut up and slice it, toast it, give it some butter… and I WILL LEAD YOU THROUGH THE ZONE. 

1. Take a small bite of the top half. Savor. 

2. Take a slightly larger bite of the bottom half. Allow the salty abrasion to melt away. 

3. Sip coffee. 

4. Repeat. 

5. Tongue should feel somewhat tingly after bagel has been conquered.


After many painstaking half hours of comparisons, we are proud to publish the latest data on which donut store menu items each Block B member are most like: 

Ahn Jaehyo: A cake donut that looks perfect in every way while it’s behind the glass, but is a little soggy on the bottom once you get it in your hands. Its still good, either way. You have no real reason to complain.

Lee Minhyuk: A salted bagel. It’s a little too chewy for your tastes but it’s not bad. 

Woo Jiho: A cruller that sat out on a counter for too long and isn’t crisp anymore. Someone, at some point, took a bite out of it and set it back down and forgot. You don’t know who did that and you don’t want to know.

Lee Taeil: A single mini muffin with blueberries inside and bran flakes outside.

Kim Yukwon: A breakfast sandwich with the only crisp bacon in the store and cheese. It’s perfect. You don’t know why you want to cry.

Park Kyung: One nearly empty box of glazed chocolate donut holes you find in the backseat of your best friend’s car a month later. The donut is stale but the outside is still sticky. 

Pyo Jihoon: A seasonal funny shaped donut to represent the happy memories of the holidays. It is so covered in different icings and various sprinkles you aren’t sure if there’s even a donut in there.