Why I Ordered Bagels All the Way from Montréal: Merry Christmas to Me!

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I live in South Carolina, and I'm okay with that. It wasn't my plan, but what 21-year-old makes plans that actually materialize? After college in Montréal, I was happy to come home for what I thought would be a year or two, but it turned into nearly twenty. Things happen (hello there, husband and kids!).

I don't look back often, but when I do, my thoughts turn to bagels, as they did the other day when I was walking to my oldest son's school to drop off a forgotten lunch. This time was different: I didn't just wax nostalgic, I whipped out my smart phone and called a couple of Montréal bagel shops.

My first call, to the famed St. Viateur Bagel, did not yield the results I wanted. While they do deliver, the deadline to order for Christmas day was December 17th. I was a day late, though not a dollar short, because I had already decided to pay the price, of FedEx, that is. Those slightly chewy, yet light and crispy when toasted, discs of holey dough were on my Christmas list, and — Santa or not — I had to have them.

This year, my husband and I have sworn not to buy each other anything. After a couple years of travel, he declared 2013 to be The Year of Austerity, and I readily agreed. We've done pretty well. But on Christmas morning, I like a treat. I always make a tray of bagels, lox, and all the fixings and, until now, I've been satisfied with Masada Everything bagels. They really are pretty decent.

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Because I've been thrifty recently — well, except for a short trip here and there — I felt completely justified in calling another bagel shop, hoping they could send me a few dozen of those magical circles of wood-oven baked dough. Fairmount Bagel was happy to oblige. For a price, of course. By the time said price was quoted, I had resigned myself to paying it, mostly because once I heard that familiar Montréal accent, I could already taste the bagels. Besides, I reasoned, that's a little less in US dollars, right? Right. Though I might need to tack on the extra charge for calling Canada; we'll see when the cell phone bill comes. Merry Christmas to me!

Have you ever paid too much for food, just because you really wanted it? And please feel free to debate the best bagels ever, because I love a good food fight!

(Image credits: Renée S. Suen; Anne Wolfe Postic)

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