Of buns and of bagels and of birds with a prize!

???? … not as good as those I often have in St. Paul, but pretty good!


Meanwhile, I had my necessary bagel.  Onion, this time.


These minor delights leave me as happy as a bird with its own french fry. And as you vicarious enjoy these small pleasures, here is a nice painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of a bird enjoying something rather like a french fry.


I think that may be a piece of the walnut.  Not sure.



The Laudator posted this, which I thought appropriate to add here:

[H.C. Beeching], Pages from a Private Diary (London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1898), p. 12:

At luncheon, Miss A., the Scotch governess, asked me if I liked buns. I replied that I liked them if they were made with sultana raisins and not currants. She blushed, and explained that she meant the poet “Buns.” This, it seems, is the patriotic manner of pronouncing Burns.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. LaudemGloriae says:

    I can’t quite tell, but is the bird in the painting gazing on a roasted version of … itself? Not sure how good even a french fry would taste under those circumstances!

  2. KAS says:

    That onion bagel looks so good I could actually smell onion… my favorite kind of bagel and not something commonly found here.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    One does not want to be in the way of a seagull on the coast of England after one has dropped French Fries. Brutal.

    The cute little bird looks like an English Blue Tit. Love those little birds. They used to open my milk bottles on the step in the morning before I got to the milk from the doorstep in England. Clever things…Fantastic painting, and the food looks good. I used to buy bagels when I lived in Minneapolis at a place on the ground floor of the IDS Tower, where I worked for awhile. I wonder if the bagel place is still there. Can’t remember the name.

  4. contrarian says:

    Father Z,
    The best Siu Long Bao is the city is at Joe’s Shanghai Dumpling in Flushing. 37th and Main. If you like them, it’s really worth a trip on the 7 out there.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Actually, depending on the color, it could be a Great Tit. They love nuts and seeds, although they mostly eat insects and mealy worms.

  6. Me says:

    Where do you recommend in St. Paul?

  7. Me says:

    Fr. Z,

    Where do you recommend in St. Paul?

  8. Lirioroja says:

    I’ll have to go with contrarian’s recommendation. Flushing is the real Chinatown in NYC and if you’re feeling adventurous it’s worth the trip out on the 7 train. But not today as construction has halted 7 service into and out of Manhattan. But perhaps tomorrow you can take it out to the last stop, get off, and take a look around.

    I’m really going to take to heart being as happy as a bird with a french fry and make it my motto for today. It is my birthday after all. :-)

  9. Maltese says:

    I enjoy still lifes, especially those including wine. This might be one of my favs!

    I used to be annoyed by still-life painting, but I’ve evolved!

  10. wanda says:

    Dumplings! Ta-da! My favorite bagels are the really dark brown pumpernickle variety. Lovely little bird. I will aim at being happy as a bird with it’s own french fry!

  11. Incaelo says:

    Definitely a Blue tit. Great tits have full black caps. Both species are enjoyable birds, nonetheless.

  12. FranzJosf says:

    What a lovely post. For me, it calls to mind many things.

    It seems that, when in NYC, you often are on the west side and like to do Chinese. Do you ever venture over to Second Avenue? At 53rd and 2nd you’ll find an old provencal place, Le Mangeoire, with a great prix fixe menu and so many Frenchmen working there one wonders how the place supports them all. Up at 56th and 2nd is a wonderful deli, run by Egyptians, with excellent fresh bagels. Going another two blocks, up and over, to 57th and 1st near Sutton Place, you’ll find Neary’s, an old-timey New York place–Mr. Jimmy Neary presides every evening at the place he founded in 1961. When he got off the boat in the late 50’s he became a porter at the New York Athletic Club….now he’s a member. It’s really old-timey New York, as is the menu. Wear a jacket.

    Love the still life as well. I must have been in my thirties before a still life could ‘speak’ to me. Hope you’re having a lovely and blessed time.

  13. FranzJosef: I will begin exploring that side of the island as soon as possible. Thanks for the recommendations. Perhaps tomorrow could see a trip over there with a couple friends.

    A note in return. When in Rome, and you want the best pizza, watch for places where the wood oven is staffed by an Egyptian. They really get it. I found this to be the case time and again. Egyptian men tend to be tall and big, not fat, big.

  14. LoriM says:

    Xiao long bao! Yum! Just had some at a great Taiwanese dumpling restaurant in Arcadia, CA. It’s the little things in life..!

  15. James Joseph says:

    Went to confession.
    A demon scrambled father’s brains and didn’t remember to ask me to say the Act of Contrition.
    I remembered to say it.

    Celebrating with a supper of whitebeans and calf-marrow. (It’s good to be the butcher)

  16. Charivari Rob says:

    Father – NYC Marathon on Sunday. Might need to consider destinations & routes carefully.

  17. Kaneohe says:

    I hate to admit it but my favorite bagel combos are:
    onion bagel with peanut butter – try it once and tell me what you think :-) or :-[
    onion bagel with most varieties of hearty goat or sheep’s milk cheese

    what can I say…..

  18. E says:

    The painting is by Georg Flegel.
    Supertradmum and Incaelo are correct, the bird is identified as a blue tit.
    LaudemGloriae, the wee bird is indeed gazing at a roasted bird, but one of a larger size. In a vanitas painting, the observer is suppose to contemplate the passage of time, and even death. Perhaps the bird is a spoof on that, the observer and the observed.
    Here in the city one can see happy birds with a french fry (think carrying something the size of a baguette in your mouth), but for true delirium, nothing beats pigeons pecking apart pieces of fried chicken.
    So maybe the wee bird is debating his food choices.

  19. FranzJosf says:

    Father: Thanks for the tip. It almost seems as if you think I get to Rome from time to time. And I do! Very cool. Thanks.

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