I Love You Lox

Loaded Lox Bagel

I haven't always loved eating fish. As a child, fish haunted me. Most likely the root cause came from two very traumatic experiences. The first, a few fishing trips with my father where the very least of it had to do with fish hooks. Rather it was watching the fish after they'd been caught as they writhed on the bottom of the boat, frantically gasping their last breaths. Yet, while those violent images are still fresh in my mind, it was nothing compared to the life long scarring that came from finding fish scales on my fish sticks in the elementary school cafeteria.

That was the point that I swore off all fish and began a long and successful practice of deftly spitting out whole fish dinners into my napkin where later, after I had been excused, I could secretly flush them down the toilet.

Somewhere in my teens, though I can't recall when or where, I discovered salmon and thus began a lifelong love. I've grown to love all seafood--with the exception of mackerel, herring, and sardines--but, I could eat salmon day in and day out, never tiring of its rich fattiness, salty nuances, and satisfying meatiness. I'm picky though; I always eat wild salmon and positively swoon when the Kings come into season.

I love lox, too. Atop dark rye bread topped with a thick layer of avocado, a squeeze or Myer lemon, and fresh cracked pepper; straight from the package, the strips sliced so thin their translucency veers to the transparent; and of course, piled high onto a sliced everything bagel generously smeared with cream cheese and accessorized with sliced red onions and cucumber, capers, and heaps and heaps of fresh alfalfa sprouts.

Popular at brunches everywhere, I like mine for lunch. In the springtime, it's best enjoyed outdoors with views of the budding pear and plum trees and the air heady with the faint sweetness of the first roses. And if chance permits, it goes perfectly well with a glass of bubbly, or a good white wine.

Mel's Lox-which
1 everything bagel, sliced and hollowed out
Cream cheese--full fat, please
Red onion and cucumber slices
Alfalfa sprouts
Myer lemon, if possible
Cracked black pepper

1. Generously spread both halves of the bagel with cream cheese.
2. Top the bottom layer with sliced lox.
3. Squeeze Myer lemon over the lox and top with the capers.
4. Pile the alfalfa sprouts onto the other bagel half; top with cucumber and onion slices.
5. Generously season with cracked black pepper.
6. Put two halves together and press down to flatten.
7. Open wide and enjoy.


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