I went to see Sue-jin Kang perform at Seoul Arts Center last night, with thousands of other people who were there to admire the utmost elegance of the world-famous ballerina. As people took off their coats and settled into their seats, the lights in the opera hall grew dimmer, soon leaving everyone in pitch black. Immediately, a heavy silence filled the entire auditorium of four floors, and I held my breath.
Long minutes passed, and there were a lot of shifting around in seats and coughing. Sitting on the second floor, I continued to stare at the stage (or into the darkness really), expecting some sort of a dramatic opening scene to pop any second. Then, my eyes drifted off towards the audience as the bright cellphone LCD screens started popping up throughout the first floor. I saw a sharp pin light come on in the corner of my eye and quickly looked up, but I had missed the first “pop” moment.
Throughout the performances, people kept checking their cells. Why? To let others around you know that you are that busy and social yet invest a few hours into a classy show (but secretly find it boring)? It was incredibly annoying, especially when the entire show almost always relied on dramatic lighting effects.
Then again, I have a bad habit of periodically opening the oven door during the baking process. I know, there’s a little light I can turn on and I can look through the little window…but you have to turn your head around and practically get your nose right up to the window to actually see anything. Plus, the window’s shade makes everything look darker and I can never tell whether the muffin tops have browned enough or not. I try to sit still at the dining table, set myself the minimum time I need to wait before touching the damn oven door again, and distract myself by reading or something like that. Two minutes pass, and I start shifting around, look up at the oven, squint, try to read one more paragraph, then look up again, repeat this ten times until I finally give in and open the oven door again.
It really is a horrible thing to do because opening up the oven while something is being baked causes a significant drop in the oven temperature, even up to 50F degrees. That means that your soufflé could deflate, your bread could not brown enough, your cake could be dry, or many other disappointments in the kitchen. Clearly, you are also wasting a lot of energy and time in any case.
After the show last night, I swore myself I would not touch the oven until it was actually done. I bit my nails and patiently waited until the timer went off. My twisty bagels came out just fine, all plump and shiny!
ps. Put a twist (ha ha) on the regular bagel shape. What do you think?