Bagels and lox are the quintessential Sunday morning treat. I had forgotten much of the ceremony surrounding this treat until my friend, David, reminded me of it a few summers back. First start with a parcel of very good smoked Nova Scotia salmon (lox). I have found the the thinner and paler pink it is, the better it is. Avoid supermarket specials and go for the hand-cut Nova, if you can find it.
Next the bagels ... I like those that come with everything (a wide variety of seeds). I slice them at least into thirds lengthwise (for thinner round discs) and toast them until they are brown but not burned. The guest of honor (or my wife) gets the piece with most of the seeds. (Here's where it's better to be married to someone with diverticulitis.)
Then the cream cheese ... try to get the kind without the gum agar if you can find it. Otherwise, I like whipped Philadelphia cream cheese. Spread this thickly on each toasted bagel section (a schmear).
This is followed by at least two pieces of lox and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. One may substitute thinly-sliced smoked sturgeon or smoked sable for the lox (sometimes I like this even better.)
Now on top place some very finely minced purple onion and some nonpareil capers ... and a sprig of fresh dill. The tomato slices are really not necessary.
Serve with a cup of good steaming hot coffee and a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice (Valencia, preferred).
Now do the New York Times crossword puzzle (in ink of course).