This week I decided to make home-made doughnuts. I bought a doughnut pan a few weeks ago, and I haven’t used it yet. I have made cinnamon doughnuts in the past, but I wanted to try a chocolate recipe this time. I searched the internet, and came across a few recipes for chocolate doughnuts that sounded good. I also found a recipe for fluffy cake doughnuts that sounded yummy, so I decided to give them both a try. I am not a huge fan of doughnuts. In fact, if I was told that I could not eat another doughnut for the rest of my life, I’d be okay with that. With that sentiment in mind, I am not sure why I felt so compelled to make doughnuts. I am certain it had something to do with the unused doughnut pan in my kitchen cupboard. I am not a huge fan of novelty pans and kitchen things, as they spend a ton of time unused. However, sometimes an item looks really fun, so I’ll buy it full well knowing I won’t use it very much. This doughnut pan was one of those purchases…I know I won’t use it a ton, but it was too cute to leave at Target. I am happy to report that all the doughnuts turned out yummy! They are baked, not fried, so the taste is more like a muffin or cupcake. They are not healthy per se, but they are way better for you than their deep fried counterparts.☺
It’s weird how I get ideas for the blog. I’ll just get a random thought about a certain food or recipe that I want to try, and it goes from there. Since late last week, I have been thinking about doughnuts. Again, I am not a huge fan so, it is weird that doughnuts have been on the brain. I have also been thinking a lot about flourless chocolate cake, so don’t be surprised if that recipe makes an appearance relatively soon. ☺ I don’t know why or how the thought enters my mind, but once it does, I sort of obsess about it for a while, and then I usually try it out. I know it’s weird, but I sometimes think “in food.” I mentioned in my “Cookie of the Week” blog that I usually remember big events not by what anybody wore, but by what was served at the event. I don’t remember any such event involving doughnuts. I do remember my Grandma Ann making “fry cakes” though. It was a simple bread dough that she twisted, and then deep-fried. Sometimes she’d roll the fry cakes in cinnamon sugar, or sometimes in powdered sugar. Other times she’d leave them plain and dunk them in coffee. I still remember standing in her kitchen, and watching her make the fry cakes. She and my Grandfather were living in Capac at the time, and she had a small square pan with legs that had to be plugged in. I am certain that there is an official name for this, but I’ve never owned a deep fryer of any kind so I don’t know the lingo.
Speaking of lingo, last week my good friend and business associate, “play-it-safe-Peggy” and I got together to view a conference. We were unable to attend the conference in real-time, so we ordered a copy of it on DVD. After we screened the conference, we went to lunch in Armada. Peggy ordered a cup of coffee. I don’t drink coffee so I got cranberry juice. Well during our lunch, our waitress asked Peggy if she wanted another cup of coffee, of if she just wanted a “warm up.” Peggy just wanted a warm up. I have heard this term before, but I have never understood it. I mean what is the difference between another cup of coffee and a warm up? I never really had the courage to ask what the difference was, as I feared I would appear incredibly stupid. I don’t ever feel stupid in front of Peggy so I asked. She explained the difference (that I still don’t completely understand), and we went on with our lunch. I feel very fortunate to have “play-it-safe-Peggy” as a friend. She is very kind and sweet, and she always makes me feel comfortable. Some might say that it goes with the territory, she is a Pastor’s wife after all. Can you believe it? I actually have a friend that is a Pastor’s wife? I mean a real bona-fide “woman of God,” and she hasn’t disowned me!?!?!? Unbelievable. I fully understand she is a Pastor’s wife, however, I do not treat her like a Pastor’s wife. I am myself, unedited (GULP) in her presence, and honestly she is totally cool with it. One time several years ago, all of the women I worked with went out to lunch. Well I acted like myself, and to be honest I was a bit worried about offending Peggy. We didn’t know each very well yet, so I wasn’t sure how she’d perceive my “colorful” language. At some point during our lunch, she looked over at me, and informed me that she loved that I didn’t censor myself around her…that I didn’t treat her like the Pastor’s wife. From that moment forward, I knew she was a good egg. Yes, she is a Pastor’s wife, and don’t get me wrong she doesn’t cuss like a drunken sailor (YET ☺), but she is also a real live person. I’ve had a few unfortunate experiences with “holier than thou” individuals that make me feel like a complete freak. I’ve had people critique my view on faith or lack their of, and tell me that I was wrong for doubting the almighty. Even right after the tragic loss of my Mom, these “christian” people were all too happy to inform me that I was doing it wrong. Peggy never, not even one time, made me feel like I was anything less than a normal human being, for questioning the injustices in my life. Even after my Mom passed away, Peggy maintained that I was absolutely justified in being angry at God. Better yet, she told me that God was okay with it. She in those few statements provided me with more solace than I am sure she imagined. I have never forgotten what she told me. I don’t think I ever will.
Peggy offered me another insight last week as we sat in my living room watching the conference on DVD. I was recanting the difficult time I was having with a few unsavory characters in my life, and I shared with her my feelings on the matter. I always say as a disclaimer of sorts “…I know I am going straight to hell anyway so here it is…” before I really let it fly. To my surprise, Peggy laughed and said “…NO you are not!” Well there you have it…straight from the Pastor’s wife’s mouth. Maybe I do have a shot. Maybe I am NOT destined to a one way ticket south after I take my leave from this planet. I still doubt. I still question. I still grapple with faith. Peggy, however, normalized this experience for me. She never passed judgement. She never admonished me. She never coached me on the appropriate christian way in which to respond. She simply listened, and attempted to console me. What a gift. I am sure Peggy doesn’t even realize what she did for me, but after reading this blog, I hope she will. By the way, I didn’t come up with her nickname, “play-it-safe Peggy” her kids bestowed her with that moniker. ☺
So this week as I made the doughnuts, I reflected on all of this and here is what I came up with. Some people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes they stay. Other times they serve whatever cosmic purpose they were supposed to serve, and then they leave. I sincerely hope that despite her already monumental impact on my life, that Peggy’s cosmic purpose hasn’t yet been fulfilled. I really enjoy having her as a friend and I value her wisdom and kindness immensely. After reading unfinished portions of this blog, my daughter Victoria told me that “…life is kind of like a doughnut. The doughnut hole represents the bad days you have, and the actual doughnut represents the good times and days that you spend. The hole is kind of sad because it reminds me of the bad things, but the sweetness (of the rest of the doughnut) makes up for the hole… when I eat doughnuts, I only think about the sweet things in life.” So to paraphrase my Victoria…”here’s to the sweet things in life”…family, friends, love, and in this case…doughnuts. ♥
Here are the links to the recipes that I used:
I did make a few substitutions. I never have buttermilk so I had to make my own. It is so simple. You just add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Also, I always substitute apple sauce for oil. Lastly, I didn’t have whipping cream so I just used milk to make the glaze. It was a bit thin so I thickened it with powdered sugar and cocoa powder.