[Eds: this post brought to you by Andrea, Eva’s sister, who appreciates doughnuts – and junk food – far more than Eva does]

Naturally, Eva would invite me to blog about doughnuts.  Eva loves good food.  She can take a fridge full of half-rotten vegetables and turn them into the best _____ (fill in the blank) you’ve ever tasted.  Sweets are not her thing.  Given the choice between a doughnut and a good meal, she’ll choose the meal.  I, on the other hand, would choose the doughnut. 

I have a problem.  When junk food (cake, doughnuts, chocolate, etc.) is in the house, my mind cannot rest until it is all gone.  A good friend came over for dinner one night with a restaurant sized cheesecake.  Brad and I ate it in three days.  I have disgusted my sister on more than one occasion with my ability to eat far beyond a normal portion of baked goods.  Most recently, I purchased day-old cake from a supermarket (nasty at the best of times) and enjoyed every last bite. [Eva: it was disgusting]  Like I said: problem. 

So.  Doughnuts.  Who knew they had such an interesting and contested history.  Apparently, they’ve been around for ‘centuries’.  Archaeologists have found petrified fried cakes with holes in the centre in prehistoric ruins of Southwestern United States.  Recorded history begins mid-19th century. 

Olykoeks (oily cakes; Dutch in name and possibly German in origin) were made by taking sweet dough and frying it in pork fat.  Did someone say “fat”?  I’m salivating. 

A difficulty arose with said olykoek as they never cooked evenly; the centres were rarely fully cooked.  To assist this problem, there was experimentation with placing nuts in the middle of the dough to counteract the doughy-ness.  Here’s where History (his-story) diverges.  How did the hole come to the centre of the doughnut?

Legend: In 1847 Sea Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory went on voyage with his mother’s (Elizabeth’s) tasty creations and her recipe to make more (because, if he’s anything like me, they lasted only his first day).  He either:

a)      Had some difficulty trying to steer his ship whilst holding a doughnut and impaled his doughnut on the spoke of the wheel.  Seeing opportunity to safely store the doughnut while steering, he ordered his cook to prepare doughnuts with holes in the centre.     

b)      Didn’t like the nuts his mother placed in the centre, so picked them out.  The cook then created all subsequent doughnuts with the centre removed. 

Does it matter?  Well, whatever the truth is, it propelled doughnuts into limelight.  By the 1920’s, doughnuts were being mass produced (changing the frying ingredient to lard and adding baking powder over yeast producing a more cakelike product) and the 1940’s and 50’s saw the advent of doughnut chains such as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Dunkin’ Doughnuts who were able to use inexpensive tin doughnut cutters with holes.

My doughnut day did not involve me experimenting with recipes.  I’ve seen my mother slave over a hot stove and make these from scratch and, to be honest, it’s more work than it’s worth.  Mass production equals ease for me in both cost and time.  Plus, I’m one of those people who like the Boston Cream doughnut and its centre full of goo; I’m not even going to try. 

I purchased my doughnut [Eva: doughnuts.  6 doughnuts for 2 adults and 1 baby, to be exact] from Tim Hortons, a Canadian-roots franchise involving an ex-NHL player. 

Tim who?

2 doughnut rip-offs, 2 Canadian Maple, 2 Boston Cream

I prefer these over the bakery doughnuts which tend to be heavier and lack the light fluffiness that I’m looking for in my doughnut.  I also purchased a Canadian Maple for Brad and a Honey Crueller for my daughter Avery.  Interestingly enough, Avery was not too keen on the doughnut.  She kept looking at her hands as if to say ‘my hand is sticky and I don’t like that’.  Oh well.  Maybe she’ll take after her aunty and prefer the good food.  That wouldn’t be so bad. 

[Eva: nope, it’s just the doughnut rip-off factor.  You get Boston Cream, she gets a crueller?  Come on.]

hmmm

Avery & the doughnut rip-off

hmmmm

doughnut rip-off #2

Andrea

[Eva: p.s. the other 3 doughnuts were gone before bed-time.  Don’t lie, Andrea.  We all know it’s true]

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