As I was thinking about gratitude and Thanksgiving recently, I naturally began to think of donuts. As I looked through past posts, I found to my utter dismay that I have never written a post solely related to donuts (though they do come up in passing quite often). How could this be? I will immediately remedy this situation.
My love affair with donuts starts with my family. We're into donuts. On occasional Saturday mornings, my dad would bring home a box full of old-fashioneds, chocolate glazed, and fritters. Fritters were my dad's favorites. Probably because they're big. (And he's from Texas.) My favorite has always been and always will be a glazed old fashioned donut. (Does anyone know why they look like that, by the way?)
One of my first memories of donuts is from elementary school, when they showed us a 1950s educational film, a la this one, about how donuts are made. Why knowing how factories make donuts was considered a vital part of our educational development, I do not know, but I salute them nonetheless. The film included an Opie-esque boy being taught by a Ward-esque man how donut machinery works. I remember being mesmerized by those rotating trays of luscious donuts.
My next earliest memory of donuts is a negative one, but a telling one. My parents took my best friend, Susan, and I to Winchell's for a late-night treat. I ate a too-big fritter and a too-large chocolate milk and got sick. But nothing could deter me from my love of donuts.
In high school, donuts were a key part of my school lunch. We had an open campus, and King Soopers was just close enough to walk to for those of us who didn't have cars. I would walk to King Soopers and buy my lunch for $1.27 (I don't know why I remember that or whether or not it's at all accurate): a hoagie bun, some deli turkey, and one old-fashioned donut. Mmm...Brain food for honors trigonometry.
These days, I eat donuts rather rarely, despite my deep love for them. It's hard to find a good donut, and it's pointless to eat a bad donut. Grocery store donuts rank thus: 3. Walmart (inedible and unworthy of the title), 2. Safeway (slightly better than Walmart, but still not worth the calories), and 3. King Soopers (good in a pinch).
Of chains, I like Lamar's the best, but, alas, we don't have any near us. And I have to admit, despite my distaste for their over-the-top 1990's invasion, Krispy Kreme makes the most delectable, hot-of-the-presses raised donut. (And they glaze their frosted donuts...that's gotta be worth something.) I love the Donut Mill in Woodland Park, though the last time we visited, I would swear we were served day-old donuts. (How could they?) My sister says the worst thing about our current economic recession (you know the one that has left thousands jobless and homeless?) is that donut stores now serve day-old donuts. My family has our priorities set right.
Every place I travel around the world, I try their donuts, as a fried round orb is fairly universal. Although I try to be culturally sensitive, I have to admit that I've yet to find good donuts in any country other than the good ol' US of A. (Except for your mother's donuts in Canada, of course, Aaron.) And I've never had a homemade donut that could match a store-made donut - though I welcome you to try and prove me wrong!
Sometimes I wonder if I love the idea and memory of donuts more than the actual things themselves, as I feel with Cheetos and other overly fatty and processed childhood indulgences. So what is your favorite donut?
And now, some obligatory and completely unrelated photos of Alexandra, who is currently suffering in her crib after her two-month shots today....She's not smiling anymore.
In other news, she moved from the 7th percentile in weight (at 5 lb 3 oz) to the 25th percentile - now at 9 lbs 12 ounces. Hooray for baby!