Our Donut Family Tradition

When I was growing up my family didn’t have a lot of money. But my mom always went out of her way to make sure that we did “fun” and special things and that they we knew they were fun and special things. This was long before the invention of the computer, handheld computer devices and I don’t even really remember spending gianourmous amounts of time in front of the the TV.

There was one thing though that my family always did that I loved no matter what we were doing in life. It was always saved for the most specialest (no not a word I made it up) of occasions. Usually it was a holiday or a friend spending the night or when we would travel back home. My mom would make homemade donuts at home. I realize now it was probably about saving money, but it always meant the world to me.  As we grew older we loved to help and were privy to the complicated process. I have some of my sweetest memories of making those donuts with my sisters.

My mom would always buy generic biscuit dough, powdered sugar, sugar and cinnamon and oil. Then on those special days she would whip out one of our drinking glasses and would begin to cut the dough out into donut shapes. We watched as she stood over a soup pan and swirled and moved each raw dough from plate to pan back to another plate and then she would toss it into a bowl of already mixed cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar. It sounds so simple right? It really is.

I made the decision long ago to carry on this tradition myself. Before my guy and I had the girls we would have my niece and nephew spend the night and we would whip these out. Then the girls came along and we would make them. The fun part now in my family is that each of us has a job. They know when we make them that each of has to do our part or the whole thing won’t work. When I was pregnant with #3 talk would often to turn to how she would fit into our donut routine. Amazingly she has a found a place. It has to be done as a group effort. I have tried making them by myself to surprise everyone and I failed miserably either with burnt donuts or cold donuts for the family.

I am the cutter and frier. Daddy is the checker (to make sure dough is done) and dabber (dabs the grease off) and placer (places them into the bowls once they are done). #1 is in charge of cinnamon and sugar and # 2 is in charge of powdered sugar. And now that # 1 is reaching her pre-teen/teen years and sleeps till 11 #3 takes her job. But they always come running when they know I am making them.# 3 even crawled out of bed at 8:10A this weekend to get them.

The recipe is simple….you have to buy generic biscuit dough. I have made them with the fancier ones and they fall apart or get too brown or not brown enough. I truly think it is a consistency thing. I have made dough from scratch with this recipe but it tastes just as good so why not cut the corner? Get your oil hot. I test my oil by dripping some water from my fingers and if it talks back…it is ready. If it doesn’t or sputters give it a while. Plop cut pieces into oil and cook for 30-45 second and flip and then check for doneness. The first one usually takes a bit to get a hang of it and then you know how long to cook. Once golden brown and not doughy in the middle toss them quickly into your awaiting bowl of cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.

They aren’t healthy. Don’t fool yourself into thinking they are, but they are meant for a special occasion or just a special way to have some family time.


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