Even More About Donuts | Donuts and Hashtags

Even More About Donuts | Donuts and Hashtags

Dear Kid,

Now for the weird stuff about donuts. (Don’t forget to read about doughnuts Part 1 and Part 2.)

The longest line of donuts reached 1,841 feet 10 inches. #WasteOfDonuts #WhatHappenedToTheOtherTwoInches #Why

You can't buy happiness, But you can buy donuts. And that's kind of the same thing. DearKidLoveMom.comIt used to be that the most expensive donuts in the world were the ones made in New York. They are made with edible gold, edible diamonds, and aged chocolate balsamic vinegar and are sold for $100 each. (No idea what the accompanying coffee costs.) I’ve heard of edible gold before, but edible diamonds? Must research this bit of ridiculousness. Now it turns out that London has upped the ante with a $2,000 donut. #WTH

The black-and-white doughnut is made with saffron-infused butter croissant dough, Tahitian gold vanilla beans, and rare Amedei Porcelana chocolate, and is topped with Cristal rosé champagne caviar and gold leaf flakes.

The largest donut ever made was a jelly donut made in New York. It was 16 feet in diameter, only 16 inches high at the center, and weighed 1.7 tons. So did the people who ate it. #Murica

Some people believe that eating jelly donuts on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. This is true, because jelly donuts and heavy drinking don’t really go together. Therefore and consequently, eating jelly donuts tends to keep the eaters relatively sober. #SoberIsSmarter

Back in 1933 (see: Before Time Began) at the Chicago World’s Fair, donuts were called the “Hit Food of the Century of Progress.” They earned this lofty title because they were fresh, cheap, and made quickly by automated machines. Need I point out that “progress” does not always mean “progress”? #Obviously

Before the invention of cheap candy and minion costumes, people would celebrate Halloween by bobbing for donuts hung from a string. #OldTimeyFun

Back in the day, whalers sometimes celebrated the 1,000th barrel of whale oil by frying donuts in—wait for it—whale oil. #NothingGoodAboutThat

There used to be a chain of shops where donuts were made from mashed potatoes and/or potato starch (they were called Spudnuts). #LatkeConfusion

Randy’s Donuts in Hollywood has a 32 foot donut sculpture on its roof. This (and I quote) “iconic” donut has appeared in many movies including Crocodile Dundee and Iron Man 2. I must go visit next time I’m on the left coast. #MovieDonut

Being the kind of Mom I am, I’ve saved the best for last. The French used to call donuts Pet de Nonne which means “Nun’s Farts.” #KnewYou’dLikeThat

Love, Mom




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More About Donuts

More About Donuts

Dear Kid,

In honor of yesterday (National Donut Day), I got hungry. Rather than set a new land-speed record for driving to the nearest donut provider, I decided to consult My Friend the Internet and see what I could learn.

Turns out there are a lot of donut facts. A LOT.

So many that it will take today and tomorrow to share some of my faves with you. (Notice I did not say “to share them all” with you because I’m not even going to attempt that.)

Fasten your seatbelt and loosen your regular belt.

More than 10 billion donuts are made each year in the United States. I am personally responsible for eating half of them.

You can't buy happiness, But you can buy donuts. And that's kind of the same thing. DearKidLoveMom.comDoughnuts were probably introduced to the US by the Dutch who called them olykoeks, or “oil cakes” (let’s just agree that “donut” is more marketable). Olykoeks were balls of cakey batter fried in pork fat. The center didn’t cook as fast as the outside, so the glop was replaced with fruit or nuts.

That might be the origin of the name doughnuts. Or it might not.

In 1847 Hansen Gregory, an American ship captain, invented the donut hole. Whether he did so because he needed both hands to steer, or because he didn’t like the consistency of the dough in the middle (and punched it out), or because was challenged to find a new use for the pepper box, or because the angels told him to is a question we will leave for other scholars.

In 1920, Adolph Levitt (a Russian-born immigrant) invented the first automated donut machine. Guess what he called it? The “Wonderful Almost Human Automatic Donut Machine”. There are a lot of reasons to like Mr. Levitt.

Canada has more donut shops (per capita) than any other country. This is probably because moose like donuts.

In the US, Boston has the most donut shops (per capita).

Economists have long known that the size of the hole in a donut correlates with the economy (the worse the economy, the bigger the hole). No word on which donut they’re measuring or why they bother, because duh.

Love, Mom

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National Donut Day! | Happy June 2

National Donut Day! | Happy June 2

Dear Kid,

Yes, that magical day has once again rolled around. It is National Donut Day.

Turns out you can choose your spelling: donut or doughnut. It’s up to you. The powers that be (and by “powers that be” I mean spellcheck) approve both versions.

“As you ramble on through life, Brother, Whatever be your goal, Keep your eye upon the doughnut, And not upon the hole.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin. DearKidLoveMom.comWhence came Donut Day you ask?

Donut Day (or National Doughnut Day if you prefer) was created to celebrate the Salvation Army Lassies who served doughnuts to soldiers during WWI. These fearless women went to the front lines in Europe, providing “home” cooked meals for the boys. Why they believed this would be safe activity is beyond me. Why the US military is still fussing about women on the front lines is an even bigger mystery.

The Salvation Army Lassies also made donuts (often by cooking dough in oil inside the soldiers’ helmets). This led to happy tummies and a return of the “wet look” slicked back hair style.

Back then, donuts were basic dough cooked in oil. Today there are well over 17 b’zillion types of donut (I counted). Back then, soldiers needed additional calories. Today, ‘Murica. But oh, so yummy.

Happy National Donut Day!

Love, Mom

More info on donuts tomorrow. You don’t want to miss it!

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Vanilla Isn’t Boring (and I Can Prove It)

Vanilla Isn’t Boring (and I Can Prove It)

Dear Kid,

Did you know that vanilla is the most popular flavor of cake and ice cream in the US? ‘Tis true.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

And to celebrate, we’re talking about vanilla. (I’m talking. You’re reading.)

Vanilla is the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family. You read that correctly—the vanilla bean is a fruit and an orchid. So you could give vanilla as a corsage.

But only if you’re very clever, because the flower that produces the vanilla bean only last one day. One. Not only does the flower zip through life, it’s finicky about the insects it hangs out with. Only the melipona bee can pollinate vanilla (which seems a little standoffish to me, but then I’m not a flower).

Vanilla vines grow grow 30 – 50 feet tall (which is taller than most humans—harvesting is a job for flying monkeys) and since they’re vines, they hug trees or posts for support.

There are over 150 varieties of vanilla plants.

Soil and water have a huge impact on the taste of the vanilla, meaning the same vine grown in different places will produce beans that taste different.

Drying vanilla beans takes 4 to 6 months. All of which means that vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world. Extra points if you know what’s number 1.

Speaking of second, vanilla is the second most labor intensive agricultural crop. The only thing I can thank of that is more labor intensive is Dad’s tomato crop.

Pure vanilla extract contains (wait for it) 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon. (You should take notes. This will be on the test.)

A few drops of vanilla will cut the acidity of tomato-based foods. (How cool is that?)

Spiders don’t like vanilla (which only reinforces my opinion of arachnids). Whole vanilla beans will drive them away.

Humans find the scent of vanilla relaxing. Unless there is cake and ice cream, in which case it is the opposite of relaxing.

Sometimes vanilla bean farmers “tattoo” their beans with small markings (made with toothpick-sized instruments) to prevent theft. No word on whether the beans get any say about what their tats are.

There is currently a vanilla bean crisis (yes, crisis I tell you) which has led to a severe shortage of vanilla. Many products use synthetic vanilla which, um, synthetic.

Happy vanilla.

Love, Mom

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.

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Awful or Offal?

Dear Kid,

There was a small problem with conversation the other night.

Use your heart, your brain, your liver, your stomach, whatever you want to figure out what offal is... DearKidLoveMom.comThere was confusion about the difference between awful and offal. (Pronounced about the same, as different in meaning as the spelling. Except for some people who think they are exactly the same.)

So first the definition. Offal refers to the internal organs and entrails of an animal. So pretty much everything that isn’t bone or muscle.

Now before you stop reading and start yelling at me, some kinds of offal and its dishes are considered seriously yummy cuisine. Think foie gras, pâté, chopped liver, or sweetbread.

Iron Chef Michael Symon is known for liking offal.

I am not Iron Chef Michel Symon.

Love, Mom

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Pretty Perfect Pancake Panache

Dear Kid,

One meal. Five pancakes. Pretty much sufficient for the entire day.

We had breakfast (or possibly breakfastlunchdinnerandallthesnacksinbetween) at Nashville’s Pancake Pantry.

The pancakes came out and I ate myself happy...and I may not eat again until next Wednesday. DearKidLoveMom.comThey have a sign at the Pancake Pantry that says “Calories eaten outside your zip code don’t count.” How can you not love these people?

In order to eat at the Pancake Pantry, you have to wait. There’s pretty much no place to wait inside and fortunately the weather cooperated. (That was pretty much the theme of the weekend—weather threat offset by weather cooperating. When you think about it, that’s a great theme.)

The Pancake Pantry is known for—wait for it—pancakes. They are known for spectacular buttermilk pancakes made with a super-secret flour and for sweet potato pancakes. How to choose, how to choose? Easy. I didn’t. I had them split my order half and half.

And then ate myself happy.

Skipped lunch, had some salad for dinner, and may not eat until next Wednesday.

I really hope they’re right about the calories.

Love, Mom

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