Finding something to post about lately hasn’t been easy for me. I’ve not been well and I am not the kind that likes to talk about it much. Posting when you are feeling at your worst, worse than you have ever felt in your life, is just not acceptable. However, the Doctor finally hit on a medication that helps and I have made a big change for the better today. I finally was able to tie my own shoes and brush my hair, and I can turn a door knob. These are just a few of the things I’ve been unable to do for quite some time now. Hallelujah for this much. I think we are on the right road now. Tests have been ordered and we will find the root of my problems hopefully soon. In the meantime, I have finally found a little relief.
Now let’s get back to why I really sat down here to write. Since I am feeling so much better I wanted to do something with Steve and since he has wanted to make donuts and donuts sounded good to me, I told him to go ahead and as soon as I finished taking care of the dogs I would be there to help. I have four dogs of my own and babysitting my daughters two for the weekend, so needless to say, it took a few minutes to get them all petted and loved on, fed, put outdoors and back in again with treats for their good deeds and then tucked in for a morning nap all in their respective areas. Wookie and Mo sleep in the guest room where our daughter came home to stay with us just until she could get on her feet a little better, which was supposed to be about three months in her plan of things and its now been about seven but that’s another story in itself so again, back to my original subject of Steve’s donuts. After finishing the dogs I mosied on into the kitchen where Steve was hard at it. He already had the dough for the cake donuts in the fridge in a waiting stage and was mixing the dough for some raised donuts which we were going to do maple bars out of. My job was to make the glaze for the cake donuts and the maple icing. I guess this is about where I should tell you, we have never made donuts before. What the heck. We are both good cooks and can follow a recipe, right? Well, I hadn’t looked at the recipes that Steve had picked or I would have known right from the start that this wouldn’t be some that I would especially like. Not knowing that, I followed along listening to his instructions to use the additional recipes that went with the donuts we were making. As I put the ingredients to the glaze together, I thought to myself,” I’ve never made glaze like this before. Oh well, time to learn something new.” I went on to the icing and as I got the ingredients all rounded up Steve was ready to cook the cake donuts. He carefully put them in the hot oil and we both watched them closely to make sure we got them out in the right time. While I watched him pull each one up out of the oil and placed it on the cooling rack, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. “They look too done.” I said, as nicely as I could. ” I think we are cooking them to long.”
“Yes, I think maybe you are right,” he replied with a true frown, a look you rarely see on his face.
We tried getting them out of the oil quicker but something still wasn’t right.
“The oil isn’t hot enough.” I told him. “I’m sure of it, it’s just not hot enough.”
We placed the last of the cake donuts on the cake rack and stood staring at them as if they were some strange object dropped in front of us out of no where. I was the one to speak first, breaking the silence, as I picked one up and told my husband.
“Only way to know is to either break it in half and look at the inside or go all the way and just taste it.” I smiled and held it out to him. We both laughed as he took it and, after waiting another minute with one of those, I don’t know about this looks on his face, he took a bite. He chewed, I waited. No comment. He held it in his hand looking at it then handed it out to me.
“You try it.”
I reached across the island to take it and said, “Well, what do you think? “Is it okay?” “Do you like it?”
“Just try it and tell me what you think.” he replied, and at that, I laughed, and took a bite.
“Cooked to long in the oil, no, I think the oil just wasn’t hot enough. They taste like the oil.” I said to him.
“That’s what I thought too but it was up to the right temperature so how does that happen? Steve was looking at the temperature dial as he spoke to me. As he looked back up with that frown on his face I, just as perplexed as he, said quietly,
“Maybe we should check the oil temp with a thermometer, thinking to myself , “why didn’t I think of that before we started cooking.”
As we both suspected the temp was low, the oil wasn’t hot enough, and the donuts soaked up oil as they cooked. Yuck.
I began dipping the donut’s, or “Doughnuts” as they were originally spelled if you want to get particular about it, in the glaze I had made for them exactly by the directions on the recipe. My thought was it was too thin and so I double dipped hoping for better coverage but still not getting the desired effect. We laughed again. At least we were having fun, I think partly just because we were both happy that I could take part in something again. It was nice just being together, doing together and enjoying it. It’s hard on a couple who have done almost every thing together for twenty-five years to suddenly have one unable to take part. Not only that, the other one has the responsibility of taking care of you as if you were a child which is just frightening to them, as they think that this could be a permanent situation. Not that either wouldn’t do it for the other but it is still a very frightening thought to both of you. So you both do what needs to be done, but don’t talk about it much because neither wants to upset the other. However, today was good. We were together, we laughed a lot just like we always have and it really doesn’t matter about the donuts. Now, it was time for another taste with the glaze on them.
“You go first,” he said.
I broke off a piece of one and slowly put it in my mouth. I chewed and tasted slowly. I took one more bite, you know, to make sure of my, well, my taste buds I guess, and again chewed slowly as Steve watched and waited.
“Seriously, they still taste like oil and my gosh the glaze is awful but you have to taste too. I did, so you have to,” I blurted out not holding back one bit.
“Okay, okay you don’t have to be so truthful you know. Just give a guy a little break.” all said as he took a bite. “Okay, you are right, that glaze is awful. I’ve got to get the raised dough out and cut out the other ones. It’s past time.” was his next remark as he quickly got the dough out of the warming oven. Moving swiftly with purpose and speaking not a word he went to his business of rolling the dough and cutting the donuts, placing them carefully on the pan and back into the warming oven to raise for the last time before cooking. Watching the care he took in every step made me happy. He has always put all his effort into what ever he does and takes pride in his work be it working on the car, building a piece of furniture, making the yard look as if a professional landscaper had been there, or yes, making donuts for the first time. I got out some ham and eggs. We had worked all morning and hadn’t had anything other than our coffee and a bunch of tastes of some really not so great donuts. It was time for food. Steve cleaned up some of the mess, I cooked and we sat down at the island to eat.
“I wonder if these are going to turn out any better,” he said looking across the island at me with a smile on his face.
“Probably they will,” I said, and then added quickly, “didn’t this book say they sold these donuts every where and that they were in big demand? You followed the recipe and have done everything just like they said so why shouldn’t they turn out?”
“Yes, and I followed the other recipe too, didn’t I?” We ate the rest of our eggs in silence but each of us could see the laughter in the others eyes.
Now we’ll cut some corners here and just tell you, no, these raised ones didn’t turn out as hoped either and to me, they had a funny taste. As I surely must have had one of those looks on my face as I tasted, Steve looked at me and said, ” Well, give it to me straight. What’s the outcome?”
“Well, not raised enough for one, still taste a bit like oil, and then there’s a flavor I just don’t know what it is or how to explain it. It’s just weird and not a flavor I like for sure.”
“Maybe it’s the mace.”
“Mace! The recipe called for mace? That’s it then because I just don’t like mace or nutmeg.” I said.
“Well then that explains part of your dislike to the other batch because it had nutmeg in it and I don’t care for either of those myself.” Steve said as I brought the icing over for this new batch.
“Taste this. I don’t like it so see what you think.”
“Nope, you’re right”
“Mind if I try a little of my own ideas for maple icing?”
“Nope. You have at it and do what ever you like. Can’t make them any worse.”
So I whipped up a little icing the way I know how, simple and easy, and went back to Steve for another taste test.”
“Go for it babe, put that on them. That’s pretty good icing.” he said and he helped me pour it into a flat bowl for dipping the donuts.”
“Okay, babe. This is it. One last taste before we toss it all.” he said as I finished the last one. I cut one in half, and we each took a bite. We decided the mace took over all the flavor and they were not good. We’ll let our daughter Mary, who lives next door, try one in the morning, but we are pretty sure she will be in full agreement with us. However, we also agree that there are probably some little raccoons or squirrels and birds out in our woods that might like the flavor. We also agreed that we’ll just call this a learning experience, neither of us care for nutmeg or mace, and practice makes perfect. So Steve is going to be up early in the morning and will be off to the grocery store to buy another jug of oil. We have everything else all ready to start over and give it another try. He came in a bit ago, kissed me, and said he was off to bed. I told him I’d be there just as soon as I got my computer shut down, knowing that all the while I had this in mind to write about. I think he knew it too. My minutes sometimes turn into hours and I believe that’s just about how long I’ve been at this. My dog Ziva is laying faithfully here at my side but has sighed several times in hopes I would say “let’s go to bed girl” because she won’t go without me. I guess it’s time.
I don’t know if this post was all about donut’s or more about
two people (and a couple or so dogs)
who love each other dearly. Either way, it was about fun, laughter, sharing and love.
What is better than that and with that, I’ll say, ” Goodnight folks and I hope I’ll be back tomorrow.”