Grandma’s Doughnuts

Food and memories go very well together. Mix in some slightly faded childhood images, and well, it’s hard to make it much more meaningful.

There is a recipe that my grandma made. This was not an everyday recipe, that I can recall, but a recipe that she put into use once a year. As the air turned cooler, and pumpkins were ready to pick and carve, plans were put in place for trick-or-treating. 

Now this isn’t a post about being for or against Halloween, it’s simply a memory set in a time and place. I grew up out in the country, with no real “neighborhood” to speak of. There were neighbors, without a doubt! They just lived a little farther down the dirt road, past the edge of the field.

I don’t really know who planned everything, but know that the kids that lived within a couple of square miles would gather at Grandpa and Grandma’s, and either load into a car caravan, or some years a hay wagon, and off we would go to trick-or-treat! We would run up to doors of people who were expecting us. Older folks, and parents of some of the kids along for the ride. All greeting us with smiles and bowls of candy.

Once we made the rounds, we would be taken back to the farm, and when we were smaller, go into Grandma’s house, where all the goodies would be on her dining room table. Popcorn balls, and doughnuts. I’m sure there were other things as well, but the doughnuts were the highlight!

I vaguely recall being in her kitchen a time or two, when the production was happening, and it was a production! I don’t know how many batches she would make, but she would make half of them with cocoa powder, half plain. 

Anyway, back to the recipe… I lived with Grandma for just over a year when I was out of college, and was able to collect a couple of her recipes. This was one of them. She had clipped it from a magazine, but I copied it down as if it was a treasure map. (Which I guess in some ways, it is!) It leads me back to those childhood memories, the sights, sounds, smells of autumn evenings, rustling leaves, children’s laughter and time spent with friends and family.

Where was I going with this?

The recipe… Here are the doughnuts, which for the longest time, I was afraid to even attempt, for fear it would ruin any memory I had. How could I possibly compete with childhood memories at Grandma’s house???

But, you will likely hear me say something similar when standing in front of a task or project that seems scary or daunting: think of it as an adventure! I knew I wanted to try it, and I would still have the memories regardless of how mine turned out.

I was actually fairly pleased! They couldn’t compare with Grandma’s, but they were still tasty! I need to make them again sometime, but will also need to find some folks who are willing to take some. It makes quite a few, and they are best eaten warm, or at least the same day they are made.

Any takers?

Family Recipe

There is something I gave to my girls, nieces and nephews a number of Christmases ago.

Their nana had passed that September, and I had the opportunity to gather some of the prayers she had written in her journal for each of her grandchildren. I compiled the various handwritten copies of her words, in separate notebooks for each, with the hope that they would know they were loved, and prayed over consistently.

This notebook also contained some of Nana’s recipes. Gingersnap and chocolate chip cookies that she made, often with helpers, as well as some treats that were made for holidays and family gatherings. Some of these were also in her own handwriting. (I think there is a bigger connection when you see someone’s handwriting.)

Here is some additional text that I wrote, and placed in the front of each notebook:

photo.joshuapaulking.com

———–

Before time began, you were written into history.

You are part of a story.

As you became part of this family, you were brought into traditions, conversations, and hearts. You have been part of many family dinners, and holiday happenings. You have been woven into the memory of others, and have made memories of your own.

You also became an answered prayer. Within this notebook are the words spoken in prayer for you between Nana and God. They are surely only a small fraction of the many conversations she had with Him about you. These conversations are here for you to read, remember, and to carry on.

Know you are loved. Know you were chosen to be part of this family. Know that you were prayed for.

Your heritage and your story have begun, but you continue to write it, breath by breath, word by word. 

Remember that words are powerful. Choose wisely.

You continue to write paragraphs, pages, and chapters as you live out each day.

What are the words you choose to write? Your story could help, teach, encourage, and strengthen others.

Seek wisdom.

Do justly.

Love mercy

Be kind.

Love.