The Domestic Pretender Attempts Doughnuts

My Mother-in-law is Rose.

Rose can cook!

My poor husband has come down in the world since he married me, I can kinda cook.

Rose is known in her family as the keeper of certain family recipes, among them are doughnuts.

About once a year, the family would spend a Sunday afternoon in Rose’s kitchen rolling, cutting, frying and sugaring dozens of doughnuts.

Now we are in TN and Rose is in PA and that makes doughnut making a bit tricky.

You see, Rose has the recipe in her head, eyes and hands. Rose learned this recipe from her mother and knows what the mixture contains and what it should feel like when mixed.

Rose was nice enough to try to write it down for me once, but I’ve never tried the recipe myself. Rose has always done the ingredients and mixing.

I was going to make this recipe last weekend, but there was nary a doughnut cutter available in any store near me that was open when the Ranger pointed out that one of the necessities of making doughnuts was a doughnut cutter. In TN there are biscuit cutters aplenty, but not one with the extra hole doo-hickey that I needed to make the “chokers” (doughnut holes). So, I spent a couple days this last week searching high and low; and, after a rather humorous visit to a restaurant supply store where I was assisted by the owners’ very unknowledgeable gracious spouse and his friends, I am the proud owner of a doughnut cutter.

So, I gathered the usual suspects – flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, milk, eggs, baking powder, and melted lard (yes, I said LARD!) and my apron (the Domestic Pretender is messy and always wears an apron) and began.

First I put the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

And then I started adding the wet ingredients.

Here the recipe gets fun (if you like making mud pies)

You mix the whole thing BY HAND!

Spoons are cheating and to quote Rose, “You won’t know if the consistency is right if you can’t feel what you are mixing.”

So I mixed it up, then took the whole shebang to the Ranger and said, “Taste this.” He just looked at me funny. “Taste it! You know how it should taste.” He still looked at me weird. The man makes home-made Orange Julius’ complete with raw eggs, but blanches at eating raw cookie dough or in this case doughnut dough. I got the nod of approval so I headed back to the kitchen.

I pulled out a Dutch oven and emptied an ENTIRE container of vegetable shortening into it and put it on a burner to melt. From this point on I was on my own. The recipe card stopped at the instruction of “use shortening to fry.” I had ingredients, I had a cutter, I had shortening, and nothing else except years of following orders in Rose’s kitchen.

The general idea is that you fry them until they are brown on each side then stick them on a towel to drain for about, ohhhhhh… two seconds, then plop them into a paper bag of powdered sugar. The powder sugar is usually the kids’ job, but they got bored after a few minutes and left it to us.

But, the end result is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!

A nice cakey doughnut smothered in powdered sugar. I know I heard the Hallelujah Chorus when I snitched a bite! Looks good, huh?

Let’s look at that again.

The Ranger says they are pretty darn good, but not quite like Mom makes.

I think I’m going to try something else next weekend. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but I’m sure it’ll be another adventure of the DOMESTIC PRETENDER!


6 thoughts on “The Domestic Pretender Attempts Doughnuts

  1. My mother in law is also an amazing cook. Back in the 90s the family freakin rented a factory and bottled her homemade recipe for Teriyaki sauce and sold it in stores! I mean really?!? How can I ever live up to that? I’m sure the woman can make doughnuts in her sleep, with one hand tied behind her back. She’s like a kitchen ninja.

    I love doughnuts…

  2. Could have saved you the trouble of finding the doughnut cutter. You use a glass tumbler and a thimble. Rose very rarely used the doughnut cutter. Always lost the middle piece somewhere. They look good. the secret is in the shaking.

  3. Have you ever tried punski? It’s easier. You get a pot of canola oil and turn it on high. It’s done when you put a piece of bread in and it starts bubbling around it. Then you put in dough.

    We use bread dough usually, or, when more lazy, pillsbury dough balls that are supposed to make rolls. Make small circles of dough balls (bigger than donut holes, maybe like…. uh… smaller than your fist for sure. Should fit in your hand with room to spare, but not small.) And then you push your thumbs in the center and throw it in the oil. When it floats right on each side and is cooked through you throw it in sugar. Is yummy.

    (Am I spelling my name right? or is it Dee? I should know this…)

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