Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Doughnut Day and Lost Brain Cells

Every year since I was a little girl, my mom and I have spent a winter day making doughnuts. As years passed, sisters, sisters-in-law, and recently a few granddaughters, joined us in Mom's kitchen. Yesterday was our annual doughnut making day, though it wasn't Fausnaught Day, the traditional day for making doughnuts.

This year we dumped a twenty-five pound bag of flour and untold amounts of sugar into numerous batches of my mom's potato doughnuts.

 We never did count the doughnuts since we started eating them as soon as the first one came out of the fryer. 

(Neither did we count calories.) 

 We filled containers for each family to freeze, plus some plates of doughnuts to share with neighbors, while our children ransacked Grandma's house with their cousins. Soup was pulled out for lunch, for anyone who still had an appetite.

Last Christmas, my mom had sewn aprons for all the women and girls of the family with directions that we bring them to Doughnut Day. Surprisingly, none of us forgot. 

But this day won't otherwise be remembered as an example of my good memory.

I arrived home in the mid-afternoon with a vanload of tired children and Tupperware filled with fresh doughnuts. I handed each child an armload to carry to the house and was looking longingly at the couch when I remembered. The chicken! On the way home, I had planned to pick up a case of chicken ordered at a local butcher shop for a sweetheart supper later in the week.

What could I do but herd the children back into their car seats and backtrack to the butcher shop? Arriving, I parked the van, reached for my purse, and found it missing. A thorough search of the van—and still no purse. Then I realized the four year old, given the responsibility of carrying my diaper bag to the house, had done his duty.

Back in the van again, for another trip home. I was going to completely miss naptime. And I had no one to blame for this ridiculous afternoon but myself.

I forced myself to find a way to redeem the wasted time. I had been trying to teach the children they are responsible for the way they react to unpleasant circumstances. We now discussed our choice between frustration and acceptance. It took all my will power to choke back my complaints and instead help the children sing.

A quick stop at the house for the purse, another trip to the butcher shop (this road was becoming far too familiar), and finally we arrived. That can't be a "closed" sign in the window! It was. I had forgotten that the butcher shop closed early on Mondays.

By now, I was ready to bang on the door and force someone to give me my chicken.

Or at least timidly knock. 

An elderly lady came to my assistance, listened to my sob story, and graciously ushered me to the back room. There are advantages to supporting home businesses. Walmart would never have been so kind. But then, neither would Walmart close at 3:30 on a Monday afternoon!

Soon a man was loading my chicken into my van. I even had a fresh doughnut handy to express my thanks. I traveled the road home for the sixth, and thankfully final, time. If any neighbors were watching my frantic trips up and down our road, they must have wondered if I had lost my mind.

Maybe I have. Wonder where I left it?

Can a doughnut restore lost brain cells?


  1. I'm afraid to tell you that it does not get any better the older you get. But, it was a great learning experience for your children. I always tried to find something to be thankful for and also a life lesson when things didn't go as planned.

  2. That is a very good story that you shared. I've recently been in a very frustrating situation myself and got very irritated. I panicked and complained and it made the situation far, far worse than it was. Of course, I can't control my mind from panicking but I could definitely 'pretend-act' to be OK with it.......and eventually be OK with it for real :-)

  3. Oh Gina, I laughed out loud reading your post today!! Well it's laugh or cry right??!! It's only funny because I can relate so well!! So glad you got your chicken!! I can almost smell those lovely doughnuts, and those are just the cutest aprons!! (adorning those lovely ladies!!) What fun!! Lord, bless all your efforts and edeavors!! You are an inspiration! :o)

  4. oh.....hahaha....at least you know you have made all of us smile because now I (at least) know that I am not the only one that those things happen too! Thanks for being brave enough to share :)

  5. We've all had days like this, believe me. Loved hearing your story!

    Donut day sounds like a great tradition.

  6. Such a great story!! Someday you will retell it around the fireplace when the children have grown and laugh and laugh about it. Until then, I am sure they saw your struggle with human nature and the temptation to react accordingly. Praise the Lord for teaching moments, even if we cant appreciate them at that time. I am glad the afternoon turned out well after all.. no flat tires, no potty accidents, no injuries.. Life is hard, but God is always Good.


  7. miammmmmmmmmmm ....

    j'adore vos photos !
    beautiful pictures

    bisous xxx de France

  8. I have those kind of days ALL the time....well, not a doughnut making marathon day, but the lost brain cells part. Your doughnuts look AMAZING! I am thinking we may need to have a doughnut making day, on a smaller scale. :) What a great way to spend the day with family. LOVE this! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Gina, I have been enjoying your blog for more than a year now...and I really loved this post. We always imagine that our neighbors call us the "They'll Be Backs." Sometimes, I remember that I forgot something before I even get off the cul-de-sac, and then I just throw it in reverse and back down the road. :) Thanks for your honesty, humor, and great tips and recipes.

  10. Oh days like this! Guess we all have them but hate to admit to it. Wait until you are dealing with four generations at a time. Did I mention I forgot my pin number when I was at the bank today. It came back in my head 45 minutes later! yep days like that.

  11. oh Gina, I hope you can laugh about it now! How totally, entirely frustrating - and nothing to blame it on but yourself. I feel your pain!
    I love the doughnut day pictures.

  12. Oh, I have SO been there. Not with the donuts, but with the "memory lapse-crisis that will not die a decent death."

    The next worst thing to dealing with the crisis itself is the fallout, when your children proceed to relate the entire story to all friends, family, random strangers at the library... at full volume.

    (This is why, when people tell me my children are cute, that I respond with, "It's a survival mechanism.")

    When I can retain my sanity in similar circumstances, I find that the three things that help the most are (1) prayers for patience and help, (2) humor, and (3) remembering that "this too, shall pass."

    You must have made it home safely if you managed to post about it!

    I hope tomorrow is better for you... :)


  13. The doughnuts look fabulous! Can I get your family to adopt me? I do dishes. :-)

    On the memory lapses, we all have them. I think the frustration of one lapse must lead to another because they always come in clusters.

    Your message about controlling yourself instead of giving into frustration was just what I needed to hear.

  14. Oh Gina, I have days like that more than I'd like to count:) Good for you for perservering through with a good attitude to teach the children. Bless you. Oh, and what plans do you have for that case of chicken?

  15. Kelly -
    Much of the chicken was prepared for a Sweetheart Dinner we are hosting on Saturday. (Now you know why I've been scarce.)

    The remainder of the chicken was marinated and frozen for future meals. It is nice to have some chicken all ready for grilling or fahitas.

  16. Oh how frustrating! That's an insane amount of doughnuts. What do you do with all of them? Did everyone have a family to take them home to or did you give them away to neighbors?

  17. Gina, loved seeing the donut pictures....so glad your family is still able to keep this tradition. I miss those days!

    Have a wonderful week!

  18. Poor thing.

    I hardly ever comment here, but wanted you to know that I LOVE your site. I use many of your recipes. I am so glad you take the time to share. You have been a help to me.

  19. Oh Gina, how funny! And I bet that was a "stick-with-them" lesson you taught your kids on rejoicing in all things! Good job. =)

    P.S. You couldn't have made those doughnuts any closer to gym night???


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