In the aftermath of the Blizzard of 2013, I was desperate for things to do indoors with the children. We had 34" of snow followed by a dreadful icy rain that turned everything into a giant solid glacier. You couldn't even go sledding in all the snow. It was dreadful. Increasingly frantic, I finally remembered my friend's tradition and for only the second time in my life made doughnuts. You can see the result here.
And not just doughnuts, but chocolate glazed doughnuts. Yes, they were fat-laden sugar bombs. Yes, they had tons of completely non-nutritious calories. And yes, all twenty of them were gone inside of two days.
But here's the thing: they were a heavenly treat. They were fun to make. They made my family happy when we were all ready to climb the walls and pick fights with each other. What's more, they were the size that doughnuts USED to be (2-1/2") before everything got super sized. It's true. If you look at a recipe from, say, pre-1980, you'll discover that ALL doughnuts were this size. Don't believe me? Just go to a cooking supply store and ask for a doughnut cutter. You'll see there is a "standard" cutter (the 2-1/2" size) and "jumbo," "large," "extra-large," or something similar. Of course, if you've been inside a Dunkin' Donuts in the last decade you'll be shocked to compare their monsters with my petite little confections. (Yes, there really is a conspiracy to get you to overeat.)
My point? It's OK to indulge. The issue isn't whether to make the doughnuts, or eat the doughnuts; it's what kind and how many. Good, homemade doughnuts aren't evil. (High fructose corn syrup is evil, but that's another story.) The key to practicing moderation is, well, moderation. Pick the right time, the right size, the right number, and stick to things that indulgent but not self-destructive.
We can apply the doughnut lesson to so many things in life. Substitute "watching TV," "staying up late," "forgetting the laundry," or any number of things we're not supposed to do all the time, and the fundamentals remain the same.
As this winter hangs on, and on, I might make doughnuts again. More likely, I'll forget the laundry and the vacuuming to work on the sequel (more on that in my next post). Either way, there's no reason to feel guilty. Peace.