Monday, August 22, 2011

Greetings From Canada

The Monday Nut

Greetings donut hunters, from O'Canada. I'll be traveling this week throughout the Maritimes and hunting down any donut jems I find along the way. Bakin Donuts made the list today, though this chain is more of a specialty breakfast place then a true Donut shop. However, I did sample a Boston cream (which strangely enough was actually called that; usually anywhere but Boston is largely Bavarian). The Boston cream was nothing spectacular to report, and the remainder of the selection was cake and sugared cake. Coffee is acceptable, but if you want something tasty just grab and egg and cheese, hit the road a call it good.

Here's hoping there more to be found in this section of Canada as the Donut is the unofficial national food.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A story of hope.. and donuts‏

The Thursday Nut

Another contribution from our loyal Donut Hunter, Bob Caselden, this is a story of hope, of re-building and of being thankful for who and what you have especially when you have donuts.

Throughout many of the small towns which dot the landscape of the United States we find the best hidden gems of Americana, entreprenuerialism and that spirit that couples nostalgia with the courage to risk it all and build a community. Quite often these are the places we find our best homemade donut shops, nestled in a corner of "Main Street", an institution for the locals and a symbol of what America was built on to all who pass by; dreams. Whether a young child dreams of their parents taking them in to the local donut shop on the weekend to share some quality time and a little sugar, or the entrepreneur dreams of building a family business, a legacy, it's all contained within.

As is the natural course when dreams are built, they are also sometimes taken away; as happened to the residents of Joplin, Mo, this past May. One of those residents in particular is Dude Pendergraft, now 80 years old, the quintessential picture of the mid-west pioneer spirit, and the owner Dude's Daylight Donuts, or what's left of it thank to the tornadoes which decimated the town.

Dude surveys the space that used to be home to his doughnut shop, now just one of those empty slabs. The tornado also destroyed his house, which was right behind his shop. Still, Pendergraft is rebuilding the business, with a new, prefab building — one that will go up quick. His son, Allen, is in charge of getting a new sign.

"We'll try to make it as close to the original as possible. Hopefully within about two or three months, it will be back shining in the night again, I hope," Allen Pendergraft says.

It's this type of spirit that our country is so in need of in these difficult economic and political times. Whether natural disasters take away everything we have built, or our own desires and egos get in the way, we need to remember that it's the people that count. As long as we have them there is nothing our spirits can't rebuild.

Next time you drive through Joplin, Mo, look for Dude and sit down, have a donut, and remember how lucky we all are.

For the Full story on Dude and rebuilding Joplin, Mo please visit:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Philosophy of the Doughnut

The Monday Nut

My dear friend Sally Levitt Steinberg's grandfather Adolf Levitt, who invented the automatic donut machine, had the Optimists Creed displayed on all menus of his Mayflower Donut chain:

"As you ramble through life Brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole"

For today's nut I would like to offer you up several bits of donut wisdom which, like the Optimists Creed, speaks not only to how we should try to face life each day, but even better how we can use donuts to face life and bring out our own inner donut. Think of this as "Donut Chi" if you will and thank God, or whatever you believe in, that we figure out the grand mystery of mating sugar, dough, and deliciousness.


Quotes: From the Mel -O-Creme site

" Doughnuts will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no doughnuts." anonymous

"The donut hole didn't go anywhere because it was never really there." - - ...Rhonda Barger

"Doughnut or donut? That is the question!" anonymous

"The (doughnut) hole is there, we know it is, but you can't see it, you can't feel it. You cannot prove its existence, and yet by its very existence it defines and shapes the doughnut. Therefore, I believe the hole is the soul of a doughnut. When you eat a doughnut, you have fulfilled its reason for existing, and you set free its immortal soul --the hole. Woe to those half-eaten doughnuts whose souls are doomed to purgatory, and those stale, unbitten doughnuts whose immortal lives will continue in doughnut hell!" ...Teddi Deppner

"mmmMMMmmmmm.....doughnuts...." Homer Simpson

In regards to what kind of donut you are, well:

Optimist : Sees the doughnut, not the hole.
Pessimist : Sees the hole, not the doughnut.
Realist : Sees both the doughnut and the hole.
Diplomat : Talks through the hole.
Dreamer : Only cares for the icing on the doughnut.
Businessman : One who sells you the doughnut.
Successful Businessman : One who takes the money, making you think that you already have the doughnut.
Very Successful Businessman : Makes you pay for the hole too.

Capitalism : You buy a doughnut.
Socialism : The State gives you a doughnut.
Communism : The State sells you a doughnut.
Marxism : The State takes your doughnut away and gives it to someone who hasn't got a doughnut.
Stalinism : The State takes your doughnut away, eats it, and tells you that they gave it to someone who hadn't got a doughnut.
Bureaucracy : The State takes your doughnut away and then refuses to let you buy another doughnut because you already have one.
Fascism : The Storm-troopers eat your doughnut and shoot you.
Dictatorship : Buy a doughnut, or else.

Church of England : You know, in a very real sense, God is a doughnut.
Buddhism : God is a doughnut, and God is not a doughnut.
Confucianism : Confucius he say doughnut.
Zen : What is the sound of one doughnut clapping?
Catholicism : The priest blesses the doughnut and you mustn't chew it.
Christianity : I was hungry, and ye gave me a doughnut.
Fundamentalism : Doughnuts are an abomination unto the Lord, etc.

No matter what type of donut or doughnut you are, and how you see the world through your nut, just remember it's the donuts that bind all together; in laughter, in sadness, in joy and indigestion.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

World's largest box of doughnuts weighs in at 666 pounds

The Thursday Nut

Ever astute donut connoisseur, fellow hunter and loyal follower Deb Walther, gets props for informing us all of this breaking story- 666 Pounds of Yummy Goodness!
From and contributed by Keith Wagstaff  we have a pending new world record for the largest box of donuts, formerly 333 pounds, now at a whooping 666 pounds. Per the article Voodoo Doughnuts co-owner Tres Shannon says “The current record is a little less than 333 pounds, so we just decided to double it to 666 pounds, which kind of goes along with our voodoo theme,” “It’s the mark of the ‘yeast’.”

"To help Voodoo achieve its goal of making it into the Guinness Book of World Records, Portland’s mayor Sam Adams, a notary and a scale master were on hand to verify that Pogson and Shannon had indeed constructed the world’s largest box of doughnuts."

Now just imagine how much fun it would be to jump in that box with a few of your closest friends, close the lid and chow down...we can always dream.

Voodoo Doughnuts is a Old Town Portland, OR, institution which is world renowned for it eclectic varieties.

Keith Wagstaff is a journalist living in New York City. He writes about food, books, current events and more. He received his degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California and was a city editor at Citysearch New York for more than five years before heading out into the wilderness that is freelance writing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Arnie The Doughnut

The Monday Nut

Do you like surprises? I do. And if you're like most people, even those who vehemently resist the surprise, secretly desiring it that much more, you probably do too. With that in mind, I hope I never stop being surprised by where I randomly find donuts. When I say "randomly find donuts" I'm not talking under the couch or in the right hand pocket of my sport coat, or even in my mouth unexpectedly; it happens more than you think. I'm speaking more in a cultural sense, though geographic locations and obscure places are welcome too.

For today's surprise let's look at Arnie The Doughnut, the new play which was performed this Spring at Chicago's Lifeline Theatre. I know what you're thinking, I'm just surprised that no one has written a play about me yet and that I'm not a donut too; to the 1st thought, no, and to the 2nd, if I keep eating them I soon will be one.

From the Lifeline site: "Arnie, a lovable chocolate-covered doughnut with sprinkles, is the happiest pastry in the bakery when he’s finally selected to be taken home by a new owner. But when mild-mannered Mr. Bing tries to eat the unsuspecting Arnie, both are in for the surprise of their lives. Embark upon a hilarious quest to redefine human/doughnut relations with a pair of true originals, in this world premiere musical adaptation by the creators of Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch."

A story brimming with coming of age themes coupled with self-discovery and exploration which only the personality of a donut can truly embody. Would anyone really care if this was a muffin? I dare say not. Each donut, like each person, has it's own individual characteristics, shapes, sizes and flavors which can easily portray the human experience if we project upon it. Couple the donuts unique sensibility with its natural proclivity towards humor and I think we can bet on finding our friends popping up in unusual places for the foreseeable future.

Let me know where you find donuts. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another day's stint in the free world begins here in the donut shop

The Monday Nut

Contributed from our loyal Donut Hunter, Anthony Mento, and recently featured on The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor, I'm honored to present to you a piece from the contemplative side of the donut world by Detroit poet, Michael Heffernan

The Art of Self-Defense

Another day's stint in the free world
begins here in the donut shop. Standing in line
wondering how many cheese Danish and apple fritters
as well as donuts I should buy, while the creamy girls
in their summer dresses are licking their profiteroles,
I see myself as a boy in the summer of 1953
salting sliced tomatoes with my grandfather
in the white shirt he wore. The kitchen was big and sweet.
The breeze from the electric fan swung by us and away.
The oilcloth on the table was cool and slick.
The leaves of the tree of heaven dappled the sill.
In line in the donut shop is a man in a straw hat
between a woman in pigtails and a boy with large eyes.
Gramps was a boxer in his younger days, semiprofessional.
He watched the Wednesday night fights on our TV.
In his last autumn he taught me to box.
He set up punching bags in his basement.
He taped newspapers to the windows. He named me Spike.
He got me to shadowbox next to the coal bin.
He kept me at it hard till it felt like forever.
When the time came, he arranged a bout
with Mike Donnelly from down the street.
Mike struck the top of my head at once and down I came.
He helped me up from the floor and went home.
I was eleven. I wasn't fast or clever. This was the autumn
after the summer they fried the Rosenbergs.
Gramps walked me down to the corner to get the Free Press.
The photograph showed their bodies on the front page.
He tugged my hand and kept me from seeing it.
We mark these solitudes throughout our lives.
This is not simply about things as they are.
This is about donuts, profiteroles, and straw hats.
Things cannot be as they are in this country.

(buy now)