Post-Vacation Funnel Cake

There are 5 inches of snow on the ground and I just bought a new coffee pot yesterday, our old one from California broke. After being in storage for a year, I'm not surprised. I'm happy, in fact, to get rid of something else from our time on the West Coast. We're different now, simpler. We bought a Mr. Coffee for $21 and it does the job. I'm content with the bare minimum now.

There are three dogs on the couch next to me. A girl that lopes in the backyard and barks at scents she finds in the wind. Two boys that sit on our lap, our stomachs, our chests to stay close, stay warm, stay within eyesight and earshot for treats and kisses and words of comfort when the wind blows too strong.

It's been two days since we got back from Cancun. A world so apart from where we are now. Five hour naps and three course meals. We talked to no one and turned off our phones for the weekend. We fell in love with the beach, the coati, the people. The language and the lilting way I speak it nervously. A world so different than where we live now; we spoke about how it is not right to build the wall. We spoke about how to be more active in what we can do now, when we got back to our real lives.

This week has been full of numbers, questions without answers. Even though I love this cold, sometimes when the snow falls, I dream of warmer weather every once in a while. I dream of more pools and more margaritas. The wild flowers that grow by our creekbed and the dogs lying in the shade. Of barbecues and fair foods. Of ballpark lemonade and fried dough covered in sugar.

Funnel Cake

Funnel Cake

With the addition of the whipped egg whites and cornstarch, these are lighter versions of your favorite fair food. And you all know how much I love fried dough by now (see here, here, and here)!

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites + 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 TB white vinegar
  • 3 cup AP flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • A flavorless oil, for frying dough

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip your egg whites on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Set these aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together your whole eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, and vinegar
  3. In a separate bowl, stir flour, sugar, and baking powder
  4. Add your milk mixture into your flour and stir with a rubber spatula
  5. Fold in your egg whites and stir until completely mixed
  6. Now, fill an old bottle or a pastry bag
  7. Heat your oil to 375*F in a large Dutch oven
  8. Line a couple plates with paper towels to soak up the grease
  9. Now, squeeze some of your batter right over the hot oil and allow to cool for about a minute, flip over to finish frying on the other side
  10. Remove from oil and allow to drain on prepared plate
  11. Repeat with remaining batter
  12. Cover with confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!!
Funnel Cake
Funnel Cake

Mornings and Rituals (and donuts!)

I've always been a morning person, and I enjoy that about myself.  I think it all began when I would sleep in my parents' bed and they would wake up for work, leaving me sprawled in bed and aching for attention.  I think it's the promise of a new day, a new opportunity to make decisions that either enhance my life or fuck it all up.  I like that, the sublime wonderment of choice of indecision.  How they intermingle to create discontinuation in the plans we make ourselves as children.  It's hope, it's nascent disregard for obligations.  It's a half hour of freedom before hot showers and coffee that's cold by the time you're out of traffic. This week has been especially enjoyable for mornings because I've been sleeping in the living room, under fleece blankets from Christmas, under an I Love Lucy woven blanket, under a quilt that was hand-stitched by a great-aunt named Naomi, called Noni.  Everything is gifted, nothing bought.  I'm sleeping in the living room because of Elsa, the tiniest member of the family.  I'm sleeping with her cradled in my arm, curled in a ball to keep warm and comforted by my drumming heartbeat.  They say a ticking watch reminds puppies of their mothers, and so I keep one on all night to help her sleep.  And in the late, dark, ash moon midnights of this April's beckoning, that sigh of puppy-breath and the thunderous metronome of timekeeping are my only companions.  The things that keep me warm and sane.  I pray to the rhythmic god, a space-time confusion of faith and disaster.

And in the mornings, when it is cold and I'm too tired to press the coffeemaker button, I sit with a cradled puppy and my thoughts.  I watch the sunlight thread through cloud eyes, I watch the birdsong swell up in the robin jays.  I watch it from the bay window of our kitchen, through a tangle of dying tarragon leaves.  I watch it until I can make the decision to keep going, to fulfill a prophecy unbeknownst to me.  I brush the sleep from my eyes, have my morning coffee with cream and two sachets of sugar, stir it with a wooden rod.

And I eat one of these amazing donuts.  And I know life is good, that life is doable.  That it's all worth it.

___________________

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Sweet Corn Donuts with Honey-Sugar Glaze (makes a dozen mini donuts)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoon applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Prepare donut pan with cooking spray or butter
  3. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in large mixing bowl
  4. In separate bowl or in liquid measuring cup, measure and mix all remaining ingredients
  5. Pour wet into dry, mix with rubber spatula (here, I refrigerated mine overnight and preferred it, as the liquid gets into the coarse cornmeal, but it is not necessary)
  6. Pour into pan 3/4 way full
  7. Bake 10-13 minutes, until browned and springy to the touch
  8. Glaze while warm (recipe below) and serve (they're so good warm, I microwaved mine back up after they cooled!)

(For the glaze: whip 2 TB room temperature butter, mix with 2 TB raw clover honey, spread on warmed donuts with butter knife. Dust with confectioner's sugar)

 

Banana Donuts with Hot Cocoa Glaze (makes one dozen)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease donut pan
  3. Mix butter, applesauce, sugar, and eggs with hand mixer on high until blended
  4. Add flour, mix until blended
  5. Add juice, soda, and bananas (one at a time)
  6. Mix on high for two minutes. Mixture should be glossy
  7. Fill donut pan 3/4 way full with mixture
  8. Bake 8-11 minutes until browned and springy to touch
  9. All to cool before glazing (the "hot cocoa glaze" is 1-1-1 1/2 ratio of Hershey's cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar and heavy whipping cream) 

 

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

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