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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

D Is For Doughnuts

Approximately eleventy years ago I heard a Doctor on tv or radio say something that both amazed and impressed me, and it has stayed with me ever since. It changed not only my life on that day, but it changed my husband's as well. Here is what that Doctor said:

Every doughnut you eat takes twenty minutes off of your life.

The Doctor went on to explain how and why this was true, and it probably had to do with empty Calories and Fat and Sugar and a bunch of Crap like that I'm sure, but I didn't really listen at all to any of that. Not one bit. For me, the Takeaway was clear: Doughnuts Were Death, slowly and in twenty-minute increments, and that was all I needed to hear. No way was another Doughnut going to ever breach this bastion. And, in deference to The Agreement, Rick would now be Off Doughnuts as well.

Oh, The Agreement? This is another Thing Which Occurred Approximately Eleventy Years Ago, but preceded the Doughnut Edict. I'm not sure what crisis brought it about, but Rick has made a solemn vow that he will take excellent care of himself in order to outlive me. It is vitally important that I Die First. Someday I will explain why--in more detail--but suffice it to say that I cannot imagine carrying on with Absolutely Everything by myself. The amount of passwords to deal with alone would put me in an asylum.

But back to Doughnuts.

Since that Fateful Day, I have not had One Single Doughnut, Period. Not Any Doughnuts. I have not had a fry cake, a glazed, a cream stick, a fritter, a cronut, a cruller...you get me, right? And Rick swears he has resisted Doughnuts as well although they have appeared at meetings, seminars, and at work many times. Oh, once in a while he tells me he's succumbed to a Krispy Kreme here and there, and I try not to get judgy or emotional. I resist the temptation to intone--in a doom-filled, deathly voice--"There goes twenty minutes."

But I have to tell you, it has worked no real Hardship on me, truly. Doughnuts--and oh, how I hate the common spelling "donuts"!--hold no power over me. True, they often look tasty and even pretty, especially the frosted ones (but never sprinkles--what a waste: those things taste strange, have a terrible texture, and are really for children). The glory of the doughnut fades for me, however, after one bite. Most of them are...boring. And, really, terrible.  They leave a film of grease in my mouth. Or are too sweet. Or simply aren't Worth It: aren't worth the calories, the heavy feeling in my guts, the guilt, or the Twenty Minutes Off My Life.

I know that plenty of other foods are probably taking Minutes Off My Life. The rare creme brulee, my occasional piece of pecan or cherry pie, my brie with sour cherry jam appetizer.

But what a way to go! Way better than by Doughnuts.

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32 comments:

  1. I am not a big fan of doughnuts. I like the tiny powdered sugar ones occasionally, but those full-size overly sweet filled things turn my stomach. Now as for your other potentially life threatening food suggestions, I'm with you. A good piece of pie or some brie on crackers is divine-- and a wonderful way to shorten my life.

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    1. Ally Bean--I know several people who are devoted to the Powdered Doughnuts, as they call them. I was never a fan--too messy to eat, and too dry. But, as They say nowadays, "you do you."

      In another couple of weeks, it will be Paczki time, a big deal here in NEO due to its ethnic population. Filled doughnuts are the order of the day, and the bakeries go crazy, some having competitions with introducing new fillings for their paczki. One bakery this year is debuting a Breakfast Paczki, filled with scrambled egg, bacon, and the dough is made with a local brewpub's maple beer. Crazy.

      Like you, I'm sticking with something far simpler.

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  2. I used to work in a Target Bakery (back when they had bakeries.) One long, fat summer after high school. I lost a lot of 20-minutes off my life span. Fresh glazed doughnuts coming out of the oven every morning. (Appealing at the time, but now... only Krispy Kremes might be tempting.) I rarely eat a doughnut, but after reading this, I think it will have to go down to zero. (Vanity helps, too: I am at an age where just looking at anything sugary or fatty goes directly to my waistline, which is not much of a waistline anymore.)

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    1. Ortizzle--I don't think the Target near us ever had a bakery, but then again, it was not a full-service, grocery store-type Target.

      I hear you about Being At An Age. I miss my former wee teensy bod. And it's not like I've begun eating like a lumberjack, either. If I ate any less, I'd be starving myself, truly. My eating habits have not changed at all, but my shape surely has. At 56 I wish I could be more gracious about it, but my Vanity is still At Issue, and I have not yet overcome it, despite effort.

      There are no Real Bakeries nearby, else I'd have a more difficult time. My passion is anything with puff pastry and pastry cream (think Napoleons). Thank heavens that the pie shop is a good twenty minutes away and not near any other errand-places.

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  3. It's difficult to not eat doughnuts. My thoughts are this, if Nance want's to make it easy for me to keep my part of "The Agreement" she should start eating doughnuts or as she calls them "gut bombs". Of course i don't want her to depart my life any sooner than need be so Nance keep staying away from the Gut Bombs.

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    1. Rick--So...if I follow what you're saying, nothing is changing? That would be good; you know how I hate to start a New Routine. It's difficult enough to make sure you stick with the one we have. ;->

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  4. What about the little tiny donuts that I buy with cinnamon on them? I love those. They can't cost me more than a couple of hours. You think?

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    1. Moheckie--Likely, you eat the Entire Package. Goodbye, Twenty Minutes, for each one. Listen, it's non-negotiable. I am not making the Rules. I'm just the Messenger. Eat a piece of wholegrain bread with cinnamon. (I know; NOT THE SAME. But it's YOUR LIFE.)

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  5. Oh my sweet lord - why why why did I not read this yesterday? I had to go order a cake for a baby shower and, in honor of a Krispy Kreme store near me closing its doors, I bought a six pack of chocolate covered creme filled doughnuts. Which are now ALL GONE. Six doughnuts, fewer than 24 hours. I'll be lucky to see next Christmas!

    And the sad thing is that they tasted nothing like the ambrosia I remember from my teenage years when my madcap mother, her zany best friend, and I would head to a concert in Charlotte, always stopping for Krispy Kreme on our way home at midnight...

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    1. Bug--Oh, honey. Like you really, honestly needed this post to tell you that you shouldn't have eaten those doughnuts. But, I get it. Every little bit helps.

      You make a really good point in your second paragraph, and that is that the doughnuts did not taste as good as you remembered (or hoped?). Really, doughnuts just Aren't That Good. Not really Worth It. Better to save your Splurges for things that really ARE ambrosia and forget those doughnuts.

      BTW--that is some impressive Guilt you've got goin' there. Are you absolutely, positively sure you're not Catholic? Hee hee.

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    2. Ha! That's my Southern Baptist Mamaw making her appearance in my head. She's very sneaky like that. And yes, even before I bought the doughnuts I thought, "these will not taste good, they will make you feel horrible, and you will regret this decision." Sadly, I rarely listen to myself.

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  6. Oh, the paczki time. Such a big day in Milwaukee. The break rooms at work were always full of them. The same was true of another seasonal favorite there, the State Fair Cream Puffs. The fairgrounds opened at six in the morning for drive-though purchases of the cream puffs. Thank goodness I didn't like either one.

    My husband and I use your "doughnut theory" to apply to many foods. He worked for Northwestern Mutual which provided free lunch for employees. One of his favorite desserts there was the wonderful pecan pie. Then, in a move to inform employees, the cafeterias and dining rooms began to post the calories, fat and carb grams in the dishes they served. The number of calories in a slice of pecan pie (500 calories and 21 grams of fat) told him never to eat another. And he hasn't. And we don't even inhale near a Cinnabon. In the scheme of things, such an enormous price to pay for a short-lived pleasure just isn't worth it.

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    1. NCmountainwoman--Oh, so you're a transplanted NCmountainwoman! My, yes, a Milwaukeean would know all about the paczki. As a native Ohioan, I've never heard of the cream puff deal.

      Sigh. Pecan pie. Even its appearance should tell you it is Simply Terrible For You. Sugar, Fat, Syrup, and...that's IT! But it is...Terribly Good.

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    2. Nope, I was a TarHeel transplanted in Milwaukee for twenty-some years. (Never did make sense of paczki pronounced with an "N" in the middle.)

      We also spent several years in your Ohio while my husband completed his internal medicine residencies at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. In fact, our son was born there so he is a Buckeye.

      I grew up in the NC mountains and we have retired here so I'm rightly a real NCmountainwoman.

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  7. I have one question for you: do you like cake?

    If you like cake and you don't like doughnuts, then you just haven't had the right doughnuts. There's a place called Frosty's that makes delicious, moist doughnuts that are divine. My favorite are the chocolate cake doughnuts with a vanilla glaze (so if you like chocolate cake, you should like these because they're better than chocolate cake). And there's a place just outside of Boston that makes other types of doughnuts that are really delicious. Specifically, they have an apple cider cinnamon/sugar doughnut that's awesome. So if you like cake or other desserts that are close to doughnuts, but you don't like doughnuts, then you just haven't found the right one.

    If you don't like cake, then I think it's unfair for you to wage a war against doughnuts when there's another dessert out there that's similar in taste/consistency (at least for this particular type, and also for others) and probably around the same level of unhealthiness.

    I don't think you need to eat doughnuts; clearly you're getting along just fine. But I don't think it's fair for you to hate on them like you have been ;-)

    - Mikey G.

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    1. Mikey--Sigh. I did a whole blogpost on cake.

      I also greatly dislike Cupcakes, and they really are just small cakes.

      I'm also not going to travel all over the place in order to find A Divine Doughnut and take twenty minutes off my life for something I'm not crazy about in the first place. If I am already travelling, chances are I'm not going to stop at a doughnut place for a dessert/breakfast/snack. You and I both know that's not me. And the statistic was specifically about doughnuts, not about brownies or bagels or crepes or croissants.

      I really don't think I told anyone to stop eating doughnuts in my post (besides Rick). But your ardent championing of doughnuts all over the country shows that I clearly struck a nerve. Please feel free to bash pie--my dessert of choice when I eat dessert at home--as often as necessary. ;->

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    2. You don't have to eat doughnuts. I just thought that it was unfair when you said, "Most of them are...boring. And, really, terrible." There are great doughnuts out there! Probably better than some of the pie you're eating. Which, by the way, is also taking minutes off of your life.

      And that's only if you die of natural causes. Really, if you get hit by a bus, the bus driver isn't going to think, "Oh, that woman clearly hasn't eaten any doughnuts; I'm going to circle around the block a few times before hitting her." :-D

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  8. Gotta disagree with you on this; KK doughnuts are the best! But my husband agrees that they are death so I don't eat them very often anymore, which is good because they are awful for you. He must have heard the same pronouncement as you though, because he quoted the same statistic. Assuming a cro-nut would kill on the spot, haha!

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    1. Rose--Oh, by all means, please feel free to do so. And having never had the true KK experience (eating one warm at an actual KK store), you are one up on me.

      I always think that cronuts would have done markedly better had they had a more pleasant and sophisticated name. "Cronut" just sounds awful and clunky and echoes things like Cro-Magnon and lug nut. I still would not have eaten one (and dropped dead on the spot), but notice how quickly they fell.

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    2. I agree with you about the name cronut, it's simply awful. But truthfully, the cronut was just too much. I didn't really like it and didn't even eat a whole one, thank god. It's like a restaurant we have in town called the Grilled Cheese Bistro: good idea, but they pile too many items and too much on a sandwich for it to really taste good. Sometimes, less really is more.

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    3. Rose--Long, long ago, well before the dawn of the Cronut, a bakery around here used to make glazed croissants. They were heavenly. Not huge--a smaller version of a classic croissant. That bakery was way ahead of the curve.

      Now, about your grilled cheese restaurant. We have one here that recently opened several other locations. I loved it, and we could almost never get in, and certainly never on a weekend. It is incredible. Here's their website/menu. To die for. But just not very often.

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    4. Because today was a teacher workday, two coworker friends and I went to the Grilled Cheese Bistro! Remembering my complaint,that the sandwiches were too big, I had them make one of their specials without the prosciutto and it was perfect! Ha the joys of teacher workdays!

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  9. So if I eat a donut twice a year (about as often as I eat them), that's 40 minutes a year that I lose to donuts. I think of that as worthwhile, but only for a good donut. There's one good place around here, and I do get one once inawhile. I refuse to live my life afraid of donuts, when a car accident could take me out at any minute. (Not a fan of the KK myself, too sweet...)

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    1. J@jj--I'm chuckling at what a fun bumpersticker or tee shirt that would make: I REFUSE TO LIVE MY LIFE AFRAID OF DOUGHNUTS. I think the amount of joy you would spread would be astonishing. Even wording it this way: REFUSING TO LIVE MY LIFE AFRAID OF DOUGHNUTS, would be terrific.

      There. A small business waiting to happen. You can have that. You're welcome.

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    2. I wonder if I could sell them at Whole Foods? Likely the wrong audience.

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  10. You know, I just don't buy doughnuts. If they show up at a breakfast or a meeting and are the only option for food when I'm starving, I guess I'd eat one, but I just don't actively seek them out. They exist in a realm that rarely ever has anything to do with my daily life -like American football- so I just don't think about them. They had KK in Korea and also have them here in England, and it's never once occurred to me to go in and buy some. Ben's Cookies, maybe, or even fudge (and those are rare enough) but never doughnuts. They're OK, and they taste about as good as any other sugar-and-fat-laden food out there, but if they disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, I wouldn't care. I wish I could drum up some excitement about them, but I just can't do it. Cheese, however, is another story altogether.

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    1. MsCaroline--There you go. If I had not been doing this Alphabetical Post thingy, I would not have lit upon doughnuts--probably ever--as a Writing Topic. They are not On My Radar, or as you so elegantly put it, "in a realm that rarely ever has anything to do with my daily life".

      I've found that, as I've gotten older, my desire for anything sweet can be sated with a single bite. Rick hates this proclivity because he then feels duty-bound to finish up whatever I've left behind. This is why I buy teensy little pies at the pie shop. I eat one wee piece, and he finishes up the rest of the little 6" pie. I eat one Oreo, and the rest of the package is his to demolish in the remaining week(s). Students used to laugh at how long a candy bar or peppermint patty would sit in my drawer because I would eat a bite every other day.

      But, oh, cheese! My, yes. Bring out a wedge of brie and get ready to have your paw slapped if you sneak your knife or baguette slice near it. I am willing to pay dearly--and I do--for over-consumption of cheese. Sharp NY cheddar with tart apple slices, brie and red grapes, even cream cheese with red jalapeno jelly on good, sturdy crackers. So much more worthy of my sacrifice than a doughnut!

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    2. I'm with you guys, cheese beats doughnuts every time! And donuts, too!

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    3. You would be in heaven here, then. Even my corner grocery store that I stop in every day has at least a dozen varieties. Anytime I need a brie or some camembert, I can just pop around the corner and grab some. It boggles the mind. The Brits take their cheese incredibly seriously, and it shows. There is nothing like 'American singles' here - the only pre-sliced stuff you can find is either mozzarella rounds or cheddar (mature and semi-mature.) The crowd in the cheese aisle is always huge(and yes, there is an entire aisle devoted to cheese, plus a deli counter where you can find even more (I have no idea what you can't find in the aisle, or maybe it's all artisan stuff.) I don't know what's going to happen to us when we get back to the states. We'll probably have to start making our own. As far as sweets go - I truly envy you your disinterest. I could eat them until they popped out of my ears (and would probably continue eating them anyway) which is why I just don't buy them - for home or when I'm out. Same reason I make desserts very rarely (holidays and birthdays) -because I have zero self control in that arena. Interestingly, doughnuts just don't ever make the cut. If I'm going to indulge, it will be on something like really good chocolate or a caramel-related thing. But doughnuts? Meh.

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    4. And did you hear the report that cheese causes our brain to react the same as it does when we use hard drugs?? Crazy!

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  11. Ahhh, the hyperbolic statement from a doctor, how I loathe those! I mean, sure, doughnuts are in no way healthy but how exactly did this person arrive at such an exact figure? I am so very skeptical of statements like these and sometimes I will do exactly the opposite because I am just a stubborn son of a bitch.

    Think of all the conflicting information that has been disseminated by the medical community about almost all of the foods we consume, whether it be coffee or eggs or acai berries. Well, the media is also partly to blame since they cherry-pick facts from studies and publicize only the portion they wish to publicize.

    I eagerly await the day when a doctor appears on television and announces that an apple fritter will ADD twenty minutes to my life. It's going to happen, I know it.



    I

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    1. Gina--I know exactly what you mean. So many conflicting health statements regarding foods and diets! Look at how the recommendations regarding the American diet alone have changed, especially with regard to dairy and meat. You make an excellent point, but I don't see doughnuts becoming health food anytime soon.

      Yet I absolutely get that they were just the Whipping Boy of that particular medical individual, and I said as much in my post near the end. Remember that one organization that demonized first Fettucine Alfredo and then some popular Chinese dish? I think it was the Center For Science In The Public Interest. I couldn't believe anyone thought that a pasta dish loaded with butter and cream and cheese was healthy or low-cal in the first place.

      (Do you think I'd give up wine if they said it took twenty minutes off my life? Now there's the question.)

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