We left off last time having tried baked doughnuts on the local wildlife. They were thumbs up, or should I say, claws up. This time the challenge was deep fried doughnuts. Again, I got the recipe from my buddy Allison at King Arthur. It also meant I had to get a deep fryer. They aren’t as common as they used to be, or so it became immediately apparent. Wal-Mart was sold out of it’s smaller one, the bigger one would take up half your kitchen, and you could start your own doughnut factory with that one. I went to the local Home Hardware, where they had several to choose from, but only one small one. That was the one I got. And it still was bigger than I wanted. The hunt had been on for a Fry Daddy, I liked those in the past, but alas, none were available. Amazon probably has them. The saleslady at Home Hardware said that the demand for deep fryers was way off over the last couple of years, as people have pretty much given up on deep frying. I understand. Until it comes to corn fritters. But that’s another story.
These doughnuts were your classic plain ones, and yes, I did use the mace again, instead of the nutmeg. The addition of the lemon gave the doughnuts an interesting taste, and it suited the overall “doughnut experience.” Also, they recommended lard as best, but I didn’t really want to get into the lard issue (not always easy to find), or the shortening. That would be a mess to clean with this fryer. I used an old doughnut cutter that once belonged to my mother, but I did have to enlarge the hole a bit. Making up the “dough” was a breeze. I had to purchase bottles of oil, whereas my old Fry Daddy only required 2-3 cups, as memory serves me. It was a great deal of fun actually cooking them, having once mastered the new fryer. The recipe actually made about 2 dozen or so, so there was plenty for us, er, eh, I mean the animals. (You’d think I cook for them, or something.) At the end of the day, the humans liked the fried ones best, no real surprise there, and the wildlife? They liked either one.
And the moral of the story? If you use honest to goodness ingredients, you will end up with a superior product. There’s a reason why industrial food lasts forever: It has to. It has to have a shelf life (the only life it actually has), and survive being transported in all temperatures and conditions. Finally, don’t ever think industrial food will use even “good” ingredients. There’s a thing called the Triple Bottom Line: Where it’s good for the economy, for the farmer/producer, and good for the community. That’s not in their definition of what’s good for the Single Bottom Line: Profit.
You can read more of Sue Van Slooten's food adventures at www.suevanslooten.com.