October 17th Sweetest Day

Okay, so like we needed another excuse to eat more candy and sweets. Well, add the third Saturday in October as another reason to celebrate something sweet to eat. The day was created by Herbert Birch Kingston in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922. This day originally was created to get sweets to those who could not afford them but as with most well intended ideas, it found a life of its own. So it’s sort of a mini Valentine’s Day today with the exception that it includes all kinds of sweets, not just candy.

How to celebrate – Give something sweet to someone you love. Provide something sweet to those who cannot afford them. Make someones life sweeter.

September 14th National Cream Filled Doughnut Day

Okay, so it’s not like the doughnut isn’t already pretty unhealthy so why not make it even worse by adding some more sugar via that sweet, creamy filling! Well if you have already decided to go for it, today is the day to celebrate it! Actually I have to admit I prefer a cream filled doughnut, they are my favorite, though they are a little messy to eat and you do get a little bit of a sugar rush after finishing it. (Okay, so it’s a big sugar rush but at my age that rush is kind of welcome) And there are numerous different kinds of cream it can be filled with so choose wisely.

How to celebrate – Have a cream filled doughnut. See how many different types of doughnuts you can name. Support your favorite doughnut shop.

September 14th National Cream Filled Donut Day

Here’s another of those important days of your life. It’s National Cream Filled Donut Day. How could we ever get along without it!?! Heck, we don’t even have top spell doughnut right to celebrate it. And since we apparently have to have a day like today, at least I am glad it is cream filled, my favorite!

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It can be chocolate, vanilla, strawberry… any flavor you desire but it must be blended into a cream filling to qualify. Though I admit I am not an expert about this holiday I do not believe jelly filled meet the requirements.

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I’m pretty sure places like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts, and any other brands around you, like a day like today. I would imagine sales increase as you struggle to find your cream filled doughnut to complete the quest for the day.

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I really don’t have much to add, I think the holiday states it pretty clearly. The fact that these are pretty much dead calories does not need to be thought about, in fact… ignore them. They are pretty filling (joke intended) particularly if you eat a half dozen of them.

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About all I have to add is that remember a baker’s dozen is 13, and since we celebrated Friday the 13th on a Thursday, why not get a baker’s dozen of cream filled donuts! I need to hurry, shops close up soon!

How to celebrate – Have a cream filled donut today. Learn how to actually spell doughnut. Try a cream filling you have never had before.

December 2nd National Fritters Day

If you have never had a fritter you are in for a treat today. A Fritter is a fried cake or dough with some sort of filling in it. One of the earliest fritters is the corn fritter, and here’s a recipe for you.

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Technically speaking those chicken nuggets served at most fast food restaurants are fritters.  Fritters can contain practically anything. Any type of meat, vegetables or fruit. I suppose even cream filled doughnuts are technically a fritter as well.

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To fritter time away means to waste time, which I suppose what you do while you are waiting for your fritters to fry. But don’t take too long or you’l have some crispy fritters on your hands!

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Fritters are served all over the world, in every country imaginable. Deep frying dough is nothing new. No one seems to know when it began though it’s probably been around as long as there has been cooking oil.

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So enjoy a fritter today, you won’t regret it but make sure you don’t grab one too fast because it will be really, really hot.

How to celebrate – Have a fritter today, they are available in most southern restaurants. Make a desert for your family, a fritter filled with fruit. Invent your own type of fritter.

June 2nd National Doughnut Day

Today is National Doughnut Day. It’s a day you can get free doughnuts from most doughnut shops, Krispy Kreme for example. Dunkin Donuts also gives out free doughnuts but I believe there are some restrictions. Check in your area to see who all is giving free doughnuts and who isn’t.

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History generally tells us that the term Dough Boys comes from World War 1 when women of the Salvation Army served doughnuts, along with other items, to the American soldiers in the trenches. But American soldiers were called Dough Boys dating back to at least the war with Mexico from 1846-48. American soldiers were so called dough boys because they cooked a dough like substance for their meals.

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But the term did come into play during World War 1 as American soldiers, and European soldier, fell in love with the doughnuts served by the Salvation Army… or maybe it was the women serving them that they fell in love with. These women were the only civilians allowed in the front ranks during the war.

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Lt. Colonel Helen Purviance became known as the “First Doughnut Girl” during the war. her rank was in the Salvation Army, not in the regular military.  Soldiers so fell in love with the doughnut that when the Salvation Army was not available to serve the treat they often cooked dougnuts in their helmets.

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The Salvation Army was so desperate for funding that in 1938 they took to the streets to sell doughnuts as a fund-raiser. Doughnut Day was established in Chicago that same year, making it a bizarre, but tasty, holiday.

How to celebrate – Go get your free doughnut! Share a dozen doughnuts with friends. Donate to the Salvation Army.

 

June 22nd National Chocolate Eclair Day

What combination is more perfect than chocolate, fluffy pastry, and a creme or custard filling? The word eclair in French actually means “lightning”, supposedly because of the glistening flash of chocolate covering the top. It may not make a lot of sense but who cares?

The chocolate in an eclair can be dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or even white chocolate. It sits on top of the “Chouk” (French for dough). The fondant icing is rich and gooey but subject to freezing if left in the freezer (duh, what doesn’t freeze in a freezer). The dough is normally a light, flaky pastry which is stuffed with a creamy custard. Oh, and to make it a little more special, add some whipped cream.

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French Chef Antonin Careme is credited with the invention, called “pain a la duchesse” in French. Careme lived from 1784 to 1833 so though no date is actually given for his invention, it had to appear sometime in his lifetime.

In 1884, the Eclair first appeared in a cook book in the US. Mrs. D.A. Lincoln included the recipe, along with others used in her cooking classes, and was the first English version ever in print. I wonder if she ever thought about adding strawberries as in the photo below.

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Long Johns are a type of eclair in the United States but they are actually a doughnut covered in chocolate with a custard or creme filling. There are even eclair cakes made today, though they seem very similar to what we refer to as a Boston Cream Pie.

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How to celebrate: Have an eclair. Make your own eclair (the eclair in blue at the beginning of this blog links to several examples). Go to a doughtnut shop and enjoy a Long John.

 

June 3rd National Doughnut Day

The first Friday in June is always National Doughnut Day. This year that’s June 3rd. The holiday first came up in 1938, created by the Salvation Army to honor those members that went to France during World War 1. Since it was right in the middle of the great Depression it was also used as a way to feed those who could not feed themselves and as a fund raiser to help with special projects for the Salvation Army. It is still used as a fund raiser in Chicago even today!

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Some 250 women went to Europe to serve our boys “over there”. They made pies and coffee but by far the most popular item was the doughnut. The Salvation Army girls were called “Doughnut Girls”.

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The American Red Cross also sent out ladies with doughnuts during World War 1, they were called “Doughnut Dollies”.

 

Doughnuts are apparently an All-American thing. The first person to claim making doughnuts was Hanson Gregory in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship, but this claim is somewhat unlikely since Paul R. Mullins referred to doughnuts in a book he wrote back in 1803. Washington Irving also mentions the doughnut in a book he wrote in 1809. It does, however, apparently come from the Dutch-American community.

Well whoever came up with the doughnut first we are very thankful.  Something else to be thankful for is free doughnuts! Celebrate Doughnut Day with the following companies…

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… with the purchase of a drink.  Or at…

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…where you can get a doughnut for free with no purchase, and you can get any kind of doughnut you want!

How to celebrate: Go get your free doughnut! Learn how to make doughnuts of your own at home.  Pretend it’s World War 1 and have a doughnut party!