At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.
Monday, October 27, 2008
This past Friday we had a Halloween Party in our home. I made this big ol' pile of doughnuts to feed to the masses. These doughnuts are the ones my Mom always made, and my grandmother and perhaps her mother before her. Not sure how far back it goes, but it is a delightful old-fashioned mashed potato doughnut recipe. Now, admittedly, this is more of a fall recipe in my memory. Mom would often make doughnuts for us to dunk in cider as we carved jack-o-lanterns the week of Halloween. However, these are equally at home dunked in wassail on Christmas Eve, or served with jam alongside perfect pancakes on Christmas morning. Nothing beats these fresh from the grease while the outer shell is still crisp and the center soft and warm. Just like any doughnut, they are best fresh, though for jams and dunking it doesn't really matter. The nutmeg and hint of ginger add to the robust down-home flavor of these sentimental favorites. Try them out and let me know what you think!
Mashed Potato Doughnuts
1 C white sugar
1 C sour milk (can use buttermilk or 1 C milk with 1 T vinegar)
4 T oil
1 T vinegar
1 C mashed potatoes
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg (or to liking)
pinch of salt
pinch of ginger (to keep from soaking grease)
Flour to make a soft dough (This can be the tricky part. Add enough flour that the dough is no longer sticky, but still soft and very pliable. Err on the side of too soft. You can add more flour as you roll them out if they are still too sticky to roll.)
Roll thick (about 1/2 inch) and cut. Fry in deep, hot grease (about 400 degrees) and turn. Set out on paper towels to soak up any grease. My aunt Mary says she chills the dough for several hours to help with rolling out. And my Mom says if you remove them from the grease and immediately plunge them quickly in boiling water it helps repel grease. I think the ginger sufficiently does the trick, but if you find they are still too greasy for your liking, give that a try.
***Edited to add: The boiling water trick works quite well. I've done it a couple times now and it really makes a difference. However, the doughnuts don't turn out quite as crisp.