After getting birthday donuts a few weeks ago, I thought it was about time I devoted a blog post to one of the most important morning treats ever: Donuts. They should arguably be their own food group.
My love of donuts began of course in Peshtigo, at the only grocery store in town: Lee's. Family owned, this little store was good if you just needed to quick run for an ingredient or two, or for weekend donuts. Made fresh by little old bakery ladies in the wee hours of the morning they really did make the best donuts ever. Theirs remind me of our current favorite in Menomonee Falls: Piggly Wiggly.
My grandparents would make the drive from Madison to visit on the occasional weekend and stay at the Drees motel 5 minutes from our house on highway 41 before the bypass was constructed around 2006 (ish). They would grab Lee's donuts and bring them for us on Saturday mornings. I remember my Dad and Grandpa each putting away like 4 big ones; Apple fritters were a common favorite among everyone in the family and the ones from Lee's were plate sized.
Frosted long johns were a second favorite (with buttercream filling NOT the custard ones) along with plain old chocolate frosted of course. The other my sister and I loved were twist with sugar coating (now I loved the glazed twists because way less messy!). My Dad loved jelly filled and Danish too.
Once I started working at the rival grocery store in Marinette in high school, I'd treat myself to a long john when I worked the early morning weekend shifts. It wasn't until I moved to Milwaukee area in 2010 that I discovered Dunkin. Oh the fun options/flavors and toppings!! Not quite the same as Lee's. Kind of apple to oranges comparison. Kyle and I loved grabbing donuts on Sunday mornings in the fall as soon as the mornings got cold. We affectionally call the Dunkin on Grandview "our Dunkin" anytime we pass it or are back in that area in Waukesha. Our first apartment together was super close. I also had the first "true" Dunkin experience during my first trip to Cape Cod with the Mealy clan. East Coast Dunkin's really are better.
There was a Krispy Kreme quite close to our first house in New Berlin/West Allis and Violet LOVED watching through the window while the donuts were made. We had one fundraiser in high school with Krispy Kreme and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever to have donuts brought up from the "big city" of Green Bay to tiny Peshtigo. Oh how far I've come :)
Another absolute favorite donut centers again on the season of fall (my favorite and I think I'm converting my family too). Apple. Cider. Donuts. YUUUUM! We first discovered these at The Elegant Farmer (an apple orchard/farm south of New Berlin) and now seek them out at local farmers markets. Warm, melt in your mouth, sugary, apple delights. Ah I wish I could have one now LOL!
I have tried my hand a few times making cake donuts at home (of course with the Pampered Chef pan) with some success. In this case, the true bakery flavor comes from frying which you obviously don't do with baked donuts. There are so many fun flavors you can try/experiment with at home though which I love. I'd be a baker in another life :)
Life is short. Eat. The. Donuts.