March 25, 2011


I knew the date was coming up, the worst kind of anniversary. I wanted to write something worthy of my only brother, gone 9 years yesterday. I was having trouble, lacking inspiration. So imagine my utter shock when I checked this week's writing prompt and found this:

His favorite. The food my family eats to celebrate his birthday. The very thing we leave at his grave when we visit on special occasions.

Bill loved all kinds of doughnuts, old fashioned, cake, or raised, plain or adorned. I love a nice jelly or lemon-filled, but we agreed that the true test of a doughnut maker is the basic glazed.

We grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where Winchell's reigned supreme, and theirs were the standard against which all others were compared. Bill was also a fan of Krispy Kreme, in part because of the free half-dozen you got whenever the Dodger's pitched a shutout. I don't know what my brother thought of Dunkin' Donuts, but they remind me of the walk from my apartment to school in New Haven, cold days warmed by coffee with plenty of cream and sugar.

Near my house, we have Stan's. I was late discovering Stan's, but am glad I did. Stan has the most gloriously dense glazed doughnuts. They are legend around here, with lines out the door on weekend mornings. I'm sorry Bill never got to try one.

A few years ago, Psycho Donuts opened with some controversy near our little downtown. The decor is retro-cult slasher movie, complete with padded room and cashiers in white nurses uniforms who hand you a square of bubble wrap when you walk in. Protesters claimed it made light of mental illness, with menu items like "Cereal Killer" (topped with Crunchberries) and "Glazed and Confused." Granted, they don't have an "Autism Fritter" or a "Stimming Cruller" but I'm not that easily offended.

I don't usually eat a doughnut on this day, preferring to celebrate Bill's birthday in November. But when I found out that Psycho doughnuts has a "cocktail" doughnut, I decided to make an exception. I bought a strawberry margarita doughnut, filled with tequila cream, topped with fresh strawberry icing, freeze-dried strawberries, and coarse margarita salt.

I may not have found the perfect words with which to toast my brother, but I'm pretty sure I've found the perfect doughnut. Cheers.
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


Related Posts with Thumbnails