Chocolate doughnut recipe recalls childhood memories

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Woke: —Night, lingering, poured upon the world 

Of drowsy hill and wood and lake

Her moon-song,

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And the breeze accompanied with hushed fingers

On the birches.

Gently the dawn held out to me

A golden handful of bird’s-notes.

~ Leonora Speyer, “The Gift”


Beside my desk this January morning is a small black timeworn notebook of hand-written and typed family recipes on dog-eared yellowed pages. I remember it from childhood, stuck in between Joy of Cooking and the red-and-white-plaid Betty Crocker cookbook.

Talking to a friend yesterday, I started reminiscing about the chocolate doughnuts my dad would make every winter and remembering how warm, delicious and just right they were. Nothing like a too-sugary, overwhelmingly sweet store-bought doughnut, this recipe came from the state of Maine where Dad grew up. It reads “Cobbosseecontee Chocolate Doughnuts” in carefully typed print accompanied by hand-written notations added in by my mother. Those Mainers knew how to make good doughnuts. Indeed.

It’s doubtful I’ll fry up a batch of homemade doughnuts for just myself — that could be asking for trouble. I’m not known to stop at just one—and I have those infamous too-small flannel jeans to squirm into. I’m sure that River dog would help with eating any such treats, but dogs and chocolate don’t make a good mix. Try telling him that!

That would mean I’d have to eat them all, in order to protect River from harm, of course! Better to just remember. This old recipe brings back memories of my dad standing with his apron over a bubbling pot on a Sunday afternoon, frying up doughnuts as the rest of us moved closer and closer. Somehow, reading through those old worn pages, I felt closer to those I love, the remembered scent of warm Maine doughnuts bringing tears and a smile.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, with dinner served from 5:30-7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations are accepted.

The Saluda branch of Tree City USA meets at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at Saluda Library.

Enjoy a community potluck and bingo at Saluda Center on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.

Save your box tops for Saluda School. Collection containers are located in Saluda Library, Saluda Post Office and Saluda Elementary School.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) would benefit from your donations or your time as a volunteer for their many community projects. For information, contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit

Saluda get-well wishes go to Rita Igoe, who currently is at Emory Medical Center in Atlanta. Saluda sympathy goes to the family of Tona Lawter. Tona was my neighbor up the street, and had been caregiver for a long time to her mother, Ruth Lawter, who passed away recently. I met Tona after moving to Saluda. Years ago, on a freezing day we stood around bundled up in heavy winter coats outside Ward’s Grill watching a movie being made. She will be missed. Condolences also go to the family of Donald Gene Ward and George Michael Tillotson.

Happy January Birthday to ‘Sparkles’ Anderson, Brandy Bradley, Alex Bardos, Carolyn Ashburn, Scott Kinard, Donna Bond, Greer Eargle, Wyatt Alan Pace, Irma Anderson, Paul Aaybe, Rich Rauschenbach, Phyllis Arrington, Kenneth Justus, Cheryl Harbin, and Avery Lena Mintz. Please add your birthday to the list!

Thank you for reading this column, dear reader. As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life and a cup of hot tea with me in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda. You can contact me at, call 749-1153, visit my website for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.