Saturday, November 20, 2010
I grew up in a small town, the kind that seems almost made up, with one traffic light in the center of town, and the four corners of that intersection marked with a post office, a drugstore, a bank and a church. Outside the snug one mile border of the town, in almost every direction, there were farms. The closest was nothing but a small stand run by the parents of a boy I went to school with. But there were so many others. One lay across the border in another state and had delicious caramel apples. Another one was up in the hills and felt forever away from my small child perspective. But the one we used the most had corn you could feed to the animals, a cement outbuilding with a window where you could buy fresh cider and a small red painted farm store. We would go and look at the animals, and on the way back stop and my daddy would buy me an apple and polish it up on his flannel shirt. When I got a little older, they branched out and started selling cider doughnuts, plain and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Now that farm is packed weekends. People that moved into the subdivisions that have been slowly eating away open space pack up their children into their extra-large SUVs and descend upon my tranquil childhood farm like locusts. Last time I went I stood in a line that wrapped around the whole farm store and down the porch just to buy my cider doughnuts. I don't begrudge them their success; many local farms have been forced to sell, but I do miss the way thing were. Also sad? I read the ingredient list on the back on the doughnut bag. I don't think I could identify anything after the first three ingredients. So I think the time has come for me to part ways with the farm and their doughnuts. But I do have a back-up plan. Come next fall, expect to hear my opinion on these cider doughnuts from Smitten Kitchen.