The world conspired against me today in my pursuit of holiday celebration. It didn’t hurt me or stop me, it just didn’t make it any easier for me. Sometimes, this can be easy. Like yesterday for instance. I just had to go running. Today sounded like it would be easy, but it did not come without complications (hence the universe’s conspiring against me theory). I feel like the deeper I get into this quest, the harder it is getting.
The first force moving against me was pain. I was straight up sore from my running, lawn-mowing and ice-cream jaunting of yesterday. It hit me when I woke up and then as the day went along, my muscles were getting tighter. Every time I got up from my chair, I would hobble for the first 100 steps, hunched over hoping that this adopted Neanderthal posture would make it easier. It did not. There may have been some audible grunts alongside it too. I never stretched yesterday and I’m sure that had a lot to do with it. I’ve got my work cut out for me to make it to August. In any case, when you’re sore like that, your motivation for going all out for a celebration is not really there.
Then I had my usual problem of trying to select what day I should celebrate. I found National Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day on a website that I use as a back up to my back up website. All the other holidays on this day were intriguing, but they were not ones I was motivated to celebrate (or even could celebrate in any meaningful way). I didn’t discover this until about mid-day, so I missed my window for that glorious morning doughnut with my coffee. My plan would be just to pick up a jelly-filled doughnut after work.
I’ve never been a fan of jelly doughnuts. I never saw the allure of having a doughnut squirt out any type of liquid, but I suppose I’m a purist. In fact, if ever I order a dozen doughnuts or a box of Munchkins, I always make the caveat of “No jellies or creams”. I just feel the jelly is messy and unnecessary. I have anger held over from my youth when you would see this round flaky pastry covered in white powdered sugar that you couldn’t wait to eat and then when you bit in, you were hit with a gush of jelly. Beyond that surprise money shot, I was never a big fan of jelly in general. I’ve snubbed my nose at a jelly doughnut all my life. But, I suppose could tolerate one today for my quest though. It’s all about making sacrifices.
After work I stopped by Clements because they were probably missing me, but also to pick up something for dinner and while I was there, I figured I could get the doughnut. They have a bakery there and usually have a whole trolley filled with fresh made doughnuts and pastries. It was late in the day and at some point, they pack away the day’s pastries away because they are no longer fresh. When I got there, I could see there were still some doughnuts left although I couldn’t see if there were any jellies. There was a lady standing in front of the whole display and she was talking to her husband or partner who was standing to her left. They were in full discussion on what pastries to get. There was no room for me to get at any of the doughnuts. I was blocked and also getting a little peeved. I hate when it takes more than one person to go shopping. Just get what you want and go. You don’t need to discuss. You don’t need consultation. Keep moving – that keeps everything else moving. Just a pet peeve of mine. In any case, I couldn’t hang around the doughnuts anymore and wait for them to discuss if they should commit to a lemon-filled danish as a couple, so I angrily pushed my cart away. I made a beeline for the frozen food section. I had a memory of having had a frozen doughnut when I was a kid that my mom baked in the oven and when it came out, I had myself a nice hot doughnut. I recalled it being really tasty too. Not tasting exactly like a doughnut, but a good warm pastry. They were glazed doughnuts. I have never been able to find them again. I didn’t even know if the frozen doughnut was a thing or I imagined it, but it was worth a shot. And if it was a thing, then they would probably make one in jelly flavor. I perused the frozen aisles in the pastry and breakfast sections but came up empty. I wonder if these doughnuts were taken out of stores for a reason or if I really remember them correctly? In any case, they didn’t have them at Clements.
I rolled back to the bakery section and the chatty pastry hoarder and her liege were gone, but so were all the doughnuts. Did that really just happen? Did I just lose a doughnut battle at 5 PM? I was stunned. I started peeking around the rest of the bakery section to see if they may have had doughnuts any place else. Then I recalled that Clement’s make their own mini doughnuts and those were on display in front of the bakery counter. There was plenty of them too. Naturally, there was a dude standing in front of them and even though I made it clear that I was trying to look at the doughnuts, he was not giving up his ground. Apparently he couldn’t discuss how he wanted his cake decorated if he moved just two feet to his right. He had to stand in my way. I was able to awkwardly look through his legs and see the mini doughnuts. They had some good flavors available (including marble which I had never seen before), but no jelly. I kicked the man in the back of the calf and went on my way empty handed.
I was now reduced to stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts which was uninspired but would do the job. Going into the Dunk at 5 pm is a completely different experience than going in at 8 am. It’s way more relaxed. It’s not super busy. There’s no line out the door. And their inventory has been gradually depleted throughout the day. A quick glance however let me know that they still had a good selection of doughnuts. My eyes immediately focused on the bottom row of doughnuts and I saw the distinct glow of powdered doughnuts stacked and leaning onto one another next to a small stack of similar colored munchkins. The counter person asked me what I wanted and I said loudly and proudly, “Can I have a powdered jelly doughnut?” My answer was, “No.” That wasn’t a jelly doughnut, that was just your run of the mill powdered doughnut. I screamed. After we both regained our senses, our discussion continued with more civility. Apparently the only doughnuts they had left were the plain ones filled with strawberry jelly. Beggars can’t be choosers. My quest needed to be fulfilled and it was.
It’s really not a plain doughnut. There’s a fine sprinkle of granulated sugar on the outside of the doughnut that helps sweeten it up. The doughnut itself is light and fluffy and somewhat flavorful, although not totally. When it is in your hand, it has the texture of something you just want to squeeze (although you shouldn’t squeeze it because there’s stuff inside). It’s hard for me to admit but the jelly is kind of the star. It’s sweet and flavorful with the taste of strawberry right our in front. It has a coolness to the taste too so as your mouth works through the soft dough, the jelly brings refreshment. It really wasn’t bad at all. It was probably an older doughnut too (being about 5:30 in the afternoon), but still had a fresh taste to it. I was kind of sold on the joy of a jelly doughnut although when it’s time to decide between a jelly or a glazed, I’ll lean towards the glazed every time (it’s my Sophie’s choice). Apparently I am eating doughnuts as dinner appetizers now.
After all the trials and tribulations of the day, from the soreness in my legs to the late start to Bob and Betty Getoutoftheway blocking me at Clements, it was nice to actually enjoy a sweet and fruity doughnut. I learned to appreciate a jelly doughnut today which is kind of fitting on such an auspicious occasion. This quest really is getting harder as I can begin to see the finish line on the horizon. My new schedule and just my generally being worn down by the routine is taking its toll. I’m still pushing along though. I ain’t quittin’ now. I’ll find the way. You can try to keep a doughnut away from the man, but you can’t keep a man away from the doughnuts. That’s what my epitaph should read. And when you are all gathered around reading that and mourning, bring some munchkins for everyone to snack on. I’ll even allow a few jellies in the bunch.
Next up: National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day