Holy Holey Fried Dough Discs, Batman! Life can be sweet, especially when you have these little gourmet discs in it. But what do donuts teach us about life? What else do they offer except flavorful calories and tooth cavity risks?
You will rarely find a person to turn down this Dutch delicacy of “sweetened cake fried in fat.” In fact, if they do… they’re no friend of mine. This tasty confection has its own holidays, on the first Friday of June and on November 5th. And I almost always prefer a yeast donut over a cake donut. WARNING: Puns are coming!
Some Fun Foodie Facts
The largest doughnut ever made was an American-style jelly donut weighing 1.7 tons. The Guinness World record for doughnut eating is held by John Haight, who consumed 29 donuts in just over 6 minutes. And In the US alone, more than 10 billion doughnuts are made every year, and its industry is worth about 3.6 billion dollars. And my “Last Meal” choice would probably be a Van Dross, complete with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, cheddar, mayo, mustard and ketchup, a side of steak fries, and a tall Dr. Pepper.
But enough fun facts! This dessert is something super special to me. My very first job was at a Dunkin’ Donuts. And I have been fascinated over them ever since I saw what was “behind the curtain” at Krispy Kreme. Not only is this confection special to me, but it has taught me a lot about life as a “hole”.
1. Donuts teach me that it’s easier to have a recipe than to unmake an “olykoek”.
The olykoek is the Dutch grandfather of the donut. And everyone knows that when it comes to life, it’s impossible to unbake a cake. It kinda goes for every aspect of life. It would be much easier to proceed with a process rather than trying to go and reverse engineer everything. Proper planning can save you tons of headache! I like to immerse myself in research, apply what I’ve learned as practically as possible with testing, and then create my plan of execution. Of course, there are some things in life I wish I had planned more for… but it would be rare that I trade an experience for anything else, especially if I learned a lesson in it. A recipe is easier to follow if you have spent valuable time focusing on your skills.
2. Donuts teach me to dig deep to find the “filling”!
My absolute favorite donut of all time was a Vietnamese Coffee donut at DISTRICT: Magazine. The filling… oh, the filling. It had boba in it and that was all I needed to be hooked. As I reminisced about taking a bite into this tasty treat, it dawned on me: We all have secrets inside of us, waiting to “WOW” the outside world looking in. I realized that the revelations I get, the things I create from that inspiration, and the time I make to manifest all those thoughts and ideas and emotions… it’s all part of a wonderful secret that is patiently waiting to be discovered. And most of the time, the digger you deep for that thing, the more wonderful and fulfilling it truly is.
I waited a whole 2 years to go to that restaurant in NOLA after I started following them on Instagram. And I have waited almost my entire life to start writing the things I am writing, and to begin making something like a podcast to “cast” my voice out into the world. I’m still not even sure I waited long enough. But I am digging deep for those secrets inside of my that are dying to get out!
3. Donuts teach me to “sprinkle” my life with fun!
I never really realized that it’s too easy for me to become “all work and no play” until very recently. I have to admit that it’s difficult to “not work” when you have as much fun as I do. THIS girl really enjoys writing, creating, thinking and speaking about faith and life and art. But lately, I am starting to find myself feel more. I feel the burnout trying to seep into the cracks that are exposed from exhaustion. My mind is working harder these days to keep up with my heart’s pace. Lately, I am more susceptible to “cabin fever” the more I stay in one place. But it’s difficult to take off while I’m in the groove and hacking away at a keyboard and clicking a mouse.
I need to get better at taking breaks and making plans to go on vacation, even if it’s something over the weekend or even a day. A simple step, like, getting up from my seat from time to time to take a walk, helps tremendously! I’m sure there’s plenty more that I can do to help myself enjoy life more.
4. Donuts teach me that I “donut” want to be without coffee.
Coffee and donuts have a unique and timeless relationship. They complement each other, and yet, over time, each component has found a way into the other. I literally just wrote about a Vietnamese Coffee Donut and there is donut-flavored coffee out there!
Life is better when it’s full of relationships; my love language is Quality Time. My father would always work his schedule around me by carving time into his day to meet me where I was at. I love making time for people when and where I can in my busy life. When you spend time with someone, and with people, you will ultimately have influence on them, and they will have influence on you– it’s inevitable. The saying goes, “You’re the company you keep,” or “Guilty by association,” and these statements are so true. Even the disciples were associated with the Messiah, and questioned, pursued and killed because of it.
Taking care of relationships that build you up, inspire you, and help you grow is one of the most important lessons that donuts have to teach. Coffee pairing with donuts makes donuts better and coffee better. Coffee is already awesome, and donuts are spectacular all on their own, but what a team, right?!
Work on relationships that complement you, can take the road you’re on and in the direction you’re headed, and inspire you to become a better version of yourself. “Donut” make room for things in life that take away from it. Take it from me.
“Donut” judge me.
Maybe I just want to write about donuts, I “donut” know. It could be that I love puns and fried dough. But to be honest, donuts are a big part of my life. At one point in my life, I was planning to buy a donut shop in my hometown. I had HUGE plans for it. But then, I realized something very important: I am not a donut shop owner. I’m a craftsman, but in a completely different sense of the word.
Would I be successful as a donut owner? I most likely would be very successful; all I would need is to follow a well-thought plan, to pour everything about myself into it, to make it super fun (with all these puns), and create some relationships with people that could support me, of course!
But ultimately, I would not be fulfilling my purpose. And that is not what I want for you either. I immersed myself in research, and at the end of the day, it’s not me. And that is ok. That opportunity has the potential to be life-changing for the perfect individual that comes along and takes the leap of faith.
Why a Donut, Lo?
This world will tell you that you need to be an muffin. Or someone will say that a bear claw is the very best type of pastry. A teacher might argue that the most profitable pastry is a brownie. But if you’re a donut… you cannot, and should not, be any of those things.
A donut is not a 7-layer cake. It’s not a cupcake. You can’t pass a donut to your friend if you promise them a cookie. A donut is just one treat in the world of pastries, and there are so many unique varieties.
I can tell you what a donut is: a donut is one of the most versatile pastries on the planet. You can bake or fry a donut. The donut can be made into a ring, or be puffed and filled, and donut fillings can be sweet creams, fruit glazes or savory meats. And the topping selection is endless!
How to Be a Donut
The varieties of donuts available around the world is an overwhelming list of awesomeness. The nuances from culture to culture are intriguing, and the differences are slight, as well as polar opposite sometimes. It’s really amazing to see that in any part of the world, fried dough abounds! The most important lesson donuts teach is this: we are all as related to each other as we are different. It is far better to see the commonalities that others share, and to unite in that, rather than the differences that alienate us from each other.
Appreciate what people have to offer you and to teach you. Let those things help you to become a better version of yourself. Allow those things to inspire you to create something new or unique. And celebrate the variety that helps life stay exciting and worth living. Keep discovering and saying, “What’s next?!” Try new things and continually surprise yourself and others.
Being a brownie is fine. A bear claw is pretty neat. And a muffin still serves a purpose. But a donut can possess a little bit of all those things or embody the idea that they present. Donuts are popular around the globe. A donut is versatile, and all-encompassing. Be a donut in the world of pastries.