Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today is National Donut Day!

And its origins go back to World War I.  So naturally, I planned to celebrate by frying up some donuts last night, from a c. 1917 recipe in my collection, but instead I attended Henry Street Settlement's fabulous Youth Scholarship Awards Ceremony.  
So this weekend, first on my list (after making strawberry pie to use up the berries DH and I picked a few days ago), I'm getting out the big boy vat of oil and making donuts.  If I don't set the kitchen afire, look for a report next week.
Meantime, here's some history from Wikipedia:
National Donut Day was the creation of the Chicago Salvation Army in 1938 to honor women (called "lassies") who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.  But I can't let 
Soon after the US entrance into World War I in 1917, the Salvation Army sent a fact-finding mission to France. The mission concluded that "huts" that could serve baked goods, provide writing supplies and stamps, and provide a clothes-mending service, would serve the needs of US enlisted men. Six staff members per hut should include four female volunteers who could "mother" the boys.
(The canteens/social centres that were established by the Salvation Army in the United States near army training centers were called "huts".)
About 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France. Because of the difficulties of providing freshly-baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near to the front lines, two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and AdjutantHelen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. These are reported to have been an "instant hit", and "soon many soldiers were visiting Salvation Army huts". Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day "Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee."

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