Remember when it wasn't sinful to eat donuts for breakfast? Sunday's sermon involved the story of our associate pastor talking about his memories of stopping at the local donut store on his way to school. He went on to tie this to lent and avoiding temptation.
The memories came rushing back immediately for me. As a tiny 'bonie Joanie' I would take a nickel from mom and dad most mornings and stop at Smitty's donuts on Keo and 19th in Des Moines, Iowa on my way to St. John's Catholic Grade School. Ahhh, the smell! Smitty's has been torn down for generations, but I can still imagine the screen door, often propped open because the small donut factory was always so warm inside. They had huge windows along the sidewalk where you could watch them make the donuts. As you entered the store there were two donut cases in a "V" shape....and my favorite, cake donuts with white or chocolate frosting, were on the left. I would have to keep my donut in a sack til after church. Since I attended Catholic school, we went to Catholic mass every morning, and in pre-Vatican II days, that meant we were required to fast for 3 hours prior to Holy Communion. And everyone had to go to communion...if you didn't that meant you had committed a mortal sin!
In my mind, I can still taste those donuts...their icing! I joked with hubbie the reason that no other donut has every compared is that the bake shop was probably filled with workers smoking and embedded that special essence in the donuts! :-)
Those times were pretty treacherous in Des Moines. The late 1950's and early 1960's were times of extreme transition ..gangs, white kids, leather jacketed with knives, were the dangers of our streets. My earliest memories were hiding in the bath tub with a big old butcher knife until one of my parents would come home; I was a latchkey kid before that term was invented. I've spoken with a few people from the old neighborhood in recent years and they don't want to talk about those days.
But the memories of those donuts....yum! Sure wish someone had the recipe for Smitty's donuts!