Many of my food memories are woven around my paternal Grandmother, and they are normally sweet ones. I refer to her now as Granny Ma to our children as she passed away while I was still pregnant with my first child; but to me, all her other grandchildren and her own children she was simply “Ma”. For a while when we were younger we shared her home and then later she moved to live right beside us. You would pass her door every morning on the way to school and do so quietly, so as not to wake her. On the way home from school you’d often hear a tap-tap on the window and see her beckoning you in to share a cup of tea, watch Countdown and a sneaky treat before dinner.
I only remember her making doughnuts once but my Mam tells me that she always made them at Halloween. The time I do remember her making doughnuts it was a weekend and once the word went around to all of our Aunts, Uncles & Cousins that there was a batch on the go her kitchen filled with family members. The smell of warm sugar filled the air, many cups of tea were drunk and we scoffed the lot between about 20 of us. Ma didn’t do things by halves; something I think I’ve inherited.
Doughnuts are something that even now I don’t eat without the memories of that day. The thing is that I’m not a fan of hot pans of oil, even if it is a deep fat fryer, when I have such small children in the house and a small kitchen. So I’ve taken a basic doughnut recipe and tweaked it so that they can be baked in the oven which is far safer and probably a little more heart healthy too. I prefer these jam filled doughnuts without the sugar on top but the kids had to have the real deal. Oh and apologies to my neighbours, as I dropped over a batch of sugar coated doughnuts at their childrens’ bedtime on a Sunday evening. I will try in future to give you advance warning! My name is mud now I think.