For what I am about to tell you to make sense you have to go way back over sixty years. If my brother, Jeff, and I were really good my mother would take us to the large Woolworths Store, sort of a five- and ten-cent store. We would each be given 50 cents and then the treasure hunting would begin. We both wanted to have our mother think us the best shopper. Then came the really good part.
In the center of the store they made fresh doughnuts. Oh, the fragrance of those doughnuts has lived with me over the years. And the icing, in every color of the rainbow that would be poured on the doughnut until it could hold no more. Your first bite of that doughnut was a magical moment!
I carried my love of doughnuts everywhere of the many, many places I had lived. I became quite the doughnut connoisseur. In Los Angeles it was hard to find a decent doughnut, they hurried the cooking process so the doughnut did not have that slightly crisp edge and they were cheap with the icing. Hiss! But slowly over the 10 years we lived in LA, moving frequently, we fell upon the Pacific Palisades Bakery. Now they made filled doughnuts that you would steal for. Much of my babysitting money went to that place of temptation.
Married, with children, still moving, my search continued. When we moved back to Michigan I discovered Sanders lightly browned sugar dusted doughnuts. They helped me through one pregnancy. Back in San Jose I came upon Dunkin Doughnuts that had creations filled with chocolate or French cream. It was a long relationship.
In Texas I learned doughnuts were not really their thing, and for me neither was Texas. In Watsonville it was good old Winchell’s Doughnuts that was a stop after church each Sunday. I met my first apple fritter there. When I moved to Los Banos I was almost overcome. Three doughnut shops on the same street! I tried to share my love of doughnuts, but I often parked In Santos parking lot and stepped over the curb. Their jelly doughnuts are that good.
And now I live in Fresno I miss them all so much. A really good doughnut is comfort food that has helped me through some pretty rough times.
Now Fresno and I have had a problem since my move. I get lost. And then lost. So I got to the point where I decided I would not go out. Fresno had won. Ah, but my daughter Lara is a smart one. She started telling me about a wonderful doughnut shop called Judys. Her adjective went into overdrive as she talked of texture, filling and icings. She was putting out the bait.
Three times, Lara is a pro, three times she drove the easiest way to Judys, and then drove on. What no doughnut? I was shocked! The first time I really didn’t pay much attention to street names. On the second trip she asked me the name of where to turn. Oops. We went on, I got to see the shop again as we drove by. The last trip I paid more attention to. Looking for landmarks as well as street names. I was not going to have this town deprive me of my doughnut.
A few days later I grabbed my car keys, went into the garage and clicked the garage door opener. I took a deep breath and told myself you can do this, girl. I backed out and went forward on my quest. A right turn here, OK turn on Jackson after passing Hensley, you are going to end up on Maple. It is a six-lane street, you will be past the light so watch and wait for your move. Turn left, no turn right watch for Fir and turn in and in the back was Judys! A small step for mankind, but it felt like a big step for me.
You want to know, yes the doughnuts were very good, but not up to the standards of my childhood memories. But then what in life really does? The important thing is now I feel the confidence to venture out farther and farther, get lost, but find my way back, And so goes life.