National Doughnut Day--June 5th. Whether you're partial to the cream-filled, glazed, jelly or chocolate varieties, the doughnut is something near and dear to so many of us. While there are several stories (or call them myths) about how the doughnut (or donut) came about, the Salvation Army established National Doughnut Day in 1938 to raise funds during the Great Depression and honor the women volunteers, who supported the soldiers on the front lines during World War I by serving them delicious meals, and of course, doughnuts. Approximately 250 "lassies" provided assistance to American soldiers in France in 1917.
Today, women's role has expanded beyond ones more traditionally related to the hearth, such as providing food, to more active military roles. But the tradition of National Donut Day continues with many national chains and smaller shops are offering free doughnuts to celebrate.
Doughnuts have a disputed history. One theory suggests they were invented in North America by Dutch settlers. According to anthropologist Paul R. Mullins, the first cookbook mentioning doughnuts was an 1803 English volume which included doughnuts in an appendix of American recipes. By the mid-19th century, the doughnut looked and tasted like today’s doughnut,
and was viewed as a thoroughly American food.
The story I like the most is not about the donut, but the donut hole. A sailor supposedly pushed one of the treats onto a ship's wheel. It eliminated the raw center and temporarily freed his hands. Now you know why I said, myths.
While donuts may be most commonly associated with police stories (and more than one author has had their character stop for a midnight jolt of sugar), that is not the only way an author could incorporate an event such as National Doughnut Day. If writing a historical, the character could be one of the lassies. Or for later years, the descendent of one or find a letter written by one where they talk about a doughboy (yes I couldn't resist that) who was leaving for battle.
For myself, I'm celebrating. Instead of cereal, eggs and sausage, or a bagel, I'm reading my morning emails with a donut in hand.
More information on National Donut Day can be found at http://donutdayusa.com/.
Thanks for joining me. Until next time. ~Helen
PS- some doughnut stores and organizations have giveaways.