Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Camp Donuts

Mom's generation in the 50's was surrounded by convenience foods. These scientifically developed products made life easier for the homemaker and shortened preparation time. Out of the time-saving convenience of refrigerated dough came the rewards of almost home-baked goods. You could make fresh breads and rolls without the day long process. My mom used to make these donuts for us at least once a month. We could smell the dough cooking and the anticipation of fresh donuts was mouth-watering. You can easily do this one in camp, just be careful when heating the oil.

Camp Donuts
heavy frying pan or dutch oven
2 cups of vegetable oil
1/4 cup powdered sugar (divided in half)
2 T cinnamon
one container of Pillsbury dough for rolls

Heat pan to medium heat with oil. Take the dough container and give it the wack against the edge of your counter or camp table. Peel off each roll and place on a lightly oiled plate. Enlist the kids to poke a hole in each center of the dough. (You might want to help them stretch the hole into uniform sizes). Have the kids take the powdered sugar and divide into two bowls. Add cinnamon to one of the bowls and mix thoroughly. Pinch a tiny piece of dough and place it into the oil. If the dough just sits there, the oil isn't hot enough. If the dough is surrounded by bubbles and starts to rise, the oil is just right. Place donuts into the oil carefully (adults only). They will start to rise and turn brown. With long spatula or tongs, turn them carefully. Experiment with the cooking time depending on how you're heating your oil. They should be done in 3 to 4 minutes. Take donuts out of oil and place on a paper bag or paper towels. Sprinkle half with just powdered sugar. Sprinkle the others with the cinnamon mixture. Serve immediately or freeze for later use... though I doubt there will be any left.

Mom would sometimes take the dough, and instead of making the donut hole, she would leave the dough intact. Then she would pipe in a small amount strawberry jam through the edge of the dough. (In camp, use a sandwich bag and fill with jam. Cut a corner of the bag and then squeeze and use it to pipe the jam.) Another friend of mine likes to pipe in Nutella, the nut and chocolate spread. It's a donut to die for...

Caution: when heating any large quantities of oil on a rafting trip or in camp, be careful that the items you place into the oil do not cause the oil to overflow onto the fire or coals. Otherwise, you will have a fire like no other. Keep a fire extinguisher near any campfire or cooking area... even in your own kitchen at home!

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