Friday Favorites: Donuts, A New Yorker Piece, Tiny Desk

At the top of this week’s list of favorites is a bag of Mrs. Dunster’s Bakery Donuts we bought at our local supermarket. Once a week, I allow myself a treat day, and for me, a donut connoisseur from way back, there are few treats better than a donut. In all my long years of eating donuts, I have never had  commercial cake donuts better than the ones made by Mrs. Dunster’s.  I will even go one step further: Few local bakeries make better cake donuts than Mrs. Dunster’s does. They have the satisfying heft, tang, and taste of homemade donuts, that special je ne sais quo that is often missing even from locally made donuts.

But here comes the bad news. Mrs. Dunster’s Bakery is located in New Brunswick, Canada, and Maine is the only state in the nation where you can get these nuggets of deliciousness. Maine might be a small, poor, remote state, north of north in the lower 48, but dang we have a good source of commercial donuts readily available at our local supermarkets. Best of all, these donuts freeze beautifully. And a good thing, too, because as much as I love donuts, I am not about to eat a whole bag in one day. While these donuts might be fresh, they are not going to last a whole week in the bread drawer without going dry. So into the freezer they went, where they will wait for future treat days.

Now for a literary pleasure. In this week’s New Yorker, I came across Rivka Galchen’s excellent personal history essay “Better Than a Balloon,” in which she describes what it’s been like to have lived for ten years in a decidedly untrendy neighborhood in New York City, near Port Authority and Penn Station. As someone who has been to both these places many times, I can vouch for the truthfulness of Galchen’s descriptions of the sleaze and the shabbiness of the area. And yet this neighborhood—where people work, live, shop, and eat—is also full of vivid life, a community even, where much is made of Galchen’s young daughter when the two go out and about.

“Better than a Balloon” is New Yorker writing at its finest. Galchen expertly weaves in the personal with her observations of people and place. We get a sense of her and her daughter and this dirty but dear neighborhood that she has called home for a decade. It is a long piece, and I was sorry to come to the end. How often does that happen?

In the United States, February is Black History Month, and from the NPR website, I learned that “NPR Music’s Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week.”

Here is the fabulous Meshell Ndegeocello—quiet, powerful, honest, poetic.


Favorites and small pleasures from other bloggers:

From Thistles and Kiwis, an adorable cat puzzle for Valentine’s Day.

From All Things Bright and Beautiful, visual Valentine’s Day treats in Singapore.

From Change is Hard, jaunty daffodils, which always brings a smile.

66 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Donuts, A New Yorker Piece, Tiny Desk”

  1. I read that New Yorker article by Rivka Glchen, too, and enjoyed it. I am listening to your Tiny Desk selection with Meshell Ndegeocello. I agree – quiet, powerful, honest and poetic.

  2. Fun post with lots of golden huggers, Laurie! Nice to find out all in one day that you’re a connoisseur of both Canadian authors AND Mrs. Dunster’s donuts. Obviously a woman of discerning taste! Next you should try NB’s unbelievably delicious Covered Bridge potato chips, produced upriver in Waterville, NB.

  3. I enjoy your Friday Favourites: an excellent reflection of the good things that enliven our lives in these strange times. I haven’t eaten a doughnut for well over a year … perhaps the next time I go shopping?

  4. ooooh, I’m glad those donuts are in your house and not mine! They look fabulous. And thanks for bringing Meshell Ndegeocello into my house. Listening now…

  5. Ooooh! Doughnuts (as we spell it here)! When I was first married we were very hard up. Our 2 regular treats were a doughnut from a local bakery for Saturday tea and a bag of chips – that is french fries not what we call crisps – which we shared every other week when we walked back from visiting friends. The other week they visited us so we spent the money on a packet of cheap biscuits to share with them. I haven’t had a doughnut (or a bag of chips) for ages! my mouth is watering!

  6. I am not really a cake fan, but I can always make an exception for a donut. I liked your observation about being sorry to come to the end of a book, and agree it is very rare. Meshell is all you say she is.

  7. Well my neighbour is a proud Canadian and I will have to mention Mrs Dunster’s donuts….I bet he knows about them already.
    I read the personal history essay ”Better than a balloon”…I really enjoyed it, lovely writing as you say, and I have always loved the essay form of writing. Inspiring!

  8. I enjoy a donut and I am sure would enjoy more than one top-quality donut so it is good to know that they freeze well. I love reading essays, especially if they are of the quality of Rivka Galchen’s. Thank you for the introduction to Meshell Ndegeocello.

  9. I would love to have one of those donuts, but I am a long way from Maine. Donuts are one of my favorite treats, difficult to find real good ones around here. I have made them in the past but not for several years…I might just have to make some. 🙂 Enjoy your donuts.

  10. What I wouldn’t give for a donut, Laurie. I haven’t had one is about 2-1/2 years. Yum. Good thing those aren’t available in Oregon. Lol. Thanks for sharing your literary find, and what a wonderful poem from Meshell Ndegeocello. The music was mesmerizing.

  11. Douts didn’t exist in my country when I was a child, I first ate them on a vacation in Spain, and I loved them ever since. But over here you can buy them everywhere now. I don’t buy them often, just once or twice a year however I’d love to eat them every day 😀

  12. I’m glad you have a weekly treat. I smiled at the image of you making your way through a bag! Thank heavens for freezers, especially at the moment.

    1. Me, too. I grew up in Waterville, a gritty mill town in central Maine, so I have a soft for charmless places, as long as they are not too dangerous.

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