Saturday, July 3, 2010

Time to Make the Donuts!

I pass this sign outside Pilgrim Church dozens of times per week and I know hoards of hungry Oak Parkers flock to the Farmer's Market every Saturday to pick up a dozen or so freshly made donuts before snagging a bunch of fresh produce for the week. I've always loved the fact local NFP organizations take turns amassing the army of volunteers needed to make donut day happen and share in the proceeds of this massive undertaking. I had never seen the operation from the inside until today! The Oak Park and River Forest Day Nursery and the Heritage Choral paired up to get the job done this morning and 4am on a Saturday morning seemed like the perfect time for me to break into the donut making business!

Every volunteer has a very specific task...mixer, fryer, fryer assistant, sheeter, coater, boxers, cashiers...it goes on and on. Thanks to my culinary degree, I was assigned the role of fryer and had the chance to use the extruder above to fry up donuts in batches of 75 at a time. That fryer looked like an ocean of blistering fat, but despite a couple of minor set backs (a blown fuse) my flippers and I were able to push out those golden rings at a fairly rapid clip! Actually, I figured out that we were cooking about 70 donuts every 4 minutes for 3 hours. Folks, that means we cooked 3,150 donuts before 7am!

Our friend Meghan was visiting with her daughter and husband from Washington DC and met us at the Farmer's market after my shift ended. By the looks of things, Zadie would give our donuts two thumbs up! What a fun and interesting way to start my day!

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